would you get a vaccine while pg? - Mothering Forums

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Old 07-07-2010, 02:20 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So, I went to the doc yesterday and he suggested I get the H1N1 vaccine in the next couple of weeks (i am almost 8 weeks pregnant). Apparently they are predicting that it will resurface in August around here. I will still be in the 1st trimester. I was under the impression that you were not even supposed ot get the regular flu shot during the 1st trimester. I rarely get sick, never got the flu shot or flu during my last 2 pregnancies, and my daughter actually got the H1N1 flu last winter and I was with her the entire time but didnt get sick. We already do delayed/selective vaccination schedules with the littles, so I am having a hard time wrapping my brain around getting a flu shot during the first trimester.

So, I dont know what to do. DDs illness was absolutley terrible and I cannot imagine getting that sick and being pregnant. On the otherhand, I am extremely cautious, to the point of OCD sometimes, concerning what I eat/expose myself to during pregnancy. I get a *little* crazy (hormones, right!!!) with being careful not to do anything to harm the baby. So, I cannot imagine getting a flu shot containing tons of crap injected into my body while I am pregnant. On the other hand, seriously, my daughter, and my students who were also ill over the winter, were so incredibly ill that I do not want to put myself at risk and, heaven forbid, something terrible happen to me or the baby (see crazy hormones talking!!).

Any thoughts will be greatly appreciated as my doc, who does not push for testing or unnecessary procedures AT.ALL., is more than encouraging me to get the H1N1 flu shot. Dh is for it (surprisingly, since he even no-poos), but wont pressure me. So, I am alone in this decision. Augh!! The pressure!!!

I looked up the ingredients. It is certainly terrifying, which is the cause for concern. DD had H1N1 with a fever of 103-104 for 4 days straight. We had to alternate motrin and tylenol (prior to that we used T once for her and NEVER motrin)absolutely constantly. It was terrible. I know things affect you more severely when you are pregnant and i cannot imagine needin to take meds that often for that long. Of course, there is no way to know that I would get it, espcially since I tend not to get sick even while pregnent, but having been through my daughters illness (she was delerious at one point) part of me does not want to take the chance.

In the interest of full disclosure - we do not use ANY chemicals in the house. We are pretty bare bones with the no poo, no deodorant, 99% organic homemade food, ect. So, we are no strangers to bucking the trend, and taking an alternative approach, but i am seriously unsure about this flu vacine issue. I was hard core no about it with the kids and my other pregnancies, but I was absolutley questioning my decision not to vaccinate when my daughter was on her 4th day of a high fever. She was totally lethargic, couldnt stay awake for more than about 20 minutes at a time, etc. If I could have saved her all that i think I would have. talk about regret. And, we dont vaccinate on time and they wont be up to date by the time they start school.

So, augh, I am tortured. More input will be greatly appreciated.


HELP!!!!
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Old 07-07-2010, 02:57 PM
 
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Since you're the first one to post about this, I'm thinking that the docs and midwives haven't really approached many of us about the flu vax yet, but I'm sure they will...

Your philosophies sound a lot like mine. I've always been opposed the the idea of the flu shots, especially while pregnant, but I have wondered if I might change my mind if my midwife recommended it.

One interesting thing to note - I read an article last week about how Canada has way less flu deaths per capita than the US, and that might be because Canada acknowledges the importance of Vitamin D to keep immunity high. In the US, most of the country is Vitamin D deficient and doesn't even know it!

My plan is to eat right (as soon as these d@mn food aversions go away), take probiotics and Vitamin D for a healthy immune system, and hopefully avoid the flu shots (and the flu!)

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Old 07-07-2010, 03:19 PM
 
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I wouldn't get one. I'd try to eat healthy (get vit d, probiotics, etc.) and wash my hands all the time. Do you think that you might be immune to h1n1 since your dd had it, but you didn't come down with it? Maybe you could get a blood titre test and see if you have immunity.

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Old 07-07-2010, 03:49 PM
 
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Are you sure you aren't already immune? If your daughter had it, and you never came down with it, I wouldn't be too worried.

I'm pretty sure our family had H1N1 last year. (We never got tested though). My husband had it really bad. My baby's case wasn't too bad, and mine was so mild, I barely noticed.

