By Deborah Kotz
Posted: December 18, 2009
I predicted a few months ago that the H1N1 vaccine was going to come too late for many Americans to be protected from the virus. Indeed, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that 1 in 6 Americans has already been infected and that the epidemic is actually on the wane. But now finally there’s enough vaccine to go around. Available doses are expected to top 100 million in our country by today. At least 24 states and some other counties and towns have enough to open distribution to everyone.
The question is: Will we actually make an effort to get the immunization after our government shelled out billions to buy it? I probably won’t since I already had the classic symptoms (fever, chills, dry cough, headache) back in October. Yet the government tells me I should, because I can’t tell with 100 percent certainty whether I had H1N1, given that doctors didn’t test for it during the fall outbreak.
The CDC’s big worry is that H1N1 will return with a vengeance in January after college kids come home for the holidays, infecting the rest of their family. They’d like to see those families vaccinated before their germinators return. And this is a legitimate point. After all, there have a number of documented H1N1 that have shown to be resistant to Tamiflu—possibly a sign that the virus is mutating into a drug-resistant bug.