October 5th, 2009
05:42 PM ET

Send us your H1N1 swine flu questions!


A national campaign to inoculate tens of millions of Americans against H1N1 influenza began Monday, with health care workers in Indiana and Tennessee targeted as the first recipients, federal health authorities said.

"I think the world has watched history unfold," Dr. Judy Monroe, Indiana's state health commissioner, told reporters at Wishard Hospital in Indianapolis.

Earlier Monday, the hospital received a shipment of 52 boxes - each containing 100 pre-filled sprayers.

"This first 5,200 doses that came to Marion County is really just the tip of the iceberg," Monroe said.

Health Director Virginia Caine said the shipment will be split among the county's hospitals.

A similar scene unfolded at LeBonheur Children's Medical Center in Memphis, Tennessee, where three children have died from H1N1, sometimes referred to as swine flu.

Jennilyn Utkov, a spokeswoman for LeBonheur, said the hospital received about 100 doses. By noon, the supply had been depleted.

The vaccines shipped to both sites and to a few other places around the nation are the first of some 195 million doses the U.S. government has purchased from five vaccine manufacturers, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Dr. Jay Butler told reporters at the Indianapolis event. That number includes both spray and injectable forms.

Butler, who heads the agency's 2009 H1N1 Vaccine Task Force, has promised there will be enough for anyone who wants it.

Do you have questions about the H1N1 virus? Let us know! We'll have answers tonight.

Filed under: H1N1
soundoff (70 Responses)
  1. Mandy

    I have a breastfed baby who turns 6 months old next week, I'm 29 do we both need to get the H1N1 vaccine?

    October 5, 2009 at 11:36 pm |
  2. Sarah

    Is it safe for pregnant women and their unborn babies? My doctor said that no one really knows.

    October 5, 2009 at 7:23 pm |
  3. Sarah

    I have a low immune system. I have a elevated white count all the time. Drs can't figure out why. Should I take the Swine Flu shot?

    October 5, 2009 at 6:57 pm |
  4. heather

    as one of the millions of uninsured my first thought is to get in line and take the shot. However, the second thought is how much does it cost on average and will my local MD even have the vaccine?

    October 5, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  5. Darlene

    If you had swine flu, do you still need the vaccine?

    October 5, 2009 at 6:33 pm |
  6. Joe Montano - St. Augustine, FL

    My bride is a physician assistant in Family Practice and been busy seeing patients with this flu. I know she's on the short list of people who should get the vaccine quickly. Should I also get vaccinated now?

    October 5, 2009 at 6:26 pm |
  7. Sarah Ford

    Will the single-dose injectable units of H1N1 2009 vaccine that do NOT contain thimerosal (mercury) be available at the same time as the multi-dose vials that do contain it? I am concerned because I am pregnant.

    Sarah Ford in Casselberry, Florida

    October 5, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  8. ICU Nurse

    We're seeing patients with H1N1 placed on life support and be very ill/hospitalized for up to a month. Not all of them were debilitated or low-immunity people before succumbing to H1N1, most were, but not all. What else can healthy people do to enhance our immunity and resist getting ill? (besides the handwashing and the vaccine)

    October 5, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  9. Vanessa, TX

    is it possible to get H1N1 flu twice? can u still get it after you've received the shot?

    October 5, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  10. Judy Huntington WV

    When will Cabell County West Virginia receive the H1N1 vaccine? We have had 3 deaths in the last 10 days.

    October 5, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  11. John

    What exactly are the different symptoms if any between swine and regualr flu. Does one have a fever and not the other. Are they painfully similar that only a blood test could differenciate between them. We know everyone is diiferent and reacts diffrently. However, on average, how long does swine last and how dangereous is is?
    Thank you so very much fro your time.
    take care
    be well
    Most Sincerly,

    October 5, 2009 at 6:09 pm |
  12. Barbara

    I had the swine flu back in May. I have been hearinf conflicting comments of whether I have built up an immunity or if I should be vaccinated.

    October 5, 2009 at 6:06 pm |
  13. Suzanne

    Should people with immune system suppression issues get the H1N1 shot? I have MS and use Rebif (Interferon beta 1a). Or, should I wait and if I get the flu take Tamiflu instead?

    October 5, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  14. MM

    I understand the argument in favor of getting a H1N1 vaccine. But, who is opposed to vaccines and why? Is it simply that it's too new and unknown or some reliable scientific reason to not get one?

    October 5, 2009 at 6:02 pm |
  15. Janet Davis

    My Daughter is almost 7 months pregnate. Everyone keeps telling her to get the H1N1 shot, ( we have heard first hand from a friend that works in a hospital that there is so many women on life support with this swine flu, and that the are trying to save the babies).
    My question is , my daughter gets the shot is there enough of a guaranttee that in the rush to come up with the vacine will there be any long term efects tto my daughter and her baby?
    Thank you for you're time,
    Janet in Florida

    October 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  16. Vonda Miller

    As a nurse at the local hospital, people have asked me about the boundaries of the nasal spray vs the shot. Can you get the regular flu shot and the H1N1 on the same day?
    Can people get the H1N1 shot even though they are not on the high risk list?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  17. Victoria Alameda

    If you are not in a high risk group (such as a child or pregant or elderly). Should you still get the H1N1 shot? If so will there be enough vaccines for everyone?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:56 pm |
  18. cindy caplinger

    What is the difference from the normal flu ? The symptoms sound the same.

    October 5, 2009 at 5:52 pm |
  19. Nikki

    I've already gotten H1N1 this year, am I likely to get it again, or have I built up some immunity?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:51 pm |
  20. Tom S Los Angeles, CA

    What R the smtoms of H1N1 flu & how do they differ from other types of flu viruses?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:48 pm |
  21. Brian Clements

    Does taking the regular seasonal flu shot help in any way? I have the opportunity to take that shot now but doubt I'll ever see any H1N1 shots anytime soon.

