By Julie Stachowiak, PhD
Multiple Sclerosis Guide; Guest blogger
After all that uproar when the vaccine wasn't getting here quickly enough and all that persuasion and urging once it was here, the numbers of people vaccinated against H1N1 in the U.S. should be pretty high. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a report that tells us the estimated number of American citizens who were vaccinated.
At first blink, it sounds huge (and it is, don't get me wrong) when we consider that 61 million Americans have received the H1N1 vaccine since the fall of 2009. However, put another way, that works out to only 20% - 1 out of every 5 Americans have been vaccinated. I dunno, it just doesn't sound that good.
However, there are other ways to look at it that sound more impressive and hopeful:
1) The CDC says that the people at the very highest risk were the most likely to be vaccinated.
2) The estimated number of people who actually caught H1N1 and got sick from it is 50 million, so the public health people are still 10 million in the lead.
You know what? It's not too late. As a matter of fact, now is a great time to get vaccinated if you (or your kids) are in the 80% who have not gotten your vaccine. Unless you were CONFIRMED by a lab to have H1N1, go get your vaccine. Help yourself (in case another wave of H1N1 infections is coming) and help the statistics. It's just a good idea.