Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hand wringing

I'm sure you've all read a million articles about vaccinations and the flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine and do I or don't I and so on and so forth.  Let me first say that I am a full believer in vaccinating our children and have followed our pediatrician's inoculation schedule...until now.  We have Noah's 15 month appointment tomorrow and are scheduled for his MMR and the seasonal flu vaccinations.  And I'm worried.  No, I'm not just worried, I'm anxious about it.  I have not given a second thought to his vaccinations until now and with all of the reading (research?) I have been doing I am not comfortable bombarding his system with two reactive vaccinations on the same day.   Add on top of that a pretty nasty cold and I fear a recipe for disaster.

I've never asked my pediatrician if he would alter the set schedule for vaccinations and tomorrow I think I will.  Basically I want the first of two seasonal flu shots (he's never had it before so he gets two doses a month or so apart) tomorrow, followed by the second shot next month and the MMR in December.  Now, what do I do about the H1N1?  I don't know if they even have the vaccine available at their office yet.  But if they do, do they have the ONE shot that doesn't contain mercury as a preservative?  So far only one manufacturer has made a mercury-free shot and there isn't a whole lot of it to go around.  Also, from what I've read, it's not recommended that children receive both the seasonal flu and the H1N1 at the same time since both are reactive vaccines.  So that brings me back to do I or don't I and, more importantly, when?

Sigh.  Do you see why I'm anxious now?  I feel like I can't make a definitive decision on the vaccines until I speak with my doctor tomorrow at Noah's appointment.  I don't like going into the appointment knowing I have to make a decision on the spot armed only with the information that I have today and what the doctor says tomorrow...it feels rushed.  And we're talking about my BABY here.  My sweet, happy, snot-nosed baby.  What would you do?


k said...

Oooff. I've been waffling too.

For regular vaccines, I just FEEL bad if he has to get more than two shots in his thighs, so we always space them out. Even if it means I have to go back a few weeks later to those that were scheduled.

I've decided (but is this only because it's not yet available here?) to have us both get the H1N1 vaccine. He's in daycare and smoked daily by germs. I figure odds are working against us in terms of being able to avoid that sickness.

Sara said...

I hear you, K. If Noah was in daycare I don't think I would be waffling on the H1N1. As it is, I am already thinking of how much more cautious I need to be outside of the house...hence why I practically bought out Target's supply of anti-bacterial wipes.

Mary said...

Yup. I feel damned if we do, damned if we don't about the H1N1 vaccine. I wish we had a doctor we were in love with, so we could just let them guide us. I loved loved loved Roscoe Village Family Medicine, and might call our old doctor to ask advice. Until then, we are just being extra careful about tiny ugly germs.

We did the alternative schedule (Dr. Sears) for the rest of her vaccines. We decided to do it after her reaction to her first round of shots was so bad. It really helped minimize her reactions, like fever and fussiness. Every baby is different, though.

bessie.viola said...

I'm in the "absolutely not" camp. No flu vaccine, no H1N1 vaccine here.

I'm also a vaccinator, but this one doesn't sit well with me. I can't find any good reasoning as to why the mercury restrictions were lifted for this ONE vaccine, and the media push has really, REALLY turned me off to both shots.

We didn't do a flu shot last year, and I've never had one. I just feel like it's being pushed down my throat, and I don't like it. Madeline is in a relatively low risk group given that she's in a home center with one other child.

It's a hard decision, though - Jimmy and I have had several discussions about it, and just had another today. That's a sign of how pervasive the media is being, I think, since he just went right along with the modified (Dr. Sears) schedule that I wanted to follow for Maddie.

Sorry for the book, but I've been hand-wringing too.

Hilary said...

Do not do it, have you thought about the side affects that it could later leave on him in the future. I will not get either or any shot that is new to this world because it is too new for them to know what type of side effects it could have way way way down the road and yes I want my nephew to be healthy but not with these shots and I also don't want you to get the h1n1 shot either because it could leave birth defects on any unborn child you may have in the future. Hope that helps! Love you!

PTD said...

My husband and I got the H1N1 vaccine last weekend, and I am not concerned about any negative side-effects for us. Call me crazy, but the idea of "birth defects on any unborn child" in the future seems a tad alarmist to me.

I'm breastfeeding, and the CDC has stated that the thimerosol preservative in the shot does not enter breastmilk - now, I'm as skeptical as the next person, but frankly, this is one time that I simply have to trust my government and believe that I am not pumping mercury into my baby. Although my healthy paranoia regarding vaccines has led us to follow Sears' alternative vaccination schedule, I have trouble believing that "big pharma" is the evil empire, shoving the H1N1 shot down the throats of the American public.

Ultimately, I think the risk of swine flu is valid enough to get the shot, but then again, I'm an adult. If the preservative-free version isn't available for children, then it is a tough call...
Good luck with your vaccinations - I want to delay or separate the MMR too, but I'm not sure if our ped will let us. Guess we'll cross that bridge when we come to it.

Sara said...

Ladies, thank you so much for all of your comments and thoughts on this matter. It's clearly a "topic" that deserves talking about.

The doc did allow us to wait on Noah's MMR until his 18 month appointment in January but he wouldn't budge on the chicken pox (which I didn't even know he was due for). So poor baby got three stabs today: chicken pox, dTap, and the first of two seasonal flu shots. We talked about the H1N1 shot for a while and it was a moot point since they're out of the vaccine right now and don't know when it will be back in stock.

I'm still unsure about giving the H1N1 though my thoughts are beginning to lean more towards Yes than No, Absolutely Not. As my doc so nicely put it "if he ever has half a tuna sandwich he will be getting 100 times more mercury from the tuna than he will in this shot." Well, then. That's something to think about.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the informative information - I enjoyed reading it! I always enjoy this blog. :) Cheers, what does childbirth look like