Local health departments plan to begin regular flu vaccination efforts a month early, in September. That head start will make it easier to deal with the novel H1N1 influenza vaccine when it becomes available later in the season.
Seasonal flu shots won't protect against H1N1, but regular flu also will circulate and complications of either flu can kill.
H1N1 vaccine production is behind schedule, so it's likely to arrive in partial shipments at first. It will be available first to those at high risk of complications, including pregnant women, those who care for infants, medical personnel, children 6 months to 4 years and older children with chronic medical conditions.