H1N1 – What Will You Do?

I’ve been asked my opinion from Mommy Footprint readers if I’m vaccinating my kids against H1N1. This post will not contain that answer because I haven’t made up my mind yet. I don’t like to make decisions based on fear. You can smell the fear that is running through parents and it’s the same fear I feel. Parents that have chosen to vaccinate themselves and their children have such a strong opinion on the whole issue for the same reason those against the vaccine are so passionate – everyone is really hoping for the best for their children. Each decision needs to be respected and of course nobody wants to make the wrong decision by vaccinating then finding out down the road there are potential problems. Likewise, how would you live with yourself if your child contracted H1N1 and became a statistic.

You only need to post a question on Twitter or Facebook to find out how people feel about H1N1 and the vaccine. Many discussions even become heated among ‘friends’ – I find it all very interesting and have frankly learned more through these comments than googling information. An example of this is a friend of mine threw out the question if parents should be held liable if they are sending sick kids to school and infect other children. Through this Facebook conversation I learned that Australia opted out using the H1N1 vaccine because they weren’t convinced that it was safe for young children. They went through their entire flu season without the vaccine relying on Tamiflu and quarantining people that were sick with flu like symptoms. It’s very interesting to learn what other countries are doing. I have found  Europe is much better with protecting it’s citizens with banning toxic chemicals earlier than North America and from what I could find on the Internet, they seem supportive of the vaccine.  This to me is a plus. For my non-Canadian readers, every media outlet in Canada from TV, to papers, to social media is ablaze with H1N1 reports and information….it’s way too much.  Everywhere you go people are talking about it – I’ve never experienced anything like it.  Even for me, it’s probably the 2nd question out of my mouth when talking with parents that I know and trust…I just can’t help but ask.

I’m aware that every Dr. you talk with is recommending the vaccine.  So why are parents resistant to something that will help protect children from this terrible flu?  Because in the last 3 years, parents have learned that they can’t trust anyone with parenting decisions because at every turn, we are being told that something is toxic..and those products are usually ones that have affected our fetus, new baby or child.  I’ve learned as a parent to 2nd, 3rd, guess everyone…even doctors and I know I’m not alone. Who do you believe and what is truly the right decision?   And who are the first people being recommended to receive this vaccine?  Pregnant woman and young children -this is simply not an ideal situation. Then you have ‘the face’ of heathcare, Dr. Oz,  (Oprah’s health advisor) state in an interview “everyone is encouraged to get the vaccine to stop the spread of H1N1” then 2 minutes later says that his wife will not allow their 4 children to be vaccinated.  A little scary if he can’t make a compelling enough case to convince his wife to vaccinate!  I wonder if he realizes just how significant this remark actually was.

Think you are well informed about H1N1 and the vaccine?  If so, awesome and please post any helpful comments you might have. I’ve personally had a hard time wrapping my head around the facts and figures of the H1N1 info.  A few questions I have that I need answered before I make a decision are:

~ Does the H1N1 vaccine that is available in my community contain thimerosal, which is a mercury laden preservative? Aren’t pregnant woman supposed to avoid mercury with pregnancy?  They are the first people to be receiving the vaccine so although I’m not pregnant, I would like the answer to this question. Apparently thimerosal is added to the vaccine so it can be mass produced in larger batches?

~ Once you get H1N1, can you get it again?  If I don’t vaccinate this year, will I face this problem again next year at flu season?  If I do vaccinate this year, will this help me with future strains of the flu next year or am I back to square 1?

~ If I see the symptoms of H1N1 presenting with my family and I take Tamiflu, will this prevent me from getting H1N1 again this year?

You are welcome to post comments, questions, or concerns you might have to this article.

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7 Responses to H1N1 – What Will You Do?

  1. Sarah November 6, 2009 at 7:18 am #

    I can only give you some information I have found on the thimerosal. As far as I understand there is way less mercury in the vaccine as there is in a can of tuna. Also the thimerosal has been studied (in 1999 because of the Autism causing fears) and it has been found to be excreted from the body faster then the type of mercury found in a can of tuna. Aparently infants excrete the mercury in the vaccines in 3.7 days whereas the type of mercury found in fish can linger in the body for 44 days.

