The last time I saw my doctor, he was very firm on the subject of flu vaccinations. Get them for myself, and get them for my kids. Get the H1N1 vaccination for my kids the instant it becomes available. Do not pass Go, do not fiddle-fart around, go directly to the pediatrician’s office.

I planned to do so. Then, after a while, I started feeling unsure. Specifically about the H1N1 vaccine. I started worrying, in my non-medical-professional mouthbreathing sort of way, about potential dangers of a fast-tracked vaccine, and about reactions and side effects. You know, like a fever. Or . . . Guillain-Barre Syndrome. Death. Little things like that.

Then I read that in preparation for the swine flu vaccine, Washington has temporarily lifted a restriction that limits the amount of thimerosol—a mercury preservative—given to pregnant women and children under 3. Only around 15% of the vaccine supply will be mercury-free, and people may have to wait longer for it to become available.

Huh, I thought. That doesn’t seem good. Isn’t mercury what made Jeremy Piven such an insufferable douchebag, or something?

The FDA assures us the trace amount of mercury in an influenza vaccination is fine. The CDC is recommending vaccinations for people 6 months to 24 years old, among other groups. And since it seems inevitable that my kids will be repeatedly exposed to the flu this season—you can throw all the hand sanitizer you want at a daycare, but it’s still basically a toy-filled, skill-building petri dish—it would be irresponsible for me to not get that vaccine, right? I mean, statistically if we’re looking at worst-case scenarios the kids are probably much more likely to have Something Bad happen from the flu than a vaccination. JB’s coworker had the H1N1 virus a couple weeks ago and described how it made him feel like he couldn’t breathe for a couple days. Well, jesus. If there’s a way to help my kids avoid getting an illness like that, I should be ALL OVER IT.

… right?

So why does this feel like such a creepy, shitty decision?

Where are you at with the swine flu vaccine, with regards to your kids? I’m really interested in hearing your thoughts.

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BethanyWD
12 years ago

I, too, live in the Seattle area (Bothell, HOLLA!) and was a bit dismayed to see the lift on the mercury requirement here. That said, we’ll likely get both our kids – 4 and 6 vaccinated. What scares me the most about H1N1 is the way the way that it is behaving in kids that have asthma and only lung issues. Hello? Both my kids have asthma (otherwise healthy), and while most flu illnesses don’t scare me, the combo scares the SHIT out of me. We’ll take the small, small, almost non-existent and unproven risk from the mercury.

Ann
Ann
12 years ago

Apparently we can’t get the flu shot in Ontario at the moment, and I won’t bother with H1N1 either as it is not available yet. I go to a naturopathic dr in addition to my mainstream dr, and will take my daughter to get her immune system a boost. So getting all round healthy in a preventative manner is all what I can do, and then I’ll see once the vaccines are available. BUT we are all healthy with no respiratory issues, so fairly low risk…

Jen
Jen
12 years ago

I have decided that I parent by convenience … I will get the H1N1 for my 3-year-old if it’s easy to do so. The regular flu shot is easy (for both her and me), so we’ve gotten that done every year. If the H1N1 is hard to find around here (SF Bay Area), I’m going to trust that the reports of the symptoms being relatively mild are true. Bad mother? Maybe…

Beth
12 years ago

Um, yeah. We’re not doing it. No flu shots and no H1N1 shots either.

My daughter is having major surgery in 21 days (holy crap, it’s in three weeks — excuse me while I panic for a second), and is not to get any vaccines of any kind from this point until at least a month after her surgery.

My son is not in day care, not in preschool, and is basically in quarantine so we can keep his sister from becoming ill before her surgery.

Add to this, I have what my doctor politely refers to as idiosyncratic reactions to medications (read that to mean that I have super-scary reactions to some really benign drugs) and he’s in no way willing to risk me getting vaccinated and has strongly advised against it for the kids because, well, apples and trees is his comment.

So yeah, the gist of this is no thank you. Oh, and one of the things I’m highly, highly allergic to? Thimerisol. Yay.

SKL
SKL
12 years ago

I currently don’t plan to get the regular flu nor H1N1 vaccines for myself or my kids.

I reserve the right to re-evaluate if things turn scary in my geographical area. But from what I’ve heard, H1N1 isn’t that bad, and I’d never do the “regular flu” shot unless we were in a high risk group.

