I’m Vaccinated!

There’s been a lot of chatter out there in the blogosphere, on Twitter and on Facebook about the H1N1 vaccine.  Most of the chatter I’ve heard from everyday citizens is against vaccination, and I understand their hesitance to get a new vaccine for their children.  However, my midwife, doctors, and the scientific agencies that I trust all recommend getting vaccinated when the vaccine becomes available to you.  I did a lot of research, and my decision was to get vaccinated. 

I am in a high-risk group, which is why the vaccine was even available to me right now.  Due to the fact that pregnant women are more likely to have a severe case of H1N1 or even die, I wanted to get the vaccine.  I also feel that I’m in an unofficial high-risk group:  teachers.  Schools in neighboring towns have closed due to the number of students and staff who are sick with “flu-like” symptoms.  While I have made it a habit to wash my hands regularly and clean desk tops, I feel much safer going to work now that I’ve been vaccinated. 

One of the big arguments I’ve heard against getting the vaccine is that it contains thimerosal.  That’s not entirely true.  I won’t get into the whole debate here, but thimerosal is a preservative/anti-fungal that is suspected to contribute to the rise in Autism.  While I’ve done a bit of research, and in my opinion there’s not definitive scientific evidence of the link between thimerosal and Autism, the precautionary principle makes me want to avoid it anyway.  The vaccine that I got is a single-use vaccine, which comes in a plastic one-time use syringe.  It doesn’t look like a normal syringe.  The nasal version doesn’t have thimerosal, either.  However, multi-dose vials contain thimerosal as a preservative, since syringes will be filled from the vial multiple times.  If you want to avoid thimerosal, get the single-use vaccine or the nasal vaccine.  Keep in mind that the nasal vaccine is not available to pregnant women because it contains weakened live virus, while the injected vaccine contains dead virus.  Since the H1N1 vaccine is manufactured in the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine, I felt comfortable getting the shot.

My decision to get both the seasonal flu shot and the H1N1 vaccine was due to my pregnancy.  I’ve never gotten a flu vaccine before, and if I wasn’t pregnant, I probably wouldn’t get one this year.  However, this isn’t any normal flu season, and I made the decision that I believe is best for me and for my baby.  When it comes to the H1N1 vaccine, everyone needs to do their own research and decide what’s best for their family.

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13 Responses to I’m Vaccinated!

  1. You really did your research and I support any decision you make because of that! Whatever is best for you and your little baby :)

  2. Rob

    Good Girl- I think it is important for pregnant women to get vaccinated. You have more than yourself to think about! I do get the seasonal flu vaccine And have never had any reaction to it. Cept now I cant type! Coincidence?

  3. Aunt Sara

    I am proud of you! I was worried that you would be swayed by all of the chatter out there, and have been watching the CDC statistics since last spring, worried about all of the high risk groups. Still, try to keep a good deal of space between you and the charming children!

  4. Ab,

    So glad you made an informed decision that is right for you and that you were finally able to get the vaccine at your doctor’s office!

    I’ve never gotten a flu shot and I’m going to defer again to those in the high risk groups, hoping they all get theirs!

    Good luck, everyone!

  5. angiecox

    Everyone has to make their own decision, and I appreciate you sharing your “process” in a public way. My greater concern (and a big part of the reason I choose not to get either shot) was regarding the adjuvant squaline that kicks the immune system into hyperdrive with less vaccine.

    You are healthy and well nourished, so you will be fine. That baby is lucky to have a momma who does her research.

  6. You are right everyone has to make there own decision on vaccines.

    My husband is a public school teacher and will NOT be getting the shot, either.

    The research I have done has shown doctors that recommend the seasonal flu shot are not recommending the H1N1 as the effects are not known.

    I’m high risk because I have asthma and other chronic health problems. A cold turns in to severe asthma for me pretty often but I still will take that over the shot.

