H1N1 Vaccine Frustration – Can’t Have It Both Ways

Guest Blog by Kevin Soden, MD

Kevin Soden, MD

In a recent article on CNN Frustration looms as H1N1 vaccines run out by Elizabeth Landau, she writes:

“The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced last week that production of the vaccine is slower than expected. While the CDC had hoped for 40 million doses by the end of October, the real numbers will be about 30 million doses because of manufacturing delays, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, CDC’s director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases.”

I hear and read about the frustration of many unable to obtain the vaccine for their families. It is a concern and I am waiting, like many others, to obtain vaccinations for both my family and myself.

I am a physician who has actively encouraged others to get vaccinated with both the seasonal flu and the novel H1N1 flu. I believe that the vaccine is safe thanks to current manufacturing methods…and clinical trials to date have confirmed this.

From the beginning, health officials all over the world have tried to be safe with this H1N1 vaccine to avoid the debacle with the previous swine flu.

They used the most current and safest vaccine manufacturing practices to produce this new vaccine. Unfortunately, despite their best efforts, the amount of vaccine produced by the manufacturing process was less than anticipated. Who could predict this?

What I see is that many in our country are speaking out of both sides of their mouths. On one hand, they condemn the government for not having enough vaccine now and, on the other, they criticize health authorities for rushing the vaccine to market and not conducting adequate clinical trials.

Folks, you can’t have it both ways. Or if you do, you sound a lot like the politicians I know.

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