Thursday, October 22, 2009
All vaxed up and nowhere to go. Wait, scratch that-- now we're going EVERYWHERE
When Harry had the plague the other week, we had to cancel our flu shot appointments because he was sick. The nurse at our pediatrician's office told us we couldn't reschedule because their official line was that they were out of the seasonal flu shot. But, she told us, they had enough vaccines to give to babies who came in for their well-child check ups, and if we brought the whole family we could all get vaccinated under the table kind of.
That's what we did-- we kept Harry out of school, causing him to miss a field trip to a nature conservancy to get a shot in the leg- ha!. It always sucks to bring the whole fam to well-child visits because with all of us crammed in the exam room, we don't get to give Jack's development the attention it deserves. The highlight of the trip came when our doctor said we are obviously doing a great job with our kids in regards to positive discipline because we are so good at making them do what we want them to do. I looked at Harry and said, "Ha ha, you're brainwashed," and he leapt from his chair and kicked me in the shins. Then we all cracked up, even Jack, who I am sure had no idea what was funny because he was too busy licking the diseased exam-room books.
When our doctor told us that he had the H1N1 vaccine and the seasonal shot, we were like, "Bonus!" and Harry got the H1N1 mist and a seasonal shot; Jack got both in shot form, and Ben and I both got our seasonal shots. (We have to get the OK from our own doctors to get the HN1 vaccine because he lacks a kidney and my autoimmune disease is flaring up. Luckily the boys both need 2 doses of H1N1, so when we go back in 30 days, Ben and I can get misted, too).
My point is we got the shots without a second thought-- were happy to get them. But then I came home and started reading Facebook and the creepy message board I frequent and found all these stories of moral agony as parents wrestled with the vaccine question. And then all these people would respond to discussion threads about how "they" rushed out the shot, or our society is too vaccine happy, or the flu is all media hype anyway.
What the hell? If infectious disease doctors, pediatricians, the AAP, the CDC, doctors with degrees in public health, etc are warning against this strain of flu and advising a flu vaccine, WHY DON'T YOU TRUST THEM? Is there something I am missing here? Where is the moral agony?
The thimerosol argument is surfacing again (although there is a mercury-free version of the vax), but even the link between vaccines and autism is NOT a proven link, so what's the deal?
I've used my library databases and journal indexes (as well as Dr. Google) to do some research, and I haven't found ANYTHING that makes me think twice about the shot, so where does this drama come from? What am I missing? Please, enlighten me because I am really confused.