Doctors Battle Public Resistance to H1N1 Vaccine

October 8, 2009 12:00:00 AM PDT
As the H1N1flu vaccine makes its way to the public, health authorities are finding some public resistance to it. Doctors are trying to assure pregnant women, among others, that the H1N1 vaccine is safe. The virus has already killed 28 pregnant women and put 100 more in intensive care units. But some expecting mothers are saying no to the vaccine.

Wendy Lubell is six and a half months pregnant. That makes her seven times more likely to be hospitalized with the H1N1virus and four times more likely to die from it.

Still, she's decided against getting the swine flu vaccine. "I have a fetus in my belly - my baby. I want to do anything I can to protect it. And I just don't know if injecting myself with a vaccine is the right thing to do," said Lubell.

She's not alone. According to a new Consumer Reports survey, nearly two-thirds of parents say they'll either hold off on getting their child immunized or won't get them immunized at all.

Some believe a widely-criticized theory that a preservative used in some doses is linked to autism. "I'm sorry to hear that. As a public health professional, I believe in the vaccine. And a mother, I have twin 3 1/2-year-old boys. And I also believe in the vaccine. They'll be vaccinated," said Dr. Denise Jamison OB/GYN.

"People need to know that the risk of the vaccine are minimal compared to the risks if you get ill with it," said H1N1 flu patient Jim Shrode.

The CDC's emergency operations center continues to be the front line in the fight against virus. "In the first two and a half weeks we started receiving between 6,000 and 7,000 specimens to test - which is about the same number of specimens we would normally get in a year. They are currently battling the worst flu pandemic in four decades," said Chief of CDC Influenza Division Dr. Nancy Cox.

Just this week, news of 66 more deaths and 71 new school closures, that's 410 closures since school started.

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