From the monthly archives

December 2009

All About the H1N1 Flu Vaccine

by admin on December 02, 2009

As to protect against the H1N1 Flu influenza this season, according to the scientific research and news published in various journals 2009 H1N1 vaccine has been developed to provide protection against the deadly 2009 H1N1 influenza virus that is also known as “swine flu”. The discoveries have been made for two type of 2009 H1N1 vaccines.

A 2009 H1N1 “flu shot”: It is an inactivated vaccine (containing killed virus) that is provided with a needle, usually in the arm. It is given over for showing the same symptoms of 2009 H1N1 flu as same as to seasonal flu. This vaccine is for giving to people over 6 months or older by age, healthy people, people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women. And the producers for 2009 H1N1 flu shot for use are same who are for seasonal flu shots.

The 2009 H1N1 nasal spray flu vaccine: This vaccine is prepared from the live weakened viruses which can not cause flu. Patients who can receive seasonal nasal spray vaccine can also have 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine. It is approved for the use in people from 2 years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.  In United States this vaccine is prepared by MedImmune is the same company which prepare seasonal nasal spray vaccine called “FluMist ®.”  2 weeks later of vaccination antibodies gets developed in the body to provide safety against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus.

Time to Get Vaccinated

The vaccination against 2009 H1N1 should begin as soon as possible on availability of it. However, the months of December, January and beyond are the best period of the year when vaccination should be done as flu season last as late as April or May.   It is presumed that there would be waves of 2009 H1N1 activity in 2009-2010 flu season that would hit hard over communities over the course if the season. 2009 H1N1 viruses are to be the most common reason for influenza this time and around the period of time.

Supply of Vaccine

As to provide the Vaccine to needy people, the US government has procured nearly 250 million doses of vaccine for an easy availability and prompt vaccination.

Who is needed to be Vaccinated?

On recommendation of CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) it is agreed that vaccination efforts would focus upon the five target groups who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 influenza or related complications due to their occupation that could transmit influenza viruses to others in medical care settings or are in close contacts of infants younger than 6 months. Initial target groups are pregnant women, people who live or provide care to infants younger than 6 months, health care and emergency medical service personnel, and people from 6 months to the age of 24 years. And people from 25 years to 64 years with suffering from medical condition that put them into at higher risk or for influenza related complications.

However, government has made best effort to ensure no one should be infected with this deadly disease.

It is well debated how Nurse Practitioners are influencing over the healthcare scenario in America. According to a research, nearly Eight million Americans have not any insurance cover and 25% of the population is uninsured. This has forced a larger chunk of American population to seek shelter of primary health care services. As only one-fourth of medical school graduates select residencies in primary care specialties in family medicine, pediatrics, general internal medicine and obstetrics/gynecology have significant gaps in terms of services.

In view of this grim picture of health care scenario in America, it is the Nurse Practitioners (NPs) who are ably qualified with advanced practice skills to meet out the increased demand of primary care services. Nurse Practitioners have shown the capacity to provide health care to many groups that require medical attention like children, women, migrant workers, the homeless, and the elderly in unconventional places like schools, work sites, and health departments.

After observing this much status and scope of Nursing Practitioner in health care industry Schools of Nursing are investing in resources in abundance for preparing NPs in graduation. However, legal status as provided to APNs under various states varies.  The Nurse Practice Act legislated in each state of the U.S. has all the requirements specified for each of the state. As now registered nurses are authorized to provide services for primary health promotion, disease prevention, and assessment of health status yet debate is still needed for degree of independence, perspective authority and reimbursement for APN services.

Advanced Practice Nurse (APNs) are registered professional nurses, with a license to practice due to knowledge and learning which they have acquired from a post-basic or advanced education program as acceptable to the State Board of Nurse Examiners.   The APN can practice independently and/or in collaboration with other health care professionals to provide better health care services. They can also manage acute illnesses under chronic conditions in a variety of settings. They are tiled as under as Nurse Practitioner, Clinical Nurse Specialist, Certified Nurse Midwife, and Certified Nurse Anesthetist.

As to meet out the health care needs of the Americans, APNs are qualified to sort out the unaddressed needs in primary health care industry by serving individual’s point of first contact with health care system.  This way APNs provide personalized, client-oriented, comprehensive collection of health care tips over a period of time.  This way it can be understood that role of NPs is increasing in American society accordingly to change with society and health care needs of the consumers as well as patients as large. And finally NPs can fit better into the role of provider, mentor, educator, researcher and administrator.