H1N1 Vaccine Case Study

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The extremely risk-conscientious mentality that is central to North American and European society propagates the anti-vaccination movement as the minuscule potential for developing an adverse medical condition as a result of receiving a vaccine is catastrophized to an alarming degree6. This notion is especially salient in the case of the H1N1 flu vaccine as the probability of developing the syndrome following vaccination is infinitesimally small, however the visible nature of the symptoms associated with GBS facilitates the amplification and overestimation of the risk. GBS is a rare autoimmune disorder in which the hematogenous leukocytes present in the circulatory system begin to infiltrate the peripheral nervous system producing …show more content…

Despite the incredibly detrimental consequences associated with the development of GBS, the number of individuals affected by the disorder pales in comparison to the immense amount of loss and suffering associated with the H1N1 virus itself. The unfavourable complications that result from the onset of GBS are often attributed vaccination events, however the autoimmune disorder occurs with a specific frequency within the general population10. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the background rate of GBS in the American population is approximately 1 case per 100 000 people each year9. These findings were echoed by two other clinical studies, which suggest Canada has a similar rate of prevalence, as the background frequency of developing GBS in the population is 0.000014,10. Expanding upon these findings, the CDC, the World Health Organization (WHO) and several other research institutions examined the rate of GBS in the vaccinated population and determined the risk of developing the autoimmune disorder as a result of receiving the H1N1 flu vaccine is 1 case in a 1,000,000 doses4,9,10,11. With this being the case, the prevalence of GBS following vaccination is an order of magnitude lower than the frequency observed in the unvaccinated population11. Further investigating this relationship, a clinical study based in the United Kingdom examined the correlation between the

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