H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine Shot Dangers – How To Evaluate The Risks
Flu Vaccine Risks
If you are allergic to the vaccine’s components – egg, for example, because the vaccine is cultured in eggs – then obviously you should not get the vaccine. If you are allergic to the vaccine’s components, an allergic reaction can occur within a few minutes of receiving the vaccine, although these are exceptionally rare. An allergic reaction can result in wheezing, hoarseness, swollen eyes and lips, a rapid heart beat, feeling faint or dizzy, and difficulty breathing.
You cannot get the flu from the flu shot. However, you may experience some very mild flu-like symptoms. These are actually your body reacting to the killed virus, which is how your immune system builds up the ability to attack the real flu in the future. These mild symptoms include a mild fever, aching joints, and nausea. These symptoms will go away within a day or two.
You may also experience some tenderness at the injection site. The swelling and itching is mild, and will go away within a day or two.
The 2009 flu vaccines do not contain adjuvants. There was a lot of talk of “adjuvants” in the weeks before the flu virus was released. Adjuvants are extenders, which help limited supplies of a vaccine stretch farther. (Like Hamburger Helper!) Many people believe that some of the substances used as adjuvants are toxic.
For these and other reasons, the flu vaccine in the United States – both H1N1 and the seasonal flu – will not contain adjuvants this season.
Thimerosal will only be used in one form of the vaccine. Many people are concerned about the use of thimerosal (mercury) in the flu vaccine. Thimerosal will only be used in multi-dose vials. Thimerosal will NOT be used in single-dose vials. Thimerosal will also NOT be used in the nasal spray version of the H1N1 vaccine. If you are concerned about thimerosal, be sure to ask for either the nasal spray, or a single-dose vial.
The amount of thimerosal is miniscule. In multi-dose vials, the only form of the vaccine which will include thimerosal, the amount is tiny. You ingest more mercury when you eat a can of tuna.
However, if this concerns you, be sure to ask for either a single-dose vial or the nasal spray. Both of these forms do NOT contain thimerosal.
The flu shot does not cause Guillain-Barre Syndrome. During the influenza panic of 1976, there were reports that people who received the flu shot were at higher risk for developing Guillain-Barre Syndrome. This fear turns out to be unfounded. Many extensive studies have been performed, and there is no link between the flu shot and Guillain-Barre Syndrome.
Swine Flu Risks
Many people feel that they are healthy enough to “shake off” the swine flu, even if they catch it. And this is certainly true, it is not a lethal disease like smallpox or anthrax. Nothing of the sort!
However, there are risks from the flu, even for healthy people. Aside from work hours lost, serious complications such as pneumonia can develop as a secondary infection after your week of influenza induced misery. The flu is not fun!
At risk populations for the swine flu include health care workers, pregnant women, young people from birth to age 24, people over the age of 60, and people of any age who have an underlying medical condition. The risks of hospitalization and even death in rare cases are higher for these risk groups.
Swine flu is proving to be very communicable (if not more dangerous than regular seasonal flu). Just because you haven’t caught the flu in the past, don’t assume that means that you won’t catch it this time around!
If you are not in an at risk group, if you are a healthy person between the ages of 24 and 60, and you are willing to risk catching the flu yourself, stop and think. Contagious diseases spread because people catch them. This is an even bigger issue with people who feel they are healthy and strong. If you catch the swine flu, you will be forming another link in the virus’s chain. A link which will lead to hundreds – even thousands – of people getting sick down the line. Some of them may be old, or have a compromised immune system. They could die.
Not everyone who is at risk is able to get the flu vaccine. For example, cancer patients who are undergoing treatment at any age cannot be vaccinated. These people – both adults and children – have to rely on “herd immunity” to protect them from the illness.
If you are able to receive the vaccine, please do your part and get the shot as soon as you are able.
President Obama Declares Swine Flu A National Emergency
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