The risk to benefit ratio of the H1N1 vaccine should be more than enough to convince the general public to vaccinate their children. There are no proven cases of severe adverse effects of the vaccine but the pediatric mortality rate for H1N1 this year has already surpassed that of the entire flu season last year. Parents should know that >50% of deaths are among previously healthy children with no risk factors. Should this virus mutate into a more virulent form, it will be the Spanish Flu all over again.
Should this virus mutate...
...the vaccine would likely be ineffective.
"There are no proven cases of severe adverse effects..." is pandora's box. Who "proves" adverse effects...and would the public be truthfully informed even if so?
Most children getting H1N1 are recovering fine. And the actual numerical count of deaths from H1N1 *may* be higher (because we are now testing for it...looking for it) than the seasonal flu, but that's still statistically a minute percentage when all kids (even all kids with viral syndromes likely to be flu) are taken into consideration.
I just think more (honest) information should be disseminated (minus the fear tactics) and the real risk of a child dying from this flu put into persective and compared to something more relevant (like total/number of deaths from all causes in children)...such that a parent can determine the *real* risk of this disease.