Thursday 22 October 2009

One sick prick

The letter has been on the kitchen table for weeks.

It tells us that in 3 weeks or so, vaccinations will begin at our general practice for the H1N1 virus.

The 'Swine flu', or delightfully accusatory 'Mexican flu' as they call it here, has been fodder for breaking news headlines in the UK and Ireland for months.

Not so much here in Holland.

The level of awareness is high, and the practical everyday precautions are promoted and supported. People are encouraged to stay home if they feel ill, which to be honest isn’t exactly a foreign concept to the Dutch anyway.

Even with all this taken into account, the Dutch are rolling out their first wave of vaccinations to the public in November, starting with their target or ‘at risk’ groups. As a woman past 13 weeks of pregnancy, ET is in this group.

Which poses the inevitable dilemma, to get the vaccination, or not.

It’s hard to separate the facts and reality from the flashing yellow headlines that do more to scare than inform.

Our scanning every story of another death attributed to the virus is annexed with searching for the term ‘underlying medical condition’. More often than not, it’s been there.

The vaccine is simply untested in any significant quantity for its effect on the unborn. If I’m wrong and there is something somewhere, anywhere that says otherwise we’ll gladly read it.

In one of the most densely populated countries in the world, there is a very good chance that we have been exposed to the virus in some shape or form already.

ET is healthy. Irritatingly so if you must know, with her perfectly smug blood pressure readings et al. In other words, no ‘underlying medical condition’ annex here.

Those who are informed in, and involved with the care and support for pregnancy and pregnant women, yet not connected or motivated via association or financial gain, have not promoted the receiving of the vaccine. Midwives have spoken frankly about the pro and cons of both options, pointing out that in the worst case scenario where ET would catch the virus; she would most likely be no more affected than any other winter flu.

More interestingly, of all the women in her antenatal class, all of whom who have been given the same letter and possibility to receive the vaccine, none of them are taking it. Not one.

All this helps to support our initial reaction, to not receive the vaccination, but of course it’s not that black and white.

What if she doesn’t take it and something happens? What if she does take it and something happens?

We still see the flashing yellow breaking news stories, so we still don’t know what is for the best, and the letter is still on the kitchen table.

Any constructive or informed opinion is welcomed.


River said...

Healthy with no underlying conditions, probably no need for the vaccine. I'm in an "at risk" occupation, as a checkout operator I have people coughing, sneezing, etc. in my immediate environment everyday. I haven't bothered having the vaccine and I'm okay. Even nearing sixty (still a couple of years away yet), according to medical professionals I'm in the at risk age group, but I don't get the flu, I rarely get even a cold, so I'm trusting in my basic good health to see me through.
i did hear of a pregnant woman somewhere (England?) who died or had a miscarriage or something after having the vaccination, (my memory on this isn't clear, I wasn't paying attention), but I'm pretty sure there was something else there, some underlying condition.
I'd say just take all normal precautions and don't have the vaccine. At least until after Li'l Fitz-Fitzette is born. They're warning of a "second wave" of the flu here in Australia.

Anonymous said...

Hi There.
I'm from South Africa and I just love reading your very entertaining blog. Not to spook you, but over here there was 12 cases of pregnant woman - all in the first half of their pregnancy - who died of the H1N1 virus. In some cases the woman were perfectly healthy only to go into hospital the one night with a slight fever and dying of this virus. Ultimately, you and your wife have to make the choice, but I would really recommend taking every possible precaution to prevent this. I wish you and your wife all the best with the rest of the pregnancy and can't wait to "meet" your little one.

ellybabes said...

OK, I can't comment on the pregnancy aspect of this, but both my husband and I had "suspected" swine flu about two months ago. In Ireland, unless you end up in hospital, they no longer test for it as the test results take several days to come back and most people are over the worst of it by then.

The one thing noted by the people I know who have had swine flu (both diagnosed and suspected) is how swiftly it knocks you down. I was in work and coughing, with no runny nose or anything - then by 4pm I started to feel really grotty and by 5pm I was home and out like a light on the couch.

My hubbie couldn't even wake me up when he got home, I was so groggy. My temp spiked (which is incredibly rare when I'm ill, unless it's serious, according to my mum). Then my husband came down with it the next day. We were both wiped out and had no energy for 2-3 days.

