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CFinucane said on 16 December 2010

Thanks to everyone who has contributed below. On reading your comments, we have improved the page as there seems to be some serious misunderstandings about this year’s flu jab. In particular, readers should note that the inclusion of protection against the H1N1 flu strain in this year’s jab does not alter the safety profile of the jab in any way. H1N1 was the strain of flu behind last year’s swine flu pandemic, but there is no longer anything special about it – it’s just another strain of flu covered by the jab. Each year the seasonal flu jab contains protections against several strains of flu and this year it just happens that H1N1 is one of them. Some of you have made connections between H1N1 vaccination and Guillain-Barre Syndrome (GBS), a rare but serious disease of the nervous system. A lot of studies have been done to investigate this possibility. Some studies cannot find any risk at all of GBS after flu vaccination. One study has found that there might be one extra case of GBS for every million flu vaccine injections. But there is also good evidence that viral infections such as flu itself are triggers for GBS - and the risk of GBS being triggered by flu is much higher than any possible vaccine risk. This means that by having the flu vaccine you are more likely to be protected against GBS. The Editor, Health A-Z