|Should I get the new H1N1 vaccine?|
|October 13, 2009|
|Are there any downsides or risks associated with the new swine flu vaccine? With many people asking that question, we have compiled a list of frequently asked questions - along with some less frequently asked ones. This article will help the reader to make an informed decision about the risks and benefits of getting vaccinated.|
|Just in time for the flu season, the H1N1 vaccine has started to ship around the world. With mixed messages and conflicting advice running rampant, many people find themselves unsure as to whether or not they should get vaccinated. The swine flu has claimed more than 5,000 lives as of early October, but the vaccine itself is not without risk. We have summarized the necessary facts and commonly asked question regarding the H1N1 vaccine. Should I get the H1N1 vaccine?|
Are all vaccines created equal?
No. There are two types of H1N1 vaccines: the old-fashioned needle-injection and the nasal spray. The injection, often refered to as a "shot", contains fragments of the killed H1N1 inflenza virus. The nasal spray, which most children would surely prefer, actually contains a weakened virus.
Does it matter which one I get?
Yes. While the nasal spray may be preferable to children over an old-fashioned injection, experts warn that certain group of people should avoid the nasal spray. Young children, pregnant women, and people with weakened or compromised immune systems are advised against getting the nasal spray. The spray, which actually contains a weakened but living virus, could potentially be strong enough to result in serious health complications.
Are they safe?
We're not really sure. Officials at the National Institute of Health claim there are "no serious side effects," aside from redness and swelling at the site of injection - but we have been digging a bit deeper and found other facts to be aware of. A source at the NIH admitted that the vaccine(s) were one of the fastest human vaccines in development, according to CBS correspondent Sharyl Atkinson. In order to get these vaccines to market so quickly, the United States government granted "liability protection" to swine flu vaccine manufacturers. This protection allowed the drug companies to fast-track production by adding unlicensed components, some of which have been shown to cause autoimmunity in animals. In other words, you might be taking a vaccine has been licensed without normal safety regulations - and if you suffer adverse reactions, the drug manufacturer is immune from legal liability.
Aside from being rushed-to-market, are there any unsafe ingredients I should know about?
Some shots will contain the mercury-based preservative thimerosal, which some believe to be harmful to children. The CDC claims there is no evidence of this. However, a US Congressional Report on Mercury in Medicine, released in 2003, claimed that there is a link between thimerosal and the development of autism, along with other brain development disorders. Additionally, some vaccines use squalene, an immune adjuvent that causes the immune system to react in a powerful and unnatural way. The purpose is to reduce the amount of vaccine needed per dose. The American Journal of Pathology published a study in 2000 which cited a possible link between adjuvants and arthritis and other chronic inflammatory diseases. Critics claim the use of adjuvants was another unsafe result of the vaccine being rushed out the door.
Are they safe for my children?
Again, we don't know. Many of these vaccines were tested on a few hundred healthy children. It is unclear how children with certain allergies or health conditions might react, as they haven't been thoroughly tested.
What if I'm pregnant?
Pregnant women are 6 times as likely to die if they are infected with the swine flu, so most experts advise pregnant women to take the vaccine. Pregnant women should only take the injection, not the nasal spray.
What does the CDC say?
The CDC lists 5 group of people who should get the H1N1 vaccine:
1) Pregnant women
2) Caregivers and people who come into contact with children younger than 6 months of age
3) Everyone between 6 months and 24 years old
4) People between 25 and 64 years old who have existing medical conditions
5) Healthcare and emergency medical services personnel
So what's the bottom line? Should I take it or not?
Well, the World Health Organisation claims that 30-50% of people infected with influenza have mild or no symptoms at all. On the other hand, serious health complications, including death, have been occuring in 1% of swine flu patients. If you fall into one of the 5 groups advised by the CDC, you should probably give stronger consideration to getting vaccinated. But everyone's situation is different. There's a risk associated with getting the vaccine, and there's a risk associated with not getting it. Our advice is to educate yourself as much as possible and make an informed decision, based on your age, your medical history, and the general strength of your immune system.
|23 comments Add Comment |
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|T of Skopje
Nobody tested/checked how many pregnant woman was infected, if they hadn't any serious side effect.
For a week 2 pregnant women is in hospital fastened to heart-engine in life-dangeros situation in my country
Their lung is not working. If God help them they will live over it
These was not vaccinated against flu|
11/30/2009 at 5:18 AM by horex of Hungary
|Read this report first before deciding, it may help ?
