Tuesday, November 3, 2009

My Final Decision About the H1N1 Vaccine

I wish I could say that I stopped reading article after article online regarding the H1N1 vaccine after my last post...but I haven't. I still keep up with the latest findings on both sides of the fence and now, after several more weeks of thinking, talking and weighing the odds, I have come to my final decision on the matter. I will be getting the vaccine for both Addison and myself. I know I know...I was totally against it a mere 3 weeks ago. But I have learned some very important information and these are the things that have swayed me...

* Multiple sources confirm that the ingredients in the H1N1 vaccine are the same ingredients used in the regular flu shot every year. It just contains a different strand of the virus. Several websites (including Dr. Sears...my go-to guy for vaccine information) shared the list of ingredients for all vaccines and it is true...the H1N1 vaccine is no different. This swayed my decision because initially I was worried about all the extra chemicals and ingredients that people were talking about. Turns out....they aren't using anything new.

* Most news programs are reporting the results of some recent studies regarding pregnant women and children who received the vaccine 21 days ago. The results are very positive and reassuring. Instead of listing all the facts they found here, I will just attach a link to an article I read this morning. Click here to read it for yourself. I know 21 days is really too soon to tell what the long term outcome will be, but if these tests show that pregnant women and children are protected 21 days later and showing a positive response...that's all I need to know at this point.

* My biggest concern is now about Blake. Once he is born, he cannot have the vaccine (children must be 6 months or older). So my only chance of vaccinating him is to do it while I am still pregnant. Sadly, I have read and heard way too many stories about infants losing their lives these past few months due to H1N1 and on the contrary to what many people believe, many of these infants had no prior conditions or immune problems. They were born otherwise healthy babies. That alone scared me into reconsidering.

* And finally, when I stepped away from the computer and started asking family, friends, bloggy friends and other acquaintances about the vaccine and if they planned to get it...I was surprised by the answers I got. It seems that everyone is scared and unsure about the whole thing, but the overwhelming answer was "Yes...I am getting it" or "Yes...I am taking my kids to get it". I was also shocked by how many people had personal stories to share about kids, adults, pregnant women, etc. that already had the virus and how awful it was. One of my friends and her son both just had the flu and even though they both managed to recover at home without a hospital visit...she said it was "the absolute worst flu she has ever had". I can't even imagine having to take care of a newborn baby while nursing myself or Addie back to health. And really...how would I even be able to care for the baby if I got it? Or what if Addie got it? How do I keep her away from a new baby and out of harms way? Not being able to answer these questions pulled me to the other side of the fence.

Now...I can't say that I will ever be 100% sure of my decision. But then again, I could never be 100% sure of my decision if I didn't get the vaccine because I would always wonder "what if?" But like many of you said on my last post...I have to make the decision I can live with. If I weren't pregnant and expecting a brand new baby in the middle of flu season, my decision would be very different. I can say without a doubt that I would not be vaccinating myself. I would probably still vaccinate Addie just to be on the safe side (and because she has had other flu shots and reacted just fine from them). And as scared as I am of this shot, I am even more scared about what this flu could potentially do with a new baby in the house.

So there you have it. Now, the tricky part is that once you decide to get the vaccine, where the hell do you get it? My cousin just took her daughter and nephew to a clinic last week and waited in line for 3 HOURS only to be sent away because they ran out. AND SHE WAS PREGNANT!! Where is the priority here? If it is so urgent that pregnant women and children get the vaccine, we should all be moved to the front of the line in my opinion. But that is another topic for another post. Ha! I see that there are a few more clinics in the upcoming weeks so once I bite the bullet...I will share my experiences :-) Oh, and even though it seems that I have made up my mind on this subject, I am still open to any and all comments you have to share :-) Anyone else change their mind recently? Anyone received the vaccine?

4 comments:

  1. I think you are probably making the right decision!

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  2. I'm happy that you did your research first! :) I'm still not getting it, but now even if I wanted to I wouldn't be able to because everyplace in our area is out. Even if I had wanted it when our hospital had one I would have had to get there w/in one hour of them calling me! Yikes! Good luck finding someplace to get it though! :)

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  3. I'm stopping by from Amber's blog and I saw this post. I am (now) 38 weeks pregnant and have a 2 year old and we have both been vaccinated with seasonal and H1N1. I got the shot at my OBGYN office (midwife), do you know if they offer it at yours? My son got his at his pediatrician's office. I am hearing such horror stories about waiting in lines for hours and it amazes me that they aren't offering the vaccines at the healthcare provider's office!!

    I hope you find a place where you can get the vaccination. If you are concerned about the mercury in the preservative (which I was) make sure to ask for the perservative free (single dose) vaccine if it is an option.

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