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Separating Fact from Fiction: The Swine Flu Vaccine

By: Mark Tenia Email
By: Mark Tenia Email

September 11, 2009

When it comes to the swine flu vaccine, it's sometimes difficult to separate fact from fiction. There have been plenty of rumors about both the flu and the shots.

"Should you get it, or should you not? is it safe, or is it not safe?" asks Megan Harlow, from Fluvanna County.

One rumor the Newsplex looked into was whether the regular flu vaccine can protect you from the swine flu.

"My guess is that it's not going to prevent it from happening," says Julie Carroll, also from Fluvanna County.

But Dr. Ray Marotta of Family Medicine of Albemarle County says that sometimes it can.

"There is some crossover immunity between the traditional seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 strain that's been known as swine flu," says Dr. Marotta.

However, Dr. Marotta warns that the regular flu vaccine may only give you partial immunity,

Another rumor circulating is that people can pre-order the swine flu vaccination. Dr. Marotta says that would be highly unusual, especially without knowing how many doses of the vaccine are going to be supplied. Other rumors are that swine flu vaccines haven't been tested enough to be effective.

"It is similar to the production method for the seasonal flu vaccine, so I would have no reason to believe that it would be at higher risk than the seasonal flu," says Dr. Marotta.

Basically, if you trust the seasonal flu vaccine, doctors say there's no reason not to trust the swine flu vaccine.

We welcome your comments on this story.


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