I usually get the flu shot every year, because I work for the Health Authority. Previously, I worked at a building with a nurse, and didn't even have to leave my office to get the shot. I don't work with the public very often, but I do often work with those who do, and I do often attend meetings at public sites. So I'm exposed to the flu virus, and as such I get the shot. I haven't had the flu in years. Last year, all three of us - Gwen, Chris, and I - got the shot. And we were all 100% fine.
When I went into the local health unit to ask when this year's flu shot was going to be available, I learned that the seasonal flu shot was not even going to be offered until the new year. Instead, they recommended that we get the H1N1 shot.
You know, the H1N1 shot that's been on the market for like, a day and a half now. The shot that hasn't been through the clinical trials. The shot that may or may not give you Gulf War syndrome. That one! Yeah. Sign me up. Me and my 18-month-old daughter, please!
I think what concerns me about this vaccine is that, by default, we have no idea whatsoever about long-term effects. What if, in thirty years, Gwen is infertile? Do I want to look back at the winter of 2009 and wonder if this vaccine caused that? "Gee, I'm sorry, darling, that you will never know the joy of bearing your own child. But hey! Remember when you were two, and you didn't get the flu? YOU'RE WELCOME!"
So, on the other hand, what if we turn down the vaccine and she gets the flu? Well ... it's the flu. People don't usually die from the flu, right? And by all accounts (by which I mean, according to Amber, who saw it on the news ... I am nothing if not a rigourous researcher) H1N1, like chickenpox, seems to hit harder in adulthood than childhood. Meaning, the kids who are getting it are just FINE.
At this point I'm leaning pretty solidly towards not vaccinating. What are you all planning? (Here are some links to help you decide ... not that they've helped me all that much.)
In this video from Fox News (of all places), a doctor admits the vaccine is more dangerous than the flu and that he will NOT be getting it for his kids. (If you only follow one link, make it this one ... it's interesting to watch, because the interview goes in a direction unexpected by either party.)
In this news video, health workers in Albany rally against enforced H1N1 vaccinations; the Chair of Preventative Medicine responds.
This article details the intense hunt for side effects that will be taking place after the vaccination is rolled out across North America.