US May Offer 3 Flu Shots in Fall

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted May 5, 2009 8:32 PM CDT
A woman in Memphis gets a flu shot in this file photo.   (AP Photo/Greg Campbell)
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(Newser) – Americans may be getting not one but three flu shots this fall, the Washington Post reports. One would be for the seasonal flu and the other two would be for swine flu. The plan is unprecedented—health officials have never asked people to get more than one flu vaccine in a year—and it raises a host of questions about logistics, cost, and potential side effects. If the swine flu scare continues to diminish, however, the idea could be scrapped or scaled down.

"They have never tried this before, and there is going to be a great deal of confusion," said an expert at the Vanderbilt University School of Medicine. A formal decision would be needed soon, because it generally takes 5 months to produce a new vaccine, the Post notes. Another option: Adding an ingredient to the regular flu vaccine that goes after the H1N1 virus.