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Like a Stuck Swine

Chris and debated whether to get the kids vaccinated for H1N1. Oh, how we debated. We went in circles, we hemmed and hawed, we questioned and wondered and pondered. Chris tends to be the "do whatever the doctor says' type, and I tend to be the "in favor of vaccines, but annoyed that we are now supposed to vaccinate against mild childhood illnesses" type. But with this one, neither of us was quite sure what to do. The whole thing just seemed fraught with peril on all sides, and while we were probably leaning toward yes, we still hadn't really decided.

And then Mia landed in the hospital, and suddenly this unpleasant-but-likely-to-be-mild illness became a potentially-life-threatening-illness for our suddenly high-risk child. Our first order of business was getting Mia better. Our second order of business was getting her vaccinated. Easier said than done right now, around here.

So this morning, Chris spent two hours standing outside in the cold and rain at ye olde local health department so that I could swoop in with the kids when they opened and score two pieces of paper entitling us to two doses of H1N1 vaccine. One hour, two band-aids, two princess stickers (no way was Owen accepting Spiderman when Mia had Ariel), and much screaming and tears later, we were on our way. (We were numbers 29 and 30, I feel really bad for the people who were 329 and 330.) We'll be doing it all again in three to four weeks, and despite my initial misgivings, I feel good about this decision.

What are you guys doing on this one?

Comments (48)

We went back and forth until I saw a story about children who were in medically-induced comas for weeks because of H1N1. That was enough for me. Our daughter is 16 months old and is around other kids at the babysitter, who also has children in school. There was enough risk of exposure that we decided to get her vaccinated. Our county has been running clinics every week for three weeks. We went to the second and were in and out in 15 minutes although I've heard of people waiting in line for hours in more populated areas. While it was no big deal the first round, the county isn't sure if there will be enough to go around for the second.

i'm not anti-vaccine either, necessarily, but i had a rough time deciding as well. even for myself, being nine-months pregnant with asthma and gestational diabetes (three strikes against me!) i wrestled with it. and then eventually decided to just gladly accept the thimerosol-preserved shot from my OB when she finally got enough doses to offer me one last week. saturday, my husband and two-year-old are going to stand in one of those russian breadlines for their vaccines. and i'm still going to freak out in four weeks when i have a tiny newborn right in the middle of a pandemic.

i don't want to sound hysterical, but anyone that says this is "just the flu, no big deal" has either never been in the hospital with their daughter like you just were, or has never seen a documentary about the 1918 spanish flu. even with our medical advancements since then, i would not put it past a tricky virus for one second to show us who's boss...

ps. one of my closest friends, also with a newborn right now, and i joke around a little that if everyone else acted slightly more concerned, we could act slightly less concerned. as it is, we are neurotic hand-washing, purelling, non-hand-shaking, sleeve-door-handling, personal-pen-at-the-store-using, paranoids :)

i am still hemming and hawing at tht one. i didnt even get the flu vaccine for my child. but am scared and keeping fingers crossed too.

my 4 yr old though has become quite paranoid, so much so that when i kissed him on the face the other day, he got annoyed as i may hv passed germs on!!

I got him the vaccine, no question. He got the rotavirus at 9 months it was horrible (we didn't end up in the hospital, but it was close). I don't want to go through something like that again.

He had his first dose a few weeks ago, and I'm waiting for the ped to get a shipment so we can get the second dose next week.

It was very efficient, I emailed with my chosen time slot when the shipment came in. Then at the appointed time, we went to the ped's office and we were in and out in less than 10 minutes.

I'm just checking their website for updates on when to email again for the second dose.

Our ped who is the largest peds office in our area said they are not giving the H1N1 vaccine to anyone unless they have had a major transplant or have cancer right now. They said to check every day (HUH who the hell has time for that?!) to see if it changes. I could barely get a seasonal flu shot out of them for my 15 month old.

I went around and around, totally decided against it. BUT we are going to B.C. for the Winter Olympics in February and I got to thinking hmm international environment and an almost five year old and 18 month old - that might look ugly on the other side SO I guess we will try to get it but there is no way I am taking the time off from work to stand in line and/or hunt it down. I am just hoping that eventually we will get it when there are most dosages available. And I will likely call from time to time. They would not even give my older son a flu shot!!!

I think of vaccination as something we do selfishly, to protect our own kids, but that has the unselfish benefit of protecting other kids as well -- especially those who can't be vaccinated for some reason.

We were able to get them the first dose of the H1N1 vaccine, but we have to wait to see if there's enough to go around for dose #2.

