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October 1st, 2009
08:56 AM ET

What you need to know about the H1N1 vaccine

By Elizabeth Cohen
CNN Senior Medical Correspondent

(CNN) - Next week, the long-awaited H1N1 vaccine is expected to arrive. At least three of the four vaccine makers have begun shipping their products to undisclosed distribution centers.

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="Clinical trials to test the effectiveness and safety of the H1N1 vaccine have been under way since the summer."]

There are two types of the vaccine available: the flu shot, an inactivated vaccine containing fragments of killed influenza virus, and a nasal-spray, which is made using a weakened live flu virus. The nasal spray will most likely be the first to be widely distributed, however certain groups, including pregnant women, young children and people with compromised immune systems, cannot receive the nasal spray.

So far officials of the National Institutes of Health say that in clinical trials they've seen no serious side effects and that study subjects who have been immunized have generated a good response.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the vaccine for certain high-priority groups because they are more likely to have serious complications if they develop swine flu. These groups include: pregnant women; caregivers and household contacts of children younger than 6 months; everyone between the ages of 6 months and 24 years; and people ages 25 to 64 with existing health problems.

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Filed under: Health
soundoff (7 Responses)
  1. connectivetissue

    H1N1 Vaccines and Your Children: The details are in the fine print!

    WARNING: Safety and effectiveness of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine have not been established in pregnant women or nursing mothers or children <6 months of age. References included below from the CDC. Seeing is believing so take a look not only for yourself, but for your family as well.

    October 3, 2009 at 7:46 pm |
  2. connectivetissue

    The vaccine issue in a way is a question of can we as individuals make our own choices in this world? Can I as a man think deeply about an unclear situation (vaccines and H1N1) and choose what I feel is best for me and my family?

    I personally do not plan to take the vaccine myself as nobody can promise me that it's safe and won't harm me. Vaccination is a medical intervention performed on a healthy person that has the ability to result in injury or death of that person. I do not want any medicine that could kill me, especially when I'm not sick. How does that make any sense? The flu at least I know is relatively safe and won't permanently damage me.

    Many Physicians are opposing swine flu vaccination. Flu shots = money, not safety. Don't believe the hype!

    October 2, 2009 at 10:43 am |
  3. nancy

    NO WAY, am I taking the piggy flu shot. It has been "thrown" together too fast and not tested properly. Who knows what ALL has been put into this shot?
    Besides, I'm not seeing all of our Congress, Senate and Representatives lining up to take the shot!! Let them go first.

    October 2, 2009 at 9:26 am |
  4. connectivetissue

    Could you please show the studies documenting the safety of vaccines in Healthy Children? Seriously. Where are all of the safety studies of flu vaccines and children? We're going to be vaccinating millions of them and there are legitimate safety concerns. Nobody is promising families that this vaccination program is safe or won't harm their kids. Flu shots = money, not safety. Be very clear, these companies have financial incentive as their bottom line. Don't be a sucker and fall for fancy words. Additionally, none of the patient inserts from the vaccine manufacturers claim the vaccine will prevent you from the H1N1 Swine Flu. They're not promising it's safe and they're not promising it works! Think about that. Parents will be able to read this literature for themselves. This is not a conspiracy! Families want and need to know this information.

    Sadly, I believe that most people are making uninformed decisions and that in the a lot of money is being made by a small number of people.

    October 1, 2009 at 5:39 pm |
  5. connectivetissue

    Many Physicians are opposing swine flu vaccination. Flu shots = money, not safety. Don't believe the hype! -Dr. Jake

    October 1, 2009 at 2:26 pm |
  6. ron lewis

    im not taking vaccine because cdc already said 90,000 will die. how do they get these numbers before it happens???? i dont want to be a part of that statistic. i will stay in the house for a few more months, cause im not working anyway, God Bless the USA.

    October 1, 2009 at 1:34 pm |
  7. Joe

    I think we all should get the vacine. If u don't your stupid. It's like sayin I want 2 get sick and maybe even die.

    October 1, 2009 at 11:28 am |