I asked my doctor how he felt about it and he said he's getting it for his whole family, which includes a 3 year old with respiratory issues.
Q.: I see very little information available to the public about how the vaccines compare as the manufacturing process for each. Are they created using the exact same technique? If so, does that mean that the safety/risk profile is the same for each?
A.: A flu shot is a flu shot is a flu shot, according to the Food and Drug Administration, which licenses companies to make vaccines. "All flu vaccine manufacturers use essentially the same technique to produce the seasonal and H1N1 vaccines. They each produce a slightly different version of the vaccine, but all versions adhere to the FDA's stringent standards for safety and effectiveness," said Pat El-Hinnawy, a spokeswoman for the FDA.
Q.: I've heard 56 children have died since April from H1N1. Could you give me more detail about this figure? I would like to know of those 56 children, how many had underlying health care problems? How many of them sought medical attention? And finally, what is the age range or average age of the 56 children?
A.: According to the CDC, of these 56 children, 31 had a pre-existing medical condition such as spina bifida or cerebral palsy before they became infected with H1N1, 17 did not, and health authorities don't have data on the eight other children. Among the children for whom the CDC has information, 35 died in a hospital's intensive care unit, four died in the emergency room, three died on an inpatient ward in the hospital, and five died outside the hospital, such as at home or on the way to the hospital. The average age of the children who died is 10 years old. A September 4 CDC report has more details on the pediatric deaths.