The dreaded H1N1 virus or swine flu that took the form of pandemic last year around the globe has not mutated to a lethal form this year. Making an announcement WHO director general Dr Margaret Chan has said that H1N1 pandemic is over and vaccines though slow in production have been effective in curing the disease.
Alaska Division of Public Health has urged everyone over the age of 6 months to be vaccinated. Unlike last year, the state does not expect vaccine shortage, according to Geraldine Yett, deputy immunization program manager.
Most people will need only one shot or dose of nasal spray. Children between 6 months and 8 years old are recommended to get two doses, depending on what flu vaccines they've had in previous years.
Private pharmacies in Anchorage, such as Walgreens Drug Stores and Carrs, are already advertising that they have enough flu shots available.
In mid-September, the state plans to begin distribution of free vaccine to public health centers, Alaska Native tribal health clinics, long-term care providers and private providers who requested it.
Yett has advised that people who got vaccine last year must vaccinate this year as newer virus strains appear and the antibodies against the older strains no longer recognize them.
Although, the flu season normally peaks in January or February in US, last year a number of swine flu cases in Anchorage showed up right at the beginning of school in August.