Do I still need to worry about getting an H1N1 vaccine?

Q:  If I have not received an H1N1 pandemic vaccine yet, do I still need one?  Also, will I need another dose this fall, when I get my regular flu shot?

A: The first part of your question is tricky.  The flu pandemic of 2009-2010 is coming to an end (WHO report, 8/10/10), although people are still getting H1N1 flu in some parts of the world.  Most people would not need vaccination with the H1N1 pandemic vaccine, unless 1) they are at high risk due to health problems, or 2) they are planning to travel into areas still experiencing high H1N1 spread.  Talk to your healthcare provider to determine your risk.

The second part is easier.  The H1N1 vaccine strain used last fall IS INCLUDED IN the seasonal flu vaccine for 2010-11.  This is the same flu vaccine usually offered in the fall to protect against influenza during our typical Winter flu season. Each year, three strains (or types) of influenza are included in the vaccine.  These vaccine strains change from year to year, based on the most common strains being detected.  Since H1N1 is still out there, it was included for this fall.  (In fact, if it had been possible, the H1N1 pandemic strain would have been included last year, but with the pandemic appearing in the spring, there was no time to incorporate it into the 2009-2010 seasonal vaccine.)

Keep your eyes and ears open for more information about our Student Health seasonal flu vaccine programs, coming soon!

Roger Miller, MD
Student Health Services
The Ohio State University

Important FLU guidance from national organizations

 The snow is melting, finals are approaching, and then:   SPRING BREAK!!!

As you make your spring break plans, whether they involve a sunny beach or a ski slope, or perhaps just a restful time at home or with friends, BuckMD wants you to be safe and healthy.  The American College Health Association and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also want to remind you of the risk for H1N1 influenza.  Even though the number of cases is much less than in the spring and fall of 2009, there can still be exposures with travel and large grouping of people.  Please read this important joint statement for more information.

If you haven’t been vaccinated against H1N1 flu, it is not too late!  Vaccine is still available at Student Health, at many doctors’ offices around the community, and at through Columbus Public Health.  If you have questions, please call Student Health Services at 293-4321, or email us at:

Roger Miller, MD for BuckMD

National Influenza Vaccination Week

In recognition of the conclusion of National Influenza Vaccination Week, BuckMD would like to remind all Buckeyes of the importance of preventive measures to reduce your risk of the flu and other infectious diseases.

CDC and Aetna Communications bring us “Smart Tips from Some Germ Experts”.  These kids really know their stuff!  Good tips for us to keep in mind, even after H1N1 is a distant memory.


 For more information, visit the CDC’s Immunization Action Coalition

Roger Miller MD, for BuckMD