What’s in the H1N1 Vaccine Anyway?

I’m a microbiologist. I wash my hands often, I don’t eat canned green beans or any home-canned food (due to a horrible botulism example given in a bacteriology class), I don’t ask for antibiotics if I just have a cold, and I believe in vaccination programs.

Recently, due to the various controversies surrounding the H1N1 vaccine, and because I just gave permission for my children to be vaccinated at school, I have been thinking about vaccination rather a lot. Even though I believe absolutely in the benefits of vaccination, I also have the usual concerns when considering whether to accept a new vaccine for my children. So, when I read or hear sensational press coverage over emphasizing vaccination risks, I worry, and I want to hear a balanced viewpoint.

So I thought I would share what I have learned about the H1N1 vaccine.

  • There are two H1N1 vaccine options, a live attenuated vaccine, delivered as a nasal spray, and a killed vaccine, delivered as an intramuscular injection.
  • Live Attenuated Influenza Vaccine (LAIV) contains a living virus that is no longer capable of causing disease. Attenuation can occur as a result of passage in the laboratory, a process whereby virulence is lost after culture for many generations. Viruses can also be attenuated by genetic manipulation to disrupt virulence genes.
  • The flu virus is cultured in chicken eggs. That’s why you get asked about albumen/egg allergies before you get the shot.
  • The H1N1 vaccine strain in the nasal vaccine is also cold-adapted. It is cultured under successively decreasing temperatures, selecting for organisms that grow best below 25°C. This means that the virus in the vaccine will grow well in the colder temperature of the nasal passages and throat (good for eliciting an immune response at the site of viral entry), but will not grow in the (warmer) lower respiratory tract and cause disease.
  • Because the nasal spray contains live virus, you can shed virus for 1-3 weeks after immunization. However, the virus is attenuated and cold-adapted, and so will not cause disease in healthy people. Because immunocompromized people may be at risk from attenuated viruses, contacts and caregivers of such individuals are recommended to get the flu shot, not the live attenuated vaccination.
  • Studies on the safety and efficacy of live attenuated influenza vaccines have been conducted since the 1960’s. The H1N1 vaccine is prepared in the same way as the usual flu vaccines, the difference being that instead of a “cocktail” of viruses, like the normal seasonal flu vaccine, it contains only the H1N1 strain (is monovalent).
  • The H1N1 flu shot contains killed H1N1 virus. This virus is not capable of multiplying within the body.

On the Urban Science Adventures blog there is good overview of the science behind vaccination. That blogger makes makes the following point:

I hope not to re-live the lessons of Flu epidemics of the past. Perhaps our society’s less-than-impressed attitude with vaccines is because unlike our grandparents and parents before them, we don’t know what it is like to lose scores of relatives and neighbors from communicable diseases like they did.

We all have to make choices for ourselves and our families, weighing the benefits and potential risks, and making decisions based on our own health situation and risk factors. We probably shouldn’t accept vaccines without asking good questions, but we also should be able to separate legitimate concerns from sensationalistic scare tactics. Let’s not forget the ultimate benefits of vaccination programs. If a vaccine had been available in 1918, the outcome would certainly have been different.


  1. Centers for Disease Control:2009 Influenza Vaccine Information
  2. Medical News Today: Medimmune LAIV Clinical Trial Report
  3. More from Urban Science Adventures: H1N1 Vaccination Hysteria Part 2: Should I get the shot?.
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Isobel Maciver

Isobel Maciver

Isobel was a graduate of the University of Edinburgh and of Aston University in Birmingham, U.K. She was a technical writer and editor, and manager of the Scientific Communications group at Promega and later went on to manage web page content and publishing. Isobel's ever helpful and serving spirit, her dry Scottish humor and her kind heart will be forever missed by her Promega Connections colleagues.


