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Information video about the pandemic influenza A(H1N1) vaccine

This video, which is approximately six minutes long, presents all the information required to make an informed choice concerning the vaccination against the pandemic influenza A(H1N1) virus. It provides information on the virus, the mode of transmission, the symptoms of the illness, and possible complications. It then talks about the vaccine as well as possible side effects of the flu shot.

This video is available in French with French sub-titles and in French with English sub-titles.

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Textual transcript of the video

Vaccination against influenza A (H1N1)

Dre Lina Perron
Public health doctor

Hello, and welcome to the influenza A (H1N1) vaccination clinic. This new virus, A (H1N1), is responsible for the global epidemic, or pandemic. It appeared in April 2009 and, since then, has infected hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.

As you know, influenza A (H1N1) is a serious, contagious illness. But, it can be avoided. And the best way is the vaccine. It is effective, it is safe, and it is offered free of charge to anyone who wants it.

How does influenza spread?

Dr Pierre Michel
CLSC doctor

Influenza is an illness that is commonly called the “flu.” and, it’s a disease caused by a virus, the influenza virus. So, influenza, or the flu, is a transmissible disease. The virus is spread in droplets that we expel when we sneeze or cough, when we spit or, for example, when we put our hand in front of our mouth, we spread the droplets that we expel, by touching objects, or by shaking someone’s hand. This is how the virus spreads.

The symptoms

Dr Pierre Michel
CLSC doctor

The symptoms of this year’s influenza A (H1N1)
are the same as for regular flu.

These include high fever, as well as sore throat, cough, headache, and tiredness, and, especially, severe body aches. This is fairly typical. Children may also experience nausea and vomiting.

Manon Blackburn
Young healthy woman

You hurt all over, from your eyelids to your toes! You have a fever and you can’t go to work. You have a lot of trouble taking care of your family!

The complications

Dr Pierre Michel
CLSC doctor

The complications of this influenza, A (H1N1), are the same as for viral diseases in general. Secondary infections can include sinus infections, ear infections, bronchitis, and even, on occasion, pneumonia. Pneumonia is the most serious, because it is this illness that results in people being hospitalized. Some even die from it.

Certain people are more at risk of developing complications. They include people with chronic illnesses, young children, and pregnant women! Take the vaccine! It’s an excellent way to prevent the flu.

The vaccine

Danielle Meilleur
Public health nurse
The influenza A (H1N1) vaccine is produced in the same way as all the flue vaccines we make each year.

The 5 possible reactions

Danielle Meilleur
Public health nurse

The vaccine is safe. Most reactions are benign and disappear on their own. The most common is pain at the injection site, which can last three or four days. Some people, however, may develop a low-grade fever or muscle aches. But, that mostly happens in people who have received a flu shot for the first time. They can take medication to relieve their symptoms.

Some people may also develop red eyes, a sore throat, a cough and may even have trouble breathing after receiving the vaccine. This is what is called oculo-respiratory syndrome or ORS. These symptoms are, most of the time, mild and disappear within a few hours.

There is no certainty concerning the risk of developing Guillain-Barré syndrome following a flu vaccination but, even if there were, it would be one case in a million of those who receive the vaccine.

In rare cases, severe allergic reactions can occur following the shot. But, if they do, they occur within a few minutes after the shot and they can be treated immediately. This is why you are asked to remain at the clinic for 15 minutes following the vaccination.

Dr. Lina Perron
Public health doctor

You’re now ready to complete the questionnaire you were given. The nurse will explain how to complete it and will be pleased to answer any questions you may have. Thank you for your attention, and have a good day!

This video was produced by the Ministère de la Santé et des Services sociaux du Québec.

We would like to thank the CLSC Samuel-de-Champlain for allowing us to use its premises and for the valuable collaborators featured in the video.

Team in charge of the project