Trish
12 years ago

I am going to get vaccinated ASAP, and think you and your kids should also. Nothing could be worse than actually getting the virus itself.

Kate
12 years ago

Interesting discussion. I work in a hospital and we’ll probably be offered both shots, tho nothing is available yet. I usually do take the regular flu shot since I work on a patient care unit, but I’m not sure about the H1N1. We’ve already had one patient with it, but since I don’t do direct patient care, I’m not sure.

As for my kids, my 4 yo daughter has her WCC this week so I’ll ask the pediatrician what he recommends. I think I definitely will try to get them the regular Flumist but not sure about the H1N1 for them either.

Christine
Christine
12 years ago

Was offered and rejected a flu vaccine for my daughter today, who is no longer a toddler, but still, who wants a mercury laden child.

I had the flu last week and since all flu cases, statistically speaking are H1N1, I figure I was once again the victim of my profession as a special educator in a large middle school.

I was a miserable, head achey, had a slight fever for several days. It wasn’t fun but most colds/flus fall into that category. I’m over it and hoping that was my brush with pandemic. Hopefully this bug is a one time deal and if your children are healthy and not at risk, I would let the disease process proceed.

You will hate the sad, pitiful, mewling beings that the boys (husbands included) become when sick no matter what strain of virus they harbor.

Twenty Four At Heart
12 years ago

My son began college in August. Shortly after, his college was hit terribly with Swine. He got it a few weeks ago. Although he’s 18, he is a severe asthmatic so it was a major concern. The campus health center gave him tamiflu within his first 24 hours of having a fever. He felt like shit for about two and a half days and then the fever lifted. He used his asthma meds from the minute he got sick. He was sick for about 5 days but once the fever was gone it was fairly mild. Of course, without the tamiflu it could have been much more serious.

Donna
Donna
12 years ago

I will, and my kids will, and my grandkids will, all get the shots.
And we all had vaccinations.
And there is no autism in our families whatsoever.

It amazes me that everyone has bought into the vaccinations cause autism theory, that has not been proven to be correct.
However, what has been proven is that flu can kill you, as well as measles, tetanus, diptheria, smallpox, polio, and shall I go on?
You have kids, you take your chances on so many things, but their health? I think I would still rather have an autistic kid, than a dead one.

Nicola
Nicola
12 years ago

I would definitely not give my little girl the vaccine, (she’s 3) for all the reasons you say, but also because I know children who’ve had swine flu and it didn’t sound too bad, 24 hours of very high temperature and that’s it, like the flu really. Your kids are old enough not to be in the high risk category.

Heather, Queen of Shake Shake

Nope, we’re not going with this flu vaccine. We don’t do flu vaccines at all, even for the regular flu. We’re not at a high risk for complications from the flu and I’m not trusting any vaccine that has been rushed through testing.

Cookie
12 years ago

I’m unsure about the H1N1 vaccine. We have our 18-month well-baby check up coming up next week and we always get the regular flu vaccine, so I’m waiting to hear what my pediatrician’s opinion is on the issue for my boys. I’ve had my regular flu shot and don’t plan to get the H1N1 vaccine myself. It does worry me that it hasn’t been tested for long and contains higher amounts of mercury than is typically used in vaccines.

books
12 years ago

Conflicted is right. I have the added complication that my 15 mo is allergic to eggs. Which allergist and ped say “get the vaccine-everyone” b/c they’re running the numbers and of course the risk of a small # of egg allergic kids reacting badly vs. an outbreak is worth it them. But when my kid is the one being put at risk…I don’t know. Why would I inject him with something I’m 100% sure he’s allergic to (and gave the most severe skin test reaction)? Might as well smear him with peanut butter and call it a day.
Add to this (http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/News-children-h1n1-vaccine-equal-092209.aspx), that says early studies show the vaccine is only 36% percent effective for his age group, and I’m even more on the fence. I will definitely check the latest clinical trials once it becomes available, but I’m leaning towards husband and me taking both flu shots for the team and hoping he doesn’t get it. (Marie Green-I feel you, I’ve had that same thought…if he had it before the shot became available, well, out of my hands and we wouldn’t have to make a decision re: the vaccine…)

Jem
Jem
12 years ago

This has nothing to do with my kids (of which I have none) but about my Mum. She had the flu vaccine, and I really don’t understand how it works, but she was allergic to the egg that it was incubated in. It has made her quite sick for the rest of her life, she hasn’t been able to touch dairy since (well she has pills she can take, but yeah). I never had the vaccine for that reason, and I still won’t, because I’m terrified the same thing will happen to me. I don’t think I’m allergic to eggs as such, but sometimes when I eat them I feel really ill afterward, so I’m not gonna risk it.

