Avian Flu Poo
Every year, one of the doctors in my building gives me crap about not getting a flu vaccine. Every year, I explain to him why I do not get the vaccine. Every year, he gets ill multiple times throughout flu season while I do not. One would think that he would give up trying to give me unsolicited advice and worry about his own immune system.
This year, he countered my rationale with "Well, you know, we could have a pandemic on our hands with this whole avian flu thing".
I hope this man is not your doctor.
Get the facts.
From the World Health Organization Avian Flu Facts sheet:
What is the status of vaccine development and production?
Vaccines effective against a pandemic virus are not yet available. Vaccines are produced each year for seasonal influenza but will not protect against pandemic influenza. Although a vaccine against the H5N1 virus is under development in several countries, no vaccine is ready for commercial production and no vaccines are expected to be widely available until several months after the start of a pandemic. Some clinical trials are now under way to test whether experimental vaccines will be fully protective and to determine whether different formulations can economize on the amount of antigen required, thus boosting production capacity. Because the vaccine needs to closely match the pandemic virus, large-scale commercial production will not start until the new virus has emerged and a pandemic has been declared. Current global production capacity falls far short of the demand expected during a pandemic.