Katie Couric's Notebook: Flu Shots

Katie Couric is on assignment. I'm Seth Doane.

Just a couple of weeks before Americans start lining up for the H1N1 vaccine, the government's giving its P-R machine a shot in the arm.

The CDC insists the vaccine is safe, but millions of Americans who are most at risk for the virus are reluctant to roll up their sleeves.

Here in New York today, health care workers protested a regulation that forces them to get shots or get fired. Some parents worry the vaccine hasn't been tested enough and say they won't let their kids be guinea pigs. As for pregnant women, they're usually told to be cautious about medication. Only one in seven of them typically get the regular flu shot.

Health officials are fighting more than just the flu. They are also battling fear of the unknown - concern that the vaccine might not turn out to be as safe as promised. The only remedy for that is more information.

I'm Seth Doane. CBS News.


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