Sunday, September 27, 2009

H1N1 Vaccine Debate

This has been on my mind for a while now. I'm not so sure about the H1N1 vaccine. I'm not yet convinced that the risks outweigh the possible benefits. Risks that may be unknown at this time or neurological. It's not that I will refuse to do all I can to help protect my family from getting ill, but we're talking about a flu versus a virus that kills most of the people who become infected. Yes, I know people do die from the flu as well, especially those who are higher risk. H1N1 is rampant and Mark had 7 students confirmed to have it in the first couple of weeks this semester. The university sent out an email that 1 in 6 will have it by November.

I'd like to hear your thoughts on this. There are doctors who say that we should vaccinate and others who won't vaccinate their own kids. I had a discussion with our ped and he suggested that I give it to the kids. I asked about the regular flu shot and how much time I should wait in between the two different vaccinations. He said about 30 days, but I got the feeling it was his answer and not necessarily protocol. How about how many H1N1 shots will be needed? Some say we would need 2 shots to be effective. Others say just one is enough.

On the sidebar of this blog is a poll. Will you vaccinate your kids with the H1N1 vaccine? Please take a moment to take the poll and leave a comment. Not in the poll (but you can leave a comment) will YOU get the vaccine? Be nice. This is intended to be an honest discussion and not a mud slinging contest. Nasty comments will be deleted.

Let's hear it.


B said...

We will not get the vaxxes but most worrisome to me is the virus is still LIVE, only in a weakenend form that you're sneezing, breathing and coughing out onto everyone around you for a week long. If you choose to get the flumist, kindly let the people around you know that you are actually sharing the flu virus with them. I worry about this in the preschool especially... Read more - you don't have to disclose your receipt of the flumist so I have no way of knowing when my son has been exposed to the flu virus via his misted classmates.

B said...

And, the majority of the first round of shots being received are the MIST, which IS live. I don't know if the injected vax is live but if it is, it will also shed.

Stephanie said...

OK. Here is what we received - straight from the immunologist in Wisconsin:

I have been worried about this as well, not just because we are pretty much quaranteened anyway, but because I was afraid of the vaccine itself.

The immuno doc said that the priority children are those who have seizures, CP, heart defects, and lung issues - so far we are 4 for 4. Any other chronic medical conditions are also high on the list, but the majority of children who have died from H1N1 are those who have the first 4 medical conditions.

Anybody under the age of 10 will need to have 2 vaccines, three weeks apart. You should also have the regular flu vaccine, but NOT at the same time as H1N1. The immuno said we could do flu one week, H1N1 2 weeks later, flu one week after , then 2nd H1N1 2 weeks later. Christopher has to have 2 flu vaccines because it has been so long since he was vaccinated for the flu (due to his immune issues). If you have never had the flu shot or have not had one in the last 5 years, you will need 2 vaccines to get the full effect. This goes for all ages.

OK. The next thing on the list is which type - there is the mist and a regular shot. The difference being the mist is a LIVE virus. Anybody who takes the mist is then considered contagious for 14 days. Period.

The shot is reccommended for the high risk people. It is NOT a live virus. It was developed on the same premis as the regular flu vaccine. It only contains PROTEINS from the H1N1 virus (not the entire thing). So, you develop an antibody to the particular proteins and your body will attack the proteins in the virus if you are exposed. These proteins are essential for replication of the virus, so your body will/should stop the virus from replicating and infecting you. So you are not really getting a vaccination for H1N1, just proteins that it contains.

I think we are going to try to get the vaccine. In our case, the risk of infection sooooooo outweighs the risk of the vaccine reaction. The only place we get to take Christopher is the hospital - the WORST place to be.

One other thing that the immuno strongly suggested, was that if your child is in one of those 4 high risk categories listed above, to take a profilaxis of Tamiflu or Relenza until Spring. I questioned him about lowering the effectiveness of the drugs (like antibiotic resistance) by doing that. He said for people with normal immune systems that would be true - for what ever reason, those with neurological problems just can't seem to fight this off. The drugs would be a first line of defense and hopefully lessen any infection should the vaccine not work.

