What is The Swine Influenza Vaccine and Can it Really Prevent The Spread of Swine Influenza

Posted by admin on August 13, 2009 under Swine Flu Vaccine Information | Comments are off for this article

In 2009, the global community was struck by one of the worst epidemics in history.  A disease so viral its spread is virtually impossible to contain and manage.  The Swine Influenza epidemic of 2009 has now achieved a pandemic status.  The first time something like this has happened in the last four decades.

The WHO and many disease control organizations across the globe are scurrying to protect us from this new viral disease.  They are doing this by promoting preventative measures as well as unprecedented cooperation in developing a vaccine. However we must first educate ourselves of what a swine influenza vaccine really is and if there are any serious dangers from the swine influenza vaccine itself.

The development of a swine influenza vaccine is a long and tedious process which can only be undertaken by only a handful of pharmaceutical companies.  The vaccine development process is quite intricate; they utilize various bits of several different flu viruses to construct a vaccine which specifically stimulates the body’s own immune system against the Swine Influenza Virus.  The reason for using bits of the virus is because it would be the only way to generate sufficient quantities of the vaccine (the bits of viruses are actually grown in hen eggs).  After the viruses are extracted from the hen eggs, they are broken down into smaller pieces which ensure the protein coat of the virus is exposed so that it can induce an auto-immune response in humans.

Antibodies are then formed in the blood as a direct response to the external protein particles.  These are the particles that best resemble those of the swine flu virus.  Therefore the vaccine actually loads the immune system full of antibodies which will attack the swine flu virus should a person contract it.

The problem with the swine influenza vaccine is that manufactures such as Glaxo Smithkline who makes both the Tamiflu (oseltamivir) and Relenza (zanamivir) swine influenza vaccines is the sheer quantities that are required in order to meet demand.  In order to produce enough vaccines chemical agents called adjuvants will have to be added to the vaccine mix.  Adjuvants are used to stimulate the immune system in order to make more antibodies because of reduced amounts of the actual vaccine (think of it as a booster shot for the vaccine).  The body will only make as much antibodies as it needs to fight off the infection which will require many people to get a second dose of the swine influenza vaccine, further stretching supplies.

Another problem is that the swine influenza virus is building a growing resistance to Relenza and Tamiflu vaccines.  We can only hope that the pandemic will pass and go with as little complications as possible.  However it may return in later years as a more potent mutated virulent form.  Lets pray that we have a powerful enough vaccine in sufficient enough quantities should that unfortunate event occur.  In the meantime make sure you follow standard preventative measures.

Swine flu back, Delhi sees season’s 1st case – Times of India

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Swine flu back, Delhi sees season's 1st case
Times of India
"Elderly, people with diabetes, kidney problems, cancer patients and pregnant women should get themselves vaccinated for the influenza virus," the doctor added. "One should wash hands frequently to avoid infection. Also, stay away from infected persons
Younger Adults Hit Hardest This Flu SeasonHealthDay

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Younger Adults Hit Hardest This Flu Season – HealthDay

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Younger Adults Hit Hardest This Flu Season
HealthDay
"This year, not only do we have a vaccine that works well, but millions of people have already been exposed to the H1N1 virus," said Dr. Michael Jhung, a medical officer in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's influenza division
Swine flu back, Delhi sees season's 1st caseTimes of India

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Wouldn’t you want your nurse to have had a flu shot? – al.com (blog)

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Wouldn't you want your nurse to have had a flu shot?
al.com (blog)
Swine Flu Mississippi_Bran.jpg University of Mississippi Medical Center social worker Ruth Drake looks away as pediatric nurse Dennis Demesa inoculates her with the H1N1 vaccine, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2009 in Jackson, Miss. Mainly medical center staff

How Cyrus Poonawalla’s son, Adar Poonawalla is boldly changing course of the … – Economic Times

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Economic Times
How Cyrus Poonawalla's son, Adar Poonawalla is boldly changing course of the
Economic Times
Serum Institute has operated on volumes, which party explains why it never entered into the manufacture of vaccines for different kinds of flu, including swine flu and bird flu. The belief then was that there would not be enough demand, since flu doesn

HSE spent millions on flu drug ‘no better than paracetamol’ – Irish Independent

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Irish Independent
HSE spent millions on flu drug 'no better than paracetamol'
Irish Independent
During the swine flu pandemic over the winter of 2009-2010 the HSE spent €26.4m administering the swine flu vaccine but was forced to destroy more stock after it was linked to the incurable disease narcolepsy in children. Download our Free iPhone App …
Tamiflu: Millions wasted on flu drug, claims major reportBBC News
Effectiveness of Tamiflu and Relenza questionedNHS Choices
Study says billions wasted on Tamiflu stockpile — which may work no better National Post
RedOrbit -Sydney Morning Herald -swissinfo.ch
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