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Q&A: Who makes flu shots and how long do they last?

Voyage of the Lonely Turtle follows a female sea turtle’s migration across the Pacific.

Doug Perrine, WNET

Voyage of the Lonely Turtle follows a female sea turtle’s migration across the Pacific.

Length of flu shot protection

How long does a seasonal flu shot typically provide immunity? Is there such a thing as getting a shot too early in the season?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, a seasonal flu shot protects people against that year's strains for the duration of the season, which runs from fall through the spring. CDC officials recommend getting a shot as soon as the vaccine is available. But getting the vaccination even as late as December can protect you in the height of the season, in January or February.

Makers of H1N1 vaccine

Which companies are licensed to manufacturer the H1N1 vaccine that is being administered in the United States?

The FDA has approved CSL Ltd. of Australia, Maryland-based MedImmune LLC, Novartis Vaccines of Switzerland and Sanofi Pasteur of France (the flu shots are produced at its factory in Swiftwater, Pa.), according to the Associated Press. The AP reported that London-based GlaxoSmithKline also was expected to supply the vaccine.

9,000-mile migration

I watched the most amazing documentary regarding the migration of a turtle from the Western Hemisphere to the Malay Peninsula. What was the name of the show?

Are you thinking of the PBS Nature episode Voyage of the Lonely Turtle? The episode follows a 30-year-old sea turtle as she embarks on an extraordinary 9,000-mile migration to breed and lay eggs on the beach where she was born. Along her voyage, the turtle encounters hammerhead sharks, deep ocean tempests and man-made death traps in the form of fishing nets and hooks She must find her way across the Pacific, from Mexico to a small stretch of beach in Japan — a precise location she was at just once before, as a 2-inch hatchling decades ago.

Blackouts due to game numbers

When a football game is not sold out, the game is blacked out in the home team's viewing area. But when a baseball game is not sold out, it is still televised. Why?

It is a matter of simple economics and should not be viewed as a double standard, said Christopher Byrne, publisher of

The leagues set broadcast policies. The NFL has a blackout policy, while other sports do not.

In baseball, a team is guaranteed 81 home games. Almost no team sells out every game, but they sell enough tickets to stay in business and make a profit, Byrne said.

An NFL team has just eight regular-season home games, which means it has only eight games to make its money. So the NFL and the teams need to protect their gate, he said. In some cases, the NFL reduces the congressionally mandated 72-hour advance sellout rule so some markets have a better chance of selling out.

Q&A: Who makes flu shots and how long do they last? 10/08/09 [Last modified: Thursday, October 8, 2009 4:30am]
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