So, now we have to check with 14 other docs to get their oppinion on the drugs, as we can't even give him cold medicine because of his heart.

Hopefully this helped. Feel free to e-mail or call me anytime.

See you in a couple of weeks! :)

Steph and Christopher

Terri said...

I have been ulcerating over this... I hate new vaccines or meds, yet I hate the idea of this illness too. People with Down syndrome are considered at risk because of both immuno and neuro considerations as I understand it. I was with a bunch of docs that were discussing this and they said it depended on how risk aversive you just are... this could be 1978 where the preparation was high and the disease fizzled, or it could be 1918 where the disease raged and death rates were huge. No one can tell which it is yet...

Much to think about.

My name is Sarah said...

This is Joyce. Truthfully, I can't think of another medical issue in the last 20 years that I have spent more time researching and still being so undecided on. Even my TJ called yesterday from Ohio State in a panic and wanted to know what he should do. He has not been to the doctor for anything other than regular childhood vacines in his 21 years of life because he is just never sick, but the media is making him so worried. I just don't know. We have not given Sarah the flu or pneumonia vac for the past few years. And that is the direction I'm leaning right now with the H1N1.

Brandie said...

I have gone back and forth over what to do. As of today, we are not going to get the H1N1 vax. I may change my mind again tomorrow, though. The reason is that I think we already had it. I was very sick from August into September. (5 weeks of coughing) This was after visiting 4 hospitals for various appointments. Now there are more people in our area with the same symptoms I had that are being diagnosed with H1N1. I will say that I am pregnant and was much sicker than the rest of my family. My child with DS was the least affected. Good luck with your decision. I enjoyed reading all the comments so far.

RK said...

As of right now, it's a no all around...not me and not the girls. There's just not enough known about it for my taste. Too many questions to subject the girls to it.

I reserve the right to change my mind IF I learn more and something that is more concrete, but until then, we'll pass.

Amy said...

Larkin's ped and both Neurologist want her to have the vaccine. She had her regular flu shot last week and will have the H1N1 when it comes out. I am not taking this in stride or easily but with her seizure issues and medications that she takes I don't have a choice - well not a good one anyway.

She has come close to dying from the flu at least once a year - and last year it was a gastro virus that kicked her butt.

I worry more about people that don't vaccinate - which will kill my child if she is exposed to them. Many children who have seizures like Larkin's are not able to receive certain vaccinations and therefore are at a risk when exposed to those who won't vaccinate their child. Would be nice if those who make the decision to not - put a sign on their kid so I know who is a danger to my child.

Anonymous said...

We won't be doing the vaccine. I have researched and had confirmed via a ped that it can actually cause more harm than good for our family-including Dom- who gets hit the hardest with the flu symptoms. A personal decision for sure, but not an option for us this year. Hopefully, it will be the right decision,

JRS said...

Here's more food for thought:

JRS said...

Here's another one worth reading:

Carolyn said...

My youngest (age 8) was given the flu mist for the season flu, and about 1-1/2 weeks later was confirmed as having H1N1. He got extremely sick within hours of being well right before. Wondering if the flu mist being a live virus combined with contracting the H1N1 made his symptoms worse. He had croup with this as well. Now he has a rash after being treated with Tamiflu. Needless to say, we won't be getting the H1N1 vaccine as they should now be immune. I am now feeling sick after a few days of caring for him even as careful as I have been.

I think that either way you go with or without the vaccine, there are going to be risks involved, and you have to decide with your personal circumstances whether having the H1N1 or taking the vaccine is more of a risk.

Ron said...

There are many people that are against with these vaccinations because of the effects that it really brings to people.

It also threatens one's self. We are really prone to danger so let us all be watchful regarding with this virus as well with this vaccines.

Before taking any medicine, be sure that you test yourself using ELISA kits because these can really determine if you are really infected with this virus.