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H1N1 Swine Flu Vaccines (cont.)

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Medical Editor:

What are risks of adverse events and side effects for the influenza A (H1N1) 2009 monovalent vaccine (inactivated injectable)?

The likelihood of the H1N1 vaccines causing serious harm is extremely small. The risk of adverse events from injectable H1N1 vaccine is similar to seasonal inactivated flu vaccine. Mild adverse events that usually begin shortly after administration and last 1-2 days include soreness, redness, tenderness, or swelling at the injection site, fainting (mainly adolescents), headache, muscle aches, fever, and nausea.

Rarely, some individuals may experience severe allergic reactions that present as difficulty breathing, hoarseness or wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat or dizziness. A doctor should be consulted immediately if such symptoms occur. Injectable H1N1 vaccine should not be administered to individuals hypersensitive to eggs or chicken protein (since the vaccine is manufactured in eggs) neomycin or polymyxin (antibiotics that are used in the production of the vaccine), or anyone who has had a life-threatening reaction to flu vaccination.

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