That being said, when I get the flu I always get it REALLY badly…like hallucinating/migraines/the worst pain I can imagine every single time (and I get it at least once a year, I’ve been vigilant on the hand sanitizer this year, particularly working in tourism, ’cause I can’t afford the time off work), so it’s not like I haven’t weighed up the idea. Plus I always get complications (bronchitis) even from a simple cold (thanks asthma) so it’s hard to say which is the lesser of two evils for me, really…

Sorry if this didn’t make much sense, I’ve done like no ACTUAL research into it :)

el-e-e
12 years ago

MAN, I took KT to the doc yesterday for a lingering cough (diagnosis: sinus infection) and forgot to ask about H1N1 vaccines. *forehead slap*

Both my kids got the regular vaccine (nasal mist) and I heard, too, that it could make them more susceptible to H1N1. Anyone ever read “Wickett’s Remedy (Myla Goldberg novel)?” About the flu epidemic in 1918? I’m a little scared of THAT scenario so if our pediatrician gets some H1N1 vaccine, we’ll probably go get it.

Guess I need to discuss w/the husband. Thanks for the reminder, Linda.

Mel
Mel
12 years ago

My kids have never had the flu vaccine. Not because I don’t believe in vaccines…they’ve had everything else. MMR, Polio, etc. The reason I’ve not given them flu vaccines in the past is because they are a crap shoot. I mean that the scientific community gets together and takes an educated guess at what strain(s) of flu will be in the forefront during the next flu season and then they go ahead and make the vaccine for that strain(s). Hence why I say crap shoot, it’s a guess. Yes an educated one, but still a guess. Instead I reinforce hand washing, not sharing foods, coughing into their inner elbow, etc. To date that has worked for us.

We will be getting vaccinated for H1N1 because it isn’t a crap shoot. They know what the strain is and we know it is actively circulating in the population. I have considered the option that H1N1 may (or may have already) mutated, but then with my very unscientific background I would think they would change the name of it….

In the end whatever you decide is what is best for your family! Don’t let anyone tell you differently.

Christina
12 years ago

I am considering skipping both for all of us this year. Definitely without a doubt in my mind we will all skip the H1N1 shot. It is untested and I think that part of the shot is being entirely downplayed esp. by the mainstream media which is weird since that bunch of yahoos hype EVERYTHING.

The reason I am thinking about skipping the regular flu shot has to do with last year. And the year before. Last year we all dutifully went and had our shot. And then promptly spent the rest of the winter sicker than dogs. Stomach flu. Flu. Flu. Flu. Head colds. Flu. Possibly the stomach flu again. Hmmm. The same for the year before.

I am calling these shots over hyped BS. We will likely all end up getting the regular flu shot because I will feel bad if we do not but I am still doubtful about it, and its effectiveness.

Redbecca
Redbecca
12 years ago

I’m allergic to chicken eggs so I’ve always passed on any elective shots. Not certain son is allergic because we can’t get him to eat them in the first place. I also suspect we’ve both had h1n1 already (spent a few days really sick, miserable, and a couple unable to breathe), although I don’t think hubby got it – or if he did it was very mild.
Anyway, unless our Ped gets nasty about it, we won’t be getting any flu vaccines. Vigilance with hygiene and watching symptoms has gotten us through in the past.

Lori
Lori
12 years ago

My husband’s immune system is compromised owing to illness, so our entire family already got the flu shot and will get H1N1 as soon as we can. I think all your concerns have merit, I share many of them. At this point, though, I’m more worried about my husband getting sick and being hospitalized yet again, or worse. I hope it’s the right decision.