Good luck with whatever you decide!
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Old 07-07-2010, 04:05 PM
 
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i am not sure about this, too. i read somewhere that vaccines are not recommended until the 4th month of pregnancy.

but i work in public health (i'm a breastfeeding peer counselor at my local WIC office) and honestly, people come in (and bring in their sick kids) sick all the time. i am sure that it will be recommended that we all get it as flu season approaches.

so i am not sure what i am going to do yet. we do delayed/selective vax with our son, if that helps anyone know where we're coming from.

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Old 07-07-2010, 04:24 PM
 
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I would not get the H1N1 vax, especially while pregnant. I agree with pp's, there is probably a good chance you already have immunities to it since you've been exposed.

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Old 07-07-2010, 06:03 PM
 
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Your immune system is already fragile while you're pregnant, and you're doing just fine now...I'd be hesitant to offset it with a vaccine, ESPECIALLY during the first trimester while your baby's everything is forming and also because it's such a new vaccine.

If you're otherwise healthy...I'm not one to mess with that. There are so many other things you can do that are safer than vaxxing to avoid getting the flu. If you have to, lock yourself in your house or something, go hazmat on all who enter to avoid germ transmission. But i'm pretty vax hesitant. I vax my kids, but we start really late and spread them way out. And we just do a few of them. Vaccines are good and have their place, but I don't know that now, in the first trimester, or during pregnancy at all, is an idea I'd be comfortable with.

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Old 07-07-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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Hi, saw this post and figured I'd throw my two cents in. When I went to my first ob it was also suggested that I get the H1N1 vaccine. When I rejected the idea of subjecting my unborn to a fairly new and completely (IMO) unnecessary vaccine they became more adament. After "strongly" suggesting that I get it, they had me sign a waiver stating that I had been offered and had rejected treatment. Fine by me. I am now 30 weeks, and my baby is healthy and strong! We have not heard of any recent cases of H1N1, and I couldn't be happier with my decision.
Go with your gut on any and ALL decisions you will make for you and your baby. Congratulations on your LO!

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Old 07-07-2010, 06:20 PM
 
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DDC to say that I had H1N1 during this pregnancy at about 3-4 months along (in March). It was extremely unpleasant and I did go to the ER with suspected pneumonia, which thankfully I did not have. For a couple of weeks I used an albuterol inhaler to help with chest tightness.

Baby and I came through fine and I do not regret not getting the vaccine. I felt that the short term and long term risks of the vaccine were scarier than the risks of the flu.

Good luck in your decision making. I'm sure not happy to hear that H1N1 might make a resurgence in August.

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Old 07-07-2010, 06:25 PM
 
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I would not get the H1N1 vax now. The only reason I got one back in the winter was because I work with elementary schools and there was a chance I would be exposed to the virus. I don't think you should get vaccines unless you have a chance of being exposed to the virus. Had I not been working with children I would not have gotten it. I would suggest to you that wait it out. If you feel that you are at risk then go to a clinic and get the vax but I really don't think you need to do it now. That's just my opinion.
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Old 07-07-2010, 06:54 PM
 
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I have always refused any and all vaccines while preg. Plus this isn't an issue for me since even not preg I refuse the h1n1.

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Old 07-07-2010, 07:02 PM
 
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I think the suggestion of blood work for checking your immunity is a great idea! Maybe you're already immune, which would be ideal.

If you aren't immune, and I know I'm in the minority here, I would consider getting it. Aside from the inconvenience of having a nasty flu while pregnant, having a high fever early in pregnancy has real risks, and your immune system is lowered. That said, I'm a pro-vax person - I (along with my whole family) got the H1N1 vax when it came around the first time, and we do vax DS (selectively, and on the Dr. Sears schedule, not the AAP's).

You can take other precautions, though, if you decide you're not comfortable with the vax, to lower the risk that you'd even contract H1N1 should this supposed resurgence happen. I take at least 1000 mg vitamin D daily along with going in the sun for fifteen minutes a day without sunscreen, and eat lots of yoghurt to keep my gut healthy. We also are compulsive handwashers - an old habit from my son's prematurity and NICU stay - which I credit with keeping us fairly healthy. After all, the vax isn't 100%, and my husband was exposed to it a lot as a teacher, and we still didn't get the virus (knock on wood!). I carry a small bottle of Purell when I go out to the store or anywhere else if for I won't be able to wash my hands, and I make sure to wipe DS's hands off with a baby wipe when we get home (alcohol isn't a great idea on babe's skin, although at nearly 2 I guess he's not really a baby anymore!).