  1. You know what is kind of funny is that I kind of get paranoid about getting shots. I know that doctors want to actually HELP people (what a concept!) but there is still the lingering thoughts of the government scheming to control the world by immunizing us against a virus. Maybe I’ve just read waaaay too many science fiction novels and paid too much attention to videogame plots such as Resident Evil’s T-Virus…

    Dawn of the Dead… This is an example of the most realistic zombification: The government/mother nature spreads a virus and lo and behold, we have zombies!

  2. thx for your insight and the research.

    I agree with you, we all must ask questions before taking a vaccine or in fact before taking any medication as you stated in the first paragraph about the excessive prescription of antibiotics for smaller issues.

    But asking questions means to be informed, not to be scared or falling into the sensationalist trend of the media.
    Personally I haven’t seen any reason yet not to take the vaccine if prescribed by a doctor. And I like to see the american news about panic and adverse reactions in Europe when actually here in Europe we hear nothing about those news.

    BTW, you didn’t state that the vaccine was approved by the EMEA and the FDA quality and safety controls, like any other medicine for human use, before reaching the consumer.

  3. As a Pharmacist, and a medical researcher, The NEW swine flu vaccine may contain squalene which is linked to the chronic fatigue, joint pain (arthritis, rheumatoid inflammatins).
    The old swine flu back in 1976-79 created many more problems than it cured.
    Please be very careful about “info” from Pharmaceutical Companies as we well know the FDA covers up many problems.

  4. Thanks for this perspective, Isobel. A good friend of mine is now advocating the vaccine after her 4+ week bout with it. She’s a tank and I’ve never heard anyone so regretful of not taking a preventative measure. We wrote from our wellness/layperson view on the subject:


    Thanks again. This was a thoughtful and well-presented argument on such a controversial topic this season.

  5. The difference between the H1N1 and regular flu is that H1N1 causes hemorrhaging in the lungs and while this may or may not be a problem for a person with no health issues. It is a major concern for those of us with underlying health risks. It means that if you should contract this flu the probability of having pneumonia are much greater. Here in Dade County we have had 300+ cases so far. The risk is pretty high of getting it. If you live in a fairly large community the risk is present. It is safe. Despite the scare tactics of fear mongers.

  6. I have been pretty nervous because of complications I’ve heard with the vaccine. I think CBS had stated that 1 in 3 people who get the vaccine contract h1n1 but I guess that’s how every vaccine works injecting a little bit of the virus in your body


  7. I don’t know if you did any research into it, but you didn’t list that some versions of the vaccine contain thimerosal. Since some states in the US require vaccines to be thimerosal-free, they’re having a hard time getting the vaccine. The reason most of the US (and Europe) has banned the component in children’s vaccines is because it is mercury based. I’m still too skeptical to get it – in a healthy adult person, not pregnant, H1N1 really poses no more threat than the seasonal flu.

  8. I guess the thing that get’s me paranoid about vaccines is the fact that my son, a handsome 5 year old boy that should have had a normal life ahead of him- is now trapped in a body that he has little control over. After recieving his routine vaccinations he ended up having multiple seizures- about 15 in a 24 hr period, and had to be hospitalized. The ONLY thing out of the ordinary that could have caused this- were his vaccines. I don’t claim to know how or why this happened- but I know it did. And to think parents like myself are hysterical over nothing is total BS.

    Another thing that leaves me uneasy- in regards to the H1N1 vaccine- is the fact that the CDC had their hands in the reconstruction of H1N1 in 2004- to test it. And that Baxter got their patent for the vaccine in 2007. And around that time- all of the documentaries on TV were geared towards a “what if” scenario of a worldwide pandemic….and THEN the fact that Baxter contaminated vaccines with the live Bird Flu (go ahead and say it’s an accident I would hate to think accidents on that scale are possible) ……. THEN we have an H1N1 virus outbreak…. and the news hyped up a panic atmosphere and then criticized people for panicking- though they still felt the need to report on every single case that popped up. THEN we have them shoving the vaccine idea down our throats and criticizing people for having VALID CONCERNS after everything we have had to witness…. I see vaccine propaganda allover now. We don’t even need to back our concerns up with facts- since when was following your instinct such a bad thing?

