Thursday, September 23, 2010

Misplaced concerns about seasonal flu vaccine containing swine flu vaccine

Regarding the concerns about flu vaccination, and the fact that this year's seasonal flu vaccine contains "swine flu" (more properly known as H1N1) vaccine...

Most of the resistance to the 2009 vaccine was about:
  1. the speed of introduction;
  2. the adjuvant used or
  3. the tenuous historical links between H1N1 vaccine and Guillain Barre syndrome.
The first can be discussed and, one would hope, dismissed.

The second can be dismissed as the seasonal flu vaccine is unadjuvanted.

The third can be discussed and, one would hope, dismissed - the latest version of the Green Book (download it from the DH web site) contains information about research showing that while influenza does considerably increase the risk of GBS, vaccination doesn't appear to.

Every year there is a new vaccine, containing vaccines to prevent the 'flu viruses which have been circulating most widely up until as recently as possible. H1N1 has largely displaced most other strains of flu, so it would be bizarre not to include it in the seasonal vaccine.
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