Doctors debunk H1N1vaccine fiction

October 15, 2009 10:00:37 AM PDT
Experts hosting an H1N1 informational session at the University of Texas Health Science Center's School of Nursing tried to separate swine flu fact from fiction Thursday.Most of the physicians at the conference feel that everyone should get the H1N1 vaccine, especially pregnant women and small children.

Sponsors are attempting to clear up misinformation about the vaccine. While some people may have a fear of the vaccine because they believe it will give them the flu, doctors said that it is normal for some patients to have an immune response to the vaccine that includes flu like symptoms -- but it is not the actual flu.

Doctors stress that people from 6 months to 24 years old and pregnant women should be first in line for the vaccine. One concern some parents have expressed is the use of a preservative called thimersol in some versions of the inoculation.

Thimersol is a preservative that some people believe it is linked to autism. Doctors said you can ask for a single-dose version that does not contain that preservative.

"The single dose vial does not contain thimerisol," said Dr. Michele Curtis, and OB-GYN with the UT Medical Center. "Pregnant women can ask for the single dose vial if they choose to avoid it. I don't believe that it causes any problems, but I respect the fact that people differ with me in their opinion on that one."

Pregnant women cannot receive the flu mist because it is made with a live virus. They should instead get the shot, which is made with a killed virus, doctors said. Also, adults need just one dose of the H1N1 vaccine, but kids will need an additional booster shot.

The biggest message at the conference was for people to be patient. Dozens of clinics got the H1N1 vaccine Wednesday and many more doses are on the way, so doctors said to keep in touch with your doctor's office to find out when they receive their doses.

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