    We chose to vaccinate our three children.

  2. Kyla November 6, 2009 at 12:01 pm #

    Thanks for this article. I have chosen to not vaccinate at this time. I do not want to rely on a multiple of flu shots each year. I would rather strengthen our immune systems through a well balanced, chemical free, organic diet and supplements where needed. I would love to see the answers to your questions posted on the Canadian Government flu website. It seems to me even the questions are filtered to be pro-vaccine.

  3. Roby Mitchell M.D. November 10, 2009 at 8:44 pm #

    The safety of the vaccine is not so much a concern as the flawed paradigm that promotes it. You’re being told to vaccinate your child against a virus that a competent immune system would protect against. This is in lieu of promoting the actions that would boost the child’s immune system against a wide variety of germs. if you choose the vaccine model,that extrapolates into needing a new vaccine for every new virus that pops up. Makes more sense to gird the immune system to handle any of these weak viruses. Vaccines make your child a dependent.

  4. Kira November 16, 2009 at 10:39 am #

    First, I read your blog often and find it full of great information for parents that love to use more natural organic products, but don’t have the time to do all of the research, so thank you!

    Second, to answer a few of your questions on H1N1…
    -The mercury in vaccines is used not so much so that manufactures can mass produce, but as a safety mechanism as it has a hand in purifying the vaccines and preventing germs to grow in the vaccine itself. There are however, mercury free H1N1 doses, like there are for the seasonal flu shot, but unfortunatelly they are also much harder to come by.
    -As far as immunity to H1N1 goes, if someone were to be diagnosed with H1N1 they would not need to get the vaccine this year, as it would provide immunity. That said, as with the seasonal flu, it is something that we would most likely need to get a booster shot of each year.
    -As far as Tamiflu is concerned,it will help with the influenza related symptoms, but will not create any immunity.

    Hope this helps.

  5. Josee November 26, 2009 at 8:38 pm #

    We decided to get vaccinated.
    Even afterward I am still wondering if we did the right thing.
    Dawn if you do, Dawn if you don’t

  6. Brownesy November 30, 2009 at 1:21 pm #

    Thank you for sharing this. My husband and I have chosen not to vaccinate ourselves and 17-month old son. I feel like a freak who is putting my son’s life in danger when I talk about this with other parents. I do not want to make this sort of decision based on fear or pressure (even from our doctor) brought on by the media. I am not comfortable with how quickly the vaccine was developed and that no testing has been done on very young children. Recently a batch of the vaccine caused life-threatening reactions in several people and this is precisely why we made the decision we did.

    I’m so glad I came across your site, it’s right up my alley!

  7. Another Mommy December 1, 2009 at 12:39 pm #

    Let’s keep in perspective the number of reactions from the vaccine with the number administered….millions of shots were given out and still only a hand full of reactions were reported. Most of them were mild with a few bad ones. And the ones that were bad were mostly anaphalaxys…meaning they were allergic…which means it is not the fault of the vaccine….it is like blaming peanuts for someone’s allergy to them.
    As for thimerisol, it is found in contact solution which millions of people use everyday.
    I looked into this vaccine for a long time before making my decision and ended up getting it. It is the same vaccine they have been giving out every year for the last ten years for the seasonal flu only made with the h1n1 virus. The virus in the seasonal flu changes every year as does the strain of flu circulating. Next year the seasonal flu shot will contain the h1n1 virus along with other strains that may be circulating.
    In my opinion, all this fear mongering in the media has scared us more of the wrong thing, the cure. The flu is a really bad one with a simple solution that we use every year. And because of the media we are scared of a shot that has been used for over ten years now.
    It is a personal choice though to vaccinate or not to. But I do think that people who get sick should be held accountable if they go out in public and infect others. You don’t know that the person in line at the grocery store that you infect doesn’t have an immuno compramised loved one at home that they will inturn inffect. This flu can be deadly to many so people who chose not to vaccinate should be ready to stay home until they are well again. Everyone should respect other’s worries too. You may think the h1n1 flu is nothing to worry about but it may be a huge worry for others. Please respect others feeling and health and stay home if you are sick. Good luck to all.

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