Swine flu boosts seasonal vaccine rate

By The Associated Press Modified: April 30, 2010 at 4:26 am •  Published: April 30, 2010
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Health officials "are going to need a high level of campaigning to keep people focused on doing this year after year,” he said.

Seasonal vaccine protects against three strains of flu virus.

Next fall’s vaccine will include swine flu and not be a separate shot.

Hawaii had the highest seasonal vaccination rate, nearly 55 percent. Massachusetts, Rhode Island and Maine were close behind, giving New England the highest rate as a region.

The Southeast is at the bottom of the list; Florida, Georgia, Mississippi and Alabama had rates under 36 percent.

States with the best vaccination rates in 2009 tend to be at the top every year, CDC officials said. New England also has the most vaccinations against swine flu, and the Southeast has the lowest.

This winter was an unusually quiet season for seasonal flu.