Also, if you have previously had any chest problems, it can descend very quickly to the chest (quicker than normal flu or a bad cold, IMHO), as it did with me - I haven't used an inhaler in 5 years, but my doc had to put me back on one for several weeks.

All in all, I'd recommend you to look at your risk factors for catching it - the size of the offices you work in, people you know who travel regularly, will you be taking flights anywhere? I have to fly to the US at the end of Nov and since mine was only "suspected" I'll certainly be taking the vaccine before I fly.

As I said, I can't comment on what it would be like to make this decision during pregnancy, but I'd certainly suggest you you yourself consider getting the vaccine so that you reduce your risk of infecting ET. On my side, I also have to consider my 62 year old mother, who is just getting over a hip replacement. We have decided to all get the vaccine (my mum, my husband and I) in order to protect my mother. But as I said, it's up to personal choice in the end.

frogpondsrock said...

I wouldn't have it. It is untested.

The H1N1 virus did the rounds here and the same amount of people died as would have normally died in any other flu season. I think that people(aka the media) are a tad hysterical when it comes to the H1N1 virus.

In the end it will be ET's decision and all the to-ing and fro-ing here in the comments will amount to nought.

But again I wouldn't have it If I was pregnant xox

frogpondsrock said...

But on the other hand I agree with Ellybabes comment and recommend that you get yourself immunised.

Edith said...

I'm not taking the vaccine, even though I am pregnant and have mild asthma.

My gynaecologist told me since we don't know what it can do to the baby, it's better not to have the vaccine. And they do consider this flu to be a mild flu.
And there is good medication in case I do get the Mexican flu (yes I'm Dutch so for me it's Mexican flu!) :)

But I do take in account, that I don't work, so I don't have to deal with lots of people on a daily base.
And I'm trying to avoid public transport if possible.

In the end, whatever you choose, it will be the right decision for you, because you just can't play the "what if" game.

AnnB said...

We're in the same dilemma - imuno-suppressed boy and all - we are having the problem with the two types of vaccine one containing the booster ingredient and one not. The medics are not telling us to get vaccinated they are saying it's our choice. I'm long enough dealing with these people to know that means they are not at all convinced. I have been in your shoes I know how you must be feeling, all I can say is trust your gut and get as much sound factual data as possible on the vaccine. Only then can you make a rational decision based on fact not fear. Good luck.

Mwa said...

I hate this one. We have a one year old and I want to get pregnant, so we have the same problem. I just don't know. Do you take your chances with the unknown vaccine? It's probably fine. Or do you wait for the illness? I saw a programme on the BBC in which a very healthy woman went into a coma for weeks after getting the virus, and she was pregnant. She ended up surviving it, but still. Tough one! I haven't decided yet either. I think in the end, I will probably dither into next summer, and avoid it that way.

Amanda Bowden said...

I am in the UK and they haven't started vaccinating PG women yet - but will be rolling out letters next week.

I am still not sure what to do. The story of the healthy, with no underlying medical condition pregnant woman who died here after getting 'Swine Flu' makes you panic. They say that even a healthy pregnant woman can become seriously ill if they contract it. Which is why they are one of the first group to be offered it.

I just don't know what to do for the best either.

Good luck with whatever you decide.

Veronica said...

I think I'll be getting it and I will do my best to make Nathan get it too. Along with the regular flu vaccine.

If I was pregnant though? I don't *think* I would. It's untested on unborn babies. I'd be more inclined to quarantine myself I think.

Hard choice. In the end, it's ET's choice and yours.

Monty said...

Valid concerns. But i think the whole world's allowing their paranoia to dictate terms.

Don't do it. God knows what experimental shit's been put into that vaccine. Would you rather trust your gut instinct or a pharmaceutical firm?

Sharon McDaid said...

The blog Science Based Medicine provides a good source of information from doctors and scientists who have expert knowledge on these issues and who are willing to explain and discuss with others. They have a few posts up about H1N1 including this one.
There's a lot of bollocks hype and it's hard to get to the facts when all the media care about is selling fear.
All the best.

Jenni said...

I kind of feel the way you do - she probably doesn't need it, but then if she doesn't get it and something happens? What then?

It might be a good idea for YOU to get it, to offer ET a little extra protection, and to your little one once it arrives as Little Fitz will be born during flu season.

We all do seasonal in my house and we'll do H1N1 when we can. We just feel like with such small children, the pros outweigh the cons.

Unknown said...

I don't know either way on this myself, but I bet the guys over at do.

