August 31, 2010
This year's version of the flu vaccine is an all-in-one inoculation that's supposed to protect against swine flu and two other types of influenza, and it's already available.
Last year's swine flu pandemic peaked well before enough vaccine could be produced, leading to long lines. This time around, shipments began so early that drugstores have been offering vaccinations amid back-to-school sales.
Authorities are urging just about everyone to get one, except babies less than six months old and people with severe allergies to the eggs uses to brew the vaccine.
There's a special high-dose version for people 65 or older. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says it plans to track whether the higher dose leads to less illness, but it's fine to choose either version.
Most people will need just one shot. A record supply of the flu vaccine is expected to be available.
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