November 05, 2009
Just got vaccinated
I just went and got vaccinated for the influenza A/H1N1/swine flu here at work. They're skipping schools and universities ahead of everyone else seeing as most of us here are young people who have no previous immunity to this particular type of influenza virus. A few weeks ago I also got the seasonal flu vaccine so I'm feeling pretty well protected this flu season.
There were A LOT of people by the vaccination station. They started handing out queue numbers an hour before they opened this morning and they very quickly ran out. With all the people queuing since this morning and all the newly arriving people it got pretty hectic, but at least when I was there it was running very smoothly. This seems to be a general thing around the country. Luckily a co-worker took an extra queue number that I could have.
So far I feel pretty good. Maybe a very, very slight headache, but there's no telling if it's due to the vaccine or not. I'm expecting my arm to start hurting anytime now though. Not even nearly everyone gets flu symptoms after taking the vaccine, although those who do seem to be very vocal about it, so I'm not worried.
There really is no good reason not to take the vaccine if it's freely available to you. So no matter what kind of pseudoscientific anti-vaccination blaha you've heard, take the time to research the subject a bit before making the right decision... which is to get vaccinated. This is not a completely new vaccine that's been rushed without testing. We have many, many years of experience with influenza vaccines. We know by now that flu vaccines are safe. The only new thing with this vaccine, at least the one we're getting here, is the antigen from the virus itself, as well as one of the adjuvants.
This is as good an opportunity as any to share some of the web resources that I've liked reading regarding the new influenza.
Effect Measure - This blog is written by an epidemiologist and she's very good at updating with all the recent developments as well as at debunking myths and misconceptions. This post in particular is probably one the best things written about swine flu out there.
Swine flu: Cutting Through the Hype - This blog entry from Skepchick explains how most of the "hype" about swine flu is being generated from the pseudo-scientific "woo" side, rather than from the side of medicine and science.
An Epidemic of Fear - This is an article in Wired about the consequences for us all when parents stop vaccinating their kids. Not explicitly about swine flu, but it's relevant.
Flu Hype? - This entry from Daily Kos outlines why this flu season is extraordinarily different from anything, and how the epidemic is tracked.
Is The Swine Flu Vaccine Safe? - This entry from Urban Science Adventures goes through the vaccine itself, how flu vaccines are made and why they're perfectly safe.
This Facebook note has been circulating on FB. There's a whole list of interesting articles, including some from official sources which is great.
It's nice to see knowledgeable people are taking the time to spread the correct information around the web.
Swedish blog tags: Svininfluensan, H1N1, Vaccin
Technorati tags: Swine flu, H1N1, Vaccines, Science