Unknown said...

Oh...someone else already recommended that site too!

Russ said...

My doc is pushing for me to get the shot, then again his is also pushing me to lose weight, lower my BP, lower my cholesterol, get all around healthier. But I'm not pregnant, so I'm not sure how that would help you.

Mexican flu huh? That lasted for about a week here, but the PC police/thought police shut that down right quick.

IrishNYC said...

I was pregnant when the H1N1 broke, and we live about 2 miles from the high school here in NYC where it became "epidemic." I was nervous, but had no intention of getting any kind of flu shot had one been available then. Now with a newborn in the house, I still have no intention of getting an H1N1 shot because i'm just not keen on having a vax that was rushed to market. Nope. No thanks.

AMH said...

Here in the U.S., 1/3 of pregnant women hospitalized with H1N1 died in the first round. Most of these had no underlying condition other than pregnancy. This is unprecedented. Pregnant women make up 1% of the population, but 6% of the H1N1 deaths in the U.S. Last week in my home town, a non-pregnant woman with no underlying health conditions died of H1N1, ending up on a respirator unable to talk before she died. People with no underlying medical conditions are dying of H1N1, and pregnant women have weakened immune system and a dramatically higher incidence of respiratory infections. I appreciate the lack of information, but . . . The scientific community has found no evidence that any ingredient in vaccines causes health problems for children or fetuses. The flu shot (pregnant women should not take the nasal mist) contains an inactivated version of the virus. There is no conclusive evidence that the flu virus crosses the placenta, and no reason to believe that an inactivated flu virus would do so. Meanwhile, the word in the U.S. is that OBs are alarmed by how quickly H1N1 hits pregnant women, and the rates of death in otherwise healthy pregnant women. I'm 29 weeks pregnant, and plan to get the vaccine, but the problem here is a lack of supply. By the time a vaccine is available to me, I'll probably have been exposed, anyway.

Susanica said...

For me it gets back to risk assessment. What is the probability that we will be exposed to and possibly sick from
H1N1? Here in DC particularly for Susanne who is a social worker? I'd guess High.

What would the impact be if she were to get sick from the virus? Perhaps debatable, but her lungs are already pretty squished from the baby, (almost 8 months along) and since this virus seems to go for the lungs, I'd also have to guess the impact could be high.

So high probability and high impact makes getting the vaccine logical. Only the nasal spray has an attuated (or weakend) live virus and pregnant women don't get that. The process of creating injectable vaccines is a repeatable process so even though they are using a new virus, (which is no longer live) the rest of the process is the same.This is reasurring.

So in our household, we are all either already vaccinated or scheduled to be later this week. Just my two cents. -Monica

Mo said...


I hate to tell you, but pregnancy would qualify as an underlying medical condition for ET. My hubby and I both work in health care in NYC and what we've heard is that a large proportion of the people with complications from swine flu are in fact pregnant women.

That said, may depend a lot on her potential exposure risk. Is she a teacher? Or health care worker? Or work in retail or with large groups of people? In those cases, I'd say, she will be exposed and should get the vaccine.

Don't know how prevalent the swine flu is there - it's at VERY high levels here.

Also, know that the fact that she is through the first trimester is a VERY good thing, in terms of vaccine risk. there isn't supposed to be a risk anyway, but if there hypothetically was, the first trimester would be the most sensitive time.

good luck making your decision. it's a tough one.


Anonymous said...

Can't help with the pregnant side of things, but husband and I both got H1N1. He got it from a client at work, and kindly brought it home to me.

With Tamiflu the duration lasted just over a week, but I still have a bad cough that the doctor said might last months.

I personally wouldn't get the vaccine. I, too, am weary about how fast it was rushed to market.

If you decide not to get it I would go the "assume nothing is a cold" route and head to the doctor at the first sign of cough or fever.

Best of luck.

Mo said...

Oh, and Xbox, I would definitely recommend that YOU get the vaccines both for swine and regular flus. so that you don't inadvertently bring the flu home to her.


Anonymous said...

what a hot topic xbox! Obvoiusly I am not pregnant- so that is a non-issue, but I am not going to get the vaccine. I am a nurse in a VERY busy urgent care clinic in Florida, and we see around 180-200 patients a day. The last few months I would say 1 out of 5 have flu symptoms- but not all are tested. (just assumed that they have the piggie flu).

