Just 24 hours after many families were dressing in Halloween costumes, trick or treating and dividing up Halloween candy, on November 1, 2009, 60 Minutes aired the story and footage from the first cameras inside a plant that makes the H1N1 vaccine.
Many people have had many questions about the safety of the H1N1 flu vaccine. Bill Marr told his viewers that they would be “idiots” to get the vaccine. A poll shows that 40% of people surveyed said that they would not get the H1N1 vaccine. Others have desired to get the H1N1 flu vaccine but were turned away after waiting in line for hours because of shortages of the H1N1 flu vaccine. President Obama declared the H1N1 flu an emergency. The H1N1 flu vaccine has brought up many questions and concerns.
Here are seven questions and answers about the H1N1 flu and vaccine that were covered on the 60 Minutes broadcast on Sunday, November 1, 2009.
1. How many people have died from the H1N1 flu?
Just fewer than 100 people have died from the H1N1 flu and hospitalizations are on the rise. The H1N1 flu has spread to 48 states.
2. Why is there a shortage of H1N1 flu vaccines?
The H1N1 flu was identified as a new strand of flu in April. Only 17% of the H1N1 flu vaccines promised have been delivered so far. Why? Reports include shortages of the sprayers used for the mist as well as the fact the vaccine has taken much longer to produce than expected.
3. Where do the eggs come from that are used to create the vaccine?
Eggs are used as a “factory” in the creation of the H1N1 vaccines. Interviewees would not disclose the location of the source of the eggs used for the H1N1 vaccine for security reasons. It was shared that the farmers at the egg farms were of the first to be given the H1N1 flu vaccines that were available.
4. How many plants are making the H1N1 flu vaccine?
There are only 5 plants world wide making the H1N1 flu vaccine and only one in the United States which is in Swiftwater, Pennsylvania.
5. How long does it take to create an H1N1 vaccine?
It takes about 3 months to produce a H1N1 vaccine, which includes time for testing for safety.
6. What side effects have been reported from getting the H1N1 flu vaccine?
According the interviews in 60 Minutes, fewer than 200 reports of side effects have been reported. The reports of side effects from getting the H1N1 flu vaccine have included muscle aches, stomachaches and sore arms.
7. When will the supply of the H1N1 flu vaccine catch up with demand?
On 60 Minutes it was reported that the supply of the H1N1 vaccines would catch up with demand in about three weeks, which means it may be available for everyone who wants to get it before the Thanksgiving holiday.
Source: CBS “60 Minutes,” aired November 1, 2009