Do you need the H1N1 vaccine again?

Flu season is upon us again. Remember in 2009—there was a mild influenza pandemic caused by influenza A (pH1N1). The World Health Organization (WHO) has declared last year’s mild influenza pandemic caused by influenza A (pH1N1) over, but be warned—it will circulate for the next few flu seasons, in 2010 and 2011.

Influenza vaccine is particularly important for expectant mothers, children two years of age and under, adults with chronic diseases, seniors, health professionals and those who provide care to family members.
— Dr. Roslyn Devlin,
Director of Microbiology
St. Michael's

What does this mean for you?

We asked Dr. Roslyn Devlin, director of Microbiology at St. Michael’s and our expert on all things related to flu.

Dr. Devlin said, "You need to get the vaccine again to maintain your immunity. The good news is that there will only be one flu vaccine this year. In 2009, we had two — one against H1N1 and one for seasonal flu. This year’s seasonal flu vaccine will contain influenza A (pH1N1) and two other strains, influenza A (H3N2) and influenza B."

Who is at risk?

"Influenza vaccine is particularly important for expectant mothers, children two years of age and under, adults with chronic diseases, seniors, health professionals and those who provide care to family members. Children under nine who have never received the vaccine before should receive two doses for their first influenza immunization.”

Where do I get it?

“In Ontario, the vaccine is offered free of charge to all residents. Toronto Public Health holds public clinics for those wishing to take the vaccine. It will also be available from your family doctor or pediatrician.”