"The potential for more severe illness and many more deaths caused by this new strain of influenza weighs heavily on our minds -- as does the unfortunate outcome of the 1976 swine flu vaccination program," said CDC spokeswoman Arleen Porcell-Pharr.
The H1N1 flu vaccines will be very much like seasonal flu vaccines, which have an excellent safety profile, Porcell-Pharr said. "However, no vaccine is 100 percent safe. This vaccine will be no exception," she said.
If the vaccines are recommended for use, those who choose to be inoculated will receive information sheets describing the vaccines' risks and benefits, signs of side effects to look for after vaccination, and information on how to report adverse events, she added.
"We will be watching very closely for any signs that the vaccine is causing unexpected side effects, and we have systems in place to investigate those signals rapidly," Porcell-Pharr said.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have more on H1N1 swine flu.
SOURCES: Tom Skinner, spokesman, and Arleen Porcell-Pharr, spokeswoman, U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta; Marc Siegel, M.D., associate professor, medicine, New York University Langone Medical Center, New York City; Pascal James Imperato, M.D., M.P.H., dean, and distinguished service professor, School of Public Health, SUNY Downstate Medical Center, New York City
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