Since the time of Louis Pasteur there have been detractors of vaccines. Misinformation from seemingly reliable sources against vaccination has cost countless lives. Science is not often definitive and this ambiguity is used to raise doubt in some individuals predisposed to disbelieve.
Should you take the H1N1 vaccine? Many people who don’t get the annual flu shot are already saying they won’t. Otherwise normally intelligent parents who have failed to vaccinate their children will also avoid the H1N1 flu shot. We leave many such decisions to individuals, and for minors to their parents.
I am not a medical professional and not qualified to make recommendations to anyone. I will follow my own conscience and listen to the counsel of who I believe to be trusted sources. Where each of us gets our information and how we use it is as unique as our own own decision making capabilities. What I know of H1N1 and the flu shot is limited, having seen people who have it or suspect the have it makes me concerned.
What has been reported is the older people born before 1950 are more likely to have antibodies that will help protect them from H1N1. The consensus of health professionals is that this virus is more likely to infect young adults. Women and more specifically pregnant women are most at risk of infection. The reported mortality rate of H1N1 varies from 1% to 4%; and while it is still young people who are at risk, children with preexisting conditions; diabetes and neurological conditions have higher mortality. Again consider that this high risk is both in the catching the virus and in mortality; once a person has the virus, as with any flu, how you deal with it and how your body reacts will determine the outcome.
My personal fear of H1N1 is how closely it seems to resemble the Spanish flu pandemic of 1918. This flu killed millions over several years. This virus mutated and became less viral over the years; it is likely one of the reasons why people born before 1950 have antibodies that may help fend off the current mutation; H1N1 previously called swine flu.
This week Ontario begins Flu shots for citizens. The US has been vaccinating people for several weeks now and has already seen shortages. I expect governments will do all they can to get vaccines for everyone who wants one. Individuals will have to make up their own minds on if they will get this years flu shot. I will.
Would you wear a bullet-proof vest as a policemen entering potential dangerous situation? Would you wear a gas mask as a firemen entering a smoking building? Wear gloves, put a hard hat on when entering a construction site? The flu shot, in my opinion is the same. If you are offered protect why would your refuse it? Of course the choice is your own.