Inside Opinion

What's on the minds of Tacoma News Tribune editorial writers

NOTICE: Inside Opinion has moved.

With the launch of our new website, we've moved Inside Opinion.
Visit the new section.

Flu vaccine holdouts could aid and abet pandemic

Post by Cheryl Tucker on Oct. 8, 2009 at 7:30 pm with 3 Comments »
October 8, 2009 4:52 pm

The nation could be on the verge of a serious swine flu crisis – one that could strain the health system’s ability to cope with it. But many parents and health professionals are reacting to the pandemic with little more than a ho-hum and a shoulder shrug.

Only slightly more than half of parents say they plan to have their children vaccinated with doses being shipped this week. And the Washington State Nurses Association, the union representing MultiCare Health System nurses, is resisting the company’s requirement that employees either get flu shots or wear face masks when near patients.

That’s mind-boggling.

Here are some facts worth considering by the vaccine holdouts:
• The swine flu is just taking off, and already so many people are going to emergency rooms that some hospitals are setting up triage tents.

• Nearly half of those needing hospitalization when the H1N1 virus first hit last spring were children and teens. And a quarter of those hospitalized were in such bad shape that they need intensive care; 7 percent died.

• The real test of the flu’s strength is when it strikes in winter, which Australia and New Zealand have already experienced. Those countries saw a 15-fold increase in admissions to intensive care units for lung inflammation. A third of the severely ill had no underlying health conditions that increased their risk, and more than 16 percent of patients admitted to hospitals died.

• The swine flu shots are considered as safe as the ones for the seasonal flu, and reported side effects have been few and mild. In China, of the first 39,000 people who got the shots, only four reported side effects – muscle cramps and headaches – according to the World Health Organization.

Many Americans seem to be looking at the swine flu as just an exotic variation on the regular seasonal flu. The difference is that it’s a “novel” virus – one that very few people have resistance to. It is extremely contagious and makes most victims very sick for several days. It’s particularly hard on pregnant women, children and people with existing health problems. Unless a lot of Americans are vaccinated, it could have a crippling effect on schools and businesses.

Vaccinations have played a crucial role in saving millions of lives. Think what the world would be like without shots preventing smallpox, tetanus, polio, diphtheria and other diseases that routinely killed scores in childhood.

The question parents should ask themselves is this: If I choose not to have my children vaccinated, can I live with myself if one of them dies?

Leave a comment Comments → 3
  1. DannnyG says:

    Mind Boggling Indeed!

    “Those countries saw a 15-fold increase in admissions to intensive care units for lung inflammation. A third of the severely ill had no underlying health conditions that increased their risk, and more than 16 percent of patients admitted to hospitals died.”

    And those who will be caring for these people? They do not want to take “common sense” precautions.

    Mind Boggling Indeed

  2. jimkingjr says:

    The swine flu is so overblown it reminds me of avian flu and all of those who died.

    How many casualties during the outbreak in Pullman?

    And maybe the nurses understand better just how overblown this is? Of course, the media folk are such medical experts they fall for just about any “crisis”.

  3. Watcher1 says:

    The question parents should ask themselves is this: If I choose not to have my children vaccinated, can I live with myself if one of them dies?

    The question Reporters should ask themselves is this: Am I responsible for these deaths because I refuse to report the mutations with the H1N1 that causes people to bleed out their lungs and heart failure? Is it my responsabilty to tell people the h1n1 vaccine cannot hope to protect them from a virus that has mutated to this point? Should I tell them their face masks dont work and this can get in through the eyes?
    http://mignews.com.ua/en/articles/378759.html

    At a spread rate from 2 cases to 1.2 million reported in 1 week.. most not testing posative for h1n1.. Just what do you think this vaccine can do for us?
    Look to yourself and the job you do before you attack the parents.

    Do you think its possible its not the vaccine we dont trust but the makers of the vaccine. Baxter infects homeless people in poland with experimental vaccine. Baxter infects people with hiv in plasma. Baxter infects flu vaccine with LIVE h5n1 .. sends to 18 labs. Caught by mid level lab worker doing extra tests. Baxter gets huge contract to make vaccine for usa…

*
We welcome comments. Please keep them civil, short and to the point. ALL CAPS, spam, obscene, profane, abusive and off topic comments will be deleted. Repeat offenders will be blocked. Thanks for taking part and abiding by these simple rules.

JavaScript is required to post comments.

Follow the comments on this post with RSS 2.0