By: Jennifer Murray

(UPDATED) H1N1 – Swine Flu Shots…

SwineFlu

UPDATE: There are diverse opinions being shared in the comment section of this post.  Thanks to many of you who are weighing in on this one.  We’ve decided to form a poll to track your decisions regarding the vaccination.  You can continue to share your personal thoughts in the comment forum, and cast your ballot in the poll located on the right sidebar. Unfortunately, there was a homicide that takes precedence over our story running this evening.  We’ll update you when we have a new air time. 

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So Jen and I are in a little dilemma here.  What do we do about this nasty little flu bug known as the Swine Flu?  We were right in the middle of a discussion about this very topic this week when out of the blue, the Fox affiliate here in town contacted us to get our opinion about this very topic.  There are apparently some folks outside the US preying on people who are scared of this illness, selling fake Tamiflu and other flu fighting drugs online.  Fox is doing a story about this problem and what parents are doing about the H1N1 virus.  Jen was out of the house when they called, but I agreed to do an interview and give our perspective on this difficult situation.

On one hand it is scary to think about our boys contracting a virus that has so little history in human beings.  But on the other, the vaccine that has been created to fight this pandemic has had very little testing, and we are a little unsure about letting it enter the family bloodstream.  Then there are the risks associated with the nasal mist vaccine, which we have heard is one of the only options available right now.  There are apparently risks with the mist on people groups who are susceptible to respiratory infections, which our boys would fit into.

This is something we plan to call our doctor to discuss this week.  We really need to cut through the hype and figure out what is best for Isaac, Brooks, Clark, and Henry.  And, for that matter, we also need to figure out what Jen and I will do. 

Please leave Jen and I a comment and let us know what you plan to do. 

Do we get the vaccine at all? 

Are the risks involved with vaccines in general greater than the risk that H1N1 poses?

Do we get the regular flu vaccine AND the H1N1 vaccine at the same time?  Spread them out?

Do we get one and not the other?

Lot’s of scary decisions, please let us know what you think!  Stay tuned, we will let you know what we decided.

~ Quatro Papa

58 Responses to “(UPDATED) H1N1 – Swine Flu Shots…”

  1. Joan
    October 20, 2009 at 1:05 am #

    Ugh I'm with your guys. It's so horrifying to have to decide. I think I am going to speak with the kids Dr. as well and decide what he thinks, and what would be best for the children. If the spray has not had an fatal effects, like the flu itself, I want to say I'd take my chances.. I'm at a loss right now too..

  2. Sandy
    October 21, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    I received the annual flu shot, as well as my husband. We both work in healthcare and have gotten it for years. I don't believe that I have ever had influenza. I am currently off work and expecting a baby in a few weeks. I homeschool my two former 28 weekers, who are now 9. One of them has some respiratory issues. I have never given either one the flu shot, and at this point don't intend to. They do go to church, homeschool activities, and spend time with neighborhood children, cousins, and also other children in the home when the visit their father. I believe they each had the flu a few years ago once. I also believe that the H1N1 thing is being hyped up and people are getting scared to death. Not that it should be taken lightly, but the "regular" flu claims many lives EVERY YEAR! I am still not sure about the special vaccination, but will continue to consider it. I pretty much plan to seclude my newborn as much as possible for the winter, but of course, she will have contact with her father (who takes care of sick people all the time) and myself and the older kids. I will be interested to see what her pediatrician says, I trust his judgment on most things.

    Some of the above posters have mentioned vaccinating kids in general. I would have to say that while I respect people's decisions not to vaccinate, I do have a problem with it. I have worked in an ER for over 7 yrs now, and it is clear that we are seeing diseases that were rarely seen for many years after we started vaccinating children. A child with pertussis (whooping cough) is a terrible thing. Sometimes I feel that people who don't choose to vaccinate are just relying on those of us who do to keep these diseases from touching their own lives. Unfortunately, the more that choose that, the less protection. Just my 2cents on the subject.

  3. The McGrath Family
    October 22, 2009 at 1:00 am #

    Just as an FYI to the anonymous who was talking about influenza as a gastroenteritis…stomach bug; influenza is a primary respiratory illness. Some with H1N1 have had some vomiting but most of that is probably from the high fever and excessive coughing. I am a PICU nurse at a top ranked children's hospital. I think the jury is pretty spilt on to get or not to get. A lot boils down to where you obtain your information, who you trust, and how much you understand about the entire issue.
    Personally, we will not be getting the vaccine. My kids are 2 1/2 and 16 months and healthy. Working in the hospital I am constantly exposed and still, the risk outweighs the potential beneft. I work closley with a nutritionist and pharmacist and we have been researching this. While I think the jury is out about autism, that was not our primary focus. http://Www.zimmernutrition.com has the articles if anyone is interested. I see MANY kids with h1n1 daily and while a fever of 105 seems scary, it is not a medical emergency. As long as you can reduce the fever by medication, lukewarm baths etc…there is not a risk of long term issues. Of course this is a bit of a different debate when you are talking about kids at a higher risk. But my preference would be to increase vitamin D and add probiotics and hand washing and avoidance of crowds where here could be people infected.
    For those that have said the vaccines are 100% safe; some more research needs to be done. Look at CDC data about adverse reaction reporting. It is estimated that the flu vaccine is only about 50-60% effective each year. There are about 36,000 deaths annually from influenza. 5 years ago only about 20% of the population got the vaccine while today it is closer to 60%. The number of deaths and documented cases has not decreased. I think that shows it's lack of effectiveness. And while some say that the h1n1 vaccine is safe because it is made just like the regular flu vaccine, then why was the first set of vaccines delivered recalled because there was an increase in a disorder that causes paralysis? Look at the number of adverse reactions to the vaccine alone, along with the fact that there have only been 500 and some odd number of deaths from h1n1…remeber 36,000 on average a year from flu…it just doesn't seem that risk of death from the illness is equal to the risk of the vaccine alone.
    And just to throw in there…I am just getting over h1n1, my children are fine as of now and if they do get sick…Tylenol, motrin, fluids and rest. That is really all that can be done and they will survive!!

