September 23, 2009

H1N1 vaccine safe, health workers told

By Kelley Luckstein

Health officials have not identified any significant safety concerns associated with the vaccine for H1N1flu-vaccine-bottles influenza, disease and epidemiology specialists said Tuesday during Mercy Medical Center's Infectious Disease Symposium here.


Four medical experts conducted an hourlong panel discussion on H1N1, commonly called "swine flu," for 225 medical professionals at the Sioux City Convention Center as part of the symposium.


Dr. Gregory Poland, professor of medicine and infectious diseases at the Mayo Clinic College of Medicine in Rochester, Minn., said the pandemic vaccine is based on the egg-adapted strain of the virus, which is made just like any other vaccine.


Any rare side effects that may develop from getting the vaccine will be hard to detect until 400,000 cases of the virus are studied, according to Poland. The risk of hospitalization due to complications with the vaccine is too small to be calculated, and the risk of death, Poland said, is "essentially zero."

As of September, 1 million likely H1N1 infections were reported in the United States. Of those cases, 9,079 resulted in hospitalization and 593 in death.

Those who are not vaccinated have a 30 percent to 70 percent likelihood of contracting H1N1. Poland said 25 of every 100,000 people risk hospitalization and one of every 3,000 to 10,000 people who are infected risk death.

"The majority of people will have mild disease and won't end up in the hospital," he said.

Sioux City Journal by Dolly Butz, 09/23/09


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Tags: H1N1, Infectious Diseases, swine flu

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