My issue with this vaccine is that it is new. I dont care what they say- this has been steamrolled through the testing process. The proper trials haven't been done to satisfy my qualms. As a nurse who is around someone sick with the swine flu at least every 10 minutes at work-I SHOULD get it. For some reason I just don't trust it.

If I do get the flu- I will be sick. I will be miserable. I am 32, and low risk. If I was pregnant, I still would not get it- for the same reasons. I personally am not comfortable with it.

I think that you are making the right decision if you feel at peace with it.

If ET does start having symptoms- get checked out quickly! I am sure that I am preaching to the choir here. Things like this are not clearly black and white huh?

Good luck! (p.s. I am moving blogs- I was at Baby Making Journey)

Anonymous said...

I'm not getting it.

Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] said...

I have NO clue what to do or where to find research.

Here's hoping she doesn't get the flu!

AnnD said...

If you've been reading my blog, you'll know this has caused me massive headaches too. To get it or not to get it? To inject it into my body (thus into Baby Boo) and my 2 year old immuno-compromised body?

I'm guessing that Baby Boo will be here by the time it's even offered to me. There is a massive shortage here and nobody can get it anyway. Which is kind of a relief...kind of not....

I've decided to go ahead with it (unless something changes) based off the fact (if you can call anything released by company making a vaccine a fact) that it is very similar to the regular flu shot which we've gotten and never had problems with.

I'm not 100% comfortable getting it and I'm not 100% comfortable NOT getting it. It's such a hard decision and I don't judge people either way.

I see both sides of the argument.

All of the commenters have made excellent points.

Ultimately, you just have to educated yourself, stay informed and make a decision that is best for you and ET.

No right answer at all. It sucks.

Josh said...

Two things to consider:

1.) Pregnant women are super-healthy. Their immune system gets supercharged with extra antibodies and maintains a higher level of vitamin and mineral content in order to protect the mother and child.

My wife was pregnant through the winter last year, and never even got som much as a sniffle, regardless of the fact that she worked as an admin for a ENT doctor and was surrounded by the bugs all season long.

2. The last time an H1N1 vaccine was introduced (in the 1970's), more people were killed by the vaccine than the actual flu. Vaccines are notorious for having side effects that can be more severe than the virus they are sent to destroy. Add to that the immunosuppresive quality that they require to develop the antibodies, the fact that you are still injecting a live virus into the person, and the preservatives used (most use heavy metals such as lead) and the vaccine can be more harm than the potential reward.

I should add the disclaimer that we are not doing any immunizations for our child until after the age of 5 because of the potential link between vaccination and developmental problems.

Hope this helps!

Sharon McDaid said...

Josh said, "I should add the disclaimer that we are not doing any immunizations for our child until after the age of 5 because of the potential link between vaccination and developmental problems."

Josh there really isn't any evidence of the link you mention. I'd very highly recommend reading the book "Autism's False Prophets" by Paul Offit to see how exactly this scare was manufactured.
My middle child is autistic and I have followed these issues closely for years. Best wishes.

Putz said...

constuctive, have got to be that out there??????constuctive would mean positive informed would mean that i am a doctor...on the other hand, if it is there, i would get it...have et put her head under a pillow with instuctions not to come out untill she delivers

Putz said...

and RUSS if you end up pregnant. please be responsible...

Mo said...

A little more food for thought from a news article here in the U.S. (CNN):

"Of the 45 H1N1 deaths reported to the CDC between April 15 and June 16, six (13 percent) were among pregnant women.

All of them had been healthy before infection, and all went on to develop viral pneumonia, leading to acute respiratory distress that required them to be placed on ventilators, Jamieson said.

Of the 266 H1N1 deaths investigated by the CDC to date, 15 (6 percent) were among pregnant women, she said. That's six times the percentage of U.S. women who are pregnant at any given time.

In addition, pregnant women infected with H1N1 were four times as likely as sick people in the general population to be hospitalized for it, she said. But the study cautioned that part of that increase may be because of doctors being more likely to hospitalize a pregnant woman than a nonpregnant person with similar symptoms.

Still, the apparent disproportionate impact of H1N1 on pregnant women is not surprising, given the body changes that occur during pregnancy, she said.

"As the uterus grows and pushes the diaphragm up, there is less room for the lungs," affecting a woman's ability to breathe, she said.

Pregnancy's impact goes beyond structural; it affects the body's ability to fight off illness, she said.