Jake
Jake
12 years ago

Sorry in advance for this, but…

1) there is no vaccine controversy. The whole thing was kicked off by a study that 6 of the 7 authors have now recanted, given that it was funded by a group with expectations that the investigators would find problems. Since then, vaccines have been the target of public health investigations orders of magnitude larger than anything else in history, and no link between vaccines and neurodevelopmental outcomes has ever been found. Eventually it must be accepted that this is because no link exists, and the “controversy” exists because of the actions of a few very vocal, very heartbroken individuals justifiably looking for answers that may not exist, but certainly aren’t the fault of vaccines.

2) people are exceedingly bad at estimating risk. St. Louis Childens’ has had at least one H1N1 related death. LeBonheur Childrens has had at least two. Nobody has reported any GB, a condition that often remits over time. In 1918, twenty million people died from influenza, a condition not know to remit over time.

3) H1N1 vaccines are prepared in precisely the same mechanism as every other seasonal flu vaccine, so the argument that it has “only undergone 3 months of testing” is fallacious.

4) the biggest benefit to vaccines occurs when a large percentage of the population is vaccinated and the virus cannot establish a reservoir in the first place. People who fail to get vaccinated – against flu, measles, polio, chicken pox – are piggy-backing on the good will of those who do, and increasing the risk for everyone with whom they come in contact.

Sorry for the rantish response, but this is serious business. If you get worried about vaccines, find somebody about 70-80 and ask them about polio epidemics, go read about 1918, or go ask a 45-year old pediatrician about haemophillus meningitis, and how much they see any more after Prevnar. Don’t ask a centerfold model and a comedian.

Rowen
Rowen
12 years ago

I’m currently attending nursning school and we discuss H1N1 at least twice a week. Many, if not all of us, will be getting the regular flu shot, but I’d say that maybe only a 1/4 of my class at the most will be getting the H1N1 vaccinatino. We feel that the vaccination was rushed into the market and adaquate testing was not done on it- it normally takes 5 years of testing before a vaccination is approved for use.

So, if you don’t feel comfortable getting your kids immunized against H1N1, then DON’T do it! I too am worried about side affects and even though I work in the health care community, I will not be getting the vaccination. I’ve learned that if you are a healthy individual, your chances of contracting H1N1 are very slim.

Jake
Jake
12 years ago

A correction: The Prevnar vaccine is directed against streptococcus pneumoniae. The “HiB” vaccine is directed against haemophillus.

Melissa
Melissa
12 years ago

Very interesting discussion here…couldn’t read through all of it but here are my 2 cents. I’m 11 weeks pregnant, have a 3.5 yr old (who is in preschool) and a 16 month old at home. I’m a stay-at-home mom. Linda – I was just like you – gung-ho about getting vaccinated and now feeling nervous. First of all – I don’t want anyone to get sick in my family. But my daughter’s in school so it’s likely she’ll be exposed…then we all will. I’m pregnant so I feel more at risk of getting swine flu and having it be much more serious. I had pneumonia last year and I feel like I just cannot be out of commission like that again…especially if my kids need to be cared for while sick. I agree with you that this is not an easy decision. I think there have been scare tactics used on both sides of the argument in the media so it’s very hard to make a decision wholeheartedly. That being said, I do think I will get the swine flu vaccine and I am still mulling it over for the kids but leaning towards getting it for them. We all will be getting the regular flu shot as we do each year. My OB recommends the swine flu shot for pregnant women and my pediatrician said she will be vaccinating herself and her 3 young kids.

Jenny
Jenny
12 years ago

I find it a little funny that last year when the H1N1 started that there were people begging for a vaccine and now that there is one, people think it is the gov’t or pharm companies trying to get them.

I’ve read enough to wonder about the timing of regular vaccine’s and their effect on autism and I think that I would probably space out the vaccine’s if I had kids.

But I think I would still get the H1N1 shot since it is just one shot and a one time deal.

Sarah
Sarah
12 years ago

I have a 2 1/2 year old, and I’m 9 weeks pregnant. I have been urged to get the vaccines for myself and my son – I have never had a flu shot before. I will probably get one; I hope to be able to trust those who are supposed to steer me in the right direction, but yeah, still a bit of a question mark. Good luck with your decision.

