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Swine Flu: Is a Third Wave Coming? (page 2)

Swine Flu: Is a Third Wave Coming?

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Updated on Jan 26, 2010

CDC officials also estimate about 60 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine have already been given out throughout the country. That still leaves millions and millions of people without protection, said Dr. Hank Bernstein, a professor of pediatrics at Dartmouth Medical School and member of the Committee on Infectious Diseases for the American Academy of Pediatrics.

"We also know a majority of people are still susceptible to the pandemic. (If) that third wave comes, a lot of people will be affected."

Dimond, Bernstein and Levine pointed to a number of other reasons for parents to have their children vaccinated for swine flu, if they haven't already.

  • The shots are available. That wasn't the case in the fall and many people were frustrated trying to find a provider who had the shots or having to wait in long lines for the possibility of getting a shot. Dimond said there are 113 million doses in the hands of doctors and officials around the country.
  • There have been few issues with the vaccines. Some people resisted the vaccine citing concern about side effects, but that fear has not been proven. "We know the vaccine is very safe, we've seen no indication of adverse reactions," Dimond said.
  • Vaccinations could affect a possible third wave of H1N1. The reason is simple, Bernstein said. "The more people that are protected, the fewer people that are susceptible, and this really is critically important, because influenza is a vaccine preventable disease."

"You have a vaccine that's safe and potentially can prevent not just significant illness but also mortality," Levine said. "To me it seems crazy not to get the shot."

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