Should you get the H1N1 Vaccine?
This is a question many people have been asking lately. I certainly don't know the answer and haven't even made a decision yet for me and my family. However, I was happy to receive word that the federal government recently unveiled a Web site specifically created as a on-stop resource for flu information-www.flu.gov.
I checked it out and it is full of information about the seasonal flu and H1N1 (Swine) flu. I highly recommend you check it out, read the information, and make an informed decision for yourself.
One of the most common, and I believed convincing, arguments against getting the H1N1 flu vaccine was specifically addressed: This new vaccine is not safe and is untested.
Following is the Web site's answer:
"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.
"It 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.
"Millions of Americans get the seasonal flu vaccine each year without any problems. Still, understanding that some Americans have concerns about "new" vaccines, 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.
"Also, 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.
"Our 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."