Essay about Influenza Vaccines

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Influenza is an infectious illness that can be spread from one individual to the next. It can be transmitted by means of saliva, nasal secretions, feces and blood. It can also be spread by coming in contact with the virus on contaminated surfaces. Influenza is responsible for an average of 36,000 deaths and for more than 226,000 hospitalizations each year in the United States. (Davidson, 2007-2009, Davis, 2007). Influenza viruses are divided into three classes. These are A, B, and C. Influenza A and B are blamed for the increases in hospitalization and deaths each year. The aim of receiving an annual vaccine is to prevent spreading infections. Since flu outbreaks vary, it is recommended that individuals receive a vaccination for the flu…show more content…
Additionally, as many as 500,000 chicken eggs per day are needed for the process. Influenza viruses are injected into chicken egg embryos, where they are allowed to incubate and multiply for several days. A machine extracts the virus from the egg, which is then purified and chemically killed and made into the vaccine. (Tenpenny, 2008, Davidson, 2007-2009, Offit, 2008). It takes about eight months for the vaccines to be developed using chicken eggs. If another pandemic were to arise, we would not have access to the vaccines for at least eight months. Moreover, once the vaccines are made, they must be used. Vaccines that are not used cannot be stored and must be destroyed because the vaccines break down. The vaccines do include the three influenza viruses; two against different strains of type A, and one against the type B virus. (Tenpenny, 2008, Davidson, 2007-2009, Offit, 2008). In late spring 2009, the World Health Organization labeled the swine flu a pandemic. In October 2009, President Barack Obama declared a state of emergency when over 1,000 Americans, as well as nearly a hundred children, had died as a result of the swine flu. Unfortunately, we also faced a shortage of vaccines to deal with the outbreak. Responding to the flu outbreak was also slow. In April 2009, the United States federal government authorized production of the swine flu vaccine. Based on prior growth patterns of seasonal flu vaccines, it projected that 120 million doses
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