H1N1 more serious threat than vaccine

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

Re: What are the answers on H1N1 and infants?, Nov. 6 The News.

Like many of your readers I am dismayed by the lack of clear information on the H1N1 vaccine, and as a scientist, I am disappointed at how difficult it is to disseminate the basic science to the public and even to our health professionals.

In this letter a reader expresses her frustration over not getting the information she needed from her family doctor or public health worker on whether it was safe for her 15-month-old daughter to get her scheduled vaccines and the H1N1 in short proximity.

As an immunologist, I would like to explain a bit of the science behind the vaccine and hopefully allay some of her concerns.

Our bodies are constantly fighting illness and germs, and we are undergoing any number of immune responses to potential germs on our food, in the air or on our skin. Our body is well equipped to handle multiple assaults simultaneously. Sometimes our immune response is ineffective and we get sick.

Vaccines mimic an infection (in this case H1N1) and teach our immune system how to respond appropriately, which it "remembers" the next time we are exposed to the real H1N1. Because we are so well equipped to handle multiple infections, we are also perfectly capable of handling multiple vaccines.

If you are extremely ill, there is some evidence that the vaccine may be slightly less effective but a run-of-the-mill cold should not effect the results. You may choose to stagger your children's vaccines as a convenience for yourself depending on how many nights of an achy child you can handle.

The adjuvant in the H1N1 vaccine is safe. Adjuvants are used as "kindling" to start the fire of an immune response. They help alert our immune system and stimulate a stronger response. Without an adjuvant, you need to work a lot harder to get a fire going, which means a much higher dose of the active particles in the vaccine. The adjuvant used has been used in many millions of doses of vaccines and has been found to be safe. H1N1 is a serious illness that has resulted in many hospitalizations in our city, especially of children, and is a much more serious threat than the vaccine.

Your family doctor is the best person to consult if you have concerns about the vaccine. They alone know your particular health history and whether you have any health issues that make it inappropriate to get vaccinated.

As a scientist I have absolute confidence that the vaccine is safe and as a mother of a one-year-old, I had her vaccinated against H1N1 the first day it was available (one week after her 12-month vaccinations).

Dr. Dawn M. E. Bowdish, PhD. Assistant Professor Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine MG DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research McMaster University,

H1N1 more serious threat than vaccine

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

Re: What are the answers on H1N1 and infants?, Nov. 6 The News.

Like many of your readers I am dismayed by the lack of clear information on the H1N1 vaccine, and as a scientist, I am disappointed at how difficult it is to disseminate the basic science to the public and even to our health professionals.

In this letter a reader expresses her frustration over not getting the information she needed from her family doctor or public health worker on whether it was safe for her 15-month-old daughter to get her scheduled vaccines and the H1N1 in short proximity.

As an immunologist, I would like to explain a bit of the science behind the vaccine and hopefully allay some of her concerns.

Our bodies are constantly fighting illness and germs, and we are undergoing any number of immune responses to potential germs on our food, in the air or on our skin. Our body is well equipped to handle multiple assaults simultaneously. Sometimes our immune response is ineffective and we get sick.

Vaccines mimic an infection (in this case H1N1) and teach our immune system how to respond appropriately, which it "remembers" the next time we are exposed to the real H1N1. Because we are so well equipped to handle multiple infections, we are also perfectly capable of handling multiple vaccines.

If you are extremely ill, there is some evidence that the vaccine may be slightly less effective but a run-of-the-mill cold should not effect the results. You may choose to stagger your children's vaccines as a convenience for yourself depending on how many nights of an achy child you can handle.

The adjuvant in the H1N1 vaccine is safe. Adjuvants are used as "kindling" to start the fire of an immune response. They help alert our immune system and stimulate a stronger response. Without an adjuvant, you need to work a lot harder to get a fire going, which means a much higher dose of the active particles in the vaccine. The adjuvant used has been used in many millions of doses of vaccines and has been found to be safe. H1N1 is a serious illness that has resulted in many hospitalizations in our city, especially of children, and is a much more serious threat than the vaccine.

Your family doctor is the best person to consult if you have concerns about the vaccine. They alone know your particular health history and whether you have any health issues that make it inappropriate to get vaccinated.

As a scientist I have absolute confidence that the vaccine is safe and as a mother of a one-year-old, I had her vaccinated against H1N1 the first day it was available (one week after her 12-month vaccinations).

Dr. Dawn M. E. Bowdish, PhD. Assistant Professor Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine MG DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research McMaster University,

H1N1 more serious threat than vaccine

News Nov 12, 2009 Ancaster News

Re: What are the answers on H1N1 and infants?, Nov. 6 The News.

Like many of your readers I am dismayed by the lack of clear information on the H1N1 vaccine, and as a scientist, I am disappointed at how difficult it is to disseminate the basic science to the public and even to our health professionals.

In this letter a reader expresses her frustration over not getting the information she needed from her family doctor or public health worker on whether it was safe for her 15-month-old daughter to get her scheduled vaccines and the H1N1 in short proximity.

As an immunologist, I would like to explain a bit of the science behind the vaccine and hopefully allay some of her concerns.

Our bodies are constantly fighting illness and germs, and we are undergoing any number of immune responses to potential germs on our food, in the air or on our skin. Our body is well equipped to handle multiple assaults simultaneously. Sometimes our immune response is ineffective and we get sick.

Vaccines mimic an infection (in this case H1N1) and teach our immune system how to respond appropriately, which it "remembers" the next time we are exposed to the real H1N1. Because we are so well equipped to handle multiple infections, we are also perfectly capable of handling multiple vaccines.

If you are extremely ill, there is some evidence that the vaccine may be slightly less effective but a run-of-the-mill cold should not effect the results. You may choose to stagger your children's vaccines as a convenience for yourself depending on how many nights of an achy child you can handle.

The adjuvant in the H1N1 vaccine is safe. Adjuvants are used as "kindling" to start the fire of an immune response. They help alert our immune system and stimulate a stronger response. Without an adjuvant, you need to work a lot harder to get a fire going, which means a much higher dose of the active particles in the vaccine. The adjuvant used has been used in many millions of doses of vaccines and has been found to be safe. H1N1 is a serious illness that has resulted in many hospitalizations in our city, especially of children, and is a much more serious threat than the vaccine.

Your family doctor is the best person to consult if you have concerns about the vaccine. They alone know your particular health history and whether you have any health issues that make it inappropriate to get vaccinated.

As a scientist I have absolute confidence that the vaccine is safe and as a mother of a one-year-old, I had her vaccinated against H1N1 the first day it was available (one week after her 12-month vaccinations).

Dr. Dawn M. E. Bowdish, PhD. Assistant Professor Department of Pathology & Molecular Medicine MG DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research McMaster University,