Flu & Swine Flu

Updated on September 19, 2009
N.A. asks from Fort Worth, TX
18 answers

Hello moms , I was wondering how many of you are planning to vaccinate you children?
Would you mind telling me how you came to the decision you did?

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T.L.

answers from Boston on

Absolutely. Read ABC news about the 5 year old boy this week who passed away in just 2 days from the flu and he'd been seen by doctors and the ER. Seemed mild and his fever was going away. Then it came back rapidly (sign of an infection) and killed him. It's a major warning sign if they get a fever, the fever goes away and then it comes back. He was healthy with only occasional ear infections and a bout of strep in his past.

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C.T.

answers from Dallas on

I always get my children their annual flu shot. I didn't even know about a swine flu vaccine. I guess my son's pedi doesn't give it because they never mentioned it to me.

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R.H.

answers from Dallas on

we're not vaccinating our children for flu, swine or otherwise.
there are several reasons for this decision:
1) bad science
the science behind vaccine clinical safety and efficacy studies is flawed. the science behind adverse event reporting is flawed. the science behind treating the flu is flawed. the politics behind the science perpetuates these flaws and most often prevents the flawed science from being 'called out' as such. vaccinating my children for flu would be nothing short of an uncontrolled experiment. with a b.s. degree with honors, i feel confident in my ability to read a scientific journal article and see for myself. regardless, the fallacies and errors in the "science" behind vaccines are so blatant a high school student could see them for what they are...
2) the swine flu is common already; it will most likely reach its peak before the vaccine is widely distributed and administered
3) the novel h1n1 virus seems to be quite mild and short for the most part; severe adverse reactions to the vaccine, however rare, would not be so mild and would be life-long. the reports of deaths in young, otherwise-healthy individuals attributed to novel h1n1 virus did cause me concern. those fears were alleviated, however, upon gaining knowledge of hypercytokinemia (cytokine storms).
"This strange occurrence is largely due to the fact that the [h5n1] virus is immune to 2 cytokines that the body produces (TNF-a and IL-6). Cytokines are compounds produced by the body's immune system that attack and remove foreign bodies. The problem is that when a foreign body is immune to certain cytokines, the body sees that its immune response is not working and tries even harder, which can lead to what is called a cytokine storm, where the body becomes flooded with these compounds and they eventually destroy the body itself. Foods such as Echinacea actually stimulate the production of these specific cytokines; hence consuming it is not a good idea if one suspects they may have the virus.
During the 1918 Spanish Flu many healthy young people died from cytokine storms due to their immune systems overreacting. Consuming foods which suppress the production of cytokines TNF-a and IL-6 and enhance the production of the ones that actually are effective against the virus will aid the patient greatly."
for a list of those foods/compounds, and their corresponding pubmed references, see the source of this quote:
http://www.the-health-gazette.com/health-gazette-blog/alt...

3) for those of you concerned about the virus mutating...
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/32643415/ns/health-swine_flu/

4) this website is the most comprehensive i've seen regarding the novel h1n1 vaccine:
http://www.nvic.org/vaccines-and-diseases/h1n1-swine-flu....

5) if i were pregnant (which i'm not), then i would especially *not* get the vaccine. all 4 versions of the vaccine in "trials" now are listed by their manufacturers as category c drugs.
"Pregnancy category C: Safety category for pregnant women considering or taking medication. This category means that when the medication was administered to pregnant animals, there was some harm done to the fetus. Category C medication should be used only if clearly needed (that is, if you and your doctor determine that the benefits outweigh the risks)." http://www.copaxone.com/aboutMS/glossary.aspx
also, if i were pregnant (which i'm not), i would ask my healthcare provider to test my IgG2 levels (a subclass of immunoglobulin that they've found commonly deficient in pregnant victims of severe cases of h1n1 virus). http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601080&sid=a...
if it were low (and maybe even if it wasn't), i would talk to my healthcare provider about boosting my immunoglobulin levels instead of getting a vaccine. if that doesn't work, *only then* would i consider getting the vaccine.

