H1N1 Facts

Previously, I blogged about swine flu prevention tactics (before the vaccination was available). There has been a lot of confusion about the H1N1 vaccination. I am not going to blog about what I think; instead, I am going to provide information straight from Flu.gov so you can make an informed decision about whether or not this shot is for you.

Also, please check out this PDF from the FDA (pay close attention to sections 8.1, 8.3 & 8.4 if you are pregnant, nursing or considering this vaccine for your child).

  1. Flu.gov recommends that pregnant women and others with health conditions (e.g. asthma, arthritis, diabetes, cancer, HIV/AIDS, kidney disease and heart disease) should get H1N1 flu shots as soon as they are available in their communities. However, please see the FDA PDF mentioned above.
  2. Clinical trials conducted by the National Institutes of Health and the vaccine manufacturers have shown that the new H1N1 vaccine is both safe and effective.  The FDA has licensed it.  There have been no safety shortcuts.
  3. Top doctors and scientists believe the risk of the flu, especially for pregnant women, children, and people with underlying health conditions, is higher than any risk that might come from the H1N1 vaccine.
  4. H1N1 is produced exactly the same way the seasonal flu vaccine is produced every year.  It is simply a new virus strain.  In fact, had H1N1 struck this country earlier than this spring, the H1N1 strain probably would have been included as part of this year’s seasonal flu shot.
  5. CDC has stepped up surveillance efforts to track the H1N1 vaccine and any possible adverse events. Since it is so closely related to the seasonal flu vaccine, we do not expect to see serious side effects.  But we are taking all the necessary steps to promote and monitor safety.
  6. The National Institutes of Health and the vaccine manufacturers have conducted more rigorous tests on the H1N1 vaccine than they do on other flu vaccines, and there have been no red flags from these clinical trials.

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