Thursday, October 22, 2009

H1N1

First of all, I turned off the comment notification thing. It's just a pain in the butt. So I'm asking you nicely, please play nice when you leave comments.

Now, with that being said, I'm making another potentially inflammatory post. I honestly want your opinions. The H1N1 vaccine has now been approved and is being sent out in MASS and the government is telling everyone to get vaccinated. Am I the only one who is a little nervous about this?? Seriously, this vaccine is NEW, how do we know the long term effects? What guarantee can the government give me that if I vaccinate my children, they won't have serious side effects from this down the road? NOT that I am downplaying H1N1, I KNOW this is serious. BUT all we have been hearing and educating our children to WASH YOUR HANDS, SNEEZE OR COUGH INTO YOUR SLEEVE, etc. This vaccine makes me nervous. MAYBE it is because I just finished reading a book where a vaccine was mass produced and then 20 years from that time people had severe side effects and most of a town died. OK, before you get all up in arms about it, I know that was a story. BUT STILL. If this was just MY life, I would be looking at this differently. BUT this is our CHILDREN. Rob and I are responsible for making this decision on whether or not we want to inject a vaccine into our children when we don't know the long term effects. And lets' face it. We are vaccinating them against the FLU. And for the record, we have never had flu shots. Many people I know became very ill after taking the flu shot so I didn't do it, and my children have never had flu shots. And yes, to answer your question, our children have received all their vaccinations. This one for some reason really scares me. Thoughts? (And please, I'm asking nicely. Be nice in your comments, and leave your name)

38 comments:

Anonymous said...

We all get the flu shot in our house, I am diabetic and everyone in my house has to be vacinated, we have never had problems with the flu shots,no side effects or anything the kids included and we will be getting them this year along with the H1N1 I assume. We take whatever precautions we can to avoid the flu here, the kids take hand sanitizer to school and when they come home from school they have to wash their hands with soap and water before they get their snack, they do this again before supper and anytime they come in from outside or someone else's home. The kids I look after also get their hands washed before every snack and meal. I am a germapobic and I think that Lloyd and I are making the best decisions for our children

Nicole

Megan said...

All flu vaccines are new. That's why you have to get one every year: the yearly shot targets the strains that are most likely to be floating around that year.

The flu shot does not cause the flu. If you get sick after you get the shot, it's because you were infected before you got the needle: you didn't get it soon enough.

Does that help?

OHN said...

Megan said it well. I had to explain to S3 why we get the shots every year. The strains are never the same year to year and the H1N1 strain hasn't been around enough before to develop the vaccine.

We all get the flu shot here in our family. The benefits of the shot, outweigh the slight risk.

I got my regular flu shot a week ago, and the only reaction I had was a teeny bit of soreness in that muscle the next day.

My grandmother gave birth to my mom in 1918, and was traumatized by the 1918 swine flu, having lost 3 or 4 of her siblings (grandma, not mother), so I think that story has stuck with me.

I am actually taking S3 to get his H1N1 mist after school today. This will hopefully encourage his own immune system to buck up and shoo away the virus.

Sorry..rambling can occur at times, when I am smelling paint fumes ;)

Karyn said...

I've been back and forth on this issue myself for the past few weeks. There is the troubling info that kids with conditions like asthma (of which my son has a mild form) can be more severely affected by H1N1, which makes me pro-vaccine. Then there is the troubling info that in the early 1970s when H1N1 went through, more people died from the vaccine than from the flu itself, which makes me anti-vaccine.

Because this vaccine is brand new, has been potentially rushed through testing in order to get it on the shelves, and was already stocked throughout the country ready to distribute before it was officially approved (leaving me doubt as to how much choice there actually was whether to approve or not), I'm mostly leery.

My daughter has had reactions to her last two vaccinations (MMR and Polio). Luckily the reactions were fairly mild, but it makes me think twice (or ten times) before wanting to inject her with an unproven vaccine, seeing as she reacts with ones that have been around for decades.