6) our family is doing what we can to prime our immune systems for the upcoming season. forcing our bodies to deal with vaccine ingredients is not part of that plan. (and though the single-dose versions do not have thimerisol at this date, the multidose versions do, btw. http://www.fda.gov/BiologicsBloodVaccines/Vaccines/Approv... ) (though i suspect we've already seen the swine flu come and go in our household last week - 3 of the 4 of us had coughs and a mild sore throat for 2 days, and 1 had a fever for a day; my brother's son (lives close-by and we play at their place often) is still sick as a dog, but he lives on pizza, sprite, & mac and cheese and hasn't seen the light of day except to get new batteries for his nintendo, but i digress...)
we are doing what we can to get plenty of sleep, plenty of vitamin d ("suntime" when we can and a liquid d3 supplement when it's rainy), daily doses of *sodium* ascorbate and garlic, and avoiding sweets and white flours. other than taking care of ourselves, for now we'll just go about living each day -- life's too short to do otherwise!

sorry so long, but hth!

edited to add newly-found info re: pregnant women & their increased risks

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N.W.

answers from Dallas on

I will not get or give my children any flu shot. My son is autistic and I have so many friends whose autistic children had regressions after vaccines. The swine flu shot has not been properly tested. Both have thimersol which is mercury. I have a friend who is a PT and who regularly see kids coming into her office with a reaction from a flu shot. CDC says reaction is rare, I don't think so.

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H.H.

answers from Dallas on

My 2 and 4 year old have appts. on Friday for the seasonal flu vaccine. It's just something highly recommended, so I'm a believer. Why not help make it a less-severe case if my kids do happen to pick up the virus? But do know that this is a very touchy subject to many people, so go with what you feel is right :)

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G.M.

answers from Dallas on

The swine flu vaccine will be available soon and many
of you are asking me three questions:

Is it safe? Is it effective? Should I get swine flu
shots?

There is a lot of hype on both sides of the issue, so
let me give you some straight talk about safety and
effectiveness so that you can use to make up your own
mind about whether you want to get a swine flu shot.

Let's talk about safety first.

You may have heard reports that both the British
Health Protection Agency and the US Centers For Disease
control have sent out letters to neurologists in
Britain and the US asking them to look out for an
increase in a brain disorder called Guillian-Barre
Syndrome - and to notify their respective governments
of all cases of this disease that they diagnose in
patients that have received the swine flu shot.

Just in case you are not intimately acquainted with
Guillian-Barre Syndrome, it is a disease that attacks
the lining of the nerves, leaving them unable to
transmit signals to the muscles. This can cause partial
paralysis and, if it affects the lungs, can be fatal.

Now that sounds downright scary. But let me tell you
the rest of the story.

The concern of the British and US governments is based
solely on the fact that a similar swine flu vaccine
killed more people than it helped in the US in 1976.

Shortly after swine flu vaccinations started in 1976
people started coming down with Guillian-Barre
Syndrome. By the time vaccinations were halted 10 weeks
latter, 500 people had developed the disease and 25
people had died - more than were killed by the virus
itself.

It was estimated that one in 80,000 people who were
given that swine flu shot developed Guillian-Barre
Syndrome, compared to the one in a million who develop
the disease when given most seasonal flu shots.

However, I want to emphasize that there is no direct
evidence that the current swine flu shot increases the
risk of Guillian-Barre Syndrome more than the regular
seasonal flu shots. The British and US governments
simply view their warning letters to neurologists as a
reasonable precaution under the circumstances.

In short, the risk of developing Guillian-Barre
Syndrome or some other serious complication
(miscarriages and sudden death are the other
complications of most flu vaccines) from the swine flu
shot is probably very, very small. It may be no greater
than the one in a million chance of developing the
disease that is associated with most flu vaccines - but
it is not zero.