Amy Krause
12 years ago

I got a flu shot for the first time last fall when I found out I was pregnant. I didn’t get the flu for the first time in years. Coincidence? Perhaps.

I work at a university and am around tons of people everyday, so I will probably get the regular flu vaccine again this year. Our pediatrician recommends it for all three of us. As for H1N1, probably not. She is not pushing that one, and it’s not available up here anyway. No reported cases of swine flu near us. Our daughter goes to a day care with just a handful of kids; I’m not that concerned at this point.

Kerri
Kerri
12 years ago

I don’t have any kids, but I think Jeremy Piven is hot. Priorities.

I’m going to get both vaccines myself, though I’m a little nervous too. It’s good that we’re thinking about these things, but I do believe our doctors have a lot more information than we do and give the best advice they can. If you trust your doc, you should follow his/her advice.

aimee @ smiling mama
12 years ago

I have to admit that I started reading your comments then had to stop because I was getting freaked out. I posted about this about a month ago. I’m fretful as well. To complicate matters, I’m pregnant and they are saying pregnant women are in the highest risk group for H1N1. Not to mention that we’ll have a newborn in January when the flu (both of them) will still be going around. I got my regular flu shot and my husband and 3yo will, too. I’m on the fence about H1N1 for everyone and am now going to look into that mercury issue. I hadn’t heard of that before.

obabe
12 years ago

There was a great article in this past weekend’s Time mag about the H1N1 shot.

As others have said above, the process for creating the vaccine was the same as the seasonal flu shot- the only reason it wasnt packaged with the seasonal flu shot was that they already had tons of the seasonal one created – anyone notice how all of the health clinics/pharamcies/doctor’s office had the seasonal flu shot in stock way earlier than normal (or in years past, when theyve run out?) They prepared well for that, at least.

My 12 month old has gotten his first seasonal flu shot, and im taking my 6+4 year olds back with him to get their flu mists when he gets his booster of the flu shot.

Then I get to take them all back again if I want to get the H1N1 for them, since it may not yet be at the ped’s office when we go in two weeks.
But i probably will, better safe than sorry- my kids fall into high risk by BEING little kids, and thats enough for me. My ped also recc’ed it for us.

Snotty McSnotterson
12 years ago

My son is 11, so no daycare. But I asked my son’s teacher directly what extra measures she would be taking this fall to prevent her classroom from becoming *more* of a petri dish. I also asked how the principal was preparing the teachers for it, if he did at all. That helped me decide whether the shots would be necessary, because truthfully, every flu shot has given me the flu – and every year I go without one, I skip the flu. Same with the kiddo. The H1N1 flu shot is probably just fine, but I personally don’t think they’ve perfected the old one – so I have a hard time trusting something that new when it hasn’t really been out of ‘beta’ for that long. (Oh my god, I’m a geek.) Good luck!

Cheryl S.
Cheryl S.
12 years ago

I got the regular flu shot and got the flumist for my 4 y/o daughter (It doesn’t contain the thermerisol). I’m probably NOT going to get the H1N1 or give it to my daughter. IF they have a non thermerisol version I will consider it. If not, I won’t get it for her.

Christie
Christie
12 years ago

I haven’t read all the comments…because there are a ton of them today!

I work for a medical device company and deal with the FDA for approval of many of the devices which are on the market. I can’t wrap my mind around the fact that it took less time to approve the H1N1 vaccine than it does for a low risk medical device! The time line is just not realistic. How do they know about all of the side effects that could be caused from the vaccine? I think I heard that they got the vaccine approved in something like 13 weeks. I’m not comfortable with it at all. The ‘regular’ flu kills many more people in a year than the H1N1 string. My step-son lives with us and he will not be getting this vaccine. He has already had his standard flu shot but the H1N1 vaccine won’t be given to anyone in my household until further testing is completed.

jonniker
12 years ago

For those saying “I never get sick!”, I feel annoyingly compelled to point out that it means nothing — absolutely freakin’ nothing — in the case of H1N1. That’s why it’s so scary and frustrating. Humans have no — zero, zip — natural immunity to it. NONE. So while your normally strong natural immune system may be what keeps you from getting sick every year, and why you never need a flu shot, it will do Johnny, Jack and Shit for you when it comes to the swine flu.

