H1N1 – To Vaccinate or not to Vaccinate, that is the question…
As the parent of an 8-month-old baby boy, I have been grappling with this difficult decision. I myself have always been wary of the flu shot, getting my first only last year while pregnant with my son. I have been vaccinating my son according to his pediatrician’s guidelines but all the while hesitant due to the highly publicized debate surrounding vaccines and autism. I would be lying if I said I didn’t closely monitor his behavior for weeks after receiving vaccines for any sign of something out of the ordinary. How was I to decide if my little boy, who’s so vulnerable to outside influences, should receive this new, controversial vaccine?
My husband and I starting taking a poll amongst our friends and family members, to which the results were completely split down the middle. Some said no, don’t do it, only give him the regular flu shot, others said yes, absolutely vaccinate for swine flu, you’re crazy not to. Our pediatrician said we should vaccinate. He said that doctors have been giving children vaccines for decades. Even the seasonal flu vaccine has a different composition each year so we should treat the swine flu shot as if we are giving him the regular seasonal flu shot. At this visit, my son left after having the regular seasonal flu shot and not the H1N1 shot. I needed more time to think about the subject and to discuss with my husband.
After countless conversations with friends in the medical field, friends with children the same ages and doing my online research at www.flu.gov and www.cdc.gov, I think we’re going to vaccinate. We haven’t done it yet, because the thought of giving my little guy two different flu strains in the same setting terrifies me but we’re going to vaccinate. Now all I need to do is get an appointment with the doctor’s office to vaccinate but they are completely booked. I guess that means that other parents are vaccinating too!
Please let us know your thoughts on the H1N1 vaccination and what you would do. Submitted by Heather Matthews, Guest Editor, Cancer Research Specialist at Patient Navigator LLC