Rhiannon and Diane discuss H1N1, its impact on youth, and the way they feel about the new vaccinations that are coming out.
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Rhiannon Ally: Back to our hot topic segment, today we have Diane Debrovner the editor of Parents magazine joining us today, and swine flu H1N1; still a very hot topic right now. What is the very latest that we know about this? I know people are dying from this. Diane Debrovner: There have been about 86 children who have died so far, and the CDC is tracking this day by day. I mean, the situation is changing constantly. I just got back from the American Academy of Pediatrics Convention, and everybody is talking about it. And the latest is that the vaccine has started to ship around the country. There numbers are relatively small, but the government decided to release the vaccine that was available first, and it's going to continue to ship, and they are talking about the groups of people that are considered to be the priority. It's children under aged two, pregnant women, and children who have underlying, and adults who have underlying health conditions, such as asthma, heart problems, neuro developmental problems like epilepsy, or serious conditions that put them at a higher risk for complications. But the message is that every one will hopefully be able to get the vaccine once the full shipment arrives, and there's no reason why anyone shouldn't get it. Rhiannon Ally: Once those groups get their's first. Diane Debrovner: Right. Rhiannon Ally: A lot of parents are still very concerned, a friend just asked me the other day, she has a daughter, and parents across the country going through this, should they be getting their child vaccinated? There's a lot of fear out there. Diane Debrovner: They absolutely should be getting their child vaccinated. And everywhere I go, that's the first question people ask me, and there's really no reason not to get your child vaccinated. All of the health, and safety of vaccine experts say that the risks associated with getting H1N1 are significantly higher than any potential risks of getting the vaccine, it's no different than a regular seasonal influenza vaccine, which is really important. And what's unique about this virus, for this form that 2009 H1N1 virus, is that it's hitting children, and it's hitting healthy people, and it's not just effecting the elderly, it's actually not affecting the elderly very much. And so, the people who are normally not as vulnerable to getting very sick from the regular influenza are at risk, and it's been really hard to tell who's going to get hit more seriously affected. Rhiannon Ally: Is it a problem if some parents vaccinate their kids, others don't, with all the kids being together in school, is this a concern? Diane Debrovner: If your child is vaccinated; your child is protected, so obviously it's circulating in the environment, and unlike other vaccines you want everyone to be immunized so that you can only prevent that bacteria or virus from circulating, but we know that the virus is out there, it's widespread in 41 states as of right now. So you're protecting your family by getting your child vaccinated, and obviously the more children who are vaccinated, the batter it is for everybody. Rhiannon Ally: Do you think this is going to just get worse, or at this point is it still unknown, what's going to happen? Diane Debrovner: They really don't know. I mean, the big question is whether the virus is going to change in some way and cause much more serious symptoms in most people. It continues to spread wildly; it continues to cause more hospitalizations and cases in influenza, than we would normally have it this time of the year. So that's why the government is taking this very seriously and giving all the vaccines now for free. The government is writing off the whole cost of this, so they're taking it seriously and rightly so. Rhiannon Ally: And what is the one thing and then you said, parents should be afraid, but what would you say to parents sitting at home that are just on the fence right now, don't know what to. Diane Debrovner: They may have hear