Dr. Dean Blumberg is an infectious disease specialist at the UC Davis Medical Center. About thirty years ago there was a small outbreak of swine flu and a vaccine was developed. But Blumberg says the shot was associated with a slight increase in the rate of a rare neurological disorder called Guillain-Barré syndrome.
Since then Blumberg says health officials have rigorously tested flu vaccines, including this year’s H1N1 shot.
“It undergoes clinical testing, it undergoes biologic and chemical testing the manufacturing plants are inspected in the same way and so there’s nothing different in the manufacture of this vaccine that’s different than any influenza vaccine that’s been produced and made available to the public in the last 30-40 years.”
Blumberg encourages people to talk about concerns over the shot with their doctor. He says any vaccine carries some risk but the likelihood of adverse side effects is low.