Who should get a swine flu shot? Ideally, all of us. Swine flu (H1N1 influenza) is a new virus and it can make all of us sick.
When the H1N1 shot is available, medical experts recommend that all kids get it. For those of you who don't like needles, the vaccination also may be available in mist form. That way, the nurse just sprays a mist up your nose and you're all set.
Vaccines work because they give your body a little piece of the germ that causes an illness. It's enough to build your body's immunity without making you sick. There are many, many kinds of germs. There are even different types of flu. For instance, swine flu (H1N1) is different from seasonal flu. You'll need a regular flu shot, too, if you also want to be protected from that.
Why get vaccinated? Swine flu has affected kids and teens more than seasonal flu does. Your mom or dad can talk with your doctor about the swine flu vaccine. Some kids, such as those with chronic conditions, should be first in line for the vaccine. Why? Because having other health problems can make it more likely that H1N1 will make a kid quite sick.
But for most kids, the symptoms of swine flu will be similar to seasonal flu (fever, body aches, cough). But who wants to feel rundown and awful? Getting the vaccine for both flus can keep you healthy and able to do all the stuff you like to do.
Still not happy about getting shots? Try this: Make your arm loose like spaghetti before the shot goes in. Relax your hand and fingers. The looser you are, the less the shot will hurt.
Reviewed by: Mary L. Gavin, MD
Date reviewed: September 2009