Fearful parents steering clear of swine flu vaccine | VailDaily.com

Fearful parents steering clear of swine flu vaccine

Jennifer Brown
The Denver Post

Fear that the swine-flu vaccine is unsafe because it was rushed to production ahead of the winter sick season has left many parents willing to skip the immunization and risk the virus.

Tales of vaccine complications, many of them urban myths, are circulating through blog sites and fueling alarm. Added to that is a sense the H1N1 flu isn’t much worse than typical seasonal flu, leading some to choose a week’s worth of aches, chills and cough rather than a jab in the arm with what some believe is uncertain effect.

The first batch of swine-flu vaccine – 53,800 doses – will arrive in Colorado next week and go primarily to Denver-area health care workers, the state health department said. Additional doses will arrive weekly.

More than 80 people were hospitalized last week with the flu and six people in Colorado have died, including three age 18 or younger.

Health officials recommend children older than 6 months get the vaccine. Reports that parents are exposing their kids to the flu at “swine-flu parties” to develop natural immunity have outraged some physicians.

“The bottom line is this is very dangerous to children,” said Dr. Margaret Lewin, chief medical director of Cinergy Health. “Are you really going to risk your child’s well-being? This flu vaccine is being tested widely. Why wouldn’t you want your child to have as much immunity as possible?”

For more of this Denver Post story: http://www.denverpost.com/ci_13467145

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