In which I make a decision about the H1N1 vaccine

I posted our decisions about the H1N1 vaccine as a status update on Twitter and Facebook. I have now had more than 33 people comment with their decision for and against, citing articles and blogs, medical journals and newspapers. The best thing about it is that it showed me that people are truly evaluating it, researching and considering their options. It has been interesting reading and I thought I’d expand a bit on my thoughts here.
(Sadly, I will respond without any citations, alarmist or otherwise. I feel like people are about to drop dead of Too-Many-Contradictory-H1N1-Articles-Itis and I don’t wish to contribute to that pandemic.)

I am not anti-vaccine. I assumed that I would be anti-vaccine since a lot of people that have a similar parenting style to ours are anti-vaccine. But after doing my research and identifying the Canadian system and ingredients and schedules, I felt comfortable with the tinies receiving all of their shots with few exceptions. We never receive the flu shot and I excluded the chicken pox, I believe.

So when the H1N1 virus hit pandemic in Canada, I really considered it. I see the benefits of vaccines, truly.
It came down to a risk vs. benefits. And for me? The risks at this point in a relatively or comparatively untested vaccine outweigh the potential benefits. The side effects, particularly for small children such as seizures, concern me as do many of the ingredients overall. The debate rages over everything from the live virus inoculation to mercury to testings and concerns about runs on the clinic for the shot.
We are not in a high-risk group. Yes, my children are young but we lead a fairly quiet life with a small circle for them. They don’t go to daycare. We don’t have a ton of play dates. We are being wise – Vitamin C, water, rest, plenty of hand washing – and also, of course, praying. The vast majority of people do NOT get the flu and of those that do, the vast majority of them do NOT experience a serious case even requiring hospitalization. The precaution of the vaccine seems excessive given the risk of acquiring the disease to me.
Even though we don’t have the collective immunity built up yet, H1N1 isn’t any more deadly than the usual flu or, for that matter, riding in a car. I really considered it seriously after those two beautiful children in central Canada were victims of H1N1. But I came back to this decision with full confidence.
Because the media reports so exhaustively on swine flu right now, we have lost all sense of proportion. More children and people die of many other things not in the news cycle right now.
What about you? Will you be getting it? Have you given it a lot of thought or preferred to just ignore it?
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health, parenting, vaccines
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