5 reasons the H1N1 flu is actually good for us

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By now many of us have gotten our doses of influenza vaccine. Now it’s time for a dose of influenza reality. Let’s acknowledge that flu virus is a living thing — and a pretty crafty one at that. Despite all our best efforts, sometimes flu will get the better of us. Depending on your personal experience, you may feel that was the case this year. But in my view, there are a lot of positives to take away from this year’s experience.

Positive No. 1: By the end of 2009, our influenza enterprise will have supplied almost 200 million doses of flu vaccine in the U.S. That will include about 110 million seasonal influenza doses and nearly that many pandemic H1N1 vaccine doses.

That number may feel inadequate this year because we were fighting on two fronts, having to deliver two different vaccines to somewhat different target groups. Meanwhile, we will have proved positive outcome No. 2: We have the capacity to produce more vaccine than the American public usually demands.

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