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Swine flu - Essay Example

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The UN, based on research by the WHO’s vaccine research has updated its advice on recommending that pregnant women be vaccinated against swine flu after clinical trials and mass vaccination campaigns attested to the safety of the vaccine on pregnant women. They liken its…
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Swine Flu Vaccination of Pregnant Women Arguments for Compulsory Swine Flu Vaccination in Pregnant Women Pregnant women belong to the high-risk groupfor developing complications from swine flu with the CDC reporting about 28 deaths and about 100 hospitalizations from swine flu (Brewington, 2009)
In about 25 women who were given the swine flu vaccine in September, about 92 percent exhibited immune response (Brewington, 2009)
The UN, based on research by the WHO’s vaccine research has updated its advice on recommending that pregnant women be vaccinated against swine flu after clinical trials and mass vaccination campaigns attested to the safety of the vaccine on pregnant women. They liken its effects to the seasonal flu vaccine (Rowley, 2009)
A single dose of the vaccine is sufficient in protecting patients (Rowley, 2009)
The immune systems of pregnant women are suppressed, making them vulnerable to viruses and other bacterial infection (Simpson, 2009)
In the UK, the CDC reports that there were 45 deaths seen during the first 2 months of the swine flu outbreak, 6 of these cases were pregnant women. This is 13 times higher than the numbers in the normal population (Knox, 2009).
Department of Health in the UK also reports that the swine flu vaccine can offer the pregnant woman and her foetus some form of protection against the disease and concerns over safety are baseless (Press Association, 2009). In order to ensure the safety of the mother and her baby, medical health workers need to be mandatorily included in the vaccination program for swine flu. This is to be imposed in the coming winter months for all health workers (Stein, 2009).
The Civil Contingencies Act of 2004 expresses that in instances of National Emergency, previous laws may be overruled. Emergency situations, in these instances include epidemics or a situation which causes serious human illness in the United Kingdom (section 19). The right to refuse treatment and the patient’s right to consent is overruled in this case because the life of the pregnant women and the population in general is endangered.
The side effects which sometimes manifest after the administration of the swine flu vaccine, based on reports by experts covering hospitals in Canada, the United States, and Finland are baseless. Reports of Guillain-Barre and spontaneous abortions in these women have not necessarily been associated with the vaccine. So far figures do not exceed baseline parameters pointing to a definite link between these two (AP, 2009).
Arguments against Compulsory Swine Flu Vaccination in Pregnant Women
Switzerland registered deaths following administration of the swine flu vaccine. The true cause of these deaths is still under investigation (The Flu Case, 2009)
One of the vaccines created called Celtura was said to be contaminated with dog viruses and bacteria and has not been tested yet on the population (Flu Case, 2009).
Based on a patient’s Right to Self-determination, a patient has the right to refuse treatment and consequently, he has the right to refuse vaccination (Mental Health Act, as quoted by Leino-Kilpi, 2000).
A patient’s informed consent must also be sought before any medical intervention may be applied on a patient (Consumers for Ethics in Research, n.d)
Reports from Medstar in America indicate that exemptions for health employees are being allowed as reasons for not being vaccinated against swine flu. These exemptions include: egg allergies or risk factors for a rare complication known as Guillain-Barre syndrome (Stein, 2009). Religious reasons are not being allowed as exemptions for this vaccination (Stein, 2009).
Works Cited
Associated Press, 30 October 2009, Side effects not always due to swine flu shot, MSNBC, viewed 02 November 2009 from
Brewington, K., 2009, Swine flu vaccine: just one dose needed for pregnant women, Baltimore Sun, viewed 02 November 2009 from
Consumers for Ethics in Research, (n.d) Consent: What you have a right to expect, National Health Services United Kingdom, viewed 02 November 2009 from
Civil Contingencies Act of 2004
Knox, R., 29 July 2009, CDC to Urge Swine Flu Vaccine for Pregnant Women, National Public Radio, viewed 02 November 2009 from
Leino-Kilpi, H. 12 October 2000, Patient’s autonomy, privacy and informed consent, The Netherlands: IOS Press
Press Association, 12 October 2009, Swine flu vaccine ‘safe in pregnancy’, says adviser,, viewed 02 November 2009 from
Rowley, E., 30 October 2009, Swine Flu Vaccine ‘Safe’ for Pregnant Women, Sky News Online, viewed 02 November 2009 from
Simpson, E., 18 October 2009, Pregnant women mull taking swine flu vaccine, Hampton Roads, viewed 02 November 2009 from
Stein, R., 26 September 2009, Mandatory Flu Shots Hit Resistance, The Washington Post, viewed 03 November 2009 from
Switzerland forbids “swine flu” vaccine for pregnant women, young and old!, 30 October 2009, The Flu Case, viewed 02 November 2009 from Read More
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