My husband usually gets the seasonal flu shot through work every year, but the kids and I haven't. Luckily their school is very germaphobic these days and handwashing and hand sanitizer is the norm. We do a lot of hand washing, lots of hand sanitizing and lots of sneezing/coughing into elbows at home. We are trying to be very conscious of germs and keeping ourselves healthy.

Sorry if this is long and disjointed. I understand where you thoughts are coming from. There is the "What if I don't get them vaccinated and they get the worst form of H1N1 and the unthinkable happens?" and there is the "What if they get a bad vaccine or they react badly to the vaccine and the unthinkable happens?"

For the most part I am pro-vaccine. But, like you, this one leaves me feeling a bit leery. It feels a little too media-driven and fear-mongering, perhaps.

elmo said...

The H1N1 vaccine is safe, it was developed the same way as every other flu shot and is no different from them other then we know the name of this one.

On the flip side, frequent vaccinations and being a germaphobe actualy weaken the immune system. Your body becomes dependant on the shots and because germaphobes are not exposed to bacteria/germs you dont have a natural defense built up. By not getting the shots you actualy have a stronger system better able to defend against the flu. Getting the shot does offer increased protection against that one flu, but at the cost of lower protection against other flu's.

So the question is, when the flu is going around do the kids get sick? If they are the first to get sick and catch it a couple times when its around then get the shot. If they sometimes dont catch it or are the last to catch it I wouldnt worry.

Kel P said...

Tina I'm in the same boat you are - No FREAKIN idea if I'm getting it or not. I have to be honest that I'm pretty freaked out, since I have three of the high-risk factors (age group, female, pregnant), and of course I work in a school - one of the most disease ridden places going. I'm a little nervous with the speed at which the vaccine was developed, but at the same time, between the risk factors, and my history of asthma, etc, I feel like if I were to get H1N1 I could be in serious trouble. I do get a flu shot most years (again, asthma, disease-y environment) but I'm just not sure. I'm going to talk to my health care provider and see what she suggests. Then I'll do that. Let me know what you decide about the kids, because I'm at a loss with what to do with Alan as well.

Ang said...

Hello! Long time reader, first time commenter.

The people above have said it well. It's just a regular flu vaccine. The only differences here are that it has a name and media coverage. It's been made exactly the same way as the other flu vaccines in previous years by using the virus and combining it with a chicken egg protein.

I don't normally get the flu vaccine every year, but I live in Australia and it doesn't get cold enough in my region for people to crowd together inside a lot (leading to an increase in the viruses spreading). I did get the H1N1 vaccine because I'll be in North America for most of the northern winter this year. I'm not concerned about it because the long-term evidence that it's okay comes from other flu vaccines made exactly the same way.

I think it's great that you're putting a lot of thought into this though rather than blindly going for it or rejecting it! I'm all for doing my own research. I hope you can come to a decision that makes you comfortable!

Anonymous said...

Watch this... I think it will help you make your decision.

http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/10/21/Special-Swine-Flu-Update.aspx#

jen said...

I feel a little nervous too, but only because I have to get it while I'm pregnant. However apparently getting this flu is much worse for the fetus, so I'm going to get this vaccine, where as in the past I've generally missed the flu shot.

I like the way Megan said it, you can't actually get the flu from the flu shot. It's just a dead virus. But I do know some people who have reacted, maybe an allergy to the egg product used?

Tawny said...

I spoke to my doctor about this and she told me that as a doctor, she was one of the first to get the H1N1 vaccine because she works in the hospital. But then when I asked her if she would still get the shot if she wasn't a doctor and was pregnant, she said absolutely not.

I have no interest in 'testing' a new vaccine on myself and the baby that I am carrying - I'd rather take the precautions and try and avoid H1N1 rather than take an unknown vaccine to prevent a virus that I may or may not get.

indigo said...

Megan and Ang hit the pesky little porker right on the head.

If it was butterfly flu would everyone be so freaked?

I am old enough that I remember the last swine flu outbreak, I think it was 1976. Same thing. Same questions. Same media and epidemiologists hype. Same public fear.

