Tuesday, November 24, 2009

To Vaccinate or Not to Vaccinate

Originally in this house we were way against the H1N1 vaccine. I read a lot of frightening things about what it could do to a person. And no matter what side of the debate a person is on, it's a tough decision. But here I sit as a person that is likely in the throes of H1N1 and I say that even if I had not changed my mind a few weeks ago about the vaccine and whether or not it was a good idea, having this would have changed my mind for me. The day that my husband and I were supposed to have our vaccine was the day little Bam-Bam went to the ER with seizures. And also quite possibly the day I picked up the virus. With my son it is more complicated. He has an egg allergy and cannot have any flu shots. With research I discovered that his allergist can administer the shot under supervision with a pre-test and post-test. A long process, but to me it is worth it. Unfortunately I have to wait for the allergists office to have the shot available, which is why hubby and I intended to have the vaccine ourselves.

I've done a ton of research to come to this conclusion about the vaccine. I'm a firm believer in being very informed. I wont bore all of you with the details of what I learned through my research, except that I concluded that it was less of a risk to have the vaccine than to not. I received an email from my adorable almost-84 year old grandmother yesterday in which she said the following:

I have always been in favor of the vaccines that have been tested and approved by the FDA. Perhaps that is because i remember walking as a group with my schoolmates and teacher to the funeral of one of us who had died of diptheria. Elnora and I had whooping cough ; and it is as a result of that fearsome disease that Elnora has that wide scar on her face today...she had a scratch that couldn't heal because it broke open and bled from her coughing spells. We and our brothers also survived measles and mumps , though we were spared smallpox because there was a vaccination for that. Typhoid fever was avoided by the insertion of some kind of disinfectant in the drinking water at homes and schoolhouses. It tasted awful. My double cousin Douglas survived polio, though he had to wear a built-up shoe the rest of his life because of a degree of paralysis that affected him. In his later adult life, he had a secondary attack that was common but unexpected. That probably led to an earlier death than might have been expected inasmuch as the rest of us in this generation are pretty much still kicking around. He was the only one who would have been older than I.

Just another thing that confirmed for me the importance of vaccines. Now, I definitely don't believe in blindly following the exact schedule. For example, all of Bam-Bam's vaccines are administered one at a time and we have refused some that we do not believe to be necessary. I believe being an informed parent and patient is absolutely vital.

I know that we all don't agree on this particular point, but for me and for my family this was an important decision. We didn't make it lightly and we didn't make it with emotion, but rather with information. I think it's important for any of you making this decision to remember that information, no matter which side you choose, is important.

Ok, so I'm back on my soap box. Must be feeling better. XO


  1. I don't have an issue with vaccinate or choosing not to vaccinate. I have an issue with people telling me that my kids have to have it while my husband and I can't. Not only that but because of their asthma, they have to have it twice. So seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 twice seemed a bit much to me. Glad you are feeling better!

  2. I read this a while ago and enjoyed it! I haven't had grandparents around for a long time now, so it's neat to hear about how it was back then from someone else's. Thank you for sharing!