So don’t get it for your own reasons, but if the reason is that you never get sick, think twice.

Phoebe
Phoebe
12 years ago

There is a huge difference between how medical devices and flu vaccines are approved. The timeline was short, but the same steps and precautions were taken as with the normal seasonal vaccine. New vaccines; like for HIV need to be tested for 5+ years, but the process to make seasonal or H1N1 vaccine are the same and haven’t changed since they were originally approved by the FDA. The virus strain is the only thing that changes; there is no reason to believe that by changing the strain there would be new or greater side effects.

Another point above that bothers me is that there have been fewer deaths from H1N1 than from the the seasonal flu last year. I believe this had a lot to do with when the virus began to make its rounds. For whatever reason people get the flu during the colder months of the year. H1N1 started circulating last spring, after the “flu season.”

I just think that each person who has to make this decision for themselves or their kids needs to take be active in educating themselves. Discussions like this one can be useful but they can also be filled with misinformation. Don’t trust me or anyone else on here; find the information you need for yourself.

Sundry
Sundry
12 years ago

Phoebe: I think what’s most useful in a conversation like this is that it provides—at least for me—new points of view to think about and anecdotal experiences to consider. Absolutely agree we each need to do our own research, and I think this kind of discussion can spark some good jumping-off points for doing so.

Phoebe
Phoebe
12 years ago

I like reading all of the different points of view during this discussion and the many others your site has hosted. I know that people’s anecdotes help me remember information by allowing me to relate to the facts on a more personal level (I think I could call it the People magazine effect… I will remember the details of whatever break-up is on the cover but anything out of a textbook just doesn’t stick that easily).

I totally agree that this is a great jumping off point to get people reading and asking questions.

Also, thanks for the response (totally made my day). I love your blog and look forward to every post. (I hope you don’t think I’m some kind of jerk or something…)

Sundry
Sundry
12 years ago

Phoebe: not at all! And this: “people’s anecdotes help me remember information by allowing me to relate to the facts on a more personal level” — yes, EXACTLY.

obabe
12 years ago

i have to add in that im really impressed that this hasnt gotten nasty in the slightest. kudos to your fabulous readers :-)

Leah
12 years ago

I’m really torn about this, particularly because Wombat DOESN’T go to daycare, which makes me feel like he’s more at risk from vaccine-related illness than from catching the flu from an actual person. If he left the house more and came into regular contact with people besides his parents, I think it’d be an easier decision for me, and although my M.O. is to trust in my pediatrician’s recommendation (and she said to wait for the official go-ahead from the APA, sometime in mid-October), I still just…I don’t know. I’ve never had a flu shot, and I’m still alive, right?

Deanna
12 years ago

1. My 11 yr old is high func Autistic and we do think the MMR shot (with thimerisol) flipped a switch of some kind in him.

2. My 6 yr old tested pos for H1N1 2 weeks ago. I caught it and the 2 yr old caught it. We three took Tamiflu. The 11 yr old started to show syptoms so I gave him all our leftover tamiflu and he was fine. Hubby never caught it.

3. Our H1N1 experience was bearable. Tamiflu (50 bucks a pop was our copay!), OTC meds, etc. I slept for about a day and a half straight. We have had colds way worse than that. It is being all blown out of proportion by the media and medical pros.

4. I know I am cynical but I think this vacc was rushed and there is no need to pump every single body- any size and age- with any more man made chemicals. And who exactly is making a fortune on this? Someone somewhere is rolling nekkid in a big pile o’ cash. Sorry, I no longer drink the govenment mandated kool aide.

5. This is an interesting read: http://www.chiroweb.com/mpacms/dc/article.php?id=31730. I am not a concpiracy theorist. I do think this shows that there is “stuff” in shots that we do not understand. We are so careful what we eat and how we treat our bodies. Maybe we should ask a few more questions about what exactly we are injecting into our (and our babies’) bodies.

It is fine if folks wanna do it but I’ll take a pass on this one. It really was not that bad.

But this is from someone who got the chicken pox shots for her kids and is now seeking a chicken pox party for them to attend (so they can get a little exposure and catch it just a little bit now as kids).

Tough decision everyone has to make on their own.

