The First Draft: Achoo

October 7, 2009

The U.S. government wants you to know the H1N1 swine flu vaccine is safe. FLU/VACCINE-USA

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius blanketed morning television talk shows with basically the one message. “This definitely is a safe vaccine for people to get,” she said on NBC’s “Today” show, urging the public to visit

People are worried, but how much depends on which poll you look at.

A Consumer Reports survey last month found that nearly two-thirds of American parents said they would hold off having their children vaccinated against the H1N1 swine flu or wouldn’t get them immunized at all, expressing wariness about whether the new vaccine had been tested enough.

A Harvard School of Public Health survey earlier this month found that 75 percent of parents would get the swine flu vaccine for their children.

“This flu is a younger person’s flu, kids have no immunity to this flu,” Sebelius said.

It’s going to be a long day for Sebelius. She did the morning TV talk show rounds and will do late-night television tonight appearing on the Jay Leno Show.

And healthcare wrangling continues on Capitol Hill. The Senate Finance Committee is awaiting the cost estimate on healthcare reform legislation from the Congressional Budget Office, which could clear the way for a committee vote this week (where have we heard that before?).

Click here for more Reuters political coverage

Photo credit: Reuters/Frank Polich (nurse gives H1N1 flu vaccine to two-year-old boy in Chicago)

One comment

We welcome comments that advance the story through relevant opinion, anecdotes, links and data. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. For more information on our comment policy, see

So, where is the data that says its safe Mrs. Sebelius?

Posted by bob | Report as abusive