…as any other vaccine. One of the things that was frustrating about the recent report of some (a few) nurses who were concerned about the safety of the swine flu vaccine was the utter ignorance by medical professionals of how the vaccine is made: the swine flu vaccine is no different in terms of manufacture than other influenza vaccines. And since the seasonal flu vaccine is different every year, there’s never extensive testing (i.e., months and months) of each year’s vaccine. If there were, the vaccine would never be released in time. But don’t believe the Mad Biologist, I CAN HAZ EXPERTZ (italics mine):
Confirming the centers’ anxiety that many Americans are reluctant to get swine flu shots, Consumer Reports released a poll late Wednesday showing that half of all parents surveyed said they were worried about the flu, but only 35 percent would definitely have their children vaccinated. About half were undecided, and of those, many said they feared that the vaccine was new and untested.
One worrying aspect, said Dr. John Santa, the director of health ratings at Consumer Reports, was that 69 percent of parents who were undecided or opposed to shots said they “wanted their children to build up their natural immunity.”
“Your body produces exactly the same antibodies, whether it’s from a ‘natural’ infection or from a vaccine,” Dr. Santa said. “If your child is the one that dies, you’ve paid a very high price for ‘natural’ immunity.”
…Dr. Schuchat argued that the vaccine was neither new nor untested.
It is attached to the same “genetic backbone” of weakened flu virus as the 100 million seasonal flu injections given each year, grown in the same sterile eggs and purified in the same factories. And test injections done in September found that it had the same side effects, most of which were sore arms and mild fevers.
Like I said, we do this every year. But the “natural immunity” argument is so stupid–that’s what vaccination does. So, when it’s available, get your flu shot, and save the rest of us from being infected by you.