H1N1 vaccination shot for the kids: Yes or No?

h1n1vaccineThat’s the question of the day, isn’t it?

It’s a question that’s becoming a water-cooler topic at work.  It’s been something that The Ex and I have discussed as it potentially affects our son.  It’s becoming more and more of a question mark every single day.  It’s something that’s affecting most parents and can be quite the stressful issue:

So should my kids get an H1N1 vaccination shot?

With my 10-year-old daughter, I haven’t had the opportunity to discuss the issue with her mom.  I think she’ll most likely get the shot because she’s considered ‘high risk’ and it just seems to be the right thing to do.  Either way, I trust the judgment of her mom and her stepfather in making the decision.

The issue for me is with my 3-year-old son.

Ankle Biter gets sick a lot.  My feeling is that he’ll get the flu at least once over the upcoming season.  My primary concern isn’t whether or not he’ll get sick this winter.  My primary concern is whether or not this vaccination is the right thing to do.

I haven’t heard a whole lot of information on the research that went into making this vaccine.  I haven’t heard a whole lot about the testing that has been done to ensure the safety of this vaccine.  I haven’t heard much on the possible side effects that could come from a toddler getting this vaccination shot.

I haven’t heard about these things because the H1N1 vaccination has been rushed to production and rushed to a rabid public so hell-bent on getting a cure that they’d take shots of wheat-grass juice mixed with my piss if the government and the media told them it was safe.

I’m not a conspiracy theorist.  I’d like to think I’m more of a cautionary pre-planner.  I would simply like to know more about this vaccine before sticking it into my 3-year-old’s bloodstream.  I would simply like to know more before blindly walking into a situation where a medical company could be producing placebos that the government is buying up by the millions in the hopes of placating the public fears.

The Ex told me on Sunday that she decided Ankle Biter was getting the shot.

When she told me about her decision, she told me the reasons behind the decision.  She spoke to three local physicians…she spoke with her sister (who is a nurse)…she went to the Canadian government website…she did some research and came to a conclusion.  After our discussion, I didn’t really have much issue with it (other than not being consulted beforehand).

I watched the 60 Minutes segment on the H1N1 vaccine on Sunday night.  After watching it, I concluded that it’s a safe vaccine for my son and daughter to take.  But then the question arose that wasn’t really answered in the segment: Is this vaccine a cure?  Will this prevent one from contracting H1N1?

I guess it depends on who you ask, but this answer was about as diplomatic as I’ve been able to find:

In general, seasonal flu vaccines are 70 to 90 percent effective, according to Dr. David Tayloe, president of the American Academy of Pediatrics. Swine flu vaccine is made using the same procedure as the seasonal flu vaccine and that vaccination is the best way to guard against contracting H1N1.

However, it is too early to determine the effectiveness of the H1N1 vaccine. “We have not had the vaccine long enough to know how many of those immunized will develop immunity or how long they will be immune,” said Tayloe.

He stressed, however, that the swine flu vaccine is made using the same procedure as the seasonal flu vaccine and that vaccination is the best way to guard against contracting H1N1.

Sigh…

It almost seems that for as much as I read about this vaccine being a must-have, I read about it being a should-have.  I’ll go with the decision of The Ex and will probably end up getting it myself in a month or so (whenever it’s readily available to the general public).  But I’ll still admit to having doubts about the whole thing.

What about you?  What about your kids?  Are you giving your children the H1N1 vaccination shot?  Are you getting it yourself?  Is this all over-hyped media fervor?

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14 thoughts on “H1N1 vaccination shot for the kids: Yes or No?

  1. I didn’t vaccinate Ty against H1N1 simply because I couldn’t overcome that feeling of my gut screaming and railing against it.

    The H1N1 flu is LESS deadly than the regular influenza, one of the main problems is that people aren’t getting treated properly, they’re treating it as the cold or bronchitis and not getting proper care from a physician.