11/20/2009 at 7:42 AM by Rom09 of UK
|Pregnant women are 6 times as likely to die if they are infected with the swine flu. Does anyone know what this means in actual numbers. How many (and what percentage) of pregnant women have died after being infected?|
11/19/2009 at 10:49 AM by T. of Skopje
|Please state who you are and your sources. It sounds credible, but you would gain on having an "About Us" page and references of what you state as facts.|
11/14/2009 at 11:08 AM by inilsson of sweden
|The purpose of this site is to make money with the ads by google you see to the right. Your posts are helping the site be higher in the search engine rankings by repeating keywords like vaccine etc.|
11/5/2009 at 4:35 PM by ccr of
|I've never had the flu theres a 4-6 hour wait at every clinic for the needle and a 0.008% chance that I will actually die if I contract H1N1, no vaccine for me thanks.|
11/4/2009 at 9:04 PM by Eric of Canada
|Puleeze! Who are you at this site and what are your qualifications to be saying this half true information to scare people from taking proven safe measures to prevent disease and death? Shame on you. Your information is just plain wrong about this vaccine for A-H1N1/09 having been rushed to market,allowed to be made too fast,untested, and with new ingredients. These vaccines approved by FDA have no new ingredients from those used for decades in the US for seasonal flu. The only difference is the type of virus that was grown and added to the rest of the ingredients. The decades of use of the seasonal flu vaccines have been proof enough of the safety and extremely low incidence of adverse effects, both short and long term. And since they are identical except for the strain of virus, the FDA allowed "fast track" approval. The virus in the vaccine has been changed every year for decades. See WikiAnswers for good information about these vaccines at http://wiki.answers.com/Q/FAQ/6237|
11/3/2009 at 3:12 PM by RN of TX
|Exactly.. 5 years from now, everyone who gets the vaccine might start growing a third arm out of their belly button. It's just not worth the risk for me. Call me paranoid. I'm not saying it's a conspiracy, I just don't think it's worth the risk.|
11/3/2009 at 1:17 PM by Glen of Las Vegas, Nevada
|Side effects could be years away|
10/30/2009 at 11:37 AM by Rick72212 of AR
|"I'll be damned if i let them force the shot on me. I never trusted them to begin with, now I know for sure not to trust this one. I'd rather take my chances."
Who is forcing a flu shot on you? Nobody.
From the WHO:
"Over 22 million doses of squalene-containing flu vaccine have been administered. The absence of significant vaccine-related adverse events following this number of doses suggests that squalene in vaccines has no significant risk. This vaccine has been given primarily to older age groups."
Read at WHO: http://www.who.int/vaccine_safety/topics/adjuvants/squalene/questions_and_answers/en/
"We didn't need all of these shots until we started making them which was about 70 years ago."
Yes we did, starting in the late 1700s with smallpox. 100 years later Pasteur proved that his Rabies vaccine worked. Since then vaccines have been reducing deaths from many diseases. These "facts" need references to back them up, otherwise it's just breeding unnecessary fear.|
10/24/2009 at 5:55 AM by Paul of Michigan
|I think I'll wait until Nov - Dec to make my decision.. see if the first batch of people being vaccinated have any side effects. I was never one to be a guinea pig.|
10/20/2009 at 3:49 PM by Andre of Oklahoma
|what a strange site, was it really set up just to discuss the flu vaccine? who wrote all this? What are the sources? Some of it is seems to be based on widely discredited research (like andrew wakefields paper, which has been retracted)
Discussing positives and negatives is all very well, but doing so anonymously and without backing up anything with sources it all means very little.
Lets not forget that people are dying of flu, and we have access to a viable prophylactic|
10/19/2009 at 1:50 PM by gary of UK
|Aren't pregnant women 10 times more likely to die from anything? Other than that, this is probably the most honest report on what is going on I have found so far. I base all of my decisions on what I have seen all over the world. Turns out that the people with the least vaccination are stronger than those with the most. I'm sticking with the stone age way of thinking. We didn't need all of these shots until we started making them which was about 70 years ago. Not enough time for me to be convinced to the point of listening to these people.|
10/19/2009 at 8:54 AM by medic101 of Jacksonville FL
|This article mimics the words of my doctor. And to mmr, people die from the flu too, the article just answering basic questions shouldn't make it accountable for deaths? My doctor advised me against it, and the article makes legitimate points about the positive and negative aspects of the vaccine|
10/18/2009 at 5:33 PM by jrm of Rhode Island
|I think this is one of the better articles I've read, since it doesn't have all the "fluff" and "urgency" of getting vaccinated. Most sources say how important it is to get the vaccine mentioning shortages, etc.. without noting the downsides. Kudos on this article.|
10/18/2009 at 1:52 PM by Pete of Oakland, CA
|This website does not cite sources or openly announce who the websites creators are. This should probably make you reconsider getting medical information from it. Talk to your own doctor instead!|
10/17/2009 at 3:02 PM by mmr of
|It's too bad that you have to revert to lies to get your point across. There are numerous scientific studies that have concluded that there is no link between thimerosol or any vaccine and autism. And many of your other information is half truths pulled from some reputable sources that you make to sound credible. People are dying from the swine flu and you should be help responsible from deaths of people that your lies convince not to get vaccinated. 100,000,000 to 200,000,000 people a year get vaccinated across the world with flu vaccines. They are safe and very effective. The swine flu was made in the same way to a similar strain of flu. Stop the fear mongering.|
10/17/2009 at 1:37 PM by dc of Washington, DC
|I'll be damned if i let them force the shot on me. I never trusted them to begin with, now I know for sure not to trust this one. I'd rather take my chances.|
10/16/2009 at 11:25 AM by Roger W. of Houston, TX
|More than 200 people from my state have died from the swine flu this year, and I thought for sure I would get the vaccine, but this article made me really unsure now.. I just don't know if it's worth the risk. Hmmm..|
10/15/2009 at 1:13 PM by Ellen of Southern California