Unplugged: Investigating The H1N1 Vaccine


A fast-track approval process has been established for the H1N1 vaccine, with hopes that 20 million doses will be available by mid-October, meaning a vaccine might be licensed without standard safety-regulations. The questions raised is, are we racing to prepare for an emergency that isn't there?

On Washington Unplugged, CBS News Medical Correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton told CBS News' Sharyl Attkisson, "According to the WHO...about 30 to 50 percent of people who get infected with an influenze virus have mild or symptoms at all...The vast majority of people clear this on their own."

"I'm very concerned that what this is going to turn out to be is a repeat of the 1976 Swine Flu fiasco…I think there may be a little but of politics being played," adds National Vaccine Information Center's Barbara Loe Fisher, also a vaccine safety advocate.

Dr. Ashton and Fisher agree that there are potential risks to the H1N1 vaccine.

"You have to ask yourself...is it worth it to recommend widespread vaccination on the likelihood that some people have adverse affects…the risk of this vaccine will not be zero," notes Dr. Ashton.

Watch the full show above. And click here for past episodes of Washington Unplugged.