Monday, October 19, 2009

H1N1: To Vaccinate or Not?

Parents, this post is for you. With doses of the H1N1 vaccine slowly becoming available, are you planning to vaccinate your child(ren)?

I struggle with this question. For me, I admit that I just don't know enough about the vaccination to make an informed decision. I worry that it was pushed through so quickly and perhaps, we just haven't studied it enough to know exactly what the possible long-term negative effects may be.

On the flip side, my youngest has asthma. How can I not vaccinate? Considering that my son is in an at-risk population for serious complications if he were to contract the H1N1 virus, am I a bad mother if I don't get him vaccinated?

I have scoured the Internet for information on both H1N1 and the vaccination. (Just today, I read a horribly disturbing story on the 60 Minutes website regarding a 15 year-old boy who is fighting for his life after recently developing the H1Ni1virus.) I've discussed the options with the boys' pediatricians and my own doctor. I have spoken to nurses, family members, and friends. My head has been spinning from all of the information, and truth be told, so much of it is contradictory. Even so, I made my decision. My boys will be getting the vaccine.

I finally came to the decision to vaccinate after a discussion with a friend. His thoughts are that he can live with himself if his son were to develop any of the horrible side effects of the vaccine. What he couldn't live with would be if his son lost his life because he chose not to vaccinate.

I agree.

What are your thoughts?


Terra Jones said...

As a family that delays/declines many vaccinations and refuses the flu shot every year, we will not be getting this one. I'm on the flip side of your friend - I couldn't live with myself if there were side effects. It's such a tough decision to make. My oldest has asthma as well, but there is no way in the world I personally could chance it. We take many precautions in general to stay healthy (lots of hand washing, daily cod liver oil and coconut oil and staying home if either of the boys even semms sick since if their immune system is down, they're more likely to catch something). I don't think anyone is in the right or the wrong by vaccinating or not doing so - thankfully we live in a country and an age where we have the freedom to make these choices for ourselves!

Rebecca Banner said...

I'm with Terra. I have a son with asthma, or had asthma. He was on a nebulizer a few times a day, plus singulair. We did some alternative medicine, got rid of the asthma causing yellow 5 and he's now off of everything. But you have to do what's right for your family. If you think a vaccine is right for you then go for it. It's not for me or mine.

Terra, we do the oil too and in addition we do vitamin D. The CDC found that those who got the flu were deficient in vitamin D. Granted i found this out last week and my son has the flu. But we just started it and he's doing so much better already and so far knock on wood the rest of us have avoided it. Time will tell.

Emma Springer said...

I totally agree with both of the comments. I have never had the flu shot or the flu and, hopefully, I will not get it this time. I heard last week that people who got the flu shot in the past are more suseptible to getting the H1N1. I have made the choice not to take it.