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Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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Article Home Adult and Senior Health Swine Flu vaccine

Swine Flu vaccine

As swine flu virus is a novel HINI virus, the seasonal flu vaccine that many of us receive will not provide any protection against the swine flu virus.


 1976 swine flu vaccine

 The immunization program in 1976 was stopped early because the swine flu pandemic didn't occur, and the swine flu vaccine was caused many  side effects, including Guillain-Barre syndrome and other severe allergic reactions.

 High risk groups for vaccination

  • Pregnant women- antenatal mothers
  • Healthcare and emergency workers
  • Children younger than, 6 months to 24 yrs of age
  • Parents and caregivers of babies under 6 months old
  • Infants under 6 months have a poor vaccine response, the best defense is having parents who are flu-free
  • Adults ages 25 to 64 who have underlying medical conditions, including diabetes mellitus, bronchial asthma, and chronic lung disease or cardiac disease

As a healthy individual with no underlying conditions, there is no need for vaccination shot.

2 doses of swine flu vaccine

The first dose of swine flu vaccine primes the immune system to respond, but it's the second shot that triggers and boost the production of antibodies.

If I receive the swine flu vaccine shot, do I need the regular flu vaccine shot, too?

Yes, if you are at risk groups for both types of flu. The normal seasonal flu vaccine does not protect against swine flu.

Effectiveness of vaccine

The problem with normal flu vaccines is that influenza viruses are notorious shape and shifters. Mutation is rapid in new strains of flu virus. Therefore the immune response generated by the vaccine should match the circulating strain of swine flu.

Can egg based swine flu vaccine cause allergy?

If you are allergic to egg, then you should avoid the vaccine. Antiviral medications, which are given within 24 to 48 hours of the onset of symptoms, can dramatically improve the outcome.

Until the vaccine is available what should I do protect myself?

  • Wash the hands frequently and well- 30 seconds with soap and water.
  • Avoid frequently touching your eyes and nose
  • Alcohol based hand solutions and gel are more effective
  • If you're sick or your child is sick, stay home for at least 24- 48 hrs, and take fever reducing medications.