Monday, October 26, 2009

Are your kids getting the flu shot?

I haven't decided yet.

B can't get it, since he's allergic to eggs. (The vaccine is "grown" in eggs, so egg-allergic patients cannot be vaccinated.)

I'm not a fan of the vaccine, as many of you know. And here's why:

  • In past years, quality has been an issue. Remember Chiron and the tainted vaccine in 2004? And then more problems in 2006.
  • It's predictive, which means it may or many not actually work to prevent the flu. The two years my kids got the flu, the strain was not covered by the vaccine. (One year they'd been vaccinated, one year they hadn't.)
  • It typically contains thimerosal a preservative derived from mercury. There are thimerosal-free shots out there if you ask for them, but don't expect your insurance to cover these.

Nonetheless, I probably will vaccinate, if only because I'll be forced to. And now that my kids are older (and two are already on the spectrum anyway), thimerosal isn't quite as scary, although I don't like the idea of ANY mercury being injected into humans - especially not my kids. Whoever thought that was a good idea?

And yes, I know it's smart to vaccinate your kids against the flu, especially when they're asthmatic. But I have lots of reasons to distrust big pharma, so I'm wary. I do solemnly swear, however, to religiously clean my house, wash my kids hands, keep them home when they are sick, and encourage them to cough into their elbows.

Are you vaccinating? Share your thoughts on why or why not.