Swine flu is a virus-caused ailment of the respiratory system of pigs depicted by nasal discharge, chesty cough, loss of appetite, and restlessness. The production of swine flu vaccine is a costly undertaking. It takes over one billion chicken eggs to manufacture the three billion doses of the vaccine required globally. The entire production process takes over six months.
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The production, overseen by the World Health Organization, starts with detection of the virus and its isolation. A blend consisting of the virus and a standard virus from the laboratory is made to form a hybrid that is later planted in chicken eggs. The hybrid is tested to ensure its safety, efficacy and proper development in the egg. It is then taken by pharmaceutical corporations for mass production. Ultraviolet light treatment inactivates the virus making the disease causing antigens inactive.
The H1N1 virus mutates in a way that makes is easily transmitted among human beings. For instance in 2009 the virus that was discovered as the cause of swine flu was influenza A. In 2011, another virus was discovered and labeled influenza A (H3N2)v (Bloom, Canning, and Weston, 28).
New vaccines are produced regularly to prevent infections from new strains caused by mutations in the flu virus. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention regularly modify and revise their vaccines and information about flu breakouts (“Vaccine against 2009 H1N1 Influenza Virus” para. 1). Health care practitioners must verify the information contained in the inserts and packages of the vaccines before administering the vaccines.
In many ways, prevention is always better than cure. Immunization not only protects against contracting preventable diseases, but also prevents the diseases from spreading. Every year, young children die from diseases that could have been prevented by a simple shot or oral dose (Nieburg and McLaren 7).
Moreover, most vaccines are safe and efficient and are only administered after they have passed rigorous tests. The side effects associated with vaccines such as pain and soreness are insignificant compared to the risk posed by the actual disease. Vaccination is very important, and measures should be set up to ensure that all children are vaccinated against preventable diseases. Therefore, compulsory vaccination of children before admittance into kindergarten is a good starting point.
All approved vaccines (H1N1 vaccine included) contain an insignificant amount of risk. For instance, for every one million people vaccinated about two are likely to contract a life-threatening neurological consequence known as the Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS). However, the risks posed by flu (including GBS) to the wider population outweigh any such complications and incidences.
The first posting stands out in the way it clearly outlines the procedures followed during the manufacture of flu vaccine. I like the way the author dedicates a large portion of the material to the importance of the vaccine to the individual’s immune system.
However, as much as I agree that the work of the vaccine is centered on the immune system, its main benefits are reflected beyond the individual’s body. These benefits can be social (such as reducing the number of deaths) or economic. Vaccination is very important when taken in the broader context of preventing the spread of infections.
The second posting is very informative and contains information about several other diseases that can be prevented through immunization. It is also similar to my posting in several ways. For example, we agree on the production process as well as the need to have the vaccine administered to as many people as possible. However, I find the last sentence hard to comprehend and cannot decipher its meaning. After reading this posting, I would like to know the position of the author on compulsory pre-kindergarten vaccination.
Bloom, David, David Canning and Mark Weston. “The Value of Vaccination.” World Economics 6.3 (2005): 15-39. Print.
Nieburg Phillip, Nancy M. McLaren 2011, Role(s) Of Vaccines and Immunization Programs in Global Disease Control: Mind The Nitty-Gritty Details. PDF file. 27 Oct. 2013. <https://csis-prod.s3.amazonaws.com/s3fs-public/legacy_files/files/publication/111221_Nieburg_RolesofVaccine_WEB.pdf>
Vaccine against 2009 H1N1 Influenza Virus. n.d. Web. <https://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa_pub.htm>