Look at this scary beast!
Influenza H1N1 - striking fear into the hearts of mothers and 24-hour news networks alike. Except that it's not. On the pediatrics floor where I'm working this month, there are so many parents I've talked with who just aren't sure about the new H1N1 vaccine. They're happy giving the seasonal flu shot, but are leary of the other. "Is it safe?" they ask. "I don't know," they say. Or in one case, "This is all just a damn conspiracy cover-up for a bioterror experiment gone bad."
I can't make parents give a shot to their kids, but it is awfully frustrating to hear how someone out there (the media?) has confused so many people about this. Here is some of the information I know:
- The flu vaccine was produced by the SAME technique as the seasonal variety.
- Most (in my area 99%) cases of flu are H1N1, so the seasonal vaccine will not cover you.
- The best guesses out there are that younger patients may be at increased risk.
Plus, if I have a bad night tomorrow on call, I can blame it on all of those flu vaccine side effects!