American Opinion - On how H1N1 can happen to anyone:
An excerpt from recent editorials in newspapers in the United States:
The H1N1 flu scared the heck out of many Americans. Nervousness was fed by a growing number of death reports and an H1N1 vaccine shortage. Americans stood in long lines -- in the cold and rain sometimes -- to get vaccinated. And those fortunate enough to get protection were usually considered at high risk of having complications if they got sick. They were among those in "priority groups" because there wasn't enough vaccine for everyone.
Now everyone is a priority.
Any Iowan who wants an H1N1 vaccine is eligible to receive one. The Iowa Department of Public Health recently announced there is enough vaccine to go around.
Iowans should go get vaccinated.
Because the flu season is far from over. Winter hasn't even officially started and the holidays will bring people -- and all their viruses -- together. You could leave a family gathering with more than a present you didn't want. You could leave with a strain of flu that can make you very ill -- deathly ill.
Health officials say at least 10,000 Americans have died from H1N1 so far. Thousands of people across the country have been hospitalized. By now, most of us know someone who has been sick with the bug.
The vaccine will prevent that from happening to more people. It is highly effective. And it is safe. The H1N1 vaccine is made in exactly the same way the seasonal flu vaccine is made each year, and by the same manufacturers. Early on, it was tested on thousands of Americans -- including many Iowans. With hundreds of thousands of people vaccinated over the past few months, few side effects have been reported.
Get vaccinated for selfish reasons. You don't want to be sick in bed and aching for a week or more. You think you won't get ill, but that is likely what many of those who died thought as well. It's easy to believe your child won't get sick or die from the new virus, but children continue to die. Go get a shot and put your mind at ease.
Go get an H1N1 vaccination. It's a gift to you and your family that will keep on protecting.
-- The Des Moines (Iowa) Register