Thursday, October 8, 2009

Military Mandatory H1N1 Vaccine

While it is no surprise that the military would mandate pandemic H1N1 vaccine, this article is interesting. The military vaccination program will really be a big experiment in safety. With such large numbers of personnel receiving vaccine (millions), it should be clear relatively quickly if there are any immediate safety concerns.

In the words of one commander (quoted in the article referenced above):"Because I can compel people to get the shots, larger numbers will have the vaccine... They will, as a percentage of the population, be vaccinated more rapidly than many of us. So we may see some objective results, good or not, of the vaccinations."

Here's hoping they are all good. (There are people out there who argue that 'Gulf War Syndrome' is a result of the anthrax vaccine, although the science behind that argument is grossly lacking).

In related news, my health department received the first shipment of vaccine -- a very small allotment of H1N1 flumist. The doses were given to local hospitals and offered to public health clinical staff (those with direct patient care). We expect the vaccine to slowly trickle in.

Meanwhile, numbers of people infected continue to climb. I am curious to see when we will reach the peak in the epidemic curve. Before long we will have herd immunity; it remains to be seen how much of that will be from natural immunity (having had the disease) or artificial (vaccination).

1 comment:

  1. Can you tell me who was quoted saying,
    "Because I can compel people to get the shots, larger numbers will have the vaccine... They will, as a percentage of the population, be vaccinated more rapidly than many of us. So we may see some objective results, good or not, of the vaccinations."
    Not surprisingly the article is no longer available.

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