    And kudos to you for pursuing a career in microbiology- you must be brave considering how many microbiologists have died really bizarre and freakish deaths over the past decade….

    I really do respect your opinion- I just saw your article on WordPress’ front page so I had to click it to see if I was right in assuming it would definitely be a pro-vaccine article. I satisfied my curiosity, I was right. Maybe if you ever have to cry yourself to sleep at night wondering if your child will ever get married someday- or even make it through Kindergarten- you might reconsider your ideas about vaccines……

  9. My son is 22 and has Down syndrome, no chronic health problems, but I do plan to get him vaccinated. I feel the risk from the flu is greater than the risk from the vaccine, and I could not live with myself if he became seriously ill or worse when I could have prevented it. Every parent must decide for themselves. Also consider the consequences of your child being sick and passing it along to someone else who didn’t fall into the risk group and therefore did not get vaccinated but got seriously ill from exposure to your sick child. It’s a circle of life people, let’s try to help each other. If you are not getting your child vaccinated and they get sick keep them home and you stay home too. North Coast Muse @ http://sally1029.wordpress.com

  10. Kristi,

    I am truly sorry for what has happened to your son.

    Your story highlights the concern I have as a parent each time I have to sign a vaccine permission form. I want to make the right choice based on my knowledge of the risks of the vaccine versus the risks of contracting the disease. It is not easy. I shared the points I made above because these helped me to make my decision about the H1N1 vaccine.

    At the end of the day it is a personal choice.

    I want to know enough to be able to separate any true issues from any exaggerated or false ones. I believe in vaccination programs–that doesn’t mean I don’t give due thought to the risks/benefits each time I have to make such a decision for my family.

  11. Isobel,
    Thank you for writing your posting. Regardless of your position because your posting arrived on the front page of word press people are again going to check out their beliefs about vaccinations and we always benefit from critically thinking about our ideas on health and wellness.


    P.S. I second the idea of knowing an ingredient list of what is in a vaccination. I like to know what is going into my body and the bodies of my children.

  12. Thanks so much for your information, I live in a small town in Ontario Canada and I have been for better or worse working out clinics here. Two days a week for the month.
    And no one person here would tell me what was in it.
    I waited two weeks until I decided to get the vaccine today not by choice.
    So thanks again. visit my site you like
    Have a great day

  13. I just saw this article at the front page of word press. Well, I wanted to share my experience in getting the vaccine. I had a horrible side effects after getting the shot. I suffered from side effects of vomiting, muscle pains, nausea, and stomachache. This was my very first flu shot and I will never again knowingly inject a dead virus into my body ever again.

    I’m a healthy 29 year old woman and I regret not doing much of research before getting the shot and I admit that I got caught up in that whole media frenzy and decided to jump on the band wagon with rest of the people. Little did I know that the ingredient also included toxins.

  14. I think the article was a little miss leading, after a very good explanation of “live vs dead’ h1n1 you go on to say that only dead h1n1 is in the vaccine. (kinda wierd I thought because what good does a dead virus do?) anyway please provide a list of ingredients, there has to be more than that in the vaccine
    Thank you

  15. Wow Jennifer my experience was way different. I had the H1N1 shot in the arm (not nasal spray) and so far I haven’t had any adverse reactions to it and I haven’t gotten the flu. I had the shot a couple of weeks ago and I am a healthy 18 year old. Maybe it effects everybody differently.

  16. Softballgirl78,

    Yes, the vaccine does effect people differently:

    I suggest all those who do NOT wish to take the vaccine to look for alternatives in preventing contraction of the flu. Vitamin D has shown in studies to prevent virus contractions (it triggers proteins in the immune system that kill bacteria, viruses, and even cancer).

    I’m no expert in this field (so PLEASE correct me if I’m wrong!), but it makes a lot of sense: vitamin D is created when our skin absorbs sunlight, and because there is less sunlight to absorb during the winter, the seasonal flu virus spreads. During the summer, it seems to just ‘disappear’.

