Many Doubt Swine Flu Vaccine's Effectiveness

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The federal government has started its biggest vaccination campaign in U.S. history this week. 
    
As of Tuesday, the nasal spray vaccine for swine flu is available in 14 states. But surveys show the public is mixed about getting the vaccine.

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate?

Health workers gave out the first doses of swine flu vaccine Monday. The government is spending $2 billion to distribute millions of doses - enough to inoculate half the country.

"This vaccine - and I hold it in my hand here - it is safe," said Virginia A. Caine of the Marion County Health Department.

But recent surveys show that many Americans have doubts, with six in 10 adults uncertain about the vaccination. Also, four in 10 parents are not certain they'll get their child vaccinated.

"A lot of parents are questioning if their children really need it because it's flu, it's not plague," said pediatrician Irwan Benuck.
  
Surveys show many are concerned about possible side effects from the vaccine. Others don't think they're at risk of getting a serious case of the flu.
   
Dr. Donald Thompson, with the Christian Medical Association, told CBN News he's uncertain about the vaccine's effectiveness.

"I think the vaccine will probably be safe," Thompson said. "I believe it should probably be given to health care workers and pregnant women and many others at high risk. I think it should be encouraged but not mandated.
    
The government is shipping 6 million to 7 million doses of the vaccine this week.  It will ship another 20 million doses every week after that.

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Heather Sells

Heather Sells

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Heather Sells enjoys reporting on a variety of issues for CBN News. Some of her recent stories have focused on religious liberties, technology, AIDS, overseas missions, domestic trafficking, and politics.  Follow Heather on Twitter @SellsHeather and "like" her at Facebook.com/HeatherSellsCBNNews.