Swine influenza, or swine flu, typically refers to a variant of an influenza virus that normally circulates in pigs but can infect humans. The respiratory virus can cause illness in humans and is responsible for previous pandemics. However, swine flu vaccines are a safe and effective way to help prevent complications from the virus.
The first swine flu outbreak in
Swine flu vaccines are safe and can prevent disease. However, the 1976 vaccine rollout caused health problems for many people who were not at risk of contracting the virus. In contrast, the successful 2009 vaccine rollout helped to end the H1N1 influenza pandemic in 2010.
This article discusses the safety and effectiveness of the 1976 and 2009 swine flu vaccines.
Vaccines are a simple and safe way of preventing diseases by using the body’s natural defenses. According to the
There are a variety of flu vaccines with different levels of safety and effectiveness. Swine flu vaccines protect against the H1N1 virus, a type of influenza.
There were two major vaccine rollouts for swine flu in 1976 and 2009. The 1976 vaccine was in response to a sudden emergence of the virus at
According to the
There were also claims that the vaccine was responsible for several other neurological problems, such as multiple sclerosis and optic neuritis. However, the
Swine flu cases did not accelerate into a large-scale outbreak in 1976, but around 25% of the U.S. population received a vaccine. This put a greater emphasis on the small rise in health complications following vaccination because it was not preventing swine flu cases.
There were reports of some people from several European countries developing narcolepsy after receiving the 2009 swine flu vaccine. However, the
The effectiveness of the 1976 swine flu vaccine is difficult to measure as the virus did not spread beyond Fort Dix. However, a 2010 study found that people who received the 1976 vaccine had a stronger immune response to the 2009 virus than those who did not. The authors also highlight other factors that could explain this, such as immunity from an earlier swine flu infection.
A 2017 review indicates that the 2009 vaccine effectively prevented swine flu. The study found that the vaccine protected against between 66–80% of flu cases and around 61% of hospitalizations.
All medicines can have side effects, including vaccines. Some common side effects for flu vaccinations may
- soreness, swelling, and discoloration at the injection site
- tiredness and muscle aches
In rare cases, the vaccine can cause more serious side effects that require medical attention, such as:
- breathing problems
- swelling around the face
- pale skin
- faintness or dizziness
- a rapid heartbeat
Influenza is seasonal because it becomes
To prevent influenza, scientists must predict the strains likely to be most common each year. The vaccines are typically either quadrivalent, recombinant, or live-attenuated. The
The 1976 and 2009 swine flu vaccines are generally safe and likely to prevent the disease. However, the 1976 vaccine rollout caused some people to experience health complications and side effects without any risk of contracting swine flu. However, the 2009 vaccine was effective in helping to end the 2009 H1N1 pandemic in 2010.
Swine flu vaccines can cause various side effects, including fever, nausea, and headaches. These side effects are typically minor and should resolve quickly. Many experts suggest that it is advisable for people to receive seasonal flu vaccines to help prevent or reduce the severity of illness.