    My trade-off for not getting the vaccination for either Ty or myself was that I’ll get more Vitamin C & D into our systems to help our immune systems out and if we start to get sick or have any flu-like symptoms, we go to the doctor right away and get proper care.

    I just couldn’t overcome the feeling that the H1N1 was not the right thing for me or my son.

  2. Benjamin hasn’t had his flu shot or his H1N1 since his pediatrician doesn’t have any shots of any kind. It’s a moot point here in Texas, where we still don’t have any of the H1N1 vaccine. We have some of the live virus FluMist vaccine, but I wouldn’t get that one. The whole thing is frustrating for me. I would have gotten him both shots.

    We had a 5 year old girl die here in a local hospital from complications from flu. Her parents opted not to do an autopsy so they don’t know if it was seasonal flu or H1N1.

    To me it’s a big gamble no matter what you do. Don’t get the shots, and hope your kid doesn’t have the regular flu complications that can be deadly? Get the shots, and hope that your kid doesn’t have any side effects from those? I was never a flu shot taker myself, but I do it now to hopefully ensure I can remain illness-free.

  3. Oh, funny. I just checked a local website and one large branch of clinics DOES have some H1N1 vaccine. However, as I said, B isn’t a patient of that clinic and his ped doesn’t have the shots.

    I don’t know what kind of treatment you could get from your dr for the flu…Tamiflu maybe, but that just helps lessen your symptoms and doesn’t make you less contagious.

  4. I don’t think so. My son’s pediatrician recommended it this year (he never has before), which gave me pause… but only for a moment. My kiddo very rarely gets sick and he’s never gotten a flu shot. And my gut just doesn’t like the idea though.

    It’s scary, though. My boyfriend’s two young daughters got swine flu recently. They’ve both fully recovered, but it’s made me think a little more about getting the vaccine for my son. it’s hard to shut up the “what if”s, but I just don’t feel like it’s the right thing to do my my son.

    I reserve the right to change my mind, though… 🙂

  5. All I can say is that, in the UK at least, almost everyone who has died from the virus has had some sort of underlying medical problem, so if the little ‘un gets sick a lot, I would consider it greatly.

    That and I had it, and got over it (after shooting it out both ends for a few days) , but my Gran had it as well, and it knocked seven shades out of her. Indeed, I don’t think she’s been 100% since, although some of what she’s been going through isn’t exactly related, but it has sorta followed on.

  6. Like Ashley there’s just something inside me telling me not to do it.

    For me, it’s no big deal, I never get a flu shot and I have no qualms over not receiving the H1N1 flu shot for myself.
    My concern is my 2 year old.
    I’m in constant turmoil over what to do and have still not made an official decision yet.
    He gets sick a lot and I don’t want to give him something that *may* do more harm than good.
    The deaths of 2 young children in the area from this flu definitely does not help.

    But there’s still a nagging feeling inside of me that is telling me that this particular vaccine is just not right for me and my family.

  7. All of my children had the h1n1 vaccine. I was on the fence, but when my 13 year old actually got the h1n1 flu, I couldn’t wait for the vaccine to get to their doctors. The risk of complications of swine flu, no matter how small, was too much for me to not to get it. My son who had the flu was given the h1n1 vaccine afterwards as a precaution. Also, my best friends husband is currently in the icu w/pneumonia, a complication from h1n1. He needs a machine to help him breathe. The shot did not hurt, nor cause side effects. I am so glad I made myself get my kids immunized…I think you would be too 🙂 (my kids are 18, 13 and 3 )

  8. I have a difficult time injecting my kids with something out of panic.

    They were both vaccinated with the required vaccinations but I worked with my doctor on a schedule. We spaced some out and skipped others (like the chicken pox vaccine). We don’t get flu shots either. I prefer to use homeopathy to help strengthen the immune systems rather than put the body through the shock of unnecessary chemicals in their bodies.

    Just my .02.

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