?Julia Ross English 111 Stacy Fitzpatrick October 4, 2009 Audience Analysis I am writing this paper to reach any person or persons that are a little skeptical about getting the H1N1 vaccine. I am sure there are many questions out there pertaining to the safe use and possible side effects of getting this vaccine. I think there are many people who are confused about who are the highest risk groups for the H1N1 virus. Since the H1N1 virus is a new strand of the flu, there are lots of questions surrounding the use of its newly created vaccine.
No one really knows where it has come from or if the vaccine will even work because there have been very few trials done on its use. As a parent, I am having a hard time signing consent for my children to get a vaccine that has yet to even be tested on even animals. I am very scared about signing my children on as the first experimenters of a new drug that has been released so quickly by the Food and Drug Administration. I want anyone thinking about getting the vaccine to be educated on the pros and the cons of the H1N1 vaccine. Julia Ross English 111 Stacy Fitzpatrick October 4, 2009
H1N1 VACCINE: Safe for Humans…or not? According to the Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Infectious Diseases in Baltimore, Maryland, the ideal vaccine should be discussed under three headings. First, the major requirements of the vaccine are studied. This includes mostly safety and effectiveness as well as easy administration and cost if the vaccine is to control a disease of vast importance. Secondly, the nature and persistence of the immune responses which are likely generated by the most effective viral vaccines in current usage.
And lastly, it looks at the approaches for developing future vaccines with similar levels of safety and efficacy so that the above objectives are achieved. For anyone thinking about getting the H1N1 vaccine this year, they may want to consider the above mentioned factors before making that decision. The latest version of the H1N1 vaccine, also known as the swine flu vaccine, is due to be ready for distribution in October 2009 and according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has already been approved. As with any vaccines, there are certain risks that apply.
Clinical trials are underway and reports are being generated to help indicate if this new vaccine poses a greater risk to humans than the regular seasonal flu and other vaccines available. There are many side effects possible with the H1N1 vaccine. For the virus, two types of vaccines are undergoing clinical trials. One type, a shot similar to what is given for current seasonal influenza A, is made up of inactivated or dead virus cells. So far the side effects have been reported to be those similar to those of the seasonal flu vaccine. These side effects include fever, aches and tenderness to the injection site.
Most report that these usually subside in one to two days. (NVIC). Another type of clinical trial is being done on the nasal spray form of the vaccine, also called Live Attenuated Flu Vaccine (LAFV). This is a spray that is given into the nose and contains weakened live strains of the flu virus. The side effects reported with this type of vaccination includes runny nose, headache, sore throat, and cough. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends this type of vaccine for those between the ages of 2 and 49 who are healthy and not pregnant. It is important to know what the H1N1 virus actually is and where it may have come from.
This new virus was reported in late March/early April 2009 in central Mexico and the border states of Texas and California. Since that time, the virus has been reported worldwide. Genetic testing suggests the virus originated in pigs, but we aren’t sure when or where it may have “jumped” to humans. (WHO) The symptoms of the H1N1 virus are very similar to the human respiratory flu with additional gastrointestinal side effects such as vomiting, stomach aches, and diarrhea. In the majority of cases reported in the United States, people are ill for a few days and then recover, much like the process of the seasonal flu.
In severe cases however, pneumonia can develop and several deaths have been reported. At present time, it appears that those at most risk, though there is no explanation as to why these people, include pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems. (CDC) The Center for Disease Control (CDC) of the United States reports that, in the USA, about 15 million to 60 million people – in other words, five to twenty percent of the entire population catches seasonal flu every year. Of these, about 200,000 cases are severed, resulting in about 35,000 deaths per year.
This amounts to 12 deaths per 100,000 people of the entire population or 70 per 100,000 of the infected persons. There have only been approximately 3020 deaths reported as of April 2009 spanning over 22 countries. This is small in comparison to the seasonal flu, but the future of the deaths related to H1N1 is yet to be seen. This new strain of flu is just getting started and the future deaths are yet to be seen in the upcoming flu season. At the present time, no one is sure where the H1N1 virus came from. We do know, however, that it is being spread from human to human.
The only confirmed cases of swine-to-human transmission of the 2009 H1N1 virus. Two Canadian Food Inspection Agency inspectors became ill while investigating an outbreak of the virus on a swine farm in Alberta, Canada in late April 2009. (WHO) The recent H1N1 pandemic has raised many fears, including the possible role of animals in spreading the virus. Please keep in mind that this virus is unlike the bird flu (H5N1) you’ve been hearing about in the news over the past couple of years. The bird flu infects humans through direct contact with sick birds. The H1N1 virus is not spread by contact with animals.
Also, the bird flu has never been officially reported in North America. According to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), candidate swine flu vaccines will be tested for only one to three weeks on a few hundred children and adults before being released for public use in the fall. It is important to know that the CDC may recommend that children should receive the annual seasonal flu vaccine as well as one or two doses of the H1N1 vaccine. There will be little to no time between now and October 2009 to test the safety and efficacy of giving children two to four doses of different kinds of influenza vaccine.
There is a lot of fear and anxiety being generated by the frequent warnings from CDC officials stating that the current swine H1N1 influenza could mutate and become more deadly. It is just as possible that the swine flu will remain mild to moderate in severity just like regular influenza that circulates around the world every year. If you do get the swine flu, one benefit of recovering is that the antibodies created naturally in your body may help keep you from getting the H1N1 viruses that circulate yearly.
Whatever happens or whatever choices you decide to make for you and your loves ones, it is always important to know the risks and the benefits of this controversial vaccine. You can best protect yourself and your family if you do not panic. Take considered and responsible actions with full knowledge and understanding that the federal and state public health laws that govern you and your community during declared public health emergencies, but also rely on your own intuition and feelings on whether or not the benefits of the H1N1 vaccine will outweigh the risks. Biography
AEJN, June 1, 2009; Vol. 12, No. 3: pp. 71-72. Collignon P. Take a deep Breath – Swine Flu is not that bad. Bioterrorism & Public Health Preparedness. November 15, 2005 Centers for Disease Control (CDC): H1N1 Flu (Swine Flu) Department of Immunology and Infectious Diseases, John Hopkins School of Hygiene and Infectious Diseases in Baltimore, Maryland. October 1, 2009 http://www. nvic. org/vaccines-and-diseases/h1n1-swine-flu. aspx NVIC Letter on Bioterrorism & Public Health Preparedness legislation to Subcommittee on World Health Organizations (WHO): Situation Updates – Pandemic (H1N1) 2009