Dr. Rick Swearingen joins us to offer readers tips and advice on seeking treatment for physical ailments and other health concerns.

[Question] ||| "What are the side effects of the H1N1 vaccination?"

[Answer] ||| "The H1N1 influenza vaccine is expected to have a similar safety profile as the seasonal flu vaccines, which have proven to have a very good safety track record. 

Hundreds of millions of seasonal flu doses have been given worldwide over the years with only rare serious side effect.  The most common side effects following flu vaccination are mild and may include soreness, redness, and/or swelling where the shot was given, headache, muscle aches, low-grade fever and nausea.  These symptoms usually begin soon after the shot and last for 1-to-2 days.  Life threatening reactions to these vaccines are rare, but those who have severe (life-threatening) allergy to chicken eggs or any other substance in the vaccine should not be vaccinated. 

The viruses in the flu shot are killed (inactivated), so you cannot get the flu from a flu shot. 

The viruses in the nasal-spray vaccine are weakened and do not cause the severe symptoms associated with flu illness.  Some of the 2009 H1N1 formulations will contain the preservative thimerosal (those in multi-dose vials), but despite a number of sensationalistic reports regarding this ingredient it has proven to be safe over many years of use.  If you still have concerns over this ingredient, some H1N1 vaccines in single dose units will be available that are preservative free.  There have been rare reports in those receiving vaccinations of Guillain-Barre syndrome, which is a rare disease in which the body damages its own nerve cells.  In the final analysis I strongly believe the benefits outweigh the risks and vaccination is the best way to prevent influenza and its complications."


[ABOUT THE EXPERT] ||| Dr. Rick Swearingen, O.D. --  CHW Urgent Care Ahwatukee

Dr. Rick Swearingen, O.D., Medical Director at Catholic Healthcare West Urgent Care Ahwatukee. Is board certified in family practice and has been active in clinical practice for more than 20 years and urgent care work for more than a decade. Dr. Swearingin received a B.S. in Pharmacy from Southwestern Oklahoma State University, and received his medical degree from the College of Osteopathic Medicine from Oklahoma State University in 1986.


ADDRESS: CHW Urgent Care Ahwatukee                4545 E. Chandler Blvd.                (SW corner of 46th Street and Chandler)

LOCAL PHONE: (480) 728-4000ONLINE: http://www.chandlerregional.org/Medical_Services/CHW_Urgent_Care_Centers/053231

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[NOTE] ||| The Ahwatukee Foothills News and ahwatukee.com present "Ask the Ahwatukee Area Expert" as a promotional featured intended to serve both our readers and our loyal network of advertisers, through the assistance of the local business community. "Answers" and other information presented by the "experts" are those of the contributor, and do not represent the views or opinions of the Ahwatukee Foothills News (including ahwatukee.com) or its editorial staff.


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