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Who Should Get A Flu Shot? You Should

It’s that time of year again. Children back at school. Football season is underway and baseball playoffs to start soon. The television networks are rolling out their new shows.

And it’s also time to think about getting flu shots. I just got mine today as I have done annually since going to medical school.

Compared to last year, there isn’t as much news about the flu or the flu vaccine. This year the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) gives clear guidelines that everyone aged 6 months and older should get the influenza vaccine. 

This month the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends that all healthcare providers should be required to get the influenza vaccine.

And one fact that hasn’t gotten much attention is whether the 2009 H1N1 virus is included in the 2010-2011 vaccine: Is it? Yes, it is. This year’s vaccine will be as safe as vaccines in past years as the production process is unchanged. Inclusion of the 2009 H1N1 virus will not be a problem. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Saving Money and Surviving the Healthcare Crisis*

Nanopatches: The Future Of Vaccine Delivery?

Professor Mark Kendall of the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology and his team have been investigating a novel way to deliver vaccines.

Their method makes use of nanopatches, which are fingernail-sized dermal patches with microscopic projections on their surface that hand vaccine off directly to the antigen-presenting cells just below the surface of the skin.

The scientists’ recent work in mice has shown that an immune response equivalent to that achievable by needle and syringe can be reached using 100 times less vaccine. Not only does the nanopatch appear to be a more effective delivery method, it’s also cheaper to produce and doesn’t require refrigeration, adjuvants or multiple doses. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Medgadget*

Flu Shots: Another Vocal Minority Influences The Media Disproportionately

My position on the H1N1 flu vaccine is clear: everyone should get it.

But not every physician shares that sentiment. The Washington Post reports that there are a minority who are unconvinced of the vaccine’s safety and believe the H1N1 pandemic is over-hyped.

Worse, they aren’t vaccinating their patients. And when you’re talking about pediatricians, that can mean trouble for their patients; children who are most susceptible to the damage caused by H1N1. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at*

Flu Vaccine, Dystonia, Cheerleaders, And The Truth

In my efforts to have a rational discussion about the H1N1 flu shot I have been increasingly confronted with the following fear, expressed most commonly by concerned mothers and teenagers:

Did you see that video on Youtube about the cheerleader who got the flu shot? Something called dystonia? She can’t walk unless she goes backwards. I don’t want to risk ending up like that.

Apparently Inside Edition broadcast a story featuring a woman who claims to have a movement disorder she attributes to an adverse effect of the seasonal flu shot. I had to take a look at this video along with the millions of other viewers. Here it is: Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at The Examining Room of Dr. Charles*

Questions And Answers About H1N1 Flu Vaccine Safety

The questions and concerns continue to swirl regarding the H1N1 swine flu vaccine, and health consumers continue to fear the safety of the H1N1 swine flu vaccine.

Many health consumers are asking if there are adjuvants in the vaccine, should they receive the vaccine if there’s thimerosal, and what’s the difference between a multiple dose (multi-dose) and a single dose.

Others are asking if they have certain health conditions (diabetes, heart disease, lyme disease, bipolar, etc.) should they receive the H1N1 vaccine.

I constructed a series of questions based on information you are looking for and medical expert, Bruce B. Dan, MD, a specialist in infectious diseases addresses your concerns and helps relieve your fears. Read more »

*This blog post was originally published at Health in 30*

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Latest Book Reviews

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The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

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