It is quite troubling to witness the hysterical reactions to the H1N1 "pandemic". Some are more than ready to roll up their sleeves for a largely untested vaccine containing frightening ingredients like mercury, formaldehyde and squalene. Some even fear the vaccine is actually a plot to cull the human herd by 80%. As usual the truth lies somewhere in the middle of these extremes of misplaced trust and paranoia. Let me lay down the cold hard scientific truth for you in the least boring way I can muster. The idea behind vaccines seems straightforward enough. When you get the flu your body produces antibodies to fight it. So if a dead flu virus is injected into your body, your body's immune system will produce antibodies to it without you getting sick and you won't get that strain of flu later on. The problem is that those with impaired immune systems, those that need the vaccine the most, do not respond well to vaccines because, well, their immune systems don't work as well. People with strong immune systems, on the other hand, will be able to fight off the flu themselves without needing a vaccine. Surely this simplistic common sense approach is refuted by the massive scientific support for flu vaccine effectiveness.
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