Swine Flu Vaccine – Advantages and Disadvantages
According to the reports of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the World Health Organization (WHO), the swine flu vaccine will become available by September of 2009. This is a much awaited development in the fight against swine flu, especially when the occurrence of the disease has reached pandemic proportions.
And yet, surveys and studies conducted around the world have shown that the public, especially in the United States, are not that eager to obtain swine flu vaccine. There are a number of concerns raised about taking this new swine flu vaccine. These concerns largely involve the effectiveness of getting inoculated against swine flu.
When the swine flu vaccine becomes available this fall, would you be among the ones getting it? What would be the advantages and disadvantages of getting vaccinated against swine flu?
The Advantage of Swine Flu Vaccine
Naturally, the one advantage of getting vaccinated against swine flu is that you get to lower your chances of getting sick with the disease. This means you can safely go in public despite the pandemic without worrying much about whether you will become contaminated with the swine flu virus or not.
If you will have access to the vaccine by the time it is available this fall, then by all means you should get yourself inoculated. However, given the possibility of vaccine shortages, the CDC has issued a list of who will be given priority in the event of such a shortage. Below is the priority list:
• Pregnant women
• Caregivers of any children younger than six months of age and the members of the household that has such a child
• People working in medical facilities and emergency medical services
• Those with ages falling anywhere between 6 months to 24 years.
• People aged 25 to 64 who have health conditions that can be aggravated by complications arising from the flu.
The Disadvantages of the Swine Flu Vaccine
As mentioned above, despite the fact that the swine flu vaccine will be made available soon, the public has not really shown that much eagerness about this development. That is because it raises a lot of questions about the effectiveness of the vaccine itself as well as any possible side effects.
One concern about the development of the swine flu vaccine is that it was fast-tracked. The pharmaceutical companies asked to work on the vaccine were only made to do so early this year. Clinical studies were conducted only during the summer and then fall will see its release.
Even though governments around the world are under pressure to come up with a solution against swine flu, it is likely that the quality of the swine flu vaccine may not be as expected.
If clinical studies were not thoroughly made of any drug, there is a chance that it will cause side effects. Many critics point to the example of the supposed swine flu outbreak at Fort Dix, New Jersey in 1976, where four people got sick of the flu and one had died. This caused millions of people in the United States to take the swine flu vaccine available then.
Unfortunately, this did not turn out well for some people because they got sick of the Guillain-Barre syndrome instead. When a person gets this disease, the autoimmune system of his or her own body causes it to attack some parts of the nervous system. The body then becomes much weakened by it.
It is good that we are going to have the swine flu vaccine soon. If you are at risk of having swine flu, then by all means get inoculated. However, if you feel that you do not really need it, you should not feel compelled to get vaccinated. Just exert every effort to stay healthy.