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SWINE FLUE VACCINE – DEADLY OR SAFE? Should I get the vaccine and can I feel safe?

SWINE FLUE VACCINE – DEADLY OR SAFE? Should I get the vaccine and can I feel safe?

H1N1 Influenza virus has spread globally and has shown tendency of slowing down, but keeps peaking in certain areas and coincides with the seasonal flu in parts of the world.

Health authorities around the world have different view on how to handle this pandemic, however, they seem to agree to extensive vaccination against both the seasonal and H1N1 flu.

Some countries have established a practice that all should take the vaccine, and others are sitting and waiting.

In the U.S in 1976 a Swine flu breakout was declared and President Gerald Ford decided to vaccinate the population against this flu outbreak. There have been several stories of clinical complications as an effect of this vaccination program; brain damages and other medical complications.

So people, rightly so, question, is the 2009 H1N1 flu vaccine safe and can we give it to anyone?

In this article I try to give some background on the vaccine itself, and to list up some facts around this vaccine.

I will leave it up to the reader himself to judge whether it is safe or not to give this vaccine to anyone, especially infants and children as well as elderly and people with medical conditions.

There are some indications of links between the vaccine and some medical complications due to it, however, not conclusive though.

Just some food for thoughts, that the U.S government had to pay out millions of dollars in damage settlements to people claiming after effects from the vaccine in the 70’s.


Flu vaccine production is inherently slow; the total production and testing time is about 19 weeks. That's in part because the production begins with growing viruses in fertilized chicken eggs. For every shot, at least one egg has to be infected with the virus, where it then replicates before being extracted and purified into a vaccine.

Even after the vaccine is produced, it then has to be tested in clinical trials on different kinds of patient groups (adults first, then kids, etc.) Initial tests are meant to determine effectiveness and short-term safety, (i.e. safety one month after vaccine receipt). Then, larger numbers of volunteers are given the vaccine and the rate of disease and death from swine flu in vaccinated and unvaccinated communities is evaluated. Then, the vaccine has to go through regulatory approval.


Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine, for intramuscular injection, is a sterile, clear, colorless to slightly opalescent suspension with some sediment that resuspends upon shaking to form a homogeneous suspension.  Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine is prepared from influenza virus propagated in the allantoic fluid of embryonated chicken eggs.  Following harvest, the virus is purified in a sucrose density gradient using a continuous flow zonal centrifuge.  The purified virus is inactivated with beta-propiolactone, and the virus particles are disrupted using sodium taurodeoxycholate to produce a “split virion”.  The disrupted virus is further purified and suspended in a phosphate buffered isotonic solution.

Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine is formulated to contain 15 mcg HA per 0.5 mL dose of influenza A/California/7/2009 (H1N1)v-like virus.

The single-dose formulation is preservative-free; thimerosal, a mercury derivative, is not used in the manufacturing process for this formulation.  The multi-dose formulation contains thimerosal, added as a preservative; each 0.5 mL dose contains 24.5 mcg of mercury.

A single 0.5 mL dose of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine contains sodium chloride (4.1 mg), monobasic sodium phosphate (80 mcg), dibasic sodium phosphate (300 mcg), monobasic potassium phosphate (20 mcg), potassium chloride (20 mcg), and calcium chloride (1.5 mcg).  From the manufacturing process, each dose may also contain residual amounts of sodium taurodeoxycholate (? 10 ppm), ovalbumin (? 1 mcg), neomycin sulfate (? 0.2 picograms [pg]), polymyxin B (? 0.03 pg), and beta-propiolactone (< 25 nanograms).

The rubber tip cap and plunger used for the preservative-free, single-dose syringes and the rubber stoppers used for the multi-dose vial contain no latex.

So the flu vaccine contains a small amount of thimerosal. That's because the vaccine is delivered in multi-dose vials, so needles are inserted into the vial more than once to extract doses. For that reason, all flu vaccine bottles (seasonal and swine flu) contain small amounts of thimerosal as a preservative.

Thimerosal is a mercury-based preservative, but it's made of the ethylmercury, which is organic, not methylmercury, which has been linked to neurological damage.

The levels of ethylmercury in vaccines are minute and have not been shown to cause harm, says the Public Health Agency of Canada. It's estimated that there is four times as much mercury in a can of tuna fish than in the thimerosal in the H1N1 flu vaccine


Influenza illness and its complications follow infection with influenza viruses.  Global surveillance of influenza identifies yearly antigenic variants.  For example, since 1977 antigenic variants of influenza A (H1N1 and H3N2) and influenza B viruses have been in global circulation.  Specific levels of HI antibody titers post-vaccination with inactivated influenza virus vaccine have not been correlated with protection from influenza virus.  In some human studies, antibody titers of 1:40 or greater have been associated with protection from influenza illness in up to 50% of subjects.1,2


1. In Sweden a 50 year old man died shortly after receiving the vaccine, as well as a 60 year old woman did just recently in October 2009.

2. Health officials have warned doctors of possible similarities between the new swine flu vaccine and a jab linked to 25 deaths in America in the 1970s.

The government’s Health Protection Agency (HPA), said in a letter to neurologists that they needed to look out for increases in cases of a brain disorder that might follow the launch of the immunisation programme.

The letter has been sent because of concerns sparked by studying of the swine flu vaccination campaign in America.

Although the swine flu virus vaccine now close to completion is different from the one used in 1976, the HPA said the earlier incident nevertheless highlighted a possible area of concern.

3. The World Health Organisation has also said recently that the public should be “reassured” about the safety of the new vaccine. It acknowledged that “genuine adverse events directly caused by the vaccine may also occur, but cannot be predicted in advance”.

4. The swine-flu vaccine being tested contains thimerosol a mercury-based preservative used in vaccines, eye-drops etc. It has been blamed for autism in vaccine damaged children. Many people are allergic to it.

5. A warning that the new swine flu jab is linked to a deadly nerve disease has been sent by the Government to senior neurologists in a confidential letter.

The letter from the Health Protection Agency, the official body that oversees public health, has been leaked to The Mail on Sunday, leading to demands to know why the information has not been given to the public before the vaccination of millions of people, including children, begins.

It tells the neurologists that they must be alert for an increase in a brain disorder called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), which could be triggered by the vaccine.

GBS attacks the lining of the nerves, causing paralysis and inability to breath, and can be fatal.

The letter, sent to about 600 neurologists on July 29, is the first sign that there is concern at the highest levels that the vaccine itself could cause serious complications.

It refers to the use of a similar swine flu vaccine in the United States in 1976.

6. Concerns have already been raised that the new vaccine has not been sufficiently tested and that the effects, especially on children, are unknown.

7. The British Neurological Surveillance Unit (BNSU), part of the British Association of Neurologists, has been asked to monitor closely any cases of GBS as the vaccine is rolled out.

8. The swine flu vaccine being offered to children has not been tested on infants

So i would leave it up to you, ask questions, you might not get the answers you want. Lack of knowledge seem to be common in the general practicioners amongst the doctors, so seek qualified advice.

Better than anything, take pre-cautions and act safely when out amongst people, use elementary rules like washing your hands, avoid big crowds.

Knowledge is important, ignorance may lead to spreading the influenza flu globally.

I wish all the best, and hope you stay well and not get sick.

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About the Author

He has a background as civil engineer and geoscientist. He has worked mainly within the oil and gas industry from the mid 1980s. He has written a few fictional novels as well as being the author of some professional litterature within oil and gas sector, he is now an editor of some web sites.

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