Friday, October 30, 2009

Vaccines and Treatments For H1N1

Vaccines and Treatments For H1N1:

A Brief History of Vaccines:

A Few Things To Consider Before Deciding Not To Get Your Swine Flu Vaccine

First, despite all of the hype, vaccines have repeatedly proven to be the single best method of avoiding coming down with the flu.  Those are the facts.
In 1890, one out of every five American children died before their first birthday. Another one out of five children died before their fifth birthday and not only poor children. Everyone knew children who had died of measles, mumps, rubella, polio, or whooping cough.
If you don’t believe this stop in an old cemetery sometime and read the headstones.  You will see that far more children died young than today, little headstones with lambs and angels that we almost never see today.
Today, largely because of vaccination, those diseases barely exist, and many of the internet posters and anti-virus agitators do not remember these epidemics that once carried off hundreds of thousands of men, women, and children each year.
The same results were repeated in country after country around the world during the twentieth century as vaccines became more widely available.  Anyone,
Furthermore, the risks of vaccination have been vastly overblown.  This article provides an excellent scientific review of the safety and effectiveness of vaccination: Vaccine Concerns

H1N1 Vaccine

The following is an effort to put the best official sources of information about the Swine Flu vaccine from the Centers For Disease Control and World Health Organization into simple easy to understand language.  For the full information refer to those sites.
Two kinds of H1N1 vaccines being produced:
  • A 2009 H1N1 “flu shot” — an inactivated vaccine (containing dead virus) is given with a needle, usually in the arm.
The flu shot is approved for use in people 6 months of age and older, including healthy people, people with chronic medical conditions and pregnant women.
  • The 2009 H1N1 nasal spray flu vaccine — a vaccine made with live, weakened viruses that do not cause the flu (sometimes called LAIV for “live attenuated influenza vaccine”).
Nasal vaccine is approved for use in “healthy” people 2 years to 49 years of age who are not pregnant.
About 2 weeks after vaccination, antibodies that provide protection against 2009 H1N1 influenza virus infection will develop in the body.
However, the 2009 H1N1 vaccine will not protect against seasonal influenza viruses, so to get the best possible protection you will need two flu shots.
Initial Target Groups Are:
When Swine Flu vaccine is first available, the CDC recommends that providers administer vaccine to people in the following five target groups (order of target groups does not indicate priority):

  • Pregnant women
  • People who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and day care providers),
  • Health care and emergency medical services personnel,
  • People 6 months through 24 years of age, and,
  • People 25 years through 64 years of age who have certain illnesses.
People Who Should Not Be Vaccinated
Despite all of this there are people who should NOT be vaccinated.  Anyone in the following groups should not get any flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. These include:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.
  • People who developed Guillain-BarrĂ© syndrome (GBS) within 6 weeks of getting an influenza vaccine previously.
  • Children younger than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group)
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)
Vaccine Effectiveness
The ability of a flu vaccine to protect a person depends on the age and health status of the person getting the vaccine, and the similarity or “match” between the viruses or virus in the vaccine and those in circulation.

Vaccine Side Effects (What to Expect)
The same side effects typically associated with the seasonal flu shot and the seasonal nasal spray vaccine are expected with the 2009 H1N1 flu shot and 2009 H1N1 nasal spray vaccine.

These are:
The flu shot: The viruses in the Swine Flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. Some minor side effects that could occur are:
  • Soreness, redness, or swelling where the shot was given
  • Fever (low grade)
  • Aches
If these problems occur, they begin soon after the shot, are usually mild, and usually last 1 to 2 days. Almost all people who receive influenza vaccine have no serious problems from it. However, on rare occasions, flu vaccination can cause serious problems, such as severe allergic reactions.
The nasal spray: The viruses in the nasal-spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause severe symptoms often associated with influenza illness. (In clinical studies, transmission of vaccine viruses to close contacts has occurred only rarely.)
In children, side effects from LAIV can include:

  • runny nose
  • wheezing
  • headache
  • vomiting
  • muscle aches
  • fever
In adults, side effects from LAIV can include
  • runny nose
  • headache
  • sore throat
  • cough

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