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Swine flu

Our son, 9 years old, CF, was vaccinated six weeks ago, but this was the normal influenza vaccination. Is this vaccination sufficient? He only has digestive problems and has never had problems with the lungs. Thank god! We are very confused because of the side effects, especially with chronically ill children (a 21-month-old baby died after swine flu vaccination!!!). Our CF center does not consider a vaccination necessary, since according to them, even in case of an infection, the progression is rather mild! What is your position on this?
Dear questioner,
your 9-year-old son has been vaccinated against the „seasonal flu“ 6 weeks ago. This is according to the recommendation of the German comisson for vaccination, as well as to the recommendation of the medical societies which recommend a flu vaccination especially for patients with chronic illnesses. The vaccination against the seasonal flu however, protects the vaccinated persons only against viruses, which are included in this particular vaccination. The “swine flu” is caused by another virus. Therefore another vaccination has to be used in order to be protected against the swine flu.
Also this vaccination is recommended by the German comission for vaccination and the medical societies especially for patients with chronic illnesses. CF counts under the chronic illnesses, even then, if lung problems did not occur so far.
We know today that especially in CF every viral infection sets the stage for an inflammation of the lung with pathological bacteria. Therefore every viral infection of the lung in patients with CF should be avoided. Until today this can only be achieved via vaccinations, whereas of course the recommended hygienic measures are assumed. In every vaccination side effects can occur. Also for the vaccination against the swine flu side effects have been described. These are in most cases pain at the site of the vaccination, as well as fatigue and exhaustion and disappear mostly within 24 hours. Cases of death have been described for all vaccinations – also for the seasonal flu – whereas however hereby only a correlation of time and not of cause can be found in most cases. That means that the patient would have also died without vaccination at this time-point.
The question if the illness of swine flu shows a mild course or not is not regarded relevant by me for patients with CF, because, as described above, every viral infection should be avoided. Probably you could discuss this topic again with your care team of the CF center.
Yours sincerely,
E. Rietschel