To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate?

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Currently, one cannot explore the news without coming across the topic of the swine flu, scientifically known as H1N1. Swine flu is a respiratory infection derived from the influenza virus. The virus contains genetic materials from human, swine, and avian flu viruses. It was first identified in spring 2009, and since then has spread rapidly across the globe. The infection’s spread has been verified as a global pandemic by the World Health Organization. As soon as the swine flu virus was isolated, scientists quickly developed a swine flu vaccine. Four vaccines have been approved by the FDA for the prevention of the swine flu. The vaccines will be ready for distribution in October 2009. Now the question is: To vaccinate, or not to vaccinate? Millions of people are now preparing to answer this question. In order to decide whether or not the swine flu vaccine is completely necessary, one must first gain a better understanding of the topic. It is a scientifically known fact that the swine flu is a result of a virus. A virus is a capsule of genetic material that causes infection in the body. The infectious particles are made up of nucleic acid enclosed in a protein shell, called a capsid. It cannot be considered a living organism like the disease causing agent of bacteria, because it does not carry out all the characteristics of life. Specifically, it cannot reproduce on its own. Viruses can be transmitted in many ways. Being in contact with an infected person will most likely transfer the virus. One can also obtain the virus through swallowing, inhaling, and unsafe sex. Poor hygiene and eating habits usually increase the risk of catching a viral infection. Contracting a viral infection is followed by adverse s... ... middle of paper ... ...e flu are very similar to those of the regular flu. However concern arises, because the possibility of the virus creating greater complications is likely. To prevent one from contracting the swine flu, he or she should get vaccinated. The main difference between the regular flu vaccine and the H1N1 flu vaccine is the components of which these vaccines are composed of. One should make the decision to get the swine flu vaccine based on one’s age and current medical condition. It is highly recommended that children and people to the age of twenty-four years-old receive the swine flu vaccine, because they have weaker immunity levels. It is best to ask a doctor which decision is preferred. The goal of health professionals is to eliminate the H1N1 virus as a global health threat, and to allow it to become a mere virus that can be prevented by proper vaccinations.

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