Safety Concerns Swirl Around H1N1 Vaccine

Concerns over the safety of the H1N1 (swine flu) vaccine, and the speed at which it was brought to market continue, as it becomes available to the general public amidst a massive campaign to inoculate Americans and lessen the impact of the pandemic.

Health care workers in particular are strongly encouraged to get vaccinated as quickly as possible. This group is consistently low in its participation in seasonal flu vaccine programs. Should the pandemic affect a large number of health care workers, the system could easily become overwhelmed, putting us all in danger. Consequently, some health care systems are requiring their employees to get the vaccine, resulting in a backlash and a call for freedom of choice. There is no mandate requiring individual Americans to get the vaccine against their wishes.

With distrust of the federal government running high and rumors and conspiracy theories swirling about the safety of the vaccine, just how many Americans will seek to get the vaccine is anybody’s guess. The Centers for Disease Control has recommended that particular high-risk groups receive the H1N1 vaccine as soon as possible:

* pregnant women

* people who live with or care for children younger than 6 months old

* health care and emergency medical services personnel

* persons between the ages of 6 months and 24 years old

* people 25 through 64 years of age who are at higher risk for 2009 H1N1 because of chronic health disorders or compromised immune systems

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will work with state and local health officials to monitor and investigate any unusual reactions to the vaccine, but it is expected to be as safe as the seasonal flu vaccines that have a very high safety track record. Common side effects are generally mild and include tenderness or swelling at the injection site. Life threatening reactions are rare.

The injection does not contain a live virus, so you cannot get the flu from the flu shot. The nasal spray does contain a weakened live virus.

The CDC website reports that, “in 1976, an earlier type of swine flu vaccine was associated with cases of a severe paralytic illness called Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS) at a rate of approximately 1 case of GBS per 100,000 persons vaccinated. Some studies done since 1976 have shown a small risk of GBS in persons who received the seasonal influenza vaccine. This risk is estimated to be no more than 1 case of GBS per 1 million persons vaccinated. Pregnant women should tell the person giving the shots if they have ever had GBS.”

The FDA describes the H1N1 vaccine as being manufactured using the same “approved processes used to produce the seasonal influenza vaccines.”

At this time, 27 states are reporting widespread H1N1 activity, and 60 children have died of H1N1 since April 2009. The decision is ours to make, taking into account the potential risks and benefits of the vaccine versus the reality of the swine flu pandemic itself.



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H1N1 Vaccine – Tested In Animals First

Safety Concerns Swirl Around H1N1 Vaccine



Keep Swine Flu Out Of Your House

Swine Flu Symptoms & Prevention

Swine Flu:  The Single Best Way to Prevent Illness

Swine Flu Parties

Swine Flu: Can Cinnamon Fight It?



My Life With Swine Flu

H1N1 A Challenge For Working Mothers

Toxic Pollution And The Swine Flu Vaccine

The Experts: Swine Flu (H1N1) Experts And Bill Maher On The Vaccine And Managing Your Risk

H1N1 And Your Pets (Really!)


For up-to-date information on the H1N1 Vaccine, visit:

Centers for Disease Control

Food and Drug Administration

Photo: Centers for Disease Control


Christine P.

Hi, I have gotten the flu vaccination and the swine flu shot. I was forced to get it because I am a healthcare worker in a hospital pharmacy. Well for the first time in years I have never been more sick. I got the flu in December that lasted 3 weeks. Now Im suffering with a sinus infection, fever and respiratory illness and the lovely conjuctivitis gluing my eyes. Since both vaccinations I have been well for a total of 2 weeks. Im am so sick of being sick. Im not a sickly person, and I was training for a marathon before all of this. I think the shots are bull crap. I know not a itelligent phrase but I work in the drug industry and it is all about the mighty dollar in some circumstances.

Elinor Israel
Elinor Israel7 years ago

Michael C. - I beg to differ with you on just about everything you have stated. The Washingto Post confirmed that there is, indeed, mercury themerosol in the injectable vaccine. There is also formaldehyde and squalene adjuvant, an agent that was in the anthrax vaccine given to the Gulf War veterans who later were afflicted with nerological disorders. There is also polysorbate 80, a carcinogenic agent.

A live virus certainly does cause the recipient to shed the virus. Why do you think that children who recieve the polio vaccination in the form of a live virus are recommended not to have close contact with those whose immune systems are suppressed?

Go ahead and get this vaccine that the government is churning out without really knowing the longterm affects. It might protect you from H1N1 but in the future you just might end up with a nasty case of rheumatoid artritis, Guillian Barre', a serious neurological disorder of cancer. I, personally, would rather risk getting the flu.