My daughter has pretty severe asthma, and for her, a bad cold can land us in the ER (and it has, twice). So the vaccine was a no-brainer for us, and since she's especially high-risk, we managed to get it from our pediatrician. We were VERY lucky in that regard. Glad you were able to get the shots for your kids too.

No children for me so I'm spared the agonizing over this one. Just chiming in to say that I am on the tail end of the my swine flu bout which started on Saturday. I've always been sickly and am pretty adept at dealing with things. But I told my mom on Saturday when we were making the 3 hour trek back to civilization so that I could be treated, "I hate to think of little kids getting this. It may be the most miserable I've ever been in 35 years."

Harley got his on Monday. You guys were lucky, waiting only two hours. Unreal waits here in Colorado. Took Harley and I four hours.

Michael got the mist, I got the shot, but now he is due for dose 2 and I can't find it anywhere. I'm just stuck hoping one dose provides some kind of immunity.

We're not vaccinating for the flu because we feel that we're fairly low-risk. We homeschool and try to limit exposure during flu season.

I went back and forth about it...for about a day.

Until I really REALLY read about this flu's vulnerabilities. As Felix has REALLY shitty lungs (two pneumonias and two bronchitises in 20 months) we are DEFINETLY getting it. The only problem thus far has been that in my neck of the woods, they had cancelled ALL vaccinations clinics until this week. And the priority list is short....very short. We are going to tempt the cold on Saturday once again (we've tried twice so far and have not been able to get it)

Felix will qualify, we (despite having an asthmatic and diabetic husband) will not. So we'll stand in line...likely many times (if you include Felix's 2 shots and then ours) but I feel pretty good about the decision.

We did the same thing you did, right down to the less-able-to-get-all-children-in-the-car parent waiting in line at ass-early o'clock and able parent swooping in at the designated time.

We'll do it again the first week of December.

And it will suck mightily.

I'm still on the fence. I think I would get the shots for The Squad if it were easier.

I left Chris a long winded comment, but here's the short of it:

After Mister ended up in the ER with CROUP, you better believe I was going to hunt down that vaccine for my asthma kid. Remember how we switched peds to go with the asthma specialist? He luckily had three first doses with my kids' names on them, and has promised me the second doses for all three in the required 30 days.

Never have I so gleefully shot my kids up with a virus and so happily anticipated the antibodies to follow.

(and I'm in your camp: vaccines= good. chicken pox vaccine= come on really?)

We'd firmly decided to not bother (despite being barely a few hours from NYC and smack in the middle of ski country) with the flu shots (of any kind) but my son had to be checked by a cardiologist (another issue, he's fine) and when the cardi heard about how my son's been on-again-off-again weekly with colds plus he has some damage to his lungs from post-birth complications, the dr firmly recommended he be vaccinated (in a nice way). We weren't expecting our local dr to have any, though (and weren't going to risk the mist), so we've been putting it off. This past monday I was in to see the dr and she, off-handedly, offered me the shot (I'm a chronic illness person) and I said "oh what the hell". That, apparently, was the deciding factor for me since I made appts for my sons before I left and they got their first shots last night with some tears, promises of lolli's and "Donald's Happy Neals!". My husband will likely get his too on Monday when he has his physical since the boys will still be carriers.

Do I think there's too much hype about this? Yes! However, for my son who's home from school for a week when he gets a cold, it's the right choice (which means it's the choice for the rest of us).

I've blogged about this quite a bit myself. My son and I (since I'm preggers) both got the vaccine. Our county is doing a bad job at distribution but we went to one of the open to the public school clinics in DC and it was a very smooth and efficient process.

My father-in-law is a doctor and has insisted we get our 17 month old vaccinated, but says hubbs and I would be ok if we managed to get H1N1. Our pediatrician is waiting for a shipment, and there's a few public clinics here that will have it soon. I think we'll get it for him, just to be safe.

We got our two vaccinated yesterday with H1N1. Fortunately, we got the nasal mist.

Already done. At least with the first shot.

I think our wait was a bit longer than yours...even with pre-registering. I was actually suprised that the husband AND MIL waited in line. The in-laws were all up in arms about the vaccine because of something Glenn Beck said. Really? Your taking medical assvice from Glenn Beck? Intelligence SUPER FAIL.

I am allergic to eggs, so neither flu shot is even an option for me. I was sick with some type of flu last month and missed quite a lot of work. If that was H1N1, then I can see why people would want to avoid it.

I went back and forth but at the end of day felt better with having my son receive the vaccine than not. He had a round of both the seasonal and the H1N1 several weeks apart and beside a low grade fever no complaints. I'm shocked that it is so difficult for people to get the vaccine. Here in Central FL my son's Dr's office had a sign up list and they would call you when it was your turn. It only took a day to get him in. For myself, I ran into a local Centra-Care type place and for $20 received the shot, in and out in 10 minutes.

