All three of us (me, husband, Bat Girl) have gotten the seasonal flu shot. We will be getting the H1N1 vaccine as soon as we are able. We got the seasonal shots at the beginning of October from BG's pediatrician (she only gets the thimerosal-free versions), and since she recommends spacing out all flu vaccines one month apart, BG will be getting the first dose of H1N1 in the beginning of November, and the second dose at the beginning of December. (Kids under 9 have to get 2 doses of H1N1 for it to be effective. Since she has had the seasonal flu shot before, she only needed one dose of that one.) Since she freaked out getting the seasonal shot and tried to rip the needle out of her leg, I decided to get her the nasal spray for H1N1.
I am a very big believer in flu shots. I have gotten one every year for as long as I can remember. Longtime readers may recall that I fretted a bit about whether to get a thimerosal-containing flu shot when pregnant with BG--but I went ahead and did it anyway. So there was never any question that we were getting the seasonal shot. I debated the H1N1 shot a bit, but considering that (a) I am hoping to get pregnant this flu season, (b) pregnant women and small children have had the highest fatality rates from H1N1 so far, (c) we are planning to put BG in day care, i.e. viral stewpot, 2 days a week this winter, and (d) given the demographics of our neighborhood (hippies, bobos, and non-English-speaking recent immigrants) the local vax rate will likely be quite low, I am not taking the risk of going unvaccinated. If I don't get pregnant this cycle, I will get the nasal spray when BG gets hers. If I do get pregnant (ha!) I will get the shot as soon as I possibly can.
If you are someone who has issues with vaccines in general, I totally respect that. What I have a hard time with is people who fear the H1N1 vaccine based on totally unfounded information that they picked up through rumor or on MDC. To wit:
-If you don't have a problem with seasonal flu vaccine, you shouldn't have a major problem with the H1N1 vaccine. They are made in exactly the same way--the only difference is the virus part.
-There are NO ADJUVANTS in any flu vaccines in the US. (If you're not in the US, your mileage may vary.)
-If you fear mercury in vaccines, you can get a thimerosal-free flu vaccine, either via a single-dose shot or the nasal spray (which is always mercury-free).
Here's a piece by Paul Offit (whom I know a lot of people have a problem with) explaining all of this in more detail. So if you decide not to get vaccinated--which you are totally within your rights to do--you will at least have the science straight. That is all.
Labels: science is fun