More than 30 health providers and organizations released an open letter advising people to get vaccinated. Below is the text of that letter.
“Since the 2009 H1N1 flu virus hit our shores, scientists, manufacturers, health providers, and federal, state and local health officials have worked together to protect the health of the American people. Over 110 million doses of the H1N1 vaccine are now available, with more coming every day. Now is the time to protect yourself and those around you by getting vaccinated against the H1N1 flu.
“The traditional flu season is just beginning and typically lasts until May. History tells us to prepare for another serious wave of illness. With H1N1 flu declining in many areas, we have a window of opportunity to help prevent the flu from spreading further and causing even more illness, hospitalization, and death.
“The H1N1 flu vaccine is safe, effective and the best way to protect yourself and your family from the H1N1 flu.
“The H1N1 vaccine is made the same way seasonal flu vaccines are made every year. Extensive testing and monitoring have shown that the vaccine is not only safe, but also an excellent match for the H1N1 flu virus. And remember that when you get vaccinated, you don’t just help yourself; you help your community by preventing the spread of the flu virus.
“We especially encourage people with underlying health conditions, pregnant women, children, young adults, caretakers of infants, and health care workers to get vaccinated against H1N1. Unlike the seasonal flu, H1N1 has hit children, young people, and adults under age 65 exceptionally hard. That is why we encourage you to get the H1N1 vaccine as soon as possible.
“Fighting the flu is a shared responsibility. We ask you to join us in this fight to protect yourself and your community by getting the H1N1 flu vaccine.”
The list of organizations can be found at http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/