Saturday, October 24, 2009

The H1N1 Debate

I have really gone back and forth over writing about the H1N1 virus because I worried about upsetting people with different views. Ultimately, I decided this is my window to the world and because this is something I feel strongly about, here goes...

Influenza season will hit especially hard this year and its changing everything we know about seasonal flu. While most cases of H1N1 will be mild illnesses and just make you feel like you've been hit by an 18-wheeler for 2 weeks, there is serious potential for disaster. It's only October and the CDC has reported 95 laboratory confirmed pediatric H1N1 deaths since April. Thirty percent of the reported H1N1 deaths are people between 25 and 49 years old. These are young people, and they are dying.

I'm diagnosing H1N1 flu every single day. Without a doubt, I planned to be vaccinated. And I was even more sure about Rowen being vaccinated since this virus is affecting a younger demographic. On Friday, Rowen and I waited 2.5 hours at the local health department for our shots. As frustrated as I was to wait so long, I knew it was worth it and was thankful to have the vaccine available to us this early (Rowen will require a booster in 4 weeks and hopefully the Naval Hospital will have their supply in by then).

With the administration of the H1N1 vaccine, Rowen received his first vaccine containing trace amounts of thimerosal. While I have read and agree with the 6 exhaustive studies declaring there is no link between thimerosal and autism, I still like to be aware of what's going into his body. We should always want to reduce our child's exposure to potentially dangerous chemicals, even in negligible amounts. And the FDA agrees, that's why there is now no thimerosal in vaccines except for some DTap and influenza vaccines (see for yourself). In short, the vaccine won't hurt you or your child, and it may help.

I'm not writing this to scare anyone into being vaccinated, but if you opt against vaccination, make certain you know the facts and that your sources are credible. There is a lot of pure sensationalism floating around the internet on both sides of the coin. I trust the information published by the CDC, which can be found here.

Whatever you decide, may you and your children have a happy, healthy FALL!

Stay tuned for a post on our adventures down south visiting Bobby!

* I think I have to write this because of my job and I don't want anyone to sue me, so...this information is my opinion and is not intended to take the place of a visit with your healthcare provider *


  1. I am proud of you for posting you opinion!!!! I don't really have an opinion about the h1n1 vaccine, basically b/c I don't know the facts. My kids did get the flu vaccine, but just didn't know about the h1n1. Interesting thought, my peditrician recommended getting the regular flu shot but was not convinced about the h1n1. SO hopefully just the regular one will help in the even we do get it! Sorry to say i am a little ignorant in this area..don't laugh!

  2. I was diagnosed with H1N1 during the first few weeks of school. You are right about the "run over by a truck". Interesting to know about the vaccine from a professional...that I happen to know :)