Monday, February 1, 2010

To shoot or not to shoot

The whole swine flu epidemic/immunization hype seems to be calming down.
Against my better judgement, (yes, this will spark some controversy) Leo had his first shot, but Kate didn't.
I am a vaccination optimist. I think we should have vaccines, and I think parents should vaccinate their children. But I have never got my head around the flu shots. Flu, to me, is annoying, inconvenient and always bad timing, but very, very rarely lethal. I am also a firm believer in letting your body build your own immune-system against the illnesses that aren't immediately associated with potential further repercussions, so the flu-shot is where I personally has drawn the line, that is, until we had Leo, who is born with a minor heart defect and the issue of chest infections had to be considered more seriously than before, suddenly, there was a chance that flu, both seasonal and swine alike, could qualify as "illness associated with potential further repercussions".
So he had his firts shot, Kate didn't. 'Nuff said. We also gave him the seasonal flu-shot and of course, 24 hours later he was ill and had the worst rash immaginable all over his body. So did another boy in his play group.

But my pediatrician didn't get the H1N1 booster vaccine for what seemed like a life time, it was constantly being delayed, and we waited and waited and when they finally called me, 8 or more weeks before his initial shot, to say that they could shedule a time for Leo to have his booster and I have to say, I didn't hesitate when I declined to take him in.
Despite their difference in immunization status, both Kate and Leo had has their fair share of illness this winter, the high temperatures, the coughing, the sneezing, the constantly runny noses. I am still a devoted vaccination optimist, but I am making a very subjective conclusion with the evidence at hand that flu shots are just not for us.
I rest my case.

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