Now let's turn to the issue of effectiveness. There are
several things that you should know about the
effectiveness of the swine flu shot.
Info about Swine flu...In my case, I will not take or give it. If you want more information about what I do, please email me: [email protected]____.com thanks!
Please read on:
From Dr Steve Chaney, PHD,
In the first place, there has been an active debate in
the scientific community as to whether one shot or two
shots will be required to give adequate protection
against the swine flu.

Some scientists still think that two shots would be the
better option. However, stocks of swine flu vaccine are
limited so the recommendation is probably going to be
for one shot so that as many people can be immunized as
possible.

Secondly, you should know that the swine flu vaccine
offers no protection against the seasonal flu and vice
versa. Since both strains of flu will be around this
fall & winter you need to be vaccinated against both if
you really want to avoid the flu.

Finally, there is an interesting age distribution in
regard to the susceptibility to the swine flu. It turns
out that it is the young people who are most
susceptible to the swine flu.

Those of us who are over 50 were apparently exposed to
something similar to the current swine flu virus in the
past, so we have some residual immunity.

That's important because it turns out that the swine
flu virus is no more deadly than the usual seasonal flu
virus. What that means is that the age group that is
most susceptible to the swine flu is also the age group
for which the swine flu is most likely to be merely a 3
to 5 day inconvenience.

The bottom line is that most immunizations make great
sense from a public health perspective and for high
risk individuals, which is why they are so strongly
supported by the medical community.

However, for healthy individuals with strong immune
systems and no pre-existing diseases the risk-benefit
ratios are a not so clear cut. Sometimes the risks
can outweigh the benefits.

That brings me to the last question - should you get a
swine flu shot?

If you are a healthy individual that is a very personal
decision, and I won't presume to make it for you. I've
just given you some facts that you may not have known
about to ponder as you make that decision.

For people who are at risk for developing severe
complications from the swine flu itself (young
children, pregnant women, the elderly, people with
compromised immune systems, and people with pre-
existing diseases like diabetes) this is a decision
that you should make in consultation with your
physician.

To your health!

Dr. Stephen Chaney, PhD

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H.M.

answers from Dallas on

I will not get or have my children get either one. The regular flu shot I get extremely sick when I get it so I will not give it to my kids. The swine flu shot absolutely not. My mom works for a Dr.'s office and she said that they are telling most neurologist to expect to see signs of different diseases that I don't even know how to pronounce let alone spell, that can be caused from this shot. I also feel that the FDA is trying to make money!

What ever you decided for your family may God bless you in your decision!

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C.B.

answers from Dallas on

I am not getting either the flu or swine flu vaccine for me or my family. It's a personal preference and I just don't trust the vaccine. I'm also expecting our fifth child and they(public health officals) are really pushing for pregnant women to get this vaccine when they don't have any idea how it could affect the baby. It just hasn't been out long enough.
As for the regular flu vaccine, there are hundreds of different flu strains out there and they pick one that they think will be the most prominant that year and make a vaccine for it- so you might be protected against one, but not the many others.
We are trying to eat healthy- avoiding milk products and white sugar. Taking extra vitaim C and making sure our kids wash thier hands. But if you feel that for your family you need to have the vaccine, don't let anyone bully you about your choice. You know what is best for your family- this is just what works for mine!
~C.

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C.C.

answers from Dallas on

N.,

My eight year old son and I had our "seasonal" flu shots yesterday which we do every year with no problems. As for the "Swine Flu" Vaccine, I'm not sure about yet since not much testing has been done on it.

C.

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C.W.

answers from Wichita Falls on

Read my friend's newsletter first about swine flu. She's a clinical nutritionist and does NOT get vaccinations or flu shots: http://archive.constantcontact.com/fs029/1102448203495/ar... You can contact her for more info.