    I’m also assuming that this may have some kind of correlation with people at higher risk for cancer who work graveyard shifts – they simply aren’t getting enough sunlight to produce Vitamin D. (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/22026660/) – I would also like to note that many who have fought off cancer have done so in keeping a healthy diet & lifestyle (for eg. the Gerson Diet).

    I’ve been taking my vitamins every day for the past few months and haven’t been sick. Apparently, vitamin C and green & white tea also can help fighting off infections and viruses from ever happening!

    By the way I made a post about this on my blog, though this comment pretty much sums my post up. Would like to hear what you guys think?

  17. You didn’t truly answer the title question. What really is in the H1N1 vaccine?

    That said, both of my kids were currently on antibiotics for other ailments at the time it became available here, so I passed. I got mixed reaction from a lot of people, but I know I did the right think for my kids.

  18. Hello,

    Just saw your post on the front page of wordpress, and thought I would add my two cents.

    I don’t think I will be getting one due to the ridiculous amount of other toxins that are in the shot, and also the fact that the flu strain is constantly changing, and the vaccine is typically only specific to one strain, and I’ve read that they only try to predict what strain will be the most prevalent.

    And as much as this guy seems to be crazy, I feel he is rather knowledgeable. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=04gaxcrVRxY) Dr. Horowitz goes against Dr. Oz (related to vaccinations).

    To good health,


  19. I agree with the things you point out in most cases, still I’d like to give an argument here or maybe two. I did not take the vaccine and i got infected. At them moment i am in day 6. As in in he majority of the cases my infection passed without complications, Temperature dropped back to normal today even though I still feel pretty much sick. I am quite young, healthy and in a decent physical condition, so i did not expect anything else. The autoimmune action Influenza A did in 1918 was nowhere to be heard this time, so i did not consider myself to be in some group of higher risk. I knew that i could get infected and the fact I did, did not change my opinion on anything. I did not take vaccination against seasonal flu in the past years and i do not know why i should have done that this time. Under the same parameters i would decide the same. Against the vaccine.

    So do i oppose mass vaccinations? No. I don’t. But I think one should choose his vaccinations depending on her risk situation. I encouraged my parents to take the vaccine, i encouraged friends in taking the vaccine when they had additional risk factors like other diseases, higher age etc..

    The problem I have with this whole discussion is, that the worldwide media works on a every years Problem in a way, as if we were talking about some outbrake hollywood disease porn. The Flu kills thousands of people every year and infects millions. But this is not a new problem, in fact it is well known and most people deal with it every year. This year some governments and most of the industry is trying to convince everyone to take a vaccine that is (of course, but still) untested, in some cases contains booster substances with weird side effects. This is bugging me. I am sure, that in case of a good and unbiased campaign regarding vaccination where risks and benefits where openly discussed, more people, especially of those that really should, would have accepted the vaccination. The early “PANDEMIC! WE’LL ALL DIE!” cry outs simply placed distrust in the hearts and minds of the people. And it did for good reason. In many cases it is easier for me to see a profit benefit for the vendor then to see in a health benefit for the patient.



  20. Thanks for all the comments and discussion.

    The CDC site contains several pages dealing with vaccine safety, which address some of the issues about other ingredients raised in this discussion.

    There is a useful thimerasol q & a on the cdc site here. This information shows that the live attenuated vaccine does not contain the preservative thimerasol. Some multidose formulations of the killed vaccine do contain thimerasol, which contains trace amounts of mercury. Single-dose preparations do not contain thimerasol.

    The same site indicates that flu vaccines do not contain adjuvants

    Whether or not to be vaccinated is a personal decision, and no one is being forced to accept a vaccine. I am glad that vaccines are available. History has many lessons for us on vaccine efficacy.

  21. Thanks much for this helpful info. Just had a conversation today with my 23 year old who is concerned about the thimerasol/mercury issue. I’ll send to her the link to your blog post, and the CDC site.