Angie
Angie
12 years ago

Ack. Totally on the fence about the H1N1 vaccine. I have a three week old, 4 year old, and 2 year old. My husband and I and our oldest daughter have already gotten the regular flu vaccine, and my son is due for his next week at his well visit. I’ve been pretty relaxed about it the last few years, but since there’s a newborn in the house and my daughter is now in preschool I wanted to give her some protection since she’s not old enough to get vaccinated herself.

Most of the time with all these vaccines I feel as if I’m damned if I do and damned if I don’t. So far we’ve been lucky and haven’t had any reactions but you never know. Being a parent is impossibly rough sometimes.

Megan
Megan
12 years ago

I’m scared of the H1N1 vaccine. I already had my regular flu shot. In 2 weeks I am marrying a man who had Guillian Barre and let me tell you it is no joke. I don’t think I’d get GBS from the H1N1 vaccine, but I am very leery of this fast track business by the FDA. I’m going to take my chances. My mom just had H1N1 and she was really sick, but no worse than she is with the normal flu. It just lasted a little longer.

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[…] not the only mom who feels this way. One of the mommy bloggers I follow, All & Sundry, just posted something about choosing to get the vaccine (or not). She got almost two hundred comments and every single one made me think “Oh good […]

Jennifer
12 years ago

I’m 9 weeks pregnant and my OB expects to have the vaccine in next month so I’ll get vaccinated. My 1 year old daughter will probably get vaccinated if our doctor recommends it. I’m one who feels the risks of not getting vaccinated outweigh those of getting vaccinated.

ginger
ginger
12 years ago

I’m not going to offer an opinion about H1N1 vaccination in children – I just don’t know enough to say boo about it. But as an epidemiologist, I am completely comfortable saying that the evidence shows that there is no association between thimerosal and autism. I even know some of the people who did the studies, and I would trust my life and the lives of those I love to their science.

At the personal/anecdotal level – I learned last night that a college friend of mine, also an epidemiologist, died of something that sounds an awful lot like H1N1. I’m very sad about this. I’ve also been watching people around me who’ve gotten sick with it (I think my seasonal shot did give me some cross-protection) and it’s definitely worse than the regular flu *here* where it’s winter – longer course, more secondary infections, more malaise and worse respiratory symptoms. I’ll get the vaccine as soon as it’s feasible.

Melissa
12 years ago

I work in an area of health care.

And frankly? For this? It is no worse than your typical every day flu. And it’s not like the shot will INSTANTLY protect you from H1N1. It still will take your body a little time to build resistance.

With all that blah blah blah out?

If your kids (or any adult really) have a medical condition that compromises their immune system, then yes.

If they don’t, then no.

I had H1N1 two weeks ago. I was lucky to have it fairly mild. It still sucked for about 4 days…but it wasn’t like I felt like I was on my death bed. :p

Motherhood Uncensored
12 years ago

Oh that poor Jeremy Piven.

I actually caught Dr. Oz on Letterman (maybe it was last night) and when Letterman asked him if he was getting the H1N1 vax he looked a bit hesistant and said “I’m waiting.” My guess is that it’s not well tested just yet.

I’m not going to jinx myself discussing the flu vax that my kids got last year and then somehow ended up with a seriously nasty case of stomach flu just a few days afterward with a new baby in the house.

Ahem.

trope
12 years ago

I work in health care and my spouse works in a day care administration, so there’s no question that we’re getting the normal flu vax. We may or may not get the H1N1 vax, depending on when it comes out and (frankly) how much it costs.

Our kiddo (2 yrs and change) goes to baby school with a bunch of Waldorf kids who are all entirely unvaxed, so he’s getting whatever his pediatrician will allow us to pump into him. I’m not scared that he will get sick and die, but winter in the city is bad enough without one more hideous virus. Even though he’s a healthy kid, we all get sick a little too often for my comfort, October-April.

Frannie
Frannie
12 years ago

As a nurse and 20 weeks pregnant, I feel that it’s imperitive that I get all vaccinations. I felt conflicted about the H1N1, but I’m trying not to panic or let paranoia influence my decision. I am also a student in a college, where the swine flu has been going around. Regardless if I feel healthy, I don’t want to risk falling ill, passing the virus to others, or putting my baby at greater risk. I believe “Prepare for the worst, and hope for the best.”