    October 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  22. chantelle davis

    How effective is it and what are the major side effects?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:47 pm |
  23. Eric

    How will US citizens studying in other countries receive the vaccine? (currently in the UK)

    October 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  24. Elizabeth Sullivan

    What is the exact incubation period for H1N1? If you contract H1N1, are you contagious within the incubation period?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  25. geneva

    My question is this: Who is the H1N1 vaccine recommended for?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  26. Sherry Cappellp

    If you had the H1N1 flu do you still need the vacine?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  27. Tony Stafford Springs, Connecticut

    There are a few states that have banned the use of "Thermasil" in vaccines. It is been brought to my attention that the H1N1 vaccine contains "Thermasil." If it is true that the vaccine contains any thermasil at all, why are the states that banned it vaccinating with it? Please explain to people what Thermasil is, and why there is a concern about it.

    October 5, 2009 at 5:42 pm |
  28. jennette

    if its mandatory to get the h1n1 shot if your in the medical field if you have a reaction or compactions are they liable since its not your choice to get it but are forced to get it

    October 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  29. alexis hayward

    I am very concerned about the h1n1 vaccine. to recieve the vaccine is to guarantee contact with the virus and the yet-to- be- researched risks. please let us know how accurate the vaccine is and if there is going to be much problems ahead due to the vaccine. is there a way to detect the vaccine risks now?
    please address the issue. there is speculation that the people that recieved the flu vaccine last year are twice as likely to get the h1n1 virus this year. this is news for the naive, please explain if you can.

    October 5, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  30. Julia

    Are they recommending the vaccine for pregnant women?
    Will this be an annual shot like the regular flu shot?
    Are they recommending the shot for infants?
    How long does the shot last?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:38 pm |
  31. Ellen

    Are dogs and cats at risk of catching swine flu?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm |
  32. Sonja Lord-Ewell

    My son is very allergic to pollen, dust, felines, and many more things. His asthma is always bothering him... and he is autistic. Will this vaccine be safe for him.

    Will the vaccine hurt those who are pregnant in their first trimester?

    How soon should we go to the doctors after feeling symptoms? Most times we don't run to the doctor every time we get a little sick.

    My oldest (20) is undergoing brain surgery Thursday. Should she get the vaccine before or afterwards?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  33. Andrea

    I have a 5 yo and a 1 yo should my hubby and I get the vac or will the children getting it be enough to protect them?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  34. Annette in NJ

    I read that the H1N1 vaccine contains the preservative thimerosal. I am hesitant to have my child vaccinated because of this. Will there be a preservative-free vaccine in the future?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  35. Sheena

    Can canines get swine flu? what are the symptoms?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  36. Patti

    The Doctor's office said that my son and I "probably" had the swine flu, but no testing was done. Do we still get the vaccines?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  37. Linda Colaguori

    It seems that none of the local Dr's offices are expecting to get the H1N1 vaccine. Where will it become available???

    October 5, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  38. Pamela

    How many doses required for children younger than 10?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  39. Rick Hunt

    What exactly is this vaccine supposed to do? Will I contract the H1N1 virus by taking the shot? What happens if I have an allergic reaction? I'm remembering what happened in the mid '70s when they first came out with the "swine flu" vaccine... My wife, at the time, needed to be hospitalized and I nearly lost her. What precautions have been taken to make sure that most if not all side effects have been negated?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  40. Craig O

    A coworker's kids have come down with H1N1. Today my coworker came to the office, feeling sick. HR told her she might as well stay. Is this a good idea, or are we all be exposed in Des Moines?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  41. Duane C. Lewis

    I am 60 years old and I took the swine flu shot in 1976. I was just wondering if having had that shot back then, would the body have any built in immunity to this current strain in 2009?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  42. Amy on the Missouri side of Kansas City!

    Hi AC & 360 staff, could a person get the regular flu vaccine at the same time as getting the H1N1 vaccine? Thanks

    October 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  43. Ryan

    where can we get it in Los Angeles and how if we don't have health insurance?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  44. Robin

    Is the H1N1 virus really that scary? I understand that it has a potential to mutate into something deadlier. But is it possible that drug producers are feeding this fear and pushing media to cover it on a grand scale? Thanks!

    October 5, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  45. Lisa A. Philadelphia, PA

    i was told the regular flu vaccine does not give you the flu, but everytime i get the shot i get the flu. is the h1n1 vaccine similiar in makeup to the flu vaccine?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  46. Michael Robert Dixon

    If I were to get the "regular" flu shot, is there any chance it will lessen the severity of the H1N1 flu symptoms if I were to come in contact?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  47. Meg

    Will there be other options than the nasal vaccine for those with asthma since asthmatics cannot be given the nasal flu or swine flu vaccines? I'm hoping there will be a shot available.

    October 5, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  48. Julie Baldridge

    My 18 month old son tested positive for the H1N1 virus last week. Does he still need to be vaccinated or does he have immunity to the virus?

    October 5, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  49. Lilibeth

    Is the H1N1 flu vaccine taken once a year like the seasonal flu shot, or will it be effective for a few years?

    If I get an allergic reaction to the H1N1 flu vaccine, what should I do?

    What OTC vitamins or supplements can we take to keep our immune system healthy?

    I heard that I can go to my doctor now to get antivirals as a precaution. True?

    Edmonds, Washington

    October 5, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  50. Tim Gibson

    My only question remains to be, Why would I even think about getting an H1N1 (swine flu) vaccination? Regardless of my own personal circumstance I remain firm in that Nancy Reagan cure all, "Just Say No".

    October 5, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
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