Comedian/pundit/talk show host Bill Maher has reportedly tweeted that folks who get vaccinated against the new H1N1 (“swine”) flu are idiots. Medical wisdom in 140 characters? Or is Maher, the twit, the real idiot?
Before you get swept away in an anti-vaccine frenzy, you might want to consult what www.flu.gov has to say. That’s the US government’s official take on the imminent flu season, complete with characters from Sesame Street. There’s plenty of stuff for grown-ups too: what to do if you get flu-like symptoms, what pregnant women should know, places to get vaccinated against both seasonal flu and H1N1, and lots more.
This is a two-flu year, with H1N1 piling on top of the regular old seasonal flu that kills plenty of people on its own. There are different vaccines against these different diseases. Each flu tends to attack different groups, as I explained a few weeks ago.