Sebelius Touts Safety Of New H1N1 Vaccine

October 7, 2009

In an effort to ease public fears about the new H1N1 flu vaccine, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced Wednesday that the vaccine was the safest way to avoid the virus.

“We know it’s safe and secure,” Sebelius said during appearances on morning talk shows.

“The vaccination is being made exactly the same way seasonal flu vaccine has been made year in and year out,” she told Good Morning America on Tuesday.

“The adverse effects are minimal compared to what can happen when you get the flu.”

Sebelius added that young children are vulnerable to the H1N1 flu because they have no immunity to the virus.

What’s more, children are more likely to spread the virus to others around them, she said.

“We strongly urge parents to take precautionary steps, the flu kills every year, people get seriously ill, and we’ve got a great vaccine to deal with it,” said Sebelius.

“We now have over 600 deaths reported. Taking the chance that you or your roommate or your child may be one of those rare but serious cases may have underlying impact may expose someone else.”

Additionally, she noted that only about 40 percent of US healthcare workers reported they would be getting seasonal flu vaccines.

“I’m hopeful that healthcare workers not only take the seasonal but get at the front of the line for H1N1,” she told CNN.

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