Local pediatricians against H1N1 vaccine

By Nicole Papageorge

COLLIER COUNTY - Pediatricians across Collier are refusing to sign a letter promoting the swine flu vaccine because they say it's unsafe. This comes as Swine Flu vaccines are being offered for the first time at four Collier County schools.

On Tuesday, The Health Department vaccinated more than 1100 children at Lake Park Elementary and three other schools across Collier County. Parents we spoke with say they're taking advantage of this opportunity.

"It looks like something that was very detrimental that people are dying," says parent Sid Kalmans. "I don't think any of us wants to have our kids die or get sick."

But, some local pediatricians are fighting back, saying the verdict is still out about the vaccine.

"The vaccine has not been proved to be safe and we don't know anything about it," says Dr. Dina Badra.

Dr. Badra is one of many Collier County pediatricians who refused to sign a letter to parents promoting the H1N1 vaccination.

"I believe that the swine flu is like a normal flu and I think there's a big hype on it and that's why I'm gonna watch and wait for more research and studies that show it's safe enough for our kids," says Dr. Badra.

Doctor Joseph Guata is the President of the Collier County Medical Society. He believes the vaccine is safe, but doesn't agree with mass immunizations like the ones going on at local schools.

"This has been a more of a media marketing blitz than I think it's a real medical catastrophe," says Dr. Gauta.

Dr. Gauta says his recommendation is for parents to talk to their child's doctor.

"People should ask the people they trust," says Dr. Gauta.