    It is interesting how many comments here, from readers who appear to be quite educated, seem to lack a sense of relative risk with regard to making this decision. That is, not the relative risk of the vaccine vs no vaccine, but the risks inherent in the vaccine vs. the risks of a H1N1 infection.

    I do strongly agree with the comment from the “On The Urban Science Adventures” blog–most Americans have not experienced severe infectious disease (especially those who are younger), and have little or no sense of how deadly or debilitating serious infectious diseases can be. No vaccine is risk-free. But the risks of getting vaccinated have to be weighed against the risk of contracting the virus, and the risks the virus carries.

  22. People poo-poo the vaccine until either they or someone close to them comes down with a raging case of it and ends up in an ICU, on a ventilator, sick as all get out. I’ve seen several normally healthy individuals that have endured just this. It ain’t pretty.

    And really, what are truly the odds that the vaccine definitively cased the deaths? Retrospective analysis of the 1978 debacle showed that many deaths were in the elderly and well within normal odds for death rate in their age. Coincidence does NOT mean causation…

    So why vaccinate? First, H1N1 is a novel strain, where odds are pretty good that folks have not been exposed to it or ones of its cousins prior and have developed a mild defense resulting in milder flu symptoms. This is why those folks who are younger (those not around for the 1978 flu) tend to be sicker – there is no pre-built defense. Second is the idea of herd immunity – by protecting yourself, you’re protecting others. Do you really want your mother’s nurse to be able to spread it to her because they weren’t vaccinated? Finally, to help the immunocompromised. These folks are sick to begin with and the flu tends to hit them harder increasing mortality.

    But what do I know? I’m only a nurse.

  23. Dave,

    To answer your question about why killed viruses work in vaccines: Our bodies have proteins called antibodies that circulate in the bloodstream, exist along the linings of our nasal and digestive tracks, and reside within our lymph nodes. These proteins are the night “watchmen” of the immune system. Each one of them “recognizes” a different piece of foreign protein called an epitope. These foreign proteins can be proteins that exist on viruses, bacteria, parasites, dust mites, cat dander etc.

    The purpose of the vaccine is to get your body to stimulate production of any antibodies it has that recognize a virus, so that when a seasonal virus is prevalent in the environment your body has lots of antibodies circulating against it and is more likely to recognize it quickly.

    If researchers are able to kill the virus and still keep the dominant proteins of that virus that are recognized by antibodies intact, then that killed virus will stimulate antibody production without any risk of infection (because the virus is killed). That is the ideal vaccine.

    Sometimes killed viruses don’t work as well, because they obviously don’t multiply in the body (they’re dead), and your body doesn’t see as many of the proteins to stimulate antibody production, so you don’t get as robust an immune response. That is why attenuated viruses (viruses that are still live but do not cause illness in a healthy individual are often used in vaccines).

    So, Isobel’s answer makes perfect sense if you know any thing about basic biology.

    Do a little reading on web sites that provide raw data for what they claim, ones that back up their statements with well cited facts from multiple sources. Use your brain for something other than stuffing between your ears. Learn a little science, a little math, a little history, a little art. It won’t hurt you. It might even save your life.


  24. Vaccines do indeed contain other chemicals than the actual immunogen. Many are present to stablize the proteins of the immunogen. Click this link to view the contents of four of the available H1N1 vaccines compiled by Johns Hopkins School of Public Health.

    If you are concerned about the contents of the vaccine, view this list and make your own decision about which vaccine to take. Concerns have been expressed about the presence of compounds like thimerosal and formaldehyde. The nasal spray vaccine contains neither thimerosal nor formaldehyde. The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has information regarding these two chemicals and others commonly present in vaccines:
    “Thimerosal”: http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/hot-topics/thimerosal.html
    “Formaldehyde”: http://www.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/hot-topics/formaldehyde.html
    Interestingly, the amount of formaldehyde present in vaccines is much less than the amount of formaldehyde that naturally occurs in the human body.
    These compounds are present in very small quantities. Remember 1 milligram (abbreviated as mg) is 0.000035 ounces and 1 microgram (abbreviated as µg, ug or mcg) is 0.000000035 ounces.

