Who’s for the Vaccine?
Those who are in favor of widespread swine flu vaccinations cite the considerable risks—including death—from swine flu complications, especially for certain subgroups such as children, pregnant women, and anyone with chronic condition such as asthma or diabetes. They also cite the proven safety and efficacy of existing seasonal flu vaccines, affirming that they are our best protection against the virus. Says one BabyZone board member, "My worry is with my daughter. There are too many young children dying of this H1N1—healthy or not. So she WILL be getting the shot. And after days of researching this vaccine online and with doctors, I will also be getting the vaccine."
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the federal government, every major public health agency, and most mainstream health care providers fall firmly in this camp.
To help bolster public confidence, the US Department of Health and Human Service (HHS) launched flu.gov, part of a multimillion-dollar campaign to promote vaccination and flu awareness. And public health officials nationwide are doing what they can to put the risks for vaccine side effects in context—citing studies that show there is more mercury in a tuna sandwich than a typical dose of vaccine containing thimerosal, for one, and carefully explaining how flu vaccines are made. HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius has also offered unwavering support, saying, of the vaccine, “We know it’s safe and secure.”