Saturday, September 24, 2011

the flu shot.

vaccine1 First doses of Influenza A (H1N1) vaccine to be available by September at the earliest

The flu shot... the debate is getting a little quieter and I never would have thought I'd have a second thought on the topic....but now I am. Here I am faced with the "opportunity" in this upcoming fall season to get the flu shot and I'm not sure how I feel about it. It's funny how things have changed since growing a little human, that needs me to make the right, healthy choices. I feel like I became a theoretically responsible parent, a mom, august 9th when I got the "pregnancy" word flash across the screen. So, I found in researching on the blogs and mom-sites that people aren't sure if the thimerosal- mercury preservative component in the vaccine-is safe for pregnancy, and when given the choice it seems like a lot of moms are just opting out. Well I probably wouldn't go out of my way if I didn't work in heatlhcare to get the shot if I didn't have to. But being an employee at a hospital and being in nursing school with my clinicals it's just not an option. I have to get the flu shot. I am actually exposed to the flu every day.

My general opinion on healthcare and disease, is that we just don't know everything out there. Science can't prove everything with 100% certainty in each different genetic makeup out there. In researching the topic myself, the flu sounds like an awful hospital-bound illness to put my body through and more importantly my fragile fetus. I also don't want to subject myself to a metal-based compound if I don't have to. I struggled with even bringing it up at my first prenatal appointment- would I be viewed as one of those radicals- like Jenny McCarthy- taking the extreme, with no vaccinations ever... or should I ask, so that I don't worry throughout my whole child's life about what did I do to hurt him/her? Could I have been more educated and made a better decision? I asked Matt what his views were, and he is kind of in the same thinking...lets educate the heck out of ourselves, it can't hurt. So, I asked my midwife about the topic. What did she recommend? Is there one trimester that is better over the other to receive it? She said its safe, and totally necessary (even if I didn't work at the hospital where it's mandatory). She said I cannot get the flu mist, and I really should get the shot regardless of the trimester I'm in but seeing how I am kind of between the first and second trimester it would be best to get it during the second.

I found out that thimerosal was taken out of all childhood vaccines, in light of the Jenny McCarthy fiasco. They found that there was actually no decrease in the numbers of autistic children since removing the thimerosal. But, why not just take it out to make people feel a little safer, and have people opt to get vaccines. Not all flu shots have the thimersol compound either, and some states have banned it being used all together. I looked into Boise and what is offered at my hospital (which happens to be free for employees) and I have yet to get a clear answer.
So what did I end up doing?! I will let you all know end of October- but I'm getting the shot. It's not the right decision for everyone- but it was the one we made with all the information we had. Now I just have to protect myself from about 50+ other harmful exposures from work each and everyday.

Some more information if you want-
FDA on thimerosal


  1. If I weren't in healthcare also I would opt out (when that time comes), but that is the profession I chose

    Your baby will be fine :)
    I am enjoying your new blog, I am trying to get pregnant myself

  2. Lindsey and Matt- I love hearing that you "educate the heck" out of yourselves. I am all for medical science- it is truly amazing that we can help so many people and prevent so much. But I don't like getting shots or taking medicine just because you are suppose to. I like to know why and why not. and then make a decision wiht my doctor. Each person and family is different and has to find what works for them- and is safe for them. and when you educate yourself, you can feel stronger and more sure about your decisions! Plus, i also look forward to hearing what you learn as you educate yourselves through the next few months... as we are trying to get pregnant now, too! and congrats, again!!!!

  3. ashley- what do you do in healthcare?! i saw in your blog you didn't like SF hospitals- that'd be fun to hear why! and congrats on trying to get pregnant!! thanks for your comment!!

    eepelletier-yay! you're trying to get pregnant- super fun!! yeah those medical decisions are tricky, but there's no harm in educating yourself. its just tough to filter out the crazies and ridiculous opinions that aren't based on anythign scientific... it can pull on your heart strings.

  4. I got the vaccine last week. I am 40 weeks pregnant and a heathcare worker. I believe in vaccines. I do not want to be a vector for my tiny baby getting the flu before she can be vaccinated at 6 months. Husband will also be vaccinated.

    There has been no compelling evidence that vaccines lead to autism.

  5. Thank you so much for the information. This was something I was thinking about these past few days actually!

  6. Lindsey,
    Sorry just now got saw your message.
    I will email you :)

    ashleylowens @ yahoo dot com


Thank you so much for your comments!! I love hearing what you have to say...