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Is It Okay To Vaccinate Against The Swine Flu/H1N1 Virus?



The swine flu is a new form of the influenza virus that has made headlines throughout 2009. Recently a vaccine was introduced to help fight against getting the virus. Some people are still wary of this too new vaccine.


Each year, it is recommended that people protect themselves from the seasonal flu. It is normally not fatal but some people who are at high risk with other conditions going on in their bodies can get very sick if they contract the flu.


Now, the swine flu has come along and people wonder how they can protect themselves against it. While the scientists say that the vaccine is safe, others are skeptical because it was produced so quickly.


A vaccination is used to build your immunity against an invading virus. The body learns to recognize the invading antigens and sends out the cavalry to fight it off right away. This is how the body uses the seasonal flu vaccine.


But, who should bet the swine flu vaccine? It is recommended for people who are in the highest risk groups for the seasonal flu. One of those groups is the elderly. While they are the smallest population shown to contract the swine flu, their often frail health and other medical conditions increase their chances of having a poor outcome with the flu.


Children are a risk group because they are young and haven't been exposed to many illnesses. Their condition can turn severe if they don't stay sufficiently hydrated during the flu.


People with respiratory issues such as asthma and COPD are at greater risk than most for the seasonal flu and the swine flu. Contracting the flu can put them at risk for the more severe symptoms that can prove fatal. Getting the vaccine reduces their chances of ever getting the flu.


There are two ways that the H1N1 flu vaccine is given. For persons aged two through fifty-four, the vaccine can be given as a nasal spray. This is similar to FluMist which is given for the seasonal flu.


The vaccine has also been prepared in a shot. The shot can be given to children as young as six months and adults also. For children under the age of ten, the vaccine is given in two doses to ensure that it is effective. The second shot is given three weeks after the first.


If you are in a high risk category, getting the swine flu vaccine is a good idea. You can potentially be exposed to both and contract both during flu season without vaccinations. If any other health problems could complicate things if you get the flu, you don't want to play Russian roulette with your chances of getting sick.


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