My husband and I don't have a problem with vaccinations in general. We took all three of our kids to get their "shots" (FOUR needles each time, here in B.C.) without any qualms. The crying and occasional fussiness was a pain (pun intended) at times, but we felt that it was a better alternative to them catching serious illnesses that could cost them their lives.
When it comes to the flu shot, however, we have never had our children vaccinated. Nor have we had ourselves vaccinated. We just haven't had any reason to, really. We know far too many people who have gotten the flu vaccine, only to end up catching a strain of the flu that apparently wasn't part of the vaccine. We also can't see the need to inject ourselves our children with the flu if we might not even catch it. Most years, we haven't gotten anything worse than a bad cold.
I am not saying that this choice is for everybody. There are people with weakened immune systems or people that work in environments that they are required to get the flu vaccine. Or, they just feel they need to get it. I am not crusading against the flu vaccine; it is just the decision that we have made for our family at this time.
This year, the topic has come up in our house because of the H1N1 virus (or "Swine flu"). We know a few people who have had it and they can attest to how horrible it really is. One elderly person in our community died from it last week.
The Vancouver Sun has an article that outlines when the vaccines for the regular flu and the H1N1 virus will be available. Health officials have found that people who receive the regular flu vaccine first are more susceptible to the H1N1 virus. So, you can get the H1N1 in November and the regular flu shot in 2010.
My husband talked to our family doctor (who is also a family friend) about it all. He stated that they expect that 30% of the population will come down with the H1N1 virus. Which, well, are pretty high odds. He also told us that the instant anyone has flu symptoms, they will be given Tamaflu to fight the infection.
We're pretty sure that we'll still opt out of the vaccine. Probably. We'll see what actually happens come November.
Original post to Canada Moms Blog.