    My reasons for not getting the shot are
    1. I’m sensitive to eggs
    2. Fibromyalgia (which I have) patience are being warned about the mercury in the shots as mercury has been linked to causing Fibro and/or making it worse.
    3. I’m at risk of other autoimmune illnesses and mercury is linked to causing them.
    4. I work to hard to keep toxins out of my body to put on in my body on purpose.

    But on the other hand I do understand why some are getting it. I know first hand how the flu can get serious because of other health problems. I’ve just decided I would rather risk that than the effects of the shot.

    And again I think it’s wonderful that you researched this. The only time I have a problem with people vaccinating is when they do no research! I can’t tell you the number of parents that tell me they had no idea you shouldn’t get the flu shot when you are allergic to eggs and their kids have an egg allergy. Or the mom I heard the other day say she wasn’t going to get a cold because she had the flu shot. As long as people our informed I say it’s up to each person.

  7. Marie

    I knew you would do all of the research and do what was best for you and the baby, you are in a high risk enviroment and it wise to be safe, which is exactly what you have done, I know this puts you and Ed in the comfort zone as well as all of us that care about the 3 of you.

  8. I’ve been following the Facebook conversations where my pregnant daughter are concerned. Her husband wants her to get the shot, she’s not sure, her friends all tell her, “No!”, and I’m refusing to comment because I think that’s a decision best made by her and her doctor. So far, I haven’t heard anything about her doctor even mentioning it.

    She’s not working outside the home, but I don’t think she’s practicing social distancing.

  9. Kate

    My sister-in-law is 1. pregnant and 2. chief resident at a children’s hospital where we live. She got the vaccine – pretty much for the same reasons you did. She’s in an at-risk population and works in an environment full of high at-risk kids. For her it was a no brainer.

    I’ve never even had a flu shot and I’m iffy about vaccinations (and vaccination schedules in general), but I think it’s really easy for all of us to sit back and judge other people’s choices. For both of you it made sense and you did your research – can’t ask for more than that!

  10. Thanks for the info. I’m not doing any research and am taking the trusty if-I-close-my-eyes-and-ignore-it-maybe-it-won’t-happen-to-me approach to this one.

    Glad you did the best thing for you and baby.

  11. Jo...

    Thank-you for the information. I’m 23 weeks pregnant. I have had such a hard time trying to decide. After reading your blog I phoned the local health unit to ask if I could get the single use vaccine, they had never even heard of it, and kept asking if I ment adjuvanted or unadjuvanted. How fustrating! It turns out if I’m going to do this I have to wait till next week because that is when the unadjuvanted is being issued, and supposedly it safer for women over 20 weeks.
    For now I try to stay home (canning to do), wash my hand frequantly, and insist that the rest of the family do the same. My 15 year old girls are not too amused with me trying to quarentine them around this holiday, but they have agreed to reduce the amount of friends staying here.

  12. Stephanie

    Your thought process is great. I also want to get H1N1 but am still not able to get access to it. It’s been frustrating. I’m 21 wks along and even as someone in the target population for the vaccine can’t get access to it. I’m a contractor at a company who just administered H1N1 shots to all their employees (ie general population) while community clinics are cancelled due to shortages. And my OB is still on a waiting list. I just had to rant. I wish the distribution process was holding up for the high risk groups it was meant to cover first. I feel like everyone else is able to get the shot if they work for the right company or live in a more affluent communities. But those of us who still really need it are being left out. I hope to get a call from my OB soon ‘cuz people keep dropping sick all around me.

  13. fantastic- pregnant women are hugely at risk and I’m so glad that you made an informed decision.
    What I’ve found interesting is the differences between Canada and the US. Here in Canada there is no nasal spray… and the single use vaccine does have thimerosal in it… which didn’t sway me in the least as the original research with Autism link has been found (in legal courts) to be completely fraudulent.
    I got the vaccine- I work with preschool children and there was no way I was going to be potentially exposing medically fragile children in the clinic to H1N1.

    at the same time- like you said, everyone will make the decision that is best for them :)

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