"A pregnant woman has to accommodate this foreign body of the growing fetus, so there is an immunological shift that occurs in pregnancy," she said.

Though it is not clear whether that immunological shift translates into a greater likelihood of contracting the virus, there is no doubt that it can result in more severe illness among pregnant women who are infected with it, she said. "They are more severely affected, and that is consistent with what we are seeing with this H1N1," she said."

It's a tough one. For once I'm glad I'm not pregnant so I can get the vaccine (which is mandatory for health care workers in New York) with more peace of mind.

Good luck to you. Whatever you decide. Not easy.


Anonymous said...

Whoa - Josh's comments freaked me out.

A pregnant woman's immune system is SUPPRESSED, not super charged with anything to help her or baby. Her immune system is suppressed so that her antibodies don't attack "the foreign object" that is trying to latch on inside her womb.

This is why pregnant women are the most at risk for H1N1. They are susceptible to everything.

There is no right answer here, Xbox. I had my husband get the flu shot and will probably ask him to get the pig shot too. I did ask that he be given the "dead" shot versus the live one, and will do the same with the H1N1 virus. I (14 weeks) will get the flu shot in two weeks and am 50/50 on the piggy shot.

Good luck with your choice!

Dan said...

It's a tricky one, and not one I'm qualified to give advice on.

I've been offered the vaccination and will be taking it, but that's only my own choice and not really based on anything other than a snap decision. If I were pregnant I might think longer about it.

Anonymous said...

Definitely a knotty one and, to echo Dan not something I'm qualified to advise on (mind you, that covers most subjects in my case).

All I can say is that no-one in my family will be having the jab.

Dora said...

Please do not listen to Josh's comment. He is so factually WRONG, it's scary.

What Mo and the last anonymous commenter said is correct. Pregnant women's immune systems are suppressed so we will not reject the "foreign body" we are carrying! Injectable flu vaccines do contain NOT live viruses. As for reactions to H1N1 vaccines in the past, that was nearly 30 years ago. Regarding the vaccine not being fully tested, every year new strains of the flu are added to the seasonal flu vaccine. Otherwise they would not work. The only difference with the H1N1 vaccine is that it is separate.

I spoke with my dr about this just a few days ago. She said that THIS is the strain of flu that is most prevalent right now. Pregnant women and babies are not doing well if they get it. Not only is she getting it, she is having her 5 year vaccinated as well.

As has already been said, reduced lung capacity is one reason pregnant women have been getting so sick and dying from this. At 32 weeks, I am getting winded just from changing positions in bed. I got my seasonal flu vaccine on Monday (only side effect was a sore arm), and will get the H1N1 once my dr's office gets it. (BTW, I have been ridiculously healthy throughout this pregnancy, but I'm not taking any chances.)

Amsterdam is a very congested city. Unless ET stays home for the duration AND you get vaccinated, she is at risk.

darcie said...

Well, like usual, I have nothing intelligent to offer you, and I'm not even going to read the comments you DID get, for fear it would scare me even more.
I'm not getting the vaccine for H1N1, nor or my children.
It's impossible to know what's right.
All I know is I'm sending all the good energy I can muster as you guys grapple with your own decision-now, go rub that little baby belleh for me would ya?

Martin said...

@River - Thanks, I see where you're coming from.

@Anonymous - Thanks for your contribution, the numbers are quite surprising.

@ellybabes - you know something, if we were in your exact situation we'd do the same as you,
The important difference is the pregnancy though, there'd be no fuss otherwise.

@frogpondsrock - well on one hand it being available for me is probably not an option until he target groups are sorted out....

@Edith - Yeah I understand what you mean, the big dfference here is the she can't avoid work, or public transport for that matter.

@AnnB - Same dilemma, different reasons yes. In a way I think your decision is even harder.
the way I see it, if they had facts, they'd give them, it's just new for severyone.
Good luck with it !

@Mwa - Yep, it's all 'what ifs'.

@Amanda Bowden - Yes, what I hadnt properly considered is the fact that pregnancy IS an underlying condition.
Good luck, and thanks,

@Veronica - *think* about sums it all up!

@Monty - I'd rather trust NEITHER if I could!

@Sharon - Thanks for that, an interesting read.

@Jenni - Yes, all 'what ifs'. I doubt me getting it and her not is an option here.

@Clair - Thanks, I had a read of one article there, interesting.

