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H1N1 side effects?

Dec 3rd 2009
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Ok, seriously, why are some people not get vaccinated?

Not a single vaccine in existence is without any side effects. But as with all other vaccines, you weigh the risks when you get vaccinated and when you don’t. The reason why people want to get vaccinated in the first place is because you wouldn’t want to experience the nasty seriousness of the disease. According to WebMD,

Approved vaccines — including the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine — are calculated to be much, much less risky than the diseases they prevent. For example, out of every million people who get a flu shot, one or two will get a serious neurological reaction called Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS).

But flu itself causes serious problems, including GBS, in far more than two in a million cases. And since a large proportion of the population will get swine flu, the vaccine risk is far smaller than the disease risk.

And how do you get GBS? It is not really understood why but it is believed that stimulation of the body’s immune system may play a role in its development. Infection with the bacterium Campylobacter jejuni, which can cause diarrhea, is one of the most common risk factors for GBS. People can also develop GBS after having the flu or other infections (such as cytomegalovirus and Epstein Barr virus). On very rare occasions, they may develop GBS in the days or weeks following receiving a vaccination.

The CDC states that the H1N1 vaccine are inactivated or  killed so you can’t get the flu from the flu shot. But it list anticipated minor side effects such as soreness on the injection site, fever, aches and nausea. These are not different (or at least, not much) from the anticipated flu shots we get every year (or are expected to receive every year. I had mine this year and I feel fine). In fact, the H1N1 vaccine is not much different from the seasonal flu shots developed every year.

In other words, paranoia is playing some role here as to  why some people won’t get the swine flu shot. I know it got me paranoid to some extent…

The good news is I stumbled upon this clinical evidence stating that it only takes one shot to boost your immune response 8-10 days after getting vaccinated.

So now you judge – do the benefits outweigh the risks?

(You  may also want to read this.)

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