What is in The H1N1 Vaccine?

The H1N1 pandemic in the year 2009 has forced doctors and researchers worldwide to create an ultimate solution for the outbreak which is the vaccination programme against the virus. The vaccine was found in the year 2009 and was supplied to all around the world in the same year till 2010. Continue reading the article to know more about the content of the H1N1 influenza vaccine.

The influenza A (H1N1) monovalent vaccine which was created in 2009 is a subunit influenza virus vaccine. This means that the purified surface antigen is a major ingredient of the vaccine which helps in stimulating our immune response to produce antibodies against the virus.

The virus for the vaccine is propagated in the allantoic cavity from hens’ eggs which is then inoculated with a particular type of influenza virus suspension which also contains neomycin and polymyxin. The virus strain is then harvested and clarified thoroughly by centrifugation  prior to inactivation to be used in the vaccine. The surface antigens together with hemagglutinin and neuraminidase are then obtained from the influenza virus by more centrifugation processes.

Generally, the H1N1 2009 monovalent vaccine contains 15mcg of hemagglutinin per 0.5ml dose from a specific virus strain. The multidose vial formulation also contains thimerosal which is a mercury derivative added as a preservative to the vaccine. Apart from that, the multidose vial also contains traces of egg proteins, polymyxin, neomycin, beta propiolactone (used for inactivation) and nonylphenol ethoxylate.

How Does the H1N1 Vaccine Work?

There are multiple strains of Influenza virus that can cause illness to our body. The purified surface protein in the H1N1 once enters the body will stimulate our body’s immune response to give signals to specific immune cells to produce hemagglutinin inhibition (HI) antibodies post vaccination. These antibodies and immune cells are then preserved as memory cells which provide adequate immunity to our body against the same strain of virus in the future infection. 

The purified surface protein in the vaccine has been inactivated thoroughly, thus do not worry of a serious H1N1 infection post vaccination.

What are the Side Effects of the H1N1 Vaccine?

Just like any other drugs and medications, vaccines also possess some minor mild to moderate side effects which usually do not require any medical intervention and go off  by itself. However, not everyone who took the H1N1 vaccination will have the similar side effects when compared to the rest. Here are some of the most common side effects that you might have after taking the vaccination.

  • In adults, the most common side effects reported were local side effects to the injected area like tenderness, redness and swelling of the injected area. This can be simply treated with ice or cold packs applied to the injected area for a few hours. You can also purchase some over the counter painkillers to relieve arm pain.
  • In children, the most common side effects were similar to adults which were pain, redness and swelling of the injected area. Some also reported headache, malaise and muscle aches other than injected area for a few days to week which eventually goes off by itself without any treatments.
  • For both the groups, other adverse effects reported were fever, cough, rhinitis, sore throat, vomiting, diarrhea and loss of appetite.

Apart from this, severe allergic reactions like anaphylactic shock were only reported in very minority cases. It was mainly observed during the postmarketing surveillance of certain brands of vaccine in the year 2009. Nevertheless, do meet a doctor if any of the symptoms and signs stated above becomes worse and start concerning you a lot more than usual to get appropriate treatment from doctors. Moreover, during this pandemic you can also visit the nearby hospitals to get the Covid 19 vaccine.