Wednesday, October 28, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine - yes or no?

There have been many, I mean MANY discussions in our house on whether or not we should take the H1N1 vaccine. I admit I have never been one to get the regular flu shot. I never saw the point. It doesn't cover all threads of the virus and the chances of you getting the flu are still pretty high.

Swine flu is a whole different level. The WHO is declaring it the next pandemic. That right there is enough to get people into panic mode. My main concern is that they have no idea what the long term, or even short term effects of taking this vaccine are. Sure, it may prevent the virus, but what if the effects of taking it are much more worse than getting the flu itself??

Add to this the tragic story of the 13 year old, healthy, athletic boy who died 2 days ago from H1N1. There are people who I know who were "on the fence" with me about getting the vaccine. The death of this boy has pushed many of them off the fence and they are on their way to stand in line for the vaccine. Even if they do not "qualify" for it right now.

My main concern, of course, is Jonah. Am I a bad mother for not vaccinating him? Will I be a bad mother if I DO get him vaccinated and he ends up with some kind of long term effect? I just do not trust how quickly this has been approved without the research to support what effects, if any, there are.

I am curious on how others feel about this. Will you get the H1N1 vaccine? Are you doubting it? Would love to hear your thoughts!


Stacey said...

We stood in line and got it yesterday. (Kids under 9 need a second dose a month later.) It is supposed to be about as safe as any regular old flu shot but with protection against this particular strand that none of us has any immunity to. They've been doing the regular flu shots for a while so I figure they know what they are doig. I just couldn't live with myself if there was something I could do to prevent my little ones from getting really sick (and possibly hospitalized or worse) and I didn't do it. I got it myself because if I get really sick, I wouldn't be able to take care of the baby and we don't have family nearby to help. I fall into the eligible category because I have a child under 6 months old. I think that the younger the kids are, the more chance of complications...not as much of a risk when they are older, kwim? Hadn't heard about the 13 year old...hmmm. Well, that's my 2 cents. :)

Melody said...

Hey Char. I'm in the same boat. I'm not sure what to do. I'm concerned for my kids, but at the same time, there isn't enough research about the long term effects. There are a lot of people in the medical community who aren't getting it or recommending it, for many different reasons. However, because I work in a school, where children don't cover their mouths, noses, etc., I might be better off to get the shot in order to prevent the infection. One of the teachers in my school has a daughter who now has H1N1, and the teacher is at work. There's no regulation for her to not come in though.
One thing I did read today was a report from Peel Board stating that although this flu is widespread and highly contagious, this is not expected to be life threatening. It shouldn't be any worse than a regular flu virus. And the people who are most at risk are those with health conditions already, ie: asthma, like the 13 yr old boy who died on the weekend.
So, as you can see, I'm still on the fence, and hope more than anything, my kids don't catch it. I try to keep myself healthy, which is one of the recommendations from the WHO, so maybe I'm a step in the right direction.

Sandy said...

I'm still on the fence. I'm asthmatic so I tend to think I should go. I go every year for the regular flu so I likely will. I agree it's difficult to know whether to get it or not. It's so new and we don't know much about it.

I just hope that people keep their heads about this whole thing. It's the flu. And the vast majority of people who get it, are just fine. It's the complication factor (asthma) that concerns me.

Good luck with your decision.

Jayne said...

They were offer them at the kids schools and yes I sined for all three to receive them - porblem is they are running low so decided not to give them at the schools so not sure what we will do now. I worry the most about my oldest (14) he has severe allergies so his lung as just so-so.