The Scientific Activist

Have you gotten your H1N1 flu shot yet? If not, it’s still not too late. Due in part to the successes of the public health campaign against H1N1 influenza, people have begun adopting a rather casual attitude toward it. This is problematic, because due to an extent to initial shortages of vaccine, a very large portion of the population remains unvaccinated and susceptible to another wave of flu outbreaks. In fact, I only managed to get my H1N1 flu vaccine about a week ago, when my place of employment began offering it to workers who weren’t part of the original target group.

I imagine that many of you had been in a similar situation, so now that the H1N1 vaccine is widely available, I would encourage you to go ahead and get it–to protect yourself and to help protect those around you.

In fact, earlier today I received a press release from the Campaign for Public Health Foundation, announcing an event tomorrow (Wednesday, January 13th) aimed at raising public awareness of the H1N1 vaccine. Here’s the press release in full:

Secretary Sebelius and Legislators Remind Families that H1N1 Vaccination Remains Critical

Media Event to Highlight National Influenza Vaccination Week

Washington, D.C.The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) estimates that 47 million Americans came down with H1N1 influenza between April and mid-November 2009. This virus caused more than 200,000 hospitalizations and is responsible for about 10,000 deaths. Children and young adults were hit hardest and represent the majority of deaths from H1N1. Experts continue to be concerned that the H1N1 influenza virus may peak again in the future. With H1N1 vaccine available across the country, public health officials are stressing the need for continued vaccinations.

The Campaign for Public Health Foundation, in partnership with the Congressional Study Group on Public Health, the Department of Health and Human Services, the CDC and others, will hold an important media event on Capitol Hill. Its goal is to spread awareness of the vaccine’s availability and stress the ongoing importance of getting vaccinated. This event will encourage continued vaccinations of children and young adults aged 6 months to 24 years, pregnant women and caregivers of infants less than 6 months old. The following leaders, legislators and other notables will attend:

  • The Honorable Kathleen Sebelius, U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services

  • The Honorable James P. McGovern, co-chair, The Congressional Study Group on Public Health
  • Henry Lin, M.D., Families Fighting Flu and a father whose 7-year-old died from the H1N1 virus
  • Luke Duvall, a high school athlete featured on“60 Minutes who nearly died from the H1N1 flu
  • Raymond A. Strikas, M.D., medical officer, National Vaccine Program Office, DHHS
  • David B. Nelson, M.D., Professor and Chair, Department of Pediatrics; Georgetown University Hospital
  • Georgetown University’s Kids Mobile Medical Care Unit will be on site, offering free H1N1 vaccinations to children and families on a first-come, first-served basis, from 11 a.m. – 12 p.m.

WHERE: The Family Room, 411 8th Street SE, 2nd Floor (near the Eastern Market Metro Station)

WHEN: Wednesday, January 13, 2010 from 11:00 – 11:30 a.m.

Wednesday the 13th, Family Flu Vaccination Day is part of National Influenza Vaccination Week (NIVW). NIVW runs from January 10-16,
2010. First launched in 2006, NIVW brings awareness of the risks of seasonal
flu and strives to foster greater use of flu vaccine after the holiday season
into January and beyond – a time of year that many do not realize is still peak
flu season. NIVW events are particularly important this year because of the
existence of seasonal and H1N1 influenza viruses. For a complete listing of
NIVW activities–and details on H1N1 and seasonal flu–visit www.flu.gov/getvaccinated.

The CPH Foundation is working to educate the public, the media, policy makers and others about the important role public health plays in our nation’s health system. More on The CPH Foundation is available at www.CPHFoundation.org

The Congressional Study Group on Public Health is a bipartisan congressional member organization co-chaired by Representatives Lucile Roybal-Allard, Kay Granger and Jim McGovern. The Study Group was founded in 2007 to help highlight the important public health work done by local, state, federal and international
health experts.

Comments

  1. #1 Fart Blossom
    January 12, 2010

    I refuse.

  2. #2 canon camera battery
    January 13, 2010

    H1N1 influenza vaccine is now available. Although the second wave of H1N1 illness appears to be decreasing, there is still H1N1 flu activity in Minnesota. A third wave of illness is likely later this winter.

  3. #3 kelly
    January 13, 2010

    It’s NEVER too late I think! I would not take it for at least 12 valid reasons that has nothing to do with nanochips in them or aliens. :)

  4. #4 App Developer
    January 13, 2010

    No, I won’t be taking it.
    As a Christian I put my faith in God to keep me safe.
    ;)

  5. #5 romunov
    January 17, 2010

    None of the threats made by health organizations have failed to materialize. None of the models that predicted the pandemic (which was also declared) were bluntly inaccurate.

    But the scare sure brings in money for the big pharma.

    I would not get a shot and would not recommend it to anyone, mainly due to possible side effects (has anyone read the label?).

  6. #6 Nick Anthis
    January 17, 2010

    Just a couple of points here:

    1. The H1N1 vaccines are exceedingly safe–much safer than the risk of contracting H1N1 flu. If you’re actually interested in learning about the safety of the vaccine, all of the relevant clinical data can be found here.

    2. Vaccine production is fundamentally not a highly profitable business model, especially compared to drugs that treat chronic illnesses. “Big pharma” has a much greater financial incentive to focus on producing drugs that people will need to take continuously, as opposed to in a single lifetime dose.

    3. It is a logical fallacy to conclude that because the H1N1 pandemic so far hasn’t reached the severity that worse-case predictions said it would that means that it was never a threat. Firstly, the H1N1 virus has proven itself very dangerous even if you personally haven’t been affected. But, beyond that, a robust public health response helped prevent what could have been a much worse pandemic, although we were also fortunate that the virus turned out to be less virulent than initially thought.

  7. #7 samuel
    January 29, 2010

    thanks for your valuable information nick about h1v1 many people might have this problem that they think that they become late in getting vaccine

  8. #8 Joseph
    April 8, 2010

    None of the threats made by health organizations have failed to materialize.

    Could that be because the vaccine worked?

    Consider: Google searches for the word “cough” in Australia. (Australia has its Flu season mid-year, so they got H1N1 before the vaccine was available.) Now, consider the same searches, in the US alone. Clearly, there were early indicators that the Flu season would be a major one in the US, but then something happened. Check the timing.

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