The swine flu vaccine is designed for people who fall into a high risk group. The vaccination program began in October 2009; the vaccination of children younger than 5 years has been completed until March 2010. This program is planned to continue in summer of this year for high-risk group that includes babies younger than 6 months and people older than 65 years, people with chronic diseases and weakened immune systems and pregnant women.
Safety and efficacy of swine flu vaccine is the subject of numerous discussions and various claims. For some this vaccine is critical for saving lives, while others argue that it is totally useless and that the only way to fight against swine influenza is a strong immune system.
The swine flu vaccine can cause some side effects such as nausea, vomiting, fever, muscle aches and headaches. Vaccine in the form of nasal sprays can cause a runny nose and nose congestion, headache, sore throat and other common flu symptoms.
The vaccine can also cause serious consequences such as Guillain-Barre syndrome which is characterized by rapidly resulting symmetric muscle paralysis of the extremities, extinguished muscle reflex and albuminocytological dissociation in the cerebrospinal fluid. There is the fact that the swine flu vaccine, which was discovered back in 1976 caused 500 cases of this disease of whom 25 died.
Mercury poisoning is a possible danger of any vaccine. More recently, mercury was removed from most vaccines, increasing their safety. However, in the swine flu vaccine is still present high level of thimerosal which increases the risk of poisoning, especially for pregnant women, children and elderly people.
Also, it is very important to emphasize the characteristics of adjuvants-substances that are added to vaccines to enhance the response of antibodies that can lead to serious disorders by themselves. The adjuvants include oil emulsions, mineral compounds (which may contain the toxic metal aluminum), bacterial products, liposomes (which may be delaying the release of some substances) and squalene. The side effects of adjuvants include hyperactivity of B-cells leading to pathologic levels of antibody production, as well as allergic reaction. It should keep in mind that pathological hyperactivity of raised antibody production caused by adjuvants also results in distraction of other antigens which immune system must deal in order to maintain the health.
Although the FDA is the main responsible for the safety of drugs that are available on the American market, it is extensively fostered the production and sale of swine flu vaccine. This has caused considerable concern because its health benefits and disadvantages are not yet sufficiently tested.
Factual background indicates that the safety of this vaccine is not clearly established so that each individual before deciding about vaccination should research all available information about its safety and usefulness.