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Doctor Says H1N1 Vaccine Is Safe Despite Recall

December 16, 2009, 6:02 PM by Kelli Grant

Doctor Says H1N1 Vaccine Is Safe Despite Recall
Thousands of doses of the H1N1 vaccine are available at clinics all over the state. And health officials hope thousands will still line up now that 800,000 doses of the vaccine have been recalled. 

The vaccine was not recalled because of a safety concern, rather concern that it wasn't as potent as it should have been. Even so, the CDC says the children who got a vaccine from that lot don't need to be re-vaccinated. And if they haven't received it yet, they still need their second dose.

More than 6,000 doses of the H1N1 vaccine will be available to the public at Thursday's clinic in Sioux Falls. And health officials say even though some have been recalled, now's the perfect time to protect yourself.

"The market place is being flooded with lots of vaccine and now that the state has expanded it to tier three, which is the general population. This is a great time to come and get vaccinated. Because we really don't know where the virus is headed," said Infectious Disease Dr. Wendell Hoffman.

Only 14 states are still reporting widespread influenza activity. That's down from 48 states. But health officials say the virus could redevelop in 2010, especially after the holiday break.

"It's out there in nature and it is very unstable and the potential for it to change is there," Hoffman said.

And if the hundreds of thousands of recalled vaccine is concerning, health officials say it shouldn't be.

"The antigen content was found to have dropped a little bit and so that's why they recalled it, simply because that's their routine operating procedure," said Hoffman.

And those children in KELOLAND who were injected with that vaccine don't need to worry. Some just may need their second dose.

With all the evidence put together, the recommendation is that you do not need to revaccinate.

And a third dose, just to be sure, is not needed.

"Do we think it would be safe? It probably would be safe, but probably isn't good enough," Hoffman said.

But if you want that first dose, or your child needs a second, clinics all over KELOLAND and your doctor's office want to get rid of it.

"If there's a vaccine that's effective that can prevent you know a virus which is unpredictable, why wouldn't you want to take advantage of that?" said Hoffman. 

Thursday's Sioux Falls vaccine clinic is from 2 to 8 p.m. at the Convention Center. There are also clinics in Aberdeen and Rapid City. To find a clinic near you, click here.

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