  4. Diana and Fam
    October 22, 2009 at 2:45 pm #

    I had the same questions but decided to just get our family the normal flu shot. Which is what most people are doing since the shots are mostly gone. Since your boys are preemies and are considered high risk (like my 4 yr old) the doctors will tell you to get the flu shot. I agree that the swine flu vac has not been tested enough and it really is just another version of the flu. I think people are just freaking out about it too much. Good luck in deciding!

  5. Alicen
    October 22, 2009 at 9:09 pm #

    So the comments here pretty much sum up how the vast population is reacting to this vaccine. Lots for, lots against, and many unsure.

    I am still unsure as to what to do for our family. My 3 yr. old son and I received the seasonal flu vaccine for the first time this year for 2 reasons: 1) my pediatrician is very pro flu vaccine and 2) I have a 4 month old daughter now so we fall into the high risk category (although she is completely healthy).

    I never had anything against the seasonal flu vaccine but we were all healthy so I didn't feel it was a big deal. I have never (knock on wood) had the seasonal flu and I did work at a daycare for 4 years. I also had heard of many people getting the vaccine that still came down with the flu so I decided to take my chances. I agreed to get it this year mainly to help protect my daughter. I know life would suck for a few days if I got the flu but most likely I would be just fine however I would feel horrible if her poor little body got it or my son for that matter.

    My son was hospitalized for 5 days with the Rotavirus earlier this year and although it's a completely different illness seeing your child THAT SICK is something that you never want to see again, especially for something that can be prevented! Side note: He was suppose to have gotten the Rotavirus vaccine and I know for sure he received one dose but can't confirm (we're in the military and move around a lot) whether he did get all doses. It wasn't on his record although I consented so who knows. I have since learned to stay on top of things much more but that is a story for a different day. I would hate to have to go through that again for either child knowing it most likely could have been prevented. Then there is the chance our family could somehow escape without getting sick.

    I am still on the fence about whether to get H1N1 for us. Many of the thoughts I have have been said already. I have read the info on the CDC's website and spoken to my pediatrician who says we should definitely get it because my daughter can't. I think the only reason I am on the fence is because the vaccine is so new and there is no long term data on possible side effects. I am not a person who believes there is a link between vaccines and autism however there are other possible complications. Like some people said that does seem silly because many of us don't think twice about the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine was made using the same method and it is still the flu just a different strain. The other reason I am on the fence is because I feel the H1N1 thing is WAY blown out of proportion. From what I have read it's not that much more severe than the seasonal flu it is just more easily spread. I do know that if either of my children got it I would feel horrible knowing there was a way to, more than likely, prevent it.

    Having said all that I am still debating what to do for us. It's not an easy one and it comes down to a personal decision that we all make and can live with making. If I didn't have children I wouldn't get the vaccine…I would take my chances but like they say having children changes everything!

    Also just an FYI…some people were talking about how there were no clinical trials done on children but actually THERE ARE. Here is a link to the article with all the specifics if anyone wants to check it out.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/08/20/h1n1.flu.kids.trial/index.html

  6. thediaperdiaries
    October 22, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    Torn on the shot, but a little scared since I have a newborn in the house.

    I did want to correct someone's statment that the only people dying are people with underlying medical conditions. Right now there are several otherwise completely healthy high school and college students in our area fighting for their lives from pneumonia brought on by H1N1. And this is just beginning.

  7. Anonymous
    October 23, 2009 at 1:06 am #

    The H1N1 vaccine would have been included with the seasonal flu shot had they known about it sooner. So if you get the regular flu shot get the H1N1 too. My whole family has gotten the regular flu shot and will be getting the H1N1 as soon as we can. We all are in the high risk groups, I'm a nurse, my husband has asthma and my kids just because of their age.

  8. Mommato2miracles
    October 24, 2009 at 2:27 am #

    My kids got the H1N1 yesterday, and so far are ok. My daughter who is 1 was exposed to someone all of last weekend, who then tested positive for H1N1 on tuesday. I am anxious to see if she gets sick. AS a nurse the kids that I have seen with H1N1 already are SO SICK!!! I will do anything to protect my kids from it

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