Health officials prepare for fall flu season and H1N1by Tim Nelson, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Local health officials are already starting to prepare for the fall flu season and the possible return of the H1N1 virus.
Experts say serious flu outbreaks have historically come in two waves, and local health officials are planning for a follow-up to a spike in H1N1 cases in June. They expect to have limited quantities of vaccines available in October.
Dr. James Nordin, the head of vaccination programs for Health Partners, said it's hard to know how the medical system will respond to a new outbreak.
"There are a lot of unknowns about the vaccine," he said. "The first is how much will be available. The second is whether it will take one shot or two shots. And the third big unknown is how the vaccine is going to be distributed. There's a fairly high probability that a lot of vaccinations are going to be given in the schools."
Nordin is encouraging parents to get regular seasonal flu vaccinations for their kids. He also recommends that parents prepare for their children to be home for as much as a week this fall, if isolation is necessary because of flu cases.