Glad that Mia is feeling better!

we did something similar two weeks ago, though we tag teamed with friends..hubby A showed up at 5 am (to a county clinic 45 minutes away), hubby B showed up at 6:15 to relieve him, and wives and 6 kids swooped in at 7:30. we were all vaccinated by 9:15. were hoping our pediatrician will have the second dose available, otherwise we will do it all again.

i find it interesting some walgreens and cvs have them already- my brother walked in to cvs in long island and got his with 10 minutes to wait, but ther are still scarce here in chicago. way to go government!

I fall in line with your thinking about vaccinations; get the major ones but think some Dr's over-vaccinate for mild illnesses. I never get the annual flu shot for myself or my 9yo (heck, look at the effective rate statistics for it; some years it's only 15% effective because they guessed the wrong strain).

For the H1N1, I wasn't going to get it. I'm 7mos pregnant so qualify in that high-risk group. But then started reading about kids like Mia that were ending up in the hospital. We're taking an international trip in a couple weeks, and all those airports and recirculated air on planes freaked me out. I took my 9yo to the large clinic Fairfax held last Sat. and we both got vaccinated. We were in and out in less than 20mins, and that included the 15mins of observation time afterward! It was no hassle whatsoever.

(Of course, I caught a nasty cold 2 days later so think the shot probably jacked my immune system, but it's a little stuffiness... not hospitalization.)

The other thing that swayed me was knowing that the drug companies knew exactly what strain of flu they were creating a vaccination for. There was no guesswork in which strain of virus to use.

I'm 4 months pregnant and I *was* firmly planted on the fence about the vaccine. I feel it is likely to be as safe as the seasonal shot that pregnant women have been taking for eons and I'm not even especially concerned about thermisol (I know, FLOG ME NOW!). My concern was more towards whether the shot would even be effective, seeing as it viruses mutate like crazy. I wasn't out looking for the vaccine but I showed up for a regular prenatal appointment Tuesday night and THERE IT WAS. My OB's office had just gotten a shipment of 200 shots and they had 40 left. I went for it.
I'm happy with my decision, but what I'm NOT happy with is the way some people have reacted to it. It isn't like I made myself a sign announcing that I'd had the shot, but "Have you had the Swine Flu vaccine?" is actually a REALLY COMMON question for a pregnant lady to be asked this year. I've had some eye rolling, which pisses me off to NO END because, seriously? Go ahead and disagree with me, go ahead and opt not to get the shot yourself, but to assume I made the decision I did because I am "misinformed" is BULLS**T. I haven't so much as had a cup of tea in this pregnancy without informing myself to the point of OBSESSION.
Sorry to use your comments as a soapbox, but GRRR!!

My doctors surgery had a sign up saying children 10 and under were not to be vaccinated - we then heard on the news this was because the vaccine wasn't 'refined enough'.
I thought (as did my family) that if they're saying kids can't have it, then I'm damn well not having it either. IMHO it seems like they rushed to get this vaccine out...

(But I am in Australia, and I guess we're not as panicked, although yes, 40 or so people here have died from H1N1)

I'm in favor, and I'm not scared of the vaccine. But I'm lazy and phone-phobic, and I AM scared of getting treated condescendingly by a nurse on the phone, so I haven't called yet.

I called every day, twice a day, endured SO MUCH SHIT from our pediatrician's receptionist, was lied to and yet I persevered my ass off, and finally got her vaccinated.

I'm in favor, not scared one bit, and will do the same procedure again in three weeks to get her ass the second half.

I actually had to get it because I'm employed at a hospital and at an OB-GYN group, so I'm considered high risk. I don't mind getting it, but I think the situation could be handled so much better by the government - federal, state, AND local.

As soon as vaccine was released, I began my quest to get my hands on it. Last week I was successful and got my two little ones vaccinated. I sleep better now.

I am a huge believer in vaccines. I always get them (and us) the seasonal flu shot, as well. Getting sick is never fun - but influenza is unpredictable, especially for little kids. If I can prevent it, I'm going to do whatever I can. It's just not worth the risk.

Besides that, I also believe we have a civic responsibility to immunize to create herd immunity for those unable to vaccinate, but highly vulnerable (cancer, asthma, egg allergies, etc.)

For me, this was a no-brainer.

Actually, we were only going to get my son the seasonal flu shot until I read about Mia here and that pretty much changed my mind about the H1N1 shot. He got the seasonal shot last Saturday and is getting the mist this Saturday. Apparently it's much easier to come by here. My friend, whose son is under 2, can't get the shot until December 31. Same pediatrician. Crazy.

