I have two concerns regarding administering this vaccine:
1. Although the FDA claims the process for making this vaccine is the same one used in the past, I am doubtful that other pharmaceutical companies outside of the USA contracted out to make more of the vaccine are held to the same standards. And if they are, in this economy, can we keep up the quality control considering that jobs are being cut each day?
The media creates hysteria in this country. So when people are flocking to clinics to receive their free flu shot and supply is down, how fast can companies replenish the supply WITH quality assurance?
2. Furthermore, although the process is the same, the ingredients (those associated with the actual virus) are not. (Thermisol is a given; it's a preserving agent. Thermisol-free vaccines have shorter shelf lives so they are not produced in mass quantities. Basically, they're not profitable.) Aside from the preservative, what other agents are added to this vaccine that may pose a danger to some with already weakened immune systems? And what are the long term effects?
I emailed my friend who lives in Milano (northern city in Italy that's very similar to NYC), and she said there is little buzz about H1N1. I often use her as my barometer.
I do get the regular flu vaccine but that only started with my first pregnancy in 2003. My two young kids receive the regular flu vaccine as well and have had no side effects. So I'm not anti-vaccine. I am only questioning how quickly we're pushing this vaccine when testing is still being done.
For the most part, we've already been exposed to H1N1, and it's my belief that it attacks your most vulnerable spot. When I speak to friends who have been infected (results of being swabbed), most have suffered from upper respiratory infections. Others have had head colds and sinusitis. Yes, there are the unfortunate few who have been hospitalized. My friend's daughter went from a raging fever to pneumonia within a few days. So I'm not saying that there are no negative effects. But I think we need to be cautious when new vaccines and drugs are being pushed by the pharmaceuticals.
Wash your hands. Do nasal washes if that's your thing (Personally, I love my neti pot!) and gargle. Keep antibacterial wipes or hand sanitizer in the car.
an ounce of prevention . . .