A Canadian gal living in Britain with 3 men and a dog. Wine helps.

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Monday, November 23, 2009

The Non Debate (at least for me)

Working for the National Health Service gives me access to a lot of information regarding the Swine Flu Vaccination and naturally because I work in health care we are strongly being urged to get vaccinated.

I used to work in a large Nursing Home and took the Flu Vaccine on two occasions out of feelings of obligation, however I stopped doing so after the 2nd vaccination.

I'm not pregnant, I don't work directly with patients yet I am considered someone who has 'underlying health conditions'

Right from the beginning of all the outbreak and resulting mania surrounding H1N1, I didn't have to struggle with conflicting thoughts as to whether I should get the shot or not. I wasn't going to. On Friday the local Health Authority conducted an on-line discussion with a panel of professionals who naturally were recommending the vaccination and if my mind hadn't been made up before it is now as this was a resulting post:

Information from the World Health Organisation:
Can influenza vaccination cause Guillain Barre syndrome? Guillain Barre syndrome (GBS) is a rapidly developing, immune-mediated disorder of the peripheral nervous system that results in muscular weakness. Most people recover completely but some have chronic weakness. It can develop following a variety of infections, including influenza. In people who have been immunized with available vaccines, the frequency of GBS usually is the same as in unvaccinated people.

Extensive studies and data analysis of influenza vaccines have only found a well established causal association with the 1976 vaccine that contained an H1N1 swine-influenza-like virus. No other clear association has been found with either seasonal or other pandemic influenza vaccines.

During the 1976 influenza vaccination campaign, about 10 persons per million vaccinated persons developed GBS. The reason why GBS developed in association with that specific vaccine has never been firmly established. The potential for the development of a similar risk with future vaccines can never be totally excluded. However, pandemic influenza vaccines are manufactured according to established standards, and are similar to recent well-studied influenza vaccines that have shown no association with GBS. Surveillance after vaccines have been sold (post-marketing surveillance) is being conducted to look for potential developments of serious adverse events. Safety monitoring systems are an integral part of strategies for the implementation of the new pandemic influenza vaccines.

Thanks, no thanks. I'll take my chances with the flu.
(I am in no way trying to encourage/discourage anyone else from having the vaccine)

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