Friday, September 3, 2010

Editorial: H1N1 Vaccines

Editorial: H1N1 Vaccines
by: Tara Fuller
First published: Oct. 26, 2009 at 3:30pm

Fox News posed the question, “Do you think H1N1 is a National Emergency?” on their Web site Friday after President Obama declared the outbreak of H1N1 as a national emergency. So far, 423 comments have been posted. The vast majority have posted their belief that the so called swine flu is nothing more than media hype and governmental fear tactics to push the President’s healthcare reform package.

Over 4,000 Americans have died from flu-related complications since the virus was uncovered earlier this year; and over1000 of those were confirmed to be H1N1. Unlike the seasonal flu that afflicts mostly the elderly and those with weak immune systems, H1N1 has sickened the young and healthy.

The President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology on the nation’s readiness for the possible pandemic of the virus noted that half of the U.S. population could become infected. And though the 2009-H1N1 virus doesn’t seem to show the virulence attributed with the pandemic of 1918-19, an upward of 1.8 million people could be hospitalized; 90,000 could die.

With numbers that more than double the average of those who die of the seasonal flu, it seems atrocious that only about 40 percent Americans said they plan to get vaccinated. Reasons commonly cited for not vaccinating are doubts H1N1 is as serious as the media is playing it out to be; and the onslaught of recent concerns of the use of thimerosal, despite years of rigorous medical studies that have not found a link between this mercury-based preservative and autism. However, those still leery do have a single-dose preservative-free vaccine option that can be ordered by their physician.

H1N1 is functionally the same as the seasonal flu vaccine, which has been proven safe in hundreds of millions of people over multiple decades. The only reason H1N1 wasn’t added to this year’s seasonal flu vaccine was because by the time it was discovered to be a concern, it was too late. So for those worried H1N1 production was too quick, rest assured it’s the same production as all seasonal flu vaccines. The only difference this year is the need for two shots instead of one.

Choosing against vaccination doesn’t just put yourself and your family at risk, but you may be a carrier that spreads the virus to individuals that may result in their death.

    • Rachel M. Lusby No worries! I was vaccinated almost a week ago =)
      October 26, 2009 at 4:25pm · ·

    • Amber Martin Nicely written. Great to have all the facts incorporated.
      October 26, 2009 at 6:19pm · ·

    • Rachel Stevenson Westfall Seeing your opinion about the issue just makes me feel even better in my decision of having my kids vaccinated with the H1N1 vaccine.
      October 26, 2009 at 6:42pm · ·

    • Tonya Borman We are not getting vaccinated...
      October 27, 2009 at 5:38am · ·

    • Tim Brown I shot an interview last week with a husband who is watching his 30 year old wife, in critical condition, slowly inch away from life. Her chances of survival are slim to none. She was not in any of the high risk groups...she though she was battling allergies, but now she is on 100 percent oxygen and not breathing on her own. The shot might not be a bad idea.
      October 27, 2009 at 11:12am · ·

    • Tonya Borman OK, I'll think about it...
      October 27, 2009 at 8:32pm · ·

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