EVEN AS SEASONAL FLU VACCINE CAMPAIGNS ARE GETTING UNDERWAY, SOME PEOPLE ARE TOO WORRIED TO GET THE SHOT. ELIZABETH TRACEY REPORTS
Urban legends regarding seasonal influenza vaccines abound, and this year is especially troublesome as H1N1 makes the rounds. Aaron Millstone, an infectious disease expert at Johns Hopkins, describes the currently widely available vaccine.
MILLSTONE: This is not a brand new composite vaccine, it just has a new antigen, so they’ve taken this novel influenza virus, and they’ve incorporated it into the regular flu vaccine, to make an additional seasonal flu vaccine. I think most people are worried that this is a brand new vaccine that’s coming off the shelf that is going to introduce some new composite into the body that’s going to cause problems. :25
A specific vaccine against H1N1 has become available in a few parts of the country but for now, getting a seasonal vaccine is prudent for just about everyone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website is helpful in assessing whether you need a seasonal flu shot or nasal droplets. At Johns Hopkins, I’m Elizabeth Tracey