@Russ - The Dutch aren't ones for being poverly PC!

@IrishNYC - Good that you are so sure, best of luck!

@AMH - Thanks for that, I found the same information in the CDC release.
Best of luck for your last few weeks, all the best!

@Susanica - Clear, & logical, thanks. Appreciate it.

@Mo and Will - Everything you say is correct. I had overlooked some of that.And thanks a million for the extra information, I appreciate that.

@RiotGrrlCynic - Thanks, I know people who have had it too, and just put down a few days of a bad flu and are fine now. But yes, the pregnancy makes all the difference.

@mybumpyjourney - You're right, it has been rushed, but through necessity.
I'm not

@Christa - Good luck!

@Angie [A Whole Lot of Nothing] - yep. but we have to accept that we will be exposed, there is almost no chance we wont be.

@AnnD - Yes, absolutely in the same boat. Not 100% comfortable with either way.
Hope you end up happy with your choice, whether it's all yours or not!

@Josh - Hi, thanks for being upfront, I know where you are coming from.
But I do think your 2 points are inaccurate

Pregnancy puts a huge strain on the heart and lungs, which are attacked by htis virus, and the vaccine for pregnant women would NOT include a live strain.

@Putz - you may have the only solution putz, lock the doors until February!

@Anonymous - Yes, I've noted the inaccuracies. Its hard to get facts smetimes. Thanks.

@Dan - Well in your job I think that's the wisest thing. Cheers.

@bsouth - No one there up the duff though ;-)

@Dora - Thanks, I pointed out to Josh that his points were not so accurate.

@Darcie- Thanks :-)

James (SeattleDad) said...

Read the link Sharon provided. In the end, you have to decide wwhat is more risky getting the severe flu or getting something harmful from the vaccine.

Unfortunate but it is a risk either way.

Anonymous said...

More confused then ever?

Mumma said...

Hey, haven't commented for ages, but continue to lurk.

I'm almost 17 weeks pregnant, living in Australia and they are starting to roll out the vaccines here now.

I won't be getting it. It's untested.
If you read old literature, it says that pregnant women should not get flu vaccines. Now all of a sudden we should. What is this based on? No-one can tell us, and there certainly haven't been any ground breaking trials or research to prove that it is safe to unborn babies.

I work in health, and am pregnant - so I tick the boxes for someone who "should" get it done twice. But still won't be.

I can't get the whole DES debacle out of my head. Women were given this drug to prevent and cure their morning sickness. Their children (it was discovered later) were born with reproductive abnormalities. Not cool. And what do the governments do? Shrug and say "oh well, sorry about that"

No. I won't be getting the vaccine.
I'm sure that whatever you and ET decide will be the right thing to do.
Sue x

B. said...

I'll be getting the H1N1 vaccine, but have decided not to get the seasonal one. I admit to being caught in a bit of the media hype... NPR broadcast a story a couple of weeks ago about something they referred to as the "Canada Effect." Apparently, there was a correlation found between increased risk of coming down with the H1N1 after having the seasonal flu vaccine. I might change my mind about the seasonal vaccine, but I want the H1N1 first, just in case that Canada thing has merit.

And I am pregnant (18w), and very worried about regretting this decision. But given all I've heard and read, I think this is the right thing for me to do.

steph said...

The very fact that the vaccine and it's administration will be provided FREE OF CHARGE in Ireland, makes me wonder if there's more to the H1N1 virus than we've been told!

I don't envy you the decision you have to make.

Bonnie B. said...

Thank you, Dora, for taking on Josh's fantastically wrong information! Plus, Josh, the virus is NOT live. It is made up of tiny pieces of the virus. YOU CAN NOT GET THE VIRUS FROM THE VACCINE. PERIOD. For the love of god, do some research, man.

Also, heavy metals in vaccines? WRONG. Please stop spreading false information.

Xbox, good luck with your decision. It's not an easy one to make and there's no clear answer. In the end, trust your gut and your instincts.

The Sheila said...

Move to London - the letter would never arrive because of the postal strike!

What a horrible dilemma though.... my heart goes out to you both over it.

People in the Sun said...

I've scheduled it for the baby. Honey doesn't seem too interested, but I believe she'll do it eventually. The guy she works for was on TV last week promoting it, so maybe she'll do it to make him happy. I personally hope she does.

Anonymous said...

