More Ramblings from a Los Angeles Programmer

November 29, 2009

What does the science say:H1N1

Filed under: debunking, science, vaccines — Tags: , , , — Josh DeWald @ 10:32 pm

On my other blog, I’ve done an overview of the H1N1 virus and vaccine.


The “pandemic” H1N1 (aka “swine flu”) is a very serious strain of flu. It is separate from the standard seasonal flu and to be protected for both you have to vaccinate from both. The actual effects are similar to the normal flu, which kills about 36000 people a year. The expected combined deaths of seasonal flu (3 strains) and H1N1 is about 65000 deaths. The H1N1 vaccine has been shown to be as safe and effective as the normal seasonal vaccine that people take yearly.


  1. Just thought I’d throw in some extra info here, from my doctor’s first hand experience.

    I went in for a regular checkup the other day and my doc asked me if I wanted to get the H1NI shot. I asked him what he though, professionally. He said that it peaked in October of last year and he hasn’t seen much since. BUT, that it was really common then, his daughter had it and he just gave her some tylenol and she was fine. Now here’s the “eye opener” as he called it. Feeling that the media had really blown it up, he got a call from one of his patients saying he had X/Y/Z symptoms and was concerned. It was only 24 hours from the start of the symptoms that he called the doc. He came in and saw the doc, it was H1NI. 24 hours after this he checked himself into ER with difficulty breathing, and some bad body aches. Shortly after he entered into a coma for 10 days. My doc didn’t think he was going to make it, but luckily he did and is still recovering, and putting on the 35lbs he lost in those 10 days.

    So, ya the media blew it up, but there were some very legit cases beyond the tylenol-curable cases. scary.

    Comment by neil — January 12, 2010 @ 12:45 pm

  2. I’m not sure the media did blow it up (or maybe I don’t pay too much attention). Most people will always recover from the flu just fine, but some people will die. Hopefully nobody was making the argument that everyone who got infected would get very very sick and die.

    The H1N1 vaccine is almost completely safe (except if your doctor says you’re at risk due to allergies or other immune system issues). I never got around to getting the regular flu vaccine… so I suppose in that sense the media hype made me focus on H1N1 more than normal 🙂

    Thanks for the comment, btw!

    Comment by Josh DeWald — January 13, 2010 @ 9:38 am

  3. Is the H1N1 vaccination should be taken annually? You mean there is a limitation on it? What’s the difference of H1N1 from other normal flues? I am really in the doubt…help me…:(

    Comment by ramp wheelchair — April 11, 2011 @ 10:20 pm

    • Well, all flu vaccines are to be taken annually.. this isn’t a “limitation” of the hH1N1 vaccine in particular, but simply the way that flu vaccines work due to the incredibly fast evolution of the various strains.

      Each year scientists pick the top 5 or so strains which they think will be the most “popular”, and develop vaccines for those. It turned out that the H1N1 came out of “nowhere” that year and so they had to rush to get a one-off vaccine for it. But now it’ll be included in the standard “flu” vaccine.

      Comment by Josh DeWald — April 12, 2011 @ 12:36 pm

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