Considering Flu Vaccine for my 9 month old..... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 9 Old 11-19-2004, 02:16 PM - Thread Starter
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I'm trying to decide whether my 9 month old daughter needs a flu vaccination. I'm looking for info (balanced) and opinions, any considerations I might not have thought of.

I do vaccinate, the general ones that are routinely done for infants, and I'm happy with that decision. I realize some people don't, and there are reasons not to, but I'm happier knowing she's protected against these more serious diseases, despite the ingredients, etc.

For the Flu, however, I'm torn. The flu doesn't seem to me to be int eh same class as smallpox, for example. Yes, it CAN be serious, especially in babies, but I wonder if it's a bit of overkill due to society's fear of germs.(ie: antibacterial freaking EVERYTHING on the store shelves) I worry about the ingredients (formeldahyde and mercury are two I came accross), I worry about denying her body the chance to strengthen by fighting off things as a child, and I wonder if there is really a point. I was told it only protects agains the main 3 strains they think will be the big ones, so if she catches another one, what was the point?

I will probably be putting my daughter into a daycare setting in about 2 months, so that is another factor. With increased exposure to kids, she has increased exposure to diseases. She has had her share of colds since I frequent baby groups. I also understand if she gets it, I should get it too, but I wouldn't have considered it for myself otherwise, which makes me wonder.

My doctor told my sister (who also has a baby) that it is 'strongly suggested' for babies 6-23 months. I haven't talked to him yet, I want to be armed with info. I don't think he'd try to force me, but he obviously has his opinion so I want to know better where I stand before I talk to him about it.

Sorry this got long. I welcome opinions, info and suggestions to help me make this decision.

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#2 of 9 Old 11-19-2004, 02:33 PM
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This is the first year that the flu shot has been reccomended for healthy children aged 6-23 mos. Last year it was reccomended for sick children in those ages and the year before you couldn't get it till you were 2 or 3. You didn't hear about a mass amount of children dying from the flu, so why is it so bad now? You mentioned formaldehyde and mercury in the flu shot. Those are in the other shots too...

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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#3 of 9 Old 11-19-2004, 03:13 PM
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I actually had a family physician tell me a couple of years ago that he wouldn't ever recommend a flu vax for normal, healthy patients. He said he only ever suggested it if a patient had some sort of immune problem or was elderly and had something like emphysema as well.
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#4 of 9 Old 11-19-2004, 05:08 PM
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Here's a link to what Dr. Sears says about it:

Just another input to consider!

Hope none of you get the flu either way!
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#5 of 9 Old 11-19-2004, 05:11 PM
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I do worry about the mercury. Although it has been lessened in many children's vaccines, it is still quite present in the flu vaccine.
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#6 of 9 Old 11-19-2004, 05:18 PM
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just because your dc get's a flu vax doesn't mean they won't get the flu,yk? my ds has never been vaxed is 8.5 mo and never been sick a day yet! (we don't do daycare though so I'm sure that makes a little difference)

good luck with making a decision. I know how hard it is

Blissful Mama to DD-(5), DS-(6) and someone new due in November!
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#7 of 9 Old 11-19-2004, 06:36 PM
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The question of whether to flu-vax my 10.5 month old daughter was a really hard one. I actually decided to go ahead, and went in for the appointment, but then discovered that the clinic only had the full-merc version left. So no go. Even though I figured it'd probably be fine, I decided that her risks are pretty low this year.

Here's what I took into account when deciding not to vax her:

1. She's not in daycare.
2. I'm not doing inpatient pediatric patient care this year -- only outpatient clinic visits one day a week -- so less exposure to bugs.
3. I had a flu shot myself (bad lungs), so that may help. If I do get sick, it may be milder, and I may pass on some antibodies via breastmilk.
4. She's a really healthy kid.

Next year, when I'm back in the hospital full time, I'll probably opt to get her vaxed, since my odds of getting sick are much higher. I'll still try to hold out for the thimerosal-free version, though.
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#8 of 9 Old 11-19-2004, 08:02 PM
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Here is a site I like with lots of good info on the flu vax:
In the left margin there are links to more articles too.
(That should give you something to read over the weekend while MDC is switching servers! )

Personally, we will NOT get the flu vax here. It is really not effective, and actually the flu and its complications are most problematic in the elderly, not babies.
I think you have a good point about allowing the immune system to strengthen by fighting off and recovering from illnesses.
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#9 of 9 Old 11-19-2004, 09:45 PM
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I personally think if she's healthy, pass on it. I was curious though... I read you were worried about ingredients (formeldahyde)... did you know that the other vaxs you gave her have these, too? She's already been exposed to it.

I think she'll be just fine.
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