My 5 year old son has asthma, and several kids in his class at school have been sent home with H1N1. I would love to get him vaccinated, but where I live the vaccine has only been made available to health care workers. I would encourage anyone who is for any reason ambivalent about the vaccine to forego it so there is more to go around for those of us who desperately want it.

Alexicographer said...

I would get the vaccine in a heartbeat were I eligible, and plan to get it for my 2.5 year old son if/when it becomes available. We have already been vaccinated against the seasonal flu. There's evidence for the seasonal flu vaccine that the immunity it provides carries over to the newborn (for some interval, I forget), and I'd certainly get it for that reason alone if I were pregnant. Ditto H1N1 except I don't need that persuasion to make me think that were I pregnant I should get it; the prospect of being pregnant and sick the way a few women with H1N1 have is enough for me.

Jane G said...

It's all a plot, I tell you, a plot!

*Shakes fist*

(I really should stop reading my ex's blog)

Anonymous said...

Like a couple of people have said, pregnancy does count as an underlying condition in this case, and a disproportionate number of deaths have been among pregnant women who were otherwise healthy.

We're plannning to start TTC next summer, but if the pandemic isn't gone by then I'm definitely getting the vaccination before we start.

Amy said...

I don't have any new info for you, X. Hope that you guys can make a decision you are happy with.

AnnD said...

I was curious to see what kind of feedback you were getting on this post, so I popped back on here.

And I see that one post is for it and the next one is against it.

Just like real life.

It's so hard! I did read something last night released by a nuse (supposedly) that said that the main portals into the body for H1N1 are the throat and the mouth and they recommended that you gargle with either Listerine or warm salt water twice a day.

They say the virus can incubate in your throat for 2-3 days before symptoms start and supposedly, if you gargle with either of those, it'll kill it.

I don't know if it's true or not, but I do plan on doing the salt water and getting some Listerine when I can. Even if it's not true, I figure it can't hurt.

Let me know if you want the link to that info...

wildhare said...

I have no opinion, no good opinion anyway. I'm just sorry you have to face such a difficult parental decision so early. Best of luck.

Sadia said...

Those decisions are hard.

As soon as it's available here in Texas, my daughters are getting it. They have underlying health conditions (lung issues related to prematurity), there's already been a case of H1N1 at their school, and a coworker of mine died from it.

We've all already had the seasonal flu shot, and the H1N1 is made the same way.

Then again, I grew up in Bangladesh, have seen the effects of "minor" illnesses for which there are vaccinations, don't believe in the vaccination-autism link, and am thoroughly pro-immunization. If I were pregnant, and didn't already have any kids to worry about being around for, I might shy away from the shot too.

swilek said...

just keep washing your hands! my doctor is not sure about the vaccine...he doesn't want to administer it until he does more research. so, i think i may pass on the taking my cod liver oil and garlic pills and bio pak ( all natural remedies) so I hope to avoid the flu from all my students!

Alyssa said...

I'm not pregnant right now, but I did have H1N1 this past week. Having never had the seasonal flu, I can't really compare the two. H1N1 wasn't fun, but I survived. I just felt run down one day, that was it. I never had a fever, just felt like I had been hit by a Mac truck. It was the cough that lingered and eventually turned to a sinus infection that required an antibiotic.

The media has hyped this thing up. Like I said, it definitely wasn't fun, but it was manageable. Since I'm not pregnant, I'm not sure the risks of pregnant woman and the risks to the unborn child either.

Like you, I think all of these absolutely horrible cases we're hearing about on the news are with people that have other underlying medical conditions.

I too feel that this whole vaccine was rushed and thrown together. Do we really know the long-term effects of it?

Good luck making your decision. Keep us informed, I'm curious to know what you decide. The jury is still out on my end. We were told that even though two of the four of my family members have now experienced it, we should still get the vaccine. Yeah, not sure about that one.

Sinead said...

Tough choice. What worries me enough to get the shot (they are giving it out here to people who have infants as a priority) is that this thing is going to mutate as it goes around the globe, making it stronger and more virulent. I would probably get it just to be safe, or at least be incredibly obsessive about hygeine when out and about. You immune system is shot when you are pregnant, I wouldnt even read the magazines in doctors surgeries etc because I didn't want to risk getting something.

Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo said...

Totally understand your dilemma. Personally I would, and have, said no to the vaccine. I have my reasons, but they are not appropriate here.

One thing I urge you to do is both get your immunity to Whooping Cough checked.