  25. Thanks Kyle for the links to the list of ingredients and the other helpful information.

    Immunologist, I agree with your point that being well informed and being confident in the source of your information is the only basis from which to make a decision.

  26. I currently work in the public health profession and just staffed my first H1N1 mass vaccination clinic. (I didn’t administer the vaccines, I was just one of the many people who was in charge of keeping the vaccination operation running smoothly.) As a public health worker, I was given the option of getting the vaccine– no lines, no waits, etc.

    At first I was unsure about it, because I am seeing a homepathic practitioner and she practically begged me not to get it. I then discovered that the profession of homeopathy believes that vaccines cause chronic diseases and other terrible things. I realized that they are as biased about vaccines as they claim the medical profession is in promoting them.

    So yes, it is a good idea to do research on the matter and decide for yourself if you feel you need to get vaccinated. There is always going to be evidence for and against any issue like this. And we all have personal experiences that have shaped how we view the options available to us.

    I, for one, am not going to tell my homeopath that I got vaccinated “against her wishes”, because ultimately it was my decision, and I know she’s biased. After seeing a very healthy friend suffer from getting the H1N1 virus, I felt more comfortable about getting the vaccination. Will it prevent me from contracting H1N1? I don’t know, but as somone said earlier, we have to weigh the risks of having a reaction from the vaccine versus experiecing the effects of the virus.

    Holistic, alternative medicine can be a great thing– but be as wary of their viewpoints as much as the viewpoints of those who are spreading fear about the dangers of getting the virus.

  27. I think the most dangerous thing about H1N1 is the hype that is surrounding it. People are being convinced through the media and the governemnt that this flu has the potential to wipe out millions of people. The fact that they’re even calling it a pandemic is just clever marketing. People hear pandemic and think Cholera or Ebola. Pandemic means something that affects a large part of the population. So, essentially, the cold is a pandemic. Regular flu is also a pandemic. Cancer is a pandemic. Yet, only this year are we seeing a resurgence of the pandemic buzzword when it references an EXTRA deadly flu.
    If people just step back and look at the situation and make up their minds by hearing BOTH sides of the vaccination argument, they will have a much more informed decision. So far this year H1N1 has killed just a few more people then Leprosy. On our planet, 3 or 4 thousand deaths is not breaking news, and I think those who are waiting in line for hours to get a shot that they don’t even necessarily need should realize that.
    I don’t know all of the details of the vaccine, but all I know is that it’s unnatural, and why would we put something that we don’t fully understand into our bodies when we don’t need to?
    Back up, look at who truly benefits from the worldwide vaccinations, (Pharmaceutical companies – not those who receive it), and just calm down. Unless you enjoy living in fear.

  28. I think this debate is profoundly important – not particularly because of H1N1 – but because some people are actually looking for answers for themselves.

    We’ve long assumed that professional medicine and the pharmaceutical companies had answers. They do have answers. They have always had answers. Who hasn’t heard the phrase “We used to think ‘a’, but now we know ‘b'”? The difficulty is that, at any stage of our understanding, what we don’t know always outweighs what we do. The ‘b’ of today is the ‘a’ of tomorrow.

    Remy_G, your homeopath may be correct. Vaccines cause changes in immune response. Very, very frequently those responses are misplaced. Auto-immune reactions are the result. What we don’t know outweighs what we know. The body’s response to a strep bacterium becomes transferred to the tissue of a heart valve. So it goes.

    Clear-cut answers are hard to come by except in hindsight. Chances are the Salk and small-pox vaccines can be considered clear-cut answers. Others are more uncertain. My wife has a large painful fibrosis in her left arm – the result of a routine flu vaccine. It’s an uncomfortable reminder of a mistake. If it had prevented her death, we’d call it a miracle. As it is, it’s a pain in the arm.

