Oct
20
2009

Will you get the 2009 H1N1 Vaccine?

The first 2009 H1N1 vaccines are starting to arrive in Minnesota. So I'm wondering, will you be vaccinated? How about your kids? A national study out of the University of Michigan says only 40% of parents plan to get their kids vaccinated. Why? I think Michael Specter sums it up best in a New Yorker article:

In fact, the new H1N1 virus is similar to seasonal flu in its severity. In the United States, influenza regularly ranks among the ten leading causes of death, infecting up to twenty per cent of the population. It kills roughly thirty-five thousand Americans every year and sends hundreds of thousands to the hospital. Even relatively mild pandemics, like those of 1957 and 1968, have been health-care disasters: the first killed two million people and the second a million.

We are more fortunate than our predecessors, though. Scientists produced a vaccine rapidly; it will be available within weeks. And, though this H1N1 virus is novel, the vaccine is not. It was made and tested in exactly the same way that flu vaccines are always made and tested. Had this strain of flu emerged just a few months earlier, there would not have been any need for two vaccines this year; 2009 H1N1 would simply have been included as one of the components in the annual vaccine.

Meanwhile, the virus has now appeared in a hundred and ninety-one countries. It has killed almost four thousand people and infected millions of others. The risks are clear and so are the facts. But, while scientists and public-health officials have dealt effectively with the disease, they increasingly confront a different kind of contagion: the spurious alarms spread by those who would make us fear vaccines more than the illnesses they prevent.

I'm planning on getting the vaccine if I can and I'll make sure my kids get the vaccine. It is all about the risk vs. benefit for me. What are your plans and why?

Your Comments, Thoughts, Questions, Ideas

bryan kennedy's picture

Thanks for posting this Laurie. It's such a great and simple explanation. As soon as I get my lazy but in gear, I'll be getting my flu shot and once the H1N1 shot is available I'll be getting that as well.

posted on Tue, 10/20/2009 - 3:56pm
Liza's picture
Liza says:

If I can FIND flu vaccine, I'll for sure get my kids vaccinated against both seasonal and H1N1 influenza. This new study proving that school age kids are driving the epidemic is just one more reason to do it.

posted on Wed, 10/21/2009 - 1:24pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

I have already had the swine flu, but have heard the vacination is very helpful

posted on Wed, 10/21/2009 - 1:24pm
Angel Valentin's picture
Angel Valentin says:

it was very helpful my friend had the swine flu and it had work very good

posted on Thu, 10/22/2009 - 12:52pm
JGordon's picture
JGordon says:

Yeah, I've never gotten a flu vaccination because of a combination of laziness and a largely baseless confidence in my own immune system. But while I don't feel particularly worried about the flu, the argument that I could pass it on to folks who wouldn't be as able to deal an infection makes me think it wouldn't be a bad idea to get the vaccine.

On the other hand, I wonder if my week and a half of sickness in September means I already had it. In that case, would it be better if I saved that dose of the vaccine (which is turning out to be a little more scarce than was planned) for someone who might need it more? huh

posted on Wed, 10/21/2009 - 1:41pm
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

nose squirt for viris

posted on Sat, 10/24/2009 - 11:32am
Anonymous's picture
Anonymous says:

The vaccine for swine flu has been reported delayed. How many will suffer due to this back up?

posted on Mon, 10/26/2009 - 11:41am
Roman's picture
Roman says:

i got the nasal spray vaccine it was weird

posted on Sat, 03/05/2011 - 2:33pm

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