Now, the next obvious question (at least for me): should you get your child vaccinated against the swine flu--is there any danger? I read this interesting post by Dr. Adrienne Randolph from Children's Hospital of Boston. Dr. Randolph has done quite a bit of research on swine flu in children. Ultimately, she recommends getting your kids vaccinated--she will be getting her three children vaccinated. But she does acknowledge that "in 1976-77, with the last swine flu vaccine, as many as 1 in 85,000 people vaccinated came down with Guillain-Barré syndrome — a neurologic condition that paralyzes the muscles, causing respiratory failure. In contrast, there were very few confirmed deaths from swine flu that year." Ummmmmm....SCARY! But she goes on to point out that in her opinion, the swine flu of 2009 is much more serious, damaging, and deadly to children that the previous outbreak in the '70s.
Beyond that, there are folks that fear the vaccination because they feel it has been rushed to market (lack of long-term testing) and are choosing to get their kids the regular seasonal flu shot but not the H1N1 vaccine. Others have heard and are spreading the rumor that the H1N1 vaccination contains squalene--which is not true, according to the CDC. Still others feel that eating healthy foods and boosting the immune system naturally is a better solution than a vaccination that "tricks" the immune system.
Let's be honest, parents today are downright suspicious of vaccines. We're all hesitant to put substances in our children's bodies that may cause them harm, either long term or short term. So as vaccine-shy parents, we're wondering--what is the greater risk, the vaccine for H1N1, or the risk that if our child comes down with the swine flu, he/she could be one of the children seriously affected by the illness, resulting in severe respiratory distress, or even death.
One last thing--when researching this little blog post, I came across a LOT of misinformation on the dangers of the H1N1 vaccine that was pretty well disguised as and presented as fact. Please everyone, remember to read supercritically when you're doing your "research" via the internet. I'd say the best source of legitimate online information about the H1N1 vaccine is the CDC website.
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