    One could be more easily trusting if large profits weren’t involved. Last year at this time I was diagnosed with Stage IV cancer. I followed the medical route. Large profits were involved. I’m currently in remission. It looks like a good choice.
    Oobladee-oobaldah, life goes on.

    Choose well.

  29. . . . but there is still the lingering thoughts of the government scheming to control the world by immunizing us against a virus.

    Which is such a great liklihood that Broccoli and Saltzman used it as the “mcguffin” in the first seven James Bond adventures.

    What’s that you say? Rogue health officials taking over the world by vaccinating school kids against flu wasn’t the plot device in any James Bond flick?

    You’re kidding, right? I mean, everyone knows that the way to take over the world is to prevent flu . . .

  30. I’m not against immunization. However, I don’t like the media hype that’s driving this. The N1H1 (Mexican flu) is mentioned in almost all news bulletins and is being described as a epidemic. IMO it isn’t an epidemic like Ebola etc. where many died. Many people have probably already had the virus without realizing it was N1H1.

    The amount of deaths from the virus is also low compared to flu deaths each year. I live in Europe and so far deaths are minimal compared to deaths from other flu strains each year. I really think the whole thing has been blown way out of proportion.

  31. Ed:

    The way to take over the world is to hold the world hostage with a disease (already spread) and holding the only vaccine. ;)

  32. I would like to know what is in it as well. We passed on giving our kids the other vaccines because of the ingredients in it–like chicken embryo and monkey brain????? Pass.

    Isn’t there 30,000 people who die every year with the flu vaccine?

  33. I’ve heard that the vaccine of this illness is not a good one. I mean that it is useless and does not help for H1/N1….

  34. The way to take over the world is to hold the world hostage with a disease (already spread) and holding the only vaccine.

    Worked will with AIDS and bubonic plague, didn’t it? What are we in, the 600th year of House of Bubonic rule?

    We passed on giving our kids the other vaccines because of the ingredients in it–like chicken embryo and monkey brain?

    Monkey Brain was the blog that started that rumor. Influenza vaccines are grown in chicken eggs — have been since the start. That’s why people allergic to eggs are told to pass on all shots.

    The nasal mist for H1N1 is live, attenuated virus — no eggs. Use it if you’re allergic to eggs.

    I don’t know what the cure is for unfounded rumors.

  35. First of all….everyone has their opinion and I respect that of Isobel. Also, with that said EVERYONES body will react differently to any vaccine or medication, which is the reason why we are alll different. Everyone needs to make the decision for their own families for themselves. Would I rather give my daughter (4 yrs) the vaccine (nasal spray) or would I rather risk serious illness and possible death? Im sorry but in my eyes….if she gets the vaccine and still gets the flu…then atleast i tried and we go from there, but if she gets the vaccine and doesnt get the flu…and in turn gets minor side effects…..its better than possible death due to my negligence in doing what I felt was right for my daughter!!!!

    Everyone is entitled to their own opinions and they should always do what they feel is right for their children and families!!!

  36. I got the h1n1 vaccine for myself and my children. Within 48 hours, I started to develop neuropathy. It then caused muscle cramps, loss of feeling, etc. It mimicked a very mild case of Gullian Barre Syndrome. It is now subsiding but I am in pain every single day because of it. I am told that there is a very good chance for full recovery however it could take up to a year. I would have much rather had the flu. I saw one of the leading Neurologists in our area and he said that I am not the only person in his group’s practice who has been affected adversely by the H1N1 vaccination. Oddly enough, I still struggle over whether to get my kids the booster. I have read about perfectly healthy children dying from H1N1. Reading the facts, there are still more people dying from the illness than the vaccine, however I have a very hard time letting this vax get put into their body when I wonder if they may have inherited some genetic component that would increase their chance of ill effects from it. These are the times when being a Mother and making someone else’s medical decisions is the worst job in the world.

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