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Old 12-18-2009, 07:38 PM
 
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I don't know much about vaccines and how they work but if you were to get the H1N1 vaccine how does a person's immune system differ for protection against getting that strain of flu vs a person's immune system who already had that particular strain.

The reason I ask is, and don't take me to be an alarmist about H1N1, after reading about the 1918 flu pandemic (according to Wikipidia) is that people who got the 1st wave of that flu were immune to the more deadly strain of it that followed later on.

So I'm thinking to be on the safe side I would want to either purposely have someone cough on me who has H1N1 to contract it so as to build up immunity just in case it should become a more potent strain next year -OR- if getting the vaccine for it would be the EXACT same thing for building immunity (not only for the current strain but possible immunity to a more potent strain of it should one develop next year or further in the future.

In other words too I hear some older people like my father saying he doesn't believe in vaccines for the flu believing that a persn's immune system is strengthend MORE by contracting sesonal flus vs geting vaccines every year.

What is the truth on that?
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:17 AM
 
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Good question! I would like to know the answer myself. I'm definitely more of a "get the disease and fight it off instead of resorting to a vaccine" type of person myself (not for things like tetanus and meningitis, of course... more for chickenpox and the flu), but it's good information to have in case the flu does make a second (or I guess at this point, third), more severe round.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:32 AM
 
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Vaccines interact with the immune system in the same way having the illness does. Except that you don't have to get ill to manufacture the antibodies that help protect against the virus.

Vaccines use the outer proteins of the influenza virus strain, taking advantage of the proteins' effect on stimulating the immune system. The most convenient way to do this is to inactivate the virus in the vaccine, essentially 'killing' it (even though a virus, in a way, isn't even alive) while leaving the surface proteins intact and administering the dead virus, still eliciting an immune response from the lymphocytes and plasma cells (the cells that actually manufacture antibodies) of the immune system. The immune response is the SAME as seen in patients who become ill with the virus: first IgM is manufactured, with a later switch to IgG and other, smaller antibodies.

There are lots of sites explaining how this is done online.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:23 PM
 
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Well if that is the case I am definitely going to get the H1N1 vaccine because I am concered about a more potent strain evolving next year or further on down the road and like metioned afrter reading how people during the 1918 epidemic who got the less severe '1st wave' version were immune from the much deadlier form that came along the following year, well that's what makes me think that either contracting the current strain or getting vaccinated from it MAY be a very good idea.
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Old 12-19-2009, 07:37 PM
 
Location: Queensland
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripod View Post
Well if that is the case I am definitely going to get the H1N1 vaccine because I am concered about a more potent strain evolving next year or further on down the road and like metioned afrter reading how people during the 1918 epidemic who got the less severe '1st wave' version were immune from the much deadlier form that came along the following year, well that's what makes me think that either contracting the current strain or getting vaccinated from it MAY be a very good idea.
Yes, vaccinate- much safer option than trying to contract the actual disease to try to become immune, since H1N1 has proved fatal in otherwise healthy people.
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:01 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HomesickAussie View Post
Yes, vaccinate- much safer option than trying to contract the actual disease to try to become immune, since H1N1 has proved fatal in otherwise healthy people.

Still skeptical since as I understand it this is the same basic strain as the 1918 flu which shouldn't even be around now but not 100% sure about that AND also hearing recently that many vaccine doses already administered are being blamed as being 'too weak'.

Hate to make the wrong decision regarding a possible more potent/dangerous strain coming along in the future and whether the right decision is getting the current vaccine or not. I'm not too concerned with the current strain even though there have been some deaths from it but rather if the current strain does change into something much much worse whether getting the current vaccine would hinder the effects of a future vaccine for that possible worse strain if you know what I mean.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?
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Old 12-23-2009, 02:06 PM
 
Location: Manhattan, Ks
1,280 posts, read 5,923,782 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tripod View Post

Hate to make the wrong decision regarding a possible more potent/dangerous strain coming along in the future and whether the right decision is getting the current vaccine or not. I'm not too concerned with the current strain even though there have been some deaths from it but rather if the current strain does change into something much much worse whether getting the current vaccine would hinder the effects of a future vaccine for that possible worse strain if you know what I mean.

Anyone have any thoughts on that?
I think that a vaccine would either provide some cross-protection against a new strain or it wouldn't have any effect. I don't see how it could interfere with a future vaccine.
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Old 12-23-2009, 03:48 PM
 
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Originally Posted by kansas sky View Post
I think that a vaccine would either provide some cross-protection against a new strain or it wouldn't have any effect. I don't see how it could interfere with a future vaccine.
Correct.

There is no way that getting the current H1N1 vaccine would hinder the response to any future vaccine.
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Old 12-24-2009, 12:01 AM
 
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Ok guys thanks for the responses. I found a pharmacy near me that has the vaccine and thinking about going down to get it.
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