A CafeMom friend asked me the other day why the Daily Buzz is talking about the swine flu so much. Really good question! I had to think on that a bit.
It has nothing to do with being pro or con, but rather confusion over the mixed messages about the risks from the vaccine versus the illness itself. So, the more we talk it through and look at it from all angles, the greater the hope that we can figure out what works best for our own families and kids.
"Educate yourself and do the research before making any hasty decisions about getting the swine flu vaccine. Know the ingredients, know ALL the side effects, ask your doctor to see the package inserts from the vaccine box or ask to get a copy to take home and read. Don't get this vaccine before you are positive you can make a well-informed and well-educated decision about it."
One such mom we interviewed will vaccinate her 7 month old son as soon as her pediatrician's office receives shipment of the shot. Here's my talk with her:
Is your son healthy?
Yes, except he has gastric reflux and has had it since he was born. He has had a mild cold before, but that's it.
Why have you decided to have your baby immunized against swine flu?
I just got over the swine flu and was hospitalized for it. Plus seven people around where we live have died in the past week. All but two of them were children.
At first it was a difficult decision because the vaccine is so new, but then I got the swine flu and saw how bad it was on me. I could not imagine putting my little one through that.
How did you come to your decision?
I have spoken to a number of pediatricians at my son's clinic, as well as the medical staff at the hospital. I also talked to the doctors at Baylor Medical Center about it. They said it was up to me, but in their opinion, since I caught the flu and I am my son's main caretaker, it would be in his best interest.
Are you worried at all? Any concerns?
I am concerned that it is so new and they aren't 100 percent sure of the side effects, but I know in my heart it has to be better than him being hospitalized with this flu. I do trust my pediatrician and believe she wouldn't advise me to get it unless she thought he needed it. And, in fact, he wasn't going to get it until I got the virus. At that point, it was a joint decision by me, his father, and doctor.
Find more great info in the Swine Flu Guide.
What is the deciding factor for you in either vaccinating or not vaccinating your baby against the swine flu?
Written by Cynthia Dermody for CafeMom's Baby Buzz