National Influenza Immunization Program - The Swine Flu of 1976 Essay

National Influenza Immunization Program - The Swine Flu of 1976 Essay

Length: 4052 words (11.6 double-spaced pages)

Rating: Better Essays

Open Document

Essay Preview

In 1976, due to an outbreak of influenza at Fort Dix, New Jersey, the United States set a precedent in immunology by attempting to vaccinate the entire population of the country against the possibility of a swine-type Influenza A epidemic. While a great many people were successfully immunized in a very short period of time, the National Influenza Immunization Program (NIIP) quickly became recognized as a failure, one reason being that the feared epidemic never surfaced at all. But this massive undertaking deserves more analysis than just a simple repudiation. For example, all evidence linked to the pathology, microbiology, and historical cycle of influenza and the outbreak at Fort Dix suggests that the reactions of the scientists and other personnel involved in the NIIP were correct. However, one must also acknowledge the many complications and misjudgments that plagued the program after its initiation, from biological difficulties, logistical problems, to tensions with the media. The swine flu is a historical event that needs to be evaluated, regarding both its successes and its failures, so that lessons can be learned for future immunization programs.

While influenza, or the "flu", is not commonly recognized as an extremely lethal disease, the pathology of influenza, and especially of the kind found at Fort Dix, does suggest that an immunization program was a reasonable course to take in 1976. In the public's mind, influenza is often not seen as a specific disease, using interchangeable names for it like "flu", "gripe", and "virus". (Silverstein: 1) However, influenza is very different from an everyday low fever or "stomach flu". It is a respiratory infection, connected with a fever, coughing, and muscle aches, which often la...


... middle of paper ...


...d be held responsible for not creating a more adaptable program that could deal with these occurrences. The NIIP must be evaluated for its drawbacks and its successes, so that people will not just see this as an unfortunate historical event, but can use it to help further immunization and disease-fighting programs in the future.
 
Works Cited

The "Flu". Online. 17 Feb. 1999. Available: www.ultranet.com/~jkimball/BiologyPages/I/Influenza.html

Laitlin, Elissa A. and Elise M. Pelletier. "The Influenza A/New Jersey(Swine Flu) Vaccine and Guillain-Barréacute; Syndrome: The Arguments for Causal Association." Drugs and Devices Line, 1997. Online. 15 Feb. 1999. Available: www.hsph.harvard.edu/Organizations/ddil/swieflu.html

Silverstein, Arthur M. Pure Politics and Impure Science: The Swine Flu Affair. Baltimore and London: The John Hopkins University Press, 1981.

Need Writing Help?

Get feedback on grammar, clarity, concision and logic instantly.

Check your paper »

Influenza Virus And The Pandemic Epidemic Essay

- A high public health threat across the globe affecting thousands of people is the influenza virus and the different strains that recently evolved. Influenza viruses are said to be pathogenic and can be highly contagious when not properly treated immediately (Pfleiderer et al, 2014). This deadly virus has affected countless regions or areas throughout the earth for hundreds of years. Over the span of years, researchers have been studying and reproducing various new influenza vaccines due to the high rates of mortality and disease caused by this prevalent virus....   [tags: Influenza, Influenza vaccine, Pandemic]

Better Essays
875 words (2.5 pages)

Swine Flu and Efforts to Control It Essay

- ... One of these efforts has revolved around encouraging individuals to carry out certain measures to prevent the spread of germs that contribute to respiratory illness. These measures include covering nose and mouth when sneezing or coughing, washing hands frequently with soap and water, avoiding touching nose, mouth, or eyes, and avoiding close contact with sick individuals. Secondly, scientists in the medical field have invented antiviral medicines that people can take to prevent of treat the disease....   [tags: influenza, spread, disease, mutation]

Better Essays
873 words (2.5 pages)

It is Advisable that Everyone Should Get Vaccinated Against H1N1 Influenza

- H1N1 Influenza (“Swine Flu”) is a flu pandemic that has recently spread all around the world. The Swine Flu began its massive spread through Mexico in April (2009) and by June, the World Health Organization raised the alert level to a full-blown pandemic across the globe. The virus has spread rapidly throughout the world. Luckily, the governments around the globe have offered an immunization flu shot against this pandemic that is available to some citizens at this present time. In Lawrence Gostin's “Swine Flu Vaccine: What Is Fair?” (2009), he explains his doubts for the Swine Flu vaccination by emphasizing how rich countries have a large advantage over poor countries in receiving the vaccin...   [tags: H1N1, Swine flu, vaccinations, ]

