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Are you getting the flu shot?

Saturday, September 26, 2009 Leave a Comment

Are you getting your kids the swine flu shot? Or the regular flu shot?

I'm on the fence about it. It's not that I'm opposed to it, necessarily -- I get my kids their vaccines on schedule, and don't worry about autism or mercury too much -- I just don't know if I buy into the media frenzy about it.

I've never had a flu shot, and I've only had the flu once, when I was 16. I just don't know if the flu shot is effective -- and neither do the experts. Only a third of us actually get the flu shot, despite all the dire warnings and constant news coverage. Just yesterday, Channel 7 was filming kids at our pediatrician's office getting the flu shot. (There was a lot of screaming behind that door!) It's only recently that any flu shot has been safe for kids.

Some of the conflicting information I've heard:
- H1N1 is a mild virus -- mildest in kids -- that your immune system can easily overcome (unless you've got a condition that compromises your immune system, like asthma);
- the seasonal flu shot can leave you more susceptible to H1N1;
- the flu shot does not prevent illness, but actually does the opposite--it weakens your immune system and makes you more predisposed to the illness;
- and on the extreme side, that the H1N1 shot contains a non-FDA approved chemical linked to Gulf War Syndrome

Yes, I take all of this information with a grain of salt, but given the corporate behavior of the past few years, I'm not sure I trust that the pharmaceutical companies are looking out for my best -- or my children's best -- interests.

Even my pediatrician gives me a carefully worded, "It's up to you," type of speech. If he told me I must do it, I would -- but he hasn't.

Last week's Wall Street Journal had a great article: "When doing nothing is the best medicine," and I felt like applauding. A reasonable approach! We do come fully equipped with immune systems, sometimes we just need to let them do their jobs.


  • Anonymous said:  

    ...if even half of this is true...

  • Anonymous said:  

    The children's hospital is making flu shots mandatory for employees. It's trying to protect sick children. That speaks more to me than a all the random, unconfirmed internet sites quoted here.