Gen S.
v s7 years ago

I hate how people who trust the government with their lives think that the conspiracy theories are all false. visit: and get the facts from the other side before you poo poo everyone. Major new sites have reported that even the military is not sure about the outcome of the vaccine that is mandatory for the soldiers. Michael C acts like there is no margin for error or uncertainty with vaccines. Why should anyone trust the makers of the vaccine, when they can't even get the most recent flu strain to protect us from the flu each year? Then we are supposed to trust them BLINDLY to give us a version of the swine flu that hasn't been tested enough? and what, we just up & BLINDLY take it? Not me, I have my eyes & ears open, learning everything I can. I seriously doubt it will make a difference with the shot or not, so I am sticking to the same healthy routine that has kept me flu free for the past 3 flu seasons. I agree with people that have young children, the decision is much more serious and requires much more planning, thought & prayer before subjecting them to something that may prove to not protect them at all. And NO, that is NOt a conspiracy!

Brenda Y.
Brenda Y7 years ago

to add, no I will not be getting the H1N1, friend of mine was told by his own Doc not to get the H1N1 because of concerns. Conspiracy , never, they just bold face lie. That would be like saying people never lie, for the sake of money. Never happens , does it. Good thing there are some respectable people.

Brenda Y.
Brenda Y7 years ago

Alot of what people are saying here is very true, and it sad to see so much fear. I have read alot about the Vitamin D, that is a good one.

Karl M.
Karl M7 years ago

The flu vaccine racket ramps up every year. I don't know why anyone would choose to put Thimerosol in their body. It's a cleaning agent ingredient. Shooting heroin is safer.

There are plenty of natural flu fighters with zero side effects. Vitamin D, which most of us are deficient in, will protect you from the flu and most other diseases including cancer.

I'm 66 years old, take 2000 iu of Vit D every day and never get the flu or even common colds.

There have been no studies that I know of which prove flu vaccines actually prevent the flu. On the other hand, there are many studies which do prove flu vaccines have dangerous side effects. Seems kinda crazy to me that people willingly get vaccinated. Even Dr Oz says his family won't be taking the H1N1 vaccine (while he's pushing it for other people).

P H.
P H7 years ago

First , all influenza viruses are RNA viruses so there is a high rate of mutation. What this means is that from the time the vaccine leaves production until the time it reaches you, and more importantly, the time you are infected with the flu virus, the virus has undergone billions of mutations. There is very little possibility that the virus that infects you will resemble the strain used in the vaccine.

Second the seasonal flu virus vaccines are based on the three strains that infect humans, A, B and C. We already have immunity to these viruses, what the seasonal virus does is try to anticipate possible assemblies (mutations) in the virus. So it is even questionable whether they confer any more protection.

They are not equivalent at all and the adjuvants that are added to the vaccines are some of the most contentious issues surrounding the vaccines, as well as the effectiveness given the high mutation rate of RNA viruses.

Michael C.
Michael C7 years ago

The level of downright idiocy of the people posting here is amazing.

To wit:
-the 2009 H1N1 pandemic vaccine is identical to the seasonal vaccine, but with a different strain of virus that it protects against

-the vaccine cannot give you influenza

-the nasal spray vaccine's "live" virus is non-functional. i.e. once the virus gets in your body it cannot replicate and therefore you cannot shed virus because there is nothing to shed

-there is no mercury in the nasal spray vaccine, and the injectable vaccine is available without mercury

-the pandemic H1N1 vaccine provides zero protection against the seasonal flu, and vice versa

-there is no pig, monkey or cow tissue in the vaccine, nor are there cancer cells in the vaccine

-we have been in a pandemic situation for several months, and the H1N1 season is now at sub-epidemic levels

-the pediatric mortality rate for H1N1 is MUCH higher than the seasonal flu. already many more children have died from this virus than typically die in an entire flu season--and flu season has not even really begun yet

-it is stupid and dangerous to dismiss the H1N1 vaccine with the moronic conspiracy theories based on utter lies and scare-tactics

Greg C.
Greg C.7 years ago

My family's concern is the use of mercury as a preservative in this vaccine. (thymerisol) sp. ?

We have had some negative reactions to other shots with mercury as well as in our pets and have stopped getting them.

Ch Hardy
Past Member 7 years ago

At this point I just got my daughter the regular flu shot and going to get my flu shot this weekend but not sure about the H1N1 shot...from what I have heard also that the regular flu shot seems to be keeping some from getting the H1N1 flu - being a parent and having to make the decision for your child is a lot more frightening then making it for yourself.