What’s in the H1N1 Vaccine Anyway?

I’m a microbiologist. I wash my hands often, I don’t eat canned green beans or any home-canned food (due to a horrible botulism example given in a bacteriology class), I don’t ask for antibiotics if I just have a cold, and I believe in vaccination programs.

Recently, due to the various controversies surrounding the H1N1 vaccine, and because I just gave permission for my children to be vaccinated at school, I have been thinking about vaccination rather a lot. Even though I believe absolutely in the benefits of vaccination, I also have the usual concerns when considering whether to accept a new vaccine for my children. So, when I read or hear sensational press coverage over emphasizing vaccination risks, I worry, and I want to hear a balanced viewpoint.

So I thought I would share what I have learned about the H1N1 vaccine. Continue reading “What’s in the H1N1 Vaccine Anyway?”

H1N1 Influenza

swine_flu_headlineIt’s hard not to panic in the light of recent pandemic fears and the frightening possibilities conjured up by the thought of a novel flu virus with the propensity for person-to-person spread (1-3). The specter of the 1918 pandemic has raised its ugly head, and we are left feeling intensely vulnerable to an invisible and ever-changing enemy. Have science and history left us more prepared to combat this virus than those who suffered during the devastating 1918 outbreak? Continue reading “H1N1 Influenza”