Authored by Ceetee Sheckels in Medicine
Published on 10-22-2009
There are probably very few adults in the United States who have not heard of the H1N1 virus and vaccine. It is also likely that most have mixed opinions on the vaccine, based on not having enough information about it. As is the case with vaccines in general, many people may neglect to get the vaccine or neglect to get their families vaccinated because they are afraid that the vaccine may be worse than the H1N1 flu itself.
The good news is that this is not the case. For most people, getting the H1N1 vaccine can help them to avoid contracting the H1N1 flu in the safest manner possible. Unlike contracting the flu, which can cause serious health complications to some people, very few will experience any side-effects from the vaccine. In addition, except in very rare cases, the side-effects of the H1N1 vaccine are rather mild.
There are two types of H1N1 vaccines currently available. One type of vaccine is in the form of a shot. In most cases, the only side-effects from this form of the vaccine are similar to those of any immunization shot. The person may experience redness or minor discomfort in the location of the vaccine. He may experience a mild, low-grade fever. As the H1N1 virus in the vaccine is not a live virus, there is no possibility of contracting the H1N1 flu from it. The small amount of discomfort associated with getting the vaccine is worth it, to protect yourself from this new strain of flu.
The second type of H1N1 vaccine is given in the form of a nasal spray. The nasal spray contains a weakened virus. While the side-effects of the nasal spray can mimic the flu, they are much less severe and less threatening to one’s health. The headache, runny nose, and other minor symptoms which can result from the H1N1 nasal spray are considerably easier to deal with than the H1N1 flu itself. Young children, and adults who have an extreme aversion to needles, can be protected from the flu with this new nasal spray.
While you may have a distinct preference regarding which type of flu vaccine you would rather have, it can be helpful to check with your family doctor if you have any questions about which is the best for your particular situation. He can inform you as to which one is the most appropriate for you and the other members of your family.
While the H1N1 vaccine is considered to be safe for most people, including young children, the elderly, and persons who have serious medical conditions, there are some who should avoid the vaccine. There are people who are allergic to eggs, and people who are allergic to the substances which the vaccine is made of. If you or a member of your family are in either of these categories, it is wise to refrain from getting the vaccine, and seek advice from your doctor about any alternative methods to help safeguard yourself from the H1N1 flu.