Martin said...

@James (SeattleDad) - Yep, a tricky one.

@Christa - Yes, and no!

@Sue - Well what I will say is that things change, what was valid 5 years ago isn't necessarily so today.
Best of luck!

@B. - Best of luck!

@steph - I'm not even going to entertain any conspiracy theories! things are bad enough!

@Bonnie B. - Cheers, thanks.

@The Sheila - heh, that's one solution!

@People in the Sun - Yep, me too.

@Anonymous - I hope you get to get it as soon as possible!

@Alexicographer - Yep, I hear you.

@Jane G - Pissing myself...

@Anonymous - Yes it does, I hadnt considered that before.

@Amy - Cheers.

@AnnD - tough one eh?

@wildhare - Thanks, and welcome.

@Sadia - Thanks. Good luck you.

@swile67 - He better do it quick!

@Alyssa - This is the problem, for those who get it mild, it's not an issues. Its the poor buggers who get it full whack...

@Sinead - Hadn't even thought of the magazine thing!

@Kelley @ magnetoboldtoo - Cheers.

tiff(threeringcircus) said...

I think you should go with your first instinct.

If she's not at risk because of an underlying condition (unless that underlying condition is considered pregnancy - not sure on that one, maybe that's what they are indicating)then I'm wondering if it's better just to wait.

Apparently, the strain of Flu A is much worse than the hog wog.

Martin said...

@Tiff - the thing is, in this case, pregnancy IS an underlying condition, a big one too.

Ave said...

I can only speak from my limited experience. In the past 2 weeks in the hospital I work in I have seen 3 healthy women in their twenties admitted to hospital. None of these women had underlying conditions except pregnancy. All three were admitted to the ICU but are thankfully doing well after agressive treatment. One was forced to deliver at 30 weeks as agressive treatment couldn't be safely started while she was pregnant and in the end it came down to deliver extremely early or both mother and child would have died. Thankfully all the babies are doing well. Two of the women have still not met their children despite giving birth 2 weeks ago. One child has no name yet as the mother doesn't know what to call it, she thought she had 3 months left to decide that.

I got the vaccine yesterday and for about 24 hours I was feeling tired, had a temperature and my arm aches a bit but I'm otherwise fine. If I was pregnant I would still get the vaccine. Admittedly I am biased, I have not seen all the pregnant women in the community who have had swine flu and recovered but I have seen more than enough women with life-threatning complications who should not have had those complications.

Best of luck with your decision, like all true decisions it's got real life or death implicaitons.

Martin said...

@Ave - Thanks.

What you say is correct, the numbers are relatively small, but those who are being affected are being affected seriously.

Thanks for the detailed input.

Dondi Tiples said...

Oh no! that crap about H1N1 again - a virus that kills less people each year than falling on a slippery bathroom floor does.

Please don't decide to risk ET's or the kidlet's health for this. It isn't worth it.

Also, there are a good deal of controversies about this vaccination, about how it hasn't been tested thoroughly, etc.

Also, that some first-world government is responsible for having released swine flu in Mexico as some sort of population control experiment. Who knows what this vaccination will result to.

Martin said...

@Dondi - if the swine flu is a government driven murdering machine as you suggest, I think I'd prefer ro take my chances with the vaccine.

Do more than 1000 people die in the US slipping on the bathroom floor?
100 in UK, 10 in Ireland in the space of 8 or 9 months?

And the 'not tested' line is complete bullshit. This strain is new yes, the base vaccine has been around for years. It's as tested as is humanly possible to be.

Dondi Tiples said...

Whatever you guys decide, my prayers are with you. Am just worried, after all you've gone through to get the kidlet on board finally, only to expose mother and child to something that's been garnering wide protests world-wide. Where there's smoke, there's fire and all that.
Still, I hope you both are able to decide on something that you can live with well into the far-reaching future.

Martin said...

@Dondi - Thanks.I'm confident it will all be ok.

It's just important to steer away from the sensationalist, exaggerated, and inaccurate stories on both sides.

AnnB said...

Just to let you know we took the jab - Boy wonder was vaccinated just today, with the rest of us offering up our arms on Mon. My stomach was in knots and my nerves were frayed but so far so good. I'll keep you posted on any side effects, fingers crossed.

Blues said...

I feel the same way about the whole thing. It's been scaremongering and nothing more. I'm more afraid to get it than to not get it.