Some not sure H1N1 vaccine is safe

By Sara Story - bio | email
Posted by Ellen Krafve - bio | email

TYLER, TX (KLTV) - The first doses of the H1N1 vaccine are in East Texas, but that doesn't mean you can get the shot just yet. If fact, we don't now when you can get immunized against this new flu bug. But, some people say they're not convinced the shot is safe.

When it comes to getting the H1N1 vaccine, everyone is not on the same page. Some are anxiously waiting for their arrival.

"I've heard of some deaths and hospitalizations, and that's scary," said Mandy Burkett, the mother of two small children. "The vaccine would definitely be worth it."

But, others distrust fast production and are willing to take their chances.

"Your body is such a great instrument and it can probably heal itself and when you put something foreign in it won't be able to heal itself," said Laura Wilson.

A consumer reports health ratings center poll shows that 34% of Americans will get the shot. 21% won't, and 43% are unsure. Only 35% of parents surveyed said they'll get their kids vaccinated.

Shawn Clifford with the Northeast Texas Public Health District says despite public concerns, it is important to get the shot.

"It's safe," said Clifford. "It's the best way to prevent the spread of the flu."

She says the H1N1 vaccine is made exactly like the seasonal flu shot.

"Every single year they change the virus strain that is in the flu shot," said Clifford.

And, this year, they just made an additional shot with the H1N1 strain.

"It is manufactured in eggs the same way as the normal flu vaccine is made," said Clifford. "I think that when people understand that, they will feel a little more comfortable getting it."

The vaccine isn't mandatory, but some moms say to keep an open mind when it comes to your kids and other high risk groups.

"If their pediatricians are encouraging it, then you just have to have take that step of faith and trust," said Burkett.

And, do whatever it takes to stay healthy.

Complicating the issues surrounding the H1N1 vaccine is an e-mail going around, that claims the vaccine contains a combination of antigens and a chemical called Squalene that can cause sterility. The email goes on to warn that the combination can cause permanent, irreversible sterility in mammals. We spoke with Med Team's infectious disease specialist Dr. Ed Dominguez who told us the e-mails claims do not add up.

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