So, there's my two cents! Ultimately you are the only one who can make this decision, and I hope this thread is helping you weigh your options!

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Old 07-07-2010, 07:05 PM
 
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Also wanted to say: you might want to research the actual ingredients of the single-dose vial, which is what I'd insist on if getting the vax while pregnant. While the H1N1 vax itself is new, I understand that the way it's produced is the same as flu vaxes have been for years, and the single-dose contains no mercury, although I'm not certain about aluminum.

Also ALSO wanted to say: we don't get flu vaxes normally, but did opt to get the H1N1.

HTH!

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Old 07-07-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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You might want to check out the vaccinations forum, it's currently discussed there. The midwife offered the flu shot, not H1N1 to me. I don't want either. I had piggy flu last year and it wasn't all that bad, granted, I wasn't pregnant. I don't have allergies or any underlying condition, so it really doesn't worry me. The ingredients in the shot however worry me a lot.

If you decide to get it, do it after 16 weeks. The obgyns back home don't recommend to get a shot before 16 weeks for the potential harm done to the baby, the first 16 weeks should be as medication free as possible.
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Old 07-07-2010, 08:37 PM
 
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No, I wouldn't. No vaccine has been proven safe to use during pregnancy.

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Old 07-07-2010, 10:40 PM
 
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I never get the flu shot so I would refuse based on that. Yes the flu sucks but if you are on top of taking care of it when if you do get sick you'll probaly be fine. I had the flu and strep throat while pregnant with DS (in 08) and we both got through it fine. Also, DS turns out to have really bad allergies (hubby and I don't even really have allergies) and we can't even vax him if we wanted because of the ingredients so I'm playing it safe when it comes to vaxs and this baby. I just can't know how a fetus is going to respond to vax like that.

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Old 07-08-2010, 10:43 AM
 
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No, I wouldn't. No vaccine has been proven safe to use during pregnancy.
Ditto!

In my last pg my MW told me no vaxes are safe during pg. Because they won't test them on pg women to see how safe/unsafe they really are.

And H1N1 is actually NOT recommended (by the manufactures) for pg women and children under 2!

I agree w/others that is sounds like you may have already been exposed and maybe should be tested for immunity. (if you're really that worried and considering getting the vax- no need to "dbl up" your immunity).

Where did your Dr. hear about it's supposed worse? Maybe because so many of the H1N1 vaxes expire in August and their pushing to give in to everyone they can before they loose $$millions on their over supply!?! This I saw on the news just a last week- they NEED to push it or else they have to destroy it all.
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Old 07-08-2010, 10:51 AM
 
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I absolutely would not get it.

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Old 07-08-2010, 03:36 PM
 
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I would not get any vaccine during pregnancy no matter what it was.

I specifically would never get a flu shot anyway so def not while pregnant.

me, dh and 2 boys = our family (oh and a cat...who is also a male...lol)
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Old 07-08-2010, 04:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful responses. I am still on te fence.

I teach in an elementary school, and I am a special area teacher which means I see 700 kids a week. That is a LOT of germs. So man of them were sick with H1N1 and the regular flu last year. On top of that, Dd will be in grade school, and DS will be in preschool. DH works in a building with thousands of employess and is in various meetings with all kinds of people on a weekly basis. So, I feel like the chances of someone getting sick are fairly high. Neither DH or I were sick last yearm but the kids did get sick. DD worse than DS. I have been reading various reports and studies on the flu and H1n1 vaccines and I still have absolutely no idea what to do. I do know that you are at a higher risk when yiu are pregnant because you are already more susceptible to illness. I do take my vits and extra D, and keep up with the yogurt, but I am just still worried.

I am perfectly sure that i will not get it before 16 weeks. But, after that I am still unsure...
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Old 07-08-2010, 05:28 PM
 
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Thanks, everyone, for your thoughtful responses. I am still on te fence.

