Thursday, October 29, 2009

The Flu Freakout

I normally don't jump on health scare band wagons. But the flu thing has been keeping me up at night (that is, once I've already week woken up by the little guy).

I had decided to not the get the kids the H1N1 vaccine. My pediatrician was not supporting it and the controversy made me nervous. Things seemed rushed.

I was back at the pediatrician's office this past Monday for the babe's pink eye and asked again about the H1N1 vaccine. The doctor said she had had a chance to review all the studies and material and was now supporting getting the vaccine (although they are not offering it).

At about the same time, I read an article about a 13 year old Canadian hockey player who died suddenly from the H1N1 virus. A healthy kid who was sick for only a few days. Reading his fathers comments made me almost start weeping.

I have decided to do my best to get the kids the vaccine. Seems as though there is an almost frenzied attitude towards securing a vaccine, and I am trying to keep level headed about it. But the fear of the kids getting sick is making me a tad batty. Especially as my cousin and her 2 daughters in Kingston, Ontario have recently fallen sick with H1N1.

Tonight I am dropping the babe off at a dear friend's house and will then shoot over to a DC Government sponsored vaccine clinic with the little guy. They have been hosting clinics in every Ward of DC for children and pregnant women for the past week. With a 5 pm start time, I am thinking I will need to get in line before that (in Canada I was reading about crazy wait times and being turned away after waiting for hours).

I just got off the phone with the pediatrician and have rescheduled the little guy's regular flu shot (he was booked for next week), as apparently you are supposed to have the regular flu shot within 24 hours if you are getting the H1N1 vaccine. So tomorrow morning we will have to head downtown after dropping off the babe. Yet another shot for the little guy. Yikes.

The babe unfortunately cannot get her vaccination as she is allergic to eggs and will have to wait until the allergist has both the regular flu and H1N1 vaccine in stock. They break down the doses into smaller segmenets and monitor the child over a period of several hours. It takes a long time and is a serious pain, but obviously it's not worth risking any kind of allergic reaction.

I also managed to grab my regular flu shot at the pharmacy at the grocery store yesterday morning. The pharmacist had only 2 shots left, and I am glad I managed to get one. At least one person in my family has managed to get one shot!

This is getting complex.

What are you all doing about flu shots this year?

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