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

I have vaccinated my kids for the flu since they have been old enough to get it. The flu can be very serious (and obviously deadly) for kids so I choose not to take that chance no longer how small it is. We have never seen any ill effects from these shots.

The last two years my kids have gotten the flu mist. I've gotten it b/c my older son hates shots, but it is a good alternative.

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J.J.

answers from Dallas on

As a nurse and mother of 3 - I absolutely plan to have the flu vaccine and to vaccinate my children.

Influenza can cause many severe respiratory complications and I have a child with asthma.

The flu vaccine DOES NOT give you the flu - it may cause some mild discomfort and a low grade temp - this is NOT the flu! That is such a misconception that people have.

I absolutely advocate eating well, vitamins,probiotics, and excellent hand hygeine... my kids are in public school and I can't know what other people do - so I choose to be as safe as possible for my children.

I read all the medical/nursing journals and many articles and have researched vaccines a LOT - but I still believe that the flu vaccine has a proven track record of efficacy and safety.

I believe everyone has to decide for themselves on vaccines - as a nurse who works with newborns - I don't ever tell parents what they should/shouldn't do when it comes to vaccines - nor do I tell them my beliefs - it is a personal choice that you must educate yourself on.

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R.E.

answers from Dallas on

My boys have an appointment for next week. Last year was the first year they got one. Before that, I never bothered since my family rarely ever gets sick other than minor things like colds. Well, 2 years ago, a nasty flu bug swept through both boys and my husband. It wasn't anything serious, but they both were horribly miserable and out of school and activity for a week each. It was awful watching them go through it. My husband always gets one since they give them free at his work, but ironically, he seems to get the flu every year. I have never had a flu shot except when I was pregnant both times, and I have yet to ever get the flu. Even after taking care of my kids and husband that year. Anyway, it's a small price to pay to prevent or lessen how awful they felt. Last year, they got the flu mist, but our office is out of that one already, so they'll be getting the shot.

T.F.

answers from Dallas on

Seasonal flu.....probably Not.

Swine Flu...ABSOLUTELY NOT

We have not been getting the seasonal flu vaccine and more than likely will not start.

As for swine flu shot.....TOO experimental

We practice a good health routine and will continue to do what we have done in the past years.

Good luck, whatever you decide.

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S.L.

answers from Dallas on

Flu, yes. Swine, no. The research hasn't been done on it yet enough to make me comfortable.

B.B.

answers from Dallas on

Seasonal flu...yes. Swine flu...no. It's still too new for me to feel comfortable with it, especially since I'm pregnant. I've always gotten the seasonal flu vaccine and rarely get sick, and if so, it's very mild. My DH never got it before we met, and he got sick every year. But I made him get it the last few years and he hasn't gotten sick. I'm just not comfortable with the swine flu vaccine b/c there's such a rush to get it produced and distributed. We're just extra cautious about washing hands and staying away from anyone not feeling well (they should be at home anyway).

C.C.

answers from Dallas on

I've been getting one for all of us since 2004 when I got pregnant with my girls. My son has gotten the flu the last 2 yrs along with one of the girls but it wasn't too severe. And when each of the girls got it they were only down for a few days with a mild fever.

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T.T.

answers from Dallas on

About the flu vaccine, my grandaughter has had this vaccine for the last 3 years. I know that just like any other vaccines, it is not 100% sure that she will not get the flu but if she does, it will be a mild case. The way I see it, the flu shot has been around for a few years now. Some healthy children who get the flu (and did not get the vaccine) are dying of complications of the flu. Even though my grandaughter is a very healthy eater and rarely gets sick, we the adults who are responsible to protect her and make decisions for her well being are not taking any chances. Beware that complications of the flu can be deadly......you don't know it until it happens.
As far as the swine flu vaccine is concerned, this one is sooo NEW. I still have a few days to read from direct and well-informed sources before the vaccine is available to the public. This is such a personal decision to make as we are all unique individuals and what might be good for your organism, might not be good for mine. Good luck.

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