I teach in an elementary school, and I am a special area teacher which means I see 700 kids a week. That is a LOT of germs. So man of them were sick with H1N1 and the regular flu last year. On top of that, Dd will be in grade school, and DS will be in preschool. DH works in a building with thousands of employess and is in various meetings with all kinds of people on a weekly basis. So, I feel like the chances of someone getting sick are fairly high. Neither DH or I were sick last yearm but the kids did get sick. DD worse than DS. I have been reading various reports and studies on the flu and H1n1 vaccines and I still have absolutely no idea what to do. I do know that you are at a higher risk when yiu are pregnant because you are already more susceptible to illness. I do take my vits and extra D, and keep up with the yogurt, but I am just still worried.

I am perfectly sure that i will not get it before 16 weeks. But, after that I am still unsure...
I'd go for the titre test then, and see if you already have antibodies. It would take away some of the guesswork anyway. Good luck! That's a tough situation.

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Old 07-09-2010, 12:23 AM
 
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I wouldn't get the h1n1 pregnant or not. I wish you luck in making the decision that is best for you and your baby.

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Old 07-09-2010, 11:16 AM
 
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I was almost on the fence, but hten 2 things made me not get it.
1. my best friend has 3 kids with CF which effects their lungs and their pulo. recommended against it.
2. A friend that works with germs and vac was preg and refused it and refused it for her 4 year old. She is almost by the cdc shot person, she only changes theirs in refusing to start till 4 months and not giving more then 1 shot at an time but goes back 1-2 weeks after the one shot for the other shot too.

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Old 07-09-2010, 11:26 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thank everyone. I totally appreciate the continual input. Dh and i have been discussing it like crazy. It is different for him, now, because I am the one pregnant. But, last year, and all previous years, he was always outspoken about his dislike/distrust of said vacs. Now, it is a different story. For both of us, really. But, I seriously feel like we NEED to be on the same page with this should something happen either way. He is worried about the potential meds i would need to take if I do get sick, I am worried about the chemicals in the vac to begin with. Oh, round and round in circles we go!
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Old 07-09-2010, 11:40 AM
 
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The H1N1 vaccine was clinically trialed in pregnant women. I have the link somewhere and can pull it up for you if you would like. I got mine over the winter with the kids, so I am not worried (after much study and changing my mind, I went from no never to doing it). But to answer the general question, yes I would get a vaccine during pregnancy if needed and depending on how the trials and studies looked on that vaccine and the risk of the disease at the time.

I have been looking at the different ways that DtaP has been used in pregnant women and there are studies showing that the P portion transferred antibodies to the fetus and protected them at birth. We also get the DTaP vaccine for our kids, and have talked to our doc about getting the first one at 4 weeks so that we got that protection completed before 4 months. With a DtaP 4 weeks before birth and a more european DtaP schedule, I think many babies could potentially be saved from neonatal pertussis. the AAFP just released a statement about the problems in CA with pertussis and authorized the use of DTaP at 4 weeks of age, so I think the US is moving in that direction.

So, long story short, I am keeping an eye on the studies being done concerning DTaP just before birth. But I doubt anything will be completed by January, but it would be a vaccine I would consider during pregnancy to protect my newborn.

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Old 07-09-2010, 01:03 PM
 
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No, I would not specifically get the H1N1 vaccine because NO flu vaccine is effective (statistically) in lowering the risk for getting the flu. To my mind that = unnescessary because it doesn't work.

I too work with kids and am exposed to a variety of interesting germs. Would it suck to get really sick while pregnant? Absolutely! Do I do what I can to minimize exposure via hand and face washing, yes! But, I just think the H1N1 "thing" was ginned up as artificially dangerous here in the states.

I would consider getting other vaccines if it were appropriate or necessary ie if there was an outbreak or I felt my risk of exposure was particularly high. I would go single dose, no merc, no alminum, and also none of the high allergy things and ONLY if the shot was okayed for infants. The H1N1 shot is NOT okay for an infant. I'm not sure about anyone else, but I'm pretty sure I'm pregnant with a infant baby.


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Old 07-09-2010, 03:37 PM
 
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I too work with kids and am exposed to a variety of interesting germs. Would it suck to get really sick while pregnant? Absolutely! Do I do what I can to minimize exposure via hand and face washing, yes! But, I just think the H1N1 "thing" was ginned up as artificially dangerous here in the states.

