Swine flu is relatively a new villain of this category that had its outbreak in the year 2009-10. I recently got to know a thing when my mom suspectly got contagious with this. According to doctors, She was suspect swine flu positive and was recommend to get an isolated ward. It was certainly a hard time as few hospitals reluctant to admit her, though she was not confirmed carrying swine flu. Cut to the short, we got a report the next day and it was negative and doctors started treatment of pneumonia.
This contagious respiratory virus which attacks pigs have also reportedly affected humans and have caused serious panic. The flu also called as H1N1, continues to circulate seasonally across the globe. Hence it is vital to safeguard our children against being victimized by this flu. Less known to the larger crowd, we have effective vaccinations against this flu available in our country. This article intends to spread awareness about the vaccination, its availability, scheduling and price rates in the country.
What is Swine flu Vaccine?
Swine flu vaccine is different from the seasonal flu vaccination typically offered every year. These vaccines contain inactivated or weakened live virus, giving exposure to a small dose of virus and thereby developing immunity to the disease. There are two types of swine flu vaccines, flu-shot given by a needle and nasal spray vaccine.
The right method is subjective to whom it is being administered. These vaccines are not a cure to already affected patients, but it ensures protection against the flu for others for a period of 8 – 12 months.
Possible Side Effects of Getting the Vaccine
Like any other vaccinations, swine flu vaccines can also be subject to side effects. Typically, serious health issues or side effects do not stem from these vaccinations. There can be no side effects at all. However, below are the reported ones:
- Pain, swelling or redness on the injected area
- A headache
- Decreased appetite
- Cold and chills
Who Should and Should Not Get the Vaccine?
Experts in the health industry are of opinion that the vaccination should not be administered to everyone. On a flu outbreak in nearby areas, these vaccines are recommended to high-risk prone categories which include people with respiratory diseases, pregnant women, health workers and children who fall under the age bracket of 6 months to 5 years. It is not recommended to children younger than 6 months and people with serious allergic problems. It is advisable to consult a doctor before administering these vaccines.
Swine Flu Vaccine Schedule & Price
The price of swine flu vaccination in India falls between Rs. 450-885 for each dose. This may differ from place to place depending on the drug providers.
In tropical regions, two doses of vaccination spaced two weeks apart would serve ideal. if you are living in cities like Mumbai, Delhi, Pune, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Ahmedabad or Lucknow, the price may vary by city. Advice to ask your local health center or your family clinic for the accurate price in your city.
Precautions That Need to be Taken
If this flu is reported to someone, quarantine the virus-infected patient for a period until it is non-infectious, i.e. 7-10 days post the flu symptoms abate. People who are in close contact with the patient should safeguard themselves from being exposed to the droplet sprays from coughs and sneezes and other contaminated tissues. Wearing masks can also shield us from getting exposed to the contagious virus. Best hygiene practices can keep us away from the risks of such flu to a large extent.
Thus, to conclude, the swine flu vaccine is a common vaccine that you should give your child and recommend it to everyone who might need the same.
PS: Swine flu vaccine is also known as H1N1 or influenza, so if your doctor refers any of this name, you need to understand he/she is talking about the Swine flu vaccine.