Better Essays
1087 words (3.1 pages)

The Epidemic Of The H1n1 Influenza Virus Essay examples

- You may have read that President Obama declared a “National Emergency” over the weekend to deal with the “rapid increase in illness” from the H1N1 influenza virus. The news release went on to say this declaration is not tied to the current case count, but was more so designated to allow the federal government more power to help states by lifting bureaucratic requirements –both in treating patients and moving equipment. I felt the timing of this announcement afforded an opportunity to distribute some additional information to you....   [tags: Influenza, Influenza vaccine]

Better Essays
711 words (2 pages)

Essay about Respiratory Disease: The H1N1

- H1N1 is a respiratory disease caused by the type A influenza virus. Swine influenza is not a new disease. It was first diagnosed in the year 1918. It was not clear then that whether human contracted the virus from pigs or pigs contracted it from humans. Somewhere between 20-40 million people died from it. Back then we called it the “Spanish Flu” or “La Grippe” now days we call it H1N1. People were at more of a risk of getting it back then, then we are today. It can take the body up to eight hours at the most and two hours at the least to contact this disease....   [tags: influenza virus, swine influenza]

Free Essays
566 words (1.6 pages)

Is Needle Free Jet Injection For Administration Of Influenza Vaccine? Essay

- The research article I choose to review is Needle-free jet injection for administration of influenza vaccine: A randomized non-inferiority trial published on May 30, 2014 by The Lancet by Linda McAllister, Jonathan Anderson, Kristen Werth, Iksung Cho, and Karen Copeland. I chose to review this article because I wanted to find out if there is an alternative to regular needles and syringes. I noticed that a lot of people are afraid of needles and fear getting shots. Most children in the doctor’s office are afraid to get their vaccines due to the fear of seeing the needle and having that huge needle go through their skin....   [tags: Influenza vaccine, Influenza, Vaccine, Syringe]

Better Essays
719 words (2.1 pages)

Essay on The Outbreak Of Influenza Virus Outbreak

- Introduction The last major influenza virus outbreak occurred in 1918, when the “Spanish flu” H1N1 pandemic killed between 20 and 40 million people worldwide. Before then, a pandemic would occur about once every century. However, this influenza pandemic was unusual because of its large death toll on healthy and young people, how fast it spread, and how deadly it was. Although vaccines had already been developed and were distributed to the public, the search for a cure for the influenza virus was delayed because scientists believed influenza was caused by the bacterium Haemophilius Influenzae....   [tags: Influenza, Influenza vaccine, Influenza pandemic]

Better Essays
710 words (2 pages)

Influenza Vaccine And The Flu Virus Essay

- The vaccine that was chosen for this report is the influenza vaccine. Influenza, also called the flu, is an acute viral infection of the upper or lower respiratory tract. (The Editors of Encyclopedia Britannica) This specific topic was chosen due to the fact that the influenza virus, or the flu virus, is such a well known and common illness. The flu affects people all across the world on a daily basis because it is very hard to fight. The illness has many different forms which causes problems for doctors and people every year....   [tags: Influenza, Influenza vaccine, Influenza pandemic]

Better Essays
1654 words (4.7 pages)

The Influenza Essay

- The Influenza It was time to bring in the crops--this was one of the best years I'd ever had. For the first time in a long time, I was looking forward to getting into the field to gather the crop I'd worked so hard to grow. A farmer's life is never easy, but this was my year. I'd managed to get more land, and I was way past the days of just putting food on my family's table. The fall of 1918 turned out to be one of the worst times of my life. I had a rather large family--two boys and two girls....   [tags: Spanish Influenza Essays]

Free Essays
854 words (2.4 pages)

Immunization Essay

- We are always hearing on the news and in newspapers about children catching diseases and often dying from them. Why is this happening when all of these diseases are easily preventable by simply being immunised, why aren’t parents getting their children Immunised, is it for religious beliefs or just carelessness. What ever their reason may be is it really good enough, because why would anyone rather let their child be able to catch and spread a deadly disease then have them Immunised, so Immunisation should be made compulsory for all children....   [tags: essays research papers]

Free Essays
574 words (1.6 pages)