Jenne
I disagree to some degree. I had it (H1N1). I have never been so sick. I had an acquaintance lose her baby while pregnant related to the illness and another acquaintance lose her 2 year old. Neither of them had previously known health issues. I didn't either. It took me months to feel 100% after the week of 102-104 degree temps, lethargy, raging headaches and dehydration. I work with 0-5 year-olds with special needs and a lot of the them are medically fragile so I get why it is such an issue for them but it turns out it can reek havoc on perfectly healthy people as well. I think that it is viewed as a drummed up fear if you don't see the negative outcome first hand.

I had not had the flu shot nor did I provide it for my son. Fortunately I was able to quarantine myself enough for my family not to get sick. I am not sure what I will do now that I am pregnant. I have a hard time with no vax since I think it is a public health issue. I think it is important that there is reform around what is put in the vax but there are several alternatives to standard vax that do not have "as much" crap in them. I don't believe that children should have them (as newborns up to 6 mos or more) and I do not believe that there should be more than one shot given at a time. But there are resurgences of illnesses that were well managed. I think that the idea that the severe symptoms or even death in children and infants that have a childhood illness are only present in those that have a previous health condition gives a false hope that it could never happen to your healthy child but that is not true. Not likely but not true. I have a couple of kids that I treat that have acquired brain injuries related to what started as a simple childhood illnesses. I just think it's unfortunate that a lot of people view vaxing as an all or nothing prospect. I get it though. I would certainly prefer to have my kid vaxed with those that have none of the added crap.

I certainly recognize that I am by far a minority on MDC but for me is comes down to making a decision knowing that I would have to be OK with the outcome if my kid got super sick from something that is preventable vs dealing with the ramifications of vaxing. That's the same with any decision where there is a potential risk.
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Old 07-10-2010, 10:36 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Carrie - If you could find the study I would love to read it, thanks! The more info the better.

I am kinda a germ-a-phobe. So, I carry my clean Well around with me everywhere, make the kiddos wash their hands endlessly, and I am certainly cautious with myself, especially considering the young and varied population i work with. But, similar to portlandmama, I saw my daughter get severely sick with H1N1 last year. Letharygy, 104 fever, and she, too, wasnt fully recovered for months, even though her symptoms were gone. Other studnts i know suffered in the same way. I just feel like it is worth considering giving that the 4 of us in our family will be, on a daily basis, exposed to many many people. That said, i still have not made up my mind. I am completely satisfied with how we do our current vax schedule for the littles (one at a time, about 6 mos apart, necessary ones first), it is the flu shot while pregnant, and for the littles actually, that i am still struggling with. I did get DD a flu vax when she was 1 because the doc really pushed for it and she was fine. But, never agaion for her or the DS. Seriously rethinking this position after DDs illness last year. I am so thankful that she is fully recovered and healthy. I cannot imagine what I would do if something happened to one of them because I didnt get them vaxed.

That is not to say that i fault anyone for not doing it, I am one who didnt do it. I am just rethinking this specific vax after personal experience.
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Old 07-10-2010, 11:48 AM
 
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Back when I was taking immunology I remember my professor, I wonderful man who spent his weekends donating his time at local hospitals, stressing how important it is to get immunized, not just for the health and wellbeing of you and your family but for the sake of others as well. Its called herd immunity (or herd inoculation in the case of immunizations). Its the principle that if most people have an immunity (either form contracting the disease or being inoculated against it) then it protects those who have not yet had the disease from contracting it. Unfortunately there are a VERY large number of children who do not have adequate nutrition or healthcare (especially in the school systems) and not only are you exposed to them but they are exposed to you. When you get a flu shot you lower the chance of those without access to quality healthcare being exposed, be it through direct contact with you or through your shopping cart at the grocery store, cash at the mall, etc. Just a thought, especially if you are working with children from disadvantaged communities. Living near a big city with a large immigrant population it has been heartbreaking hearing stories of children dying from H1N1 having never seen a doctor.

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Old 07-10-2010, 03:17 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by portlandmama View Post
I certainly recognize that I am by far a minority on MDC but for me is comes down to making a decision knowing that I would have to be OK with the outcome if my kid got super sick from something that is preventable vs dealing with the ramifications of vaxing. That's the same with any decision where there is a potential risk.
This.

Megan, loving her sweet rainbow1284.gif boys, born Aug. 2008 and Feb. 2011, and their sister, born still March 2007 candle.gif
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