Ingham officials aim to dispel worries about flu vaccine

LANSING, MI – Ingham County health officials say unjustified fears of the H1N1 vaccine could lead to a more severe flu season in mid-Michigan. Officials say worries that the new vaccine is untested may lead to fewer inoculations and many more cases of the disease.

Marcus Cheatham is a spokesman for the Ingham County Health Department.

"There are only a few dozen really bad episodes reported every year from getting flu vaccine, even though millions and millions of people use it," he says.

Cheatham says chances of complications or death due to the flu are many times higher than from the vaccine. He says the only people who should avoid flu vaccinations are infants under six-months old or people with an egg allergy. Higher risk groups who began receiving the vaccine this week include pregnant women, people living with infants under six months of age, children 6-months to 5 years of age and young people 5 to 18-years of age with a compromising medical condition.