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Pros and Cons of the H1N1 Vaccine

written by: AlyssaAst•edited by: dianahardin•updated: 4/21/2011

Learning the pros and cons of H1N1 vaccine are important, when deciding whether or not to be vaccinated against the H1N1 virus. The CDC urges everyone to be vaccinated to reduce the risk of fatality.

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    Although more than 251 million H1N1 vaccines have been administered throughout the Untied States, many people remain concerned about whether or not the vaccine is safe or even needed. While the CDC urges the safety and the necessity of the vaccine, because it's very similar to the common flu vaccine, many are still wondering what the pros and cons of H1N1 vaccine are. It’s recommended that caregivers and healthcare and medical professionals receive the vaccine, because they have the highest risk for contracting the flu. Pregnant women are also encouraged to receive the vaccine, as the H1N1 virus can be fatal for them.

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    Benefits of the H1N1 Vaccine

    Unlike the common flu vaccine, the H1N1 vaccine doesn’t produce any flu-like symptoms. After receiving the injection, you won’t experience headache, fatigue, cough or fever, because the vaccine enhances the body’s immunity and ability to ward off the H1N1 virus. In fact, those who are more susceptible to infections, such as those with chronic asthma, young children and the elderly, have a far smaller mortality rate from the virus after receiving the vaccine. Once vaccinated, a person becomes immune to the virus for a prolonged period of time.

    Those who are most vulnerable to the virus (pregnant women, children, the elderly and asthmatics) are often those who die from the virus, increasing the importance of their being vaccinated against the virus. If these people receive the vaccine, the immune system is given a boost to protect against the virus, which saves lives.

    Another benefit of the H1N1 vaccine, is the fact the vaccine doesn’t contain the actual live virus. Only the dead virus is used in the H1N1 vaccine. This may seem like a con of receiving the vaccine, but because the virus is dead, it won’t produce any flu-like symptoms.

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    Risks of the H1N1 Vaccine

    Although the H1N1 vaccine is very effective in preventing the virus, there are rare cases where the vaccine won’t protect against certain strains of the virus, which can lead to contracting the virus. Unlike the seasonal flu vaccine, two doses are required to fully protect against the H1N1 virus: the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal flu vaccine. These are required because the seasonal flu vaccine doesn’t protect against the H1N1 virus.

    Although the vaccine doesn’t cause flu-like symptoms, there are side effects of the vaccine. Side effects of the injection include redness, swelling and inflammation of the arm at the injection site. Many people report to experience fatigue and pain after receiving the vaccine. If the nasal spray vaccine is administered, side effects can include a runny nose, watery eyes, headache and shivering. This is due to the fact that the nasal vaccine contains the live virus, whereas, the injection doesn’t. Certain children under the age of 6 can’t be vaccinated, due to a possible allergic reaction to the vaccine. Very rarely, Guillain-Barre’ syndrome can result from the vaccine.

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    References

    "H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccine" http://www.freeuniquearticles.com/health/diseases-conditions/h1n1-swine-flu-vaccine-pros-and-cons/

    "H1N1 Vaccine" http://www.science20.com/erin039s_spin/h1n1_vaccine_examining_benefits_vs_risk_individuals