Originally Posted by Emmeline II
Each shot carries a risk of further compromising that child's health. There is the immediate post-shot period where her immune system would be depressed and she would be more vulnerable to illness, and the potential for more long term negative impact on her immune system. The flu shot is in and of itself a risk, even if the strains she is exposed to are in the shot (which is no better than a placebo at her age anyway); despite what the manufacturers say, vaccines are NOT as harmless as saline.
Oh trust me, I know all of this. I agonized over it all with my own son. Notice I did not recommend the vaccine, I only pointed out that the decision for this mama is not quite as cut-and-dry as it is for most mamas. My son did receive Synagis last winter (RSV immunoglobulin) and he did get sick after each shot. I had to accept the risk that he could come down with a small bug, which was the cost of providing him protection against a bug that was very likely, in his case, to cause severe potentially life threatening consequences. Synagis is one shot that there is actually data available on vaccinating special needs babies, so I was able to research it.
We have chosen not to do the flu shot for Connor despite his particular risks of contracting flu, we chose to not do it because his specific immune deficiency means that he likely could not have mounted an immune response to the vaccine anyway. If he could have mounted an appropriate immune response, the decision would have been a harder one. Special needs parents must face facts that parents of normal children never have to face, and it gives us a different perspective. I still choose not to vaccinate, but the decision was not easy.
Originally Posted by peainthepod
If the flu shot has been shown to be no better than a placebo in children under the age of two, then it's a pretty easy answer, really. You're taking on quite a lot of risk for no proven benefit, and that's what most people would call pure quackery.
I have read the study equating the effects to a placebo, I am aware of it. However there are some children who do receive some benefit from the flu shot, and that is something this mama has to take into consideration. She has to see the condition of her daughter's health when she is released from the hospital and determine if the potential risks of the vaccine outweigh the potential benefits. *taking into account the efficacy*
For example, I very heavily researched and considered DTaP for Connor, a vaccine I easily decided to forego with Ian. The truth is, for Connor, pertussis can KILL him, his airway is just that unstable. No amount of SA can protect him. What finally made the decision for me was the low efficacy of that vaccine combined with a family history of reaction to the old DPT. But if I didn't have that family history, and if the vaccine was even a little bit more effective, I probably would have given it to him. The risk/benefit analysis for him is very different than it is for most people. And it will be different for this mama, as well.
I still think I would lean towards not giving it, but it's HER decision, and she has to know her daughter's health at that time to make the decision. I was just trying to point out that it's not as easy a decision as it is for most people.