I haven't gotten either for myself, though. Husband has gotten the seasonal flu shot, though, so hopefully that will be enough. I may seek out a seasonal shot but those seem to be hard to come by for some reason.

I will not vaccinate my kids for the flu, H1N1 or chicken pox. I think as a society we hate to be uncomfortable so we want to avoid it at any cost. That being said I know vaccines have their place and NOBODY want their child to be sick or suffer.
These vaccines are too new and need much more testing before I will give it to me or my kids.

My oldest has the same sort of lungy thingy as mia, and has since he was, well, he age. He gets EVERY shot, vaccine, blahblahblah.

my other two? Not so much. But they don't get sick, ever. I'm not one to screw around with the high-risk crap. He's looking down the barrel of an h1n1 shot very, very soon.

(PS: in canada, they give them out at school. no lines. It's epic)

I did it. I waited in line for three and a half hours with my three-year-old. I didn't want to have something terrible happen and look back and say I COULD have got her vaccinated but didn't because I didn't want to be inconvenienced or I wasn't feeling well or I was too tired. So I guess I did it out of fear.

We have debated and debated. Like you we both still think it's a mild illness. So we decided against vaccinating (we did vaccinate for more serious illnesses). However, if our children would have been high risk; we definitely would have taken the 'risk' / step of vaccinating.

Did you and Chris take the vaccine? They just started giving high risk ppl the vaccine here and in 2 weeks they'll start vaccinating 6 months - 4 year olds.

Now imagine you ate tapas and you're almost in your second trimester. What would you do?

Happy Birthday

I refuse to vaccinate for the flu and H1N1 is flu, so I'm avoiding it. I think the media has turned it into more of a circus than anything.

We got one today for my 19 month-old. Though the risks may be negligible in either case, I felt that the likelihood of the H1N1 flu harming my daughter, or at least making her feel like crap, outweighed the tiny possibility that something could be wrong with the vaccine.

My husband and I won't be getting one for H1N1, though. We're not in the pool that needs it most.

Like you, we were unsure too but I teach and once I saw how prevalent H1N1 is, we went to be vaccinated. Our 3 year old has been hospitalized twice and there was no way I was going to even risk him going back to the hospital for something like H1N1.

H1N1 is like liquid gold in our county- in high demand for the little supply that they actually have. We crossed the border like Smiling Mama and went into DC to be vaccinated.

Our whole family was vaccinated because I qualified as a teacher and my husband fell into a risk group since he has asthma. I wouldn't be able to live with myself if my kids landed in the hospital because I didn't get them vaccinated.

So glad Mia is feeling better!

My husband and I got ours today! Now I'm looking for a pediatric allergist who will give my 14-month old the vaccine despite his mild-to-moderate reaction to eggs. We don't know if it's a true allergy or just a baby sensitivity, so the pediatrician and the health department won't give it to him.

In Alabama they're giving it to anyone who stands still longer than 2 seconds - no restrictions to risk groups anymore.

We are not getting the H1N1 vaccine. I am just too leery about giving something so new to my kids. Besides I am fairly certain we had the lovely swine already in our house! (Fun Times that was) And where I live you cannot get a shot even if you wanted to and I am completely opposed to the nasal spray and so is my pediatrician.

But that's not why I stopped by... I just wanted to say... Happy Birthday, Beth!

Happy Birthday, Beth!!!

Happy Birthday!!!

We will be getting it for our 6 year old- no asthma, no underlying things- but I have it on good faith from my husband's ex who happens to be an Epidemiologist in NYC(Ph.D. in microbiology and infectious disease)that we should do it. And it is safe. And no, she's not just saying that because she's a Dr. She lost her infant to pneumonia back in the 80's and devoted her life to medicine. It's a vaccine. They all have risks. Mia's illness was not something to take lightly.

We hemmed & hawed too - for our 23 month old and my pg self. When 2 cases popped up at Dahlia's daycare and I really thought about NOT being able to take care of her if she got sick, I decided to do it. We did the research, we got the preservative free vaccines and went with it. There was a "clinic" here last week for the high risk groups. It took about an hour and we both did great. A few tears (but not many) on her part and a big sigh of relief on mine. Then we both got sick last week!! Hmph.

No H1N1 shot for me. After doing research of what goes into the vaccine, no thanks. Also I feel the media is making a big hype of it. Thousands of people die every year from the seasonal flu.

I can understand getting vaccinated though if you are high risk and getting the flu can lead to serious complications.

No H1N1 shot for me. After doing research of what goes into the vaccine, no thanks. Also I feel the media is making a big hype of it. Thousands of people die every year from the seasonal flu.

I can understand getting vaccinated though if you are high risk and getting the flu can lead to serious complications.

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