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Should I Get the Swine Flu Vaccine?

Updated on September 1, 2010

About the Swine Flu Vaccine

With cases of swine flu expected to rise in the coming months, a lot of people are wondering, should I get the swine flu vaccine? This article will cover the basics of the swine flu vaccine: when it will be available, where to get it, who should get it, and what side effects it may cause.

When will the swine flu vaccine be available?

Flu vaccines for 2010-11 should start being available in early fall. 

Is the swine flu vaccine different from the regular flu vaccine?

Not anymore: The 2010-11 seasonal flu vaccine will protect against 3 strains of the flu, including swine flu. 

Where can I get the flu vaccine?

Call your doctor or local health center to find out when the vaccine will be available in your area. Many pharmacies will host flu vaccination clinics during the fall and winter months.

Who should get the swine flu vaccine?

Whether to get vaccinated or not is an individual decision. Most swine flu cases that we've seen in the US seem to be rather mild, though they do cause the discomfort associated with regular seasonal flu: fever, tiredness, headache, sore throat, aching, and possible stomach upset.

Flu causes a certain number of deaths each year, mostly among high risks groups. The swine flu has NOT caused a higher percentage of deaths than the regular flu. However, getting the swine flu vaccine is a very good idea if you are in a high risk group. This includes people with chronic lung/heart/kidney/liver/neurological disease, anyone with a disease that suppresses the immune system, anyone with diabetes mellitus, anyone who receives drug treatment for asthma, pregnant women, people over 65, and children under 5. (From the NHS)

For more information about the flu vaccine and complete CDC recommendations visit

Swine Flu Vaccine
Swine Flu Vaccine

Swine Flu Vaccine Side Effects

A lot of people who are thinking about getting the swine flu vaccine are concerned about side effects. At this point, researchers are expecting about the same mild side effects that are possible with the seasonal flu vaccine: usually just soreness at the injection site and possibly a headache. Of the people that have received the vaccine so far (39,000 in China), only very few reported side effects and they were generally mild.

Nevertheless, we won't really know what the exact effects will be until more people get vaccinated. The US is coordinating several tracking efforts to monitor if any serious side effects occur.

The main horror story involves the relationship between flu vaccines and a rare nerve disease called Guillain-Barre Syndrome, which is a type of paralysis that can be fatal. There is speculation that a large-scale a swine flu vaccine effort in 1976 led to 500 cases of Guillan-Barre among 45 million vaccinated, but the truth is that there is no concrete evidence linking the two. For the seasonal flu shot, the risk of Guillan-Barre is about 1 out of 1 million vaccinations.

Is the swine flu vaccine safe?

The swine flu vaccine is made the same way as the regular flu vaccine. In fact, the swine flu vaccine was made by slightly altering a previous seasonal flu vaccine -- it is not a brand new vaccine, but rather a vaccine for a different strain of flu. The swine flu vaccine is approved by the FDA and the CDC is continuing to conduct trials to make sure that it is safe in both the short and long term.


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    • camalo171 profile image

      camalo171 7 years ago

      Vitamin C my friends... it's all about the Vitamin C

    • frogyfish profile image

      frogyfish 7 years ago from Central United States of America

      I haven't had a flu shot in over 30 years. But got the flu once after having had the vaccination. Never had the flu after I started taking 'alternative preventives' either. There are several hubs about that information on hubpages - explore them. Keep searching!

    • profile image

      Polly 8 years ago

      It's not only about protecting yourself, it's about helping protect your family, friends and community. So i've had the vaccine, some discomfort at the injection site lasted 2 days and there has been no other side effects.

    • profile image

      jennsep 8 years ago

      I am more interested in a strong natural immune system than taking one of the shots.

    • topview profile image

      topview 8 years ago from Brinnon

      If you have a healthy immune system, then you will keep from any bad effects from the vaccine, but if you have a weakened immune system, your body will not make any antibody for the flu.

      I personally won't take any vaccines, as they are never tested for contaminates of the growing host, and can cause many problems, over years of time.

      Especially because it has thimerosal (Mercury) that can and will lodge in the brain and cause neurological damage, especially if you get several vaccines in a short distance of time. It can build up over time .

      I have a video of Dr.s Mercola and Blaylock discussing this very subject on my blog.

      I have a post on my hub pages about how to make a Garlic tincture that kills bacteria and viruses and builds your immune sys.

    • ManekiNeko profile image

      ManekiNeko 8 years ago from USA

      tasha-ky: People with asthma are just in a higher risk group, it's not that they all necessarily die from the flu. Some of them get it just as mildly as everyone else, but the point is that if the virus turns into pneumonia or something like that, they're at a greater risk.

    • profile image

      tasha-ky 8 years ago

      Have all the people with asthma died from h1n1. Or do some not have a bad reation to the virus.

    • profile image

      elizabeth borges 8 years ago

      yes, i got the shot on Friday. since then, i have abdominal cramps and diarrhea. But if i have to do it again i will get the shot. it will be worse if i got the disease, because i suffer from asthma. my husband also got the shot, and he experienced headache, muscle pain, fever and chest pain. it lasted 2 days. now, he is feeling great. i really think that if you are in good health, should get the vaccine.

    • profile image

      pccallenz 8 years ago

      Hi Friends:

      You are correct about researching the Swine Flu Vaccine and nasal spray.

      My comment and advice is to build up your immune system by taking the necessary vitamins such as Seven Seas Cod Liver Oil. Also I swear by "Airborne Seasonal Dietary Supplement" If you feel a flu coming on immediately take Airborne Seasonal Dietary Supplement. You must take this immediately as you feel the flu. This works. The next day the flu regresses. Try this.

    • profile image 8 years ago

      Has anyone heard of an oil based adjuvant called Squalene being used in the Swine Flu Vaccine? It occurs naturally in the human body(nervous system and brain) but when injected into the human body can cause the immune system to react by attacking ALL the squalene (the naturally occuring and injected)in the body ?

    • kartika damon profile image

      kartika damon 8 years ago from Fairfield, Iowa

      Thanks for this - I'm researching this issue a bit now - don't think I should get the shot! Karitka