All flus are given a name and the strongest strain prevalent from the most recent outbreak is used to make the next seasonal flu vaccine. This is no different.

Best way to make an informed decision is just that, be informed, not misinformed. There is a lot of misinformation floating around out there. NO health intervention is 100% fail proof. There IS always a risk, can it be calculated? That's for you to decide.

Great comments everyone.

Mary Lou said...

Tina I am with you... sitting on the fence and totaly not sure whatI will do for the boys. Me personally I will decline because of my arthritis stuff I take. But as for the boys it is still under discussion with me and Mike.

Anonymous said...

I also have never gotten a flu shot and don't intend to start now. I am yet to even get the flu. My body has developed a great immune system, which is good because I work in a building of about 500 people. My daughter(who is in grade 7)will be getting the shot because she had the flu before and when she gets a bad cold her bronchial Esma flares up.
I'm sure you'll make the right choice for your boys.

Anonymous said...

From time to another i visit your blogg and like it very much.
Well,here in Sweden people have the same discussions about the vaccin.Is it harmless or not,personally I think it is a litle suspicious that Goverments all over the world so hard want the people get immunised.I will not get the vaccin,i dont trust the authorities.
Have a godd time up north
Best regards from Sweden
Kennet

Kennet said...

And now I have nominated your blogg to Canadian Blog Award too.
Well i dont use to comment your blog,just enjoy to come in and look and read how it is in Canada.

Hope your blogg wins.
A little off topic but......

Demeter said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Demeter said...

I could have written this post. I have never had a flu shot and have never been affected by the flu. I have what seems to be a strong immune system and my kids too.

I feel exactly the same way as you, perhaps not due to the long term effects of it, but the immediate or short term effects as well, also, because once you have this shot, it affects your immune system in ways that may not be the best.

Then again, if the kids don't get the shot, being so young, and they get the flu, two things may happen: they may get a different strain of the virus, or be exposed to the ravages of the flu because they did not become immune to it from the vaccine. A tough choice either way. Whatever you do, it will be the best you can do for your kids.

Kennet said...

Totally off topic.
When I visit your blog I ysually do not leave any comments but in this question I just had to.
I like your blog and now I have voted for it in the competition Canada Blog Award too.

3carnations said...

We're having trouble deciding. We do get the regular flu shot, but we are having trouble deciding about this one. It's not available right now, so we can keep thinking about it.

Valentina said...

Hi Tina! Sorry this comment comes a bit late, but I wanted to give you an "European perspective" on the issue. It is a known fact that the American government has spent billions of dollars for the development of this vaccine and is now pushing everybody to get immunized. Mike, Lilyan and I will not get vaccinated. The health authorities here in Italy say that the H1N1 virus is another time of flu, just the flu and yes, it could be potentially harmful (JUST LIKE EVERY SEASONAL FLU)if you have health problems to begin with.
I have heard potentially disturbing facts about this new vaccine, and, as Tawny said, I have no interest in 'testing' a new vaccine on myself and my family. Hope this helps, Tina!

Karan said...

Tina - for some reason, it has been awhile since I was on your site. I finally found it again.

I might be a bit late, but decided to weigh in on your flu shot post. Like you, I have gone back and forth on this. I am NOT anti-vaccination. My kids' vaccinations, my husband's and my own, are all up to date, but we do not ever get the flu shot. I am old enough to remember the great "Swine Flu Epidemic of 1976" that never was, but which, after mass vaccinations, left many Americans with serious neurological disorders. And yes, I know that flu vaccines have come a long way since 1976, but nevertheless, until about 1998, a person who was not in a high risk group could not get one and I was even told that the risks for normally healthy people without chronic conditions did not necessarily outweigh the benefits.

The fact is that the long-term effects of ANY influenza vaccine are not yet known. What if it causes the same trans-generational problems as other drugs, like DES, did?

Yet, I know that the flu can be dangerous and that there have been times when thousands perished.

I don't suppose I have helped your deliberations much. For the record, I decided to give it a miss once again. I wish you the best of luck.

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