The medical director for the Iowa Department of Public Health is reminding Iowans they can still get the H1N1 flu vaccine. Dr. Patricia Quinlisk says it might be a good idea to get the shot now and be prepared for the virus’ return in the fall. “Right now, we are still doing free vaccinations around the state…if you until next fall, you may have to pay for your flu vaccine,” Quinlisk said.
State health officials say at least 40 Iowans have died from complications of the H1N1 virus. A third wave of the virus was expected to hit the state early this year, but that didn’t happen. Quinlisk says health officials around the country are predicting H1N1 will be back next fall.
She says Iowans who get the H1N1 vaccine now and the seasonal flu vaccine next fall will have better immunity to H1N1 when the virus does return. Quinlisk says it appears fewer Iowans are getting sick this year from the seasonal flu, but adds “we are not out of the woods just yet.” The seasonal flu season typically runs through March and sometimes into April.