Still Sittin’ On The Fence About H1N1?

Hi Ladies,

I’ve already done a Blog entry about H1N1, but I wanted to address this topic again. Everywhere you look, someone, somewhere in the world is reporting on the outbreak or pandemic of H1N1 (aka the Swine Flu). And it’s some really scary sh&t, let me tell you! We hear of cases where people are dying from the Swine flu. If you knew you could prevent this, and it was as simple as getting a little shot, wouldn’t it be a no-brainer? On the flip side, people are dying FROM the H1N1 shot. Should you risk giving a perfectly healthy individual a vaccine, only to have them develop permanent side effects? It’s a very complex issue.

In fact, there are many health practices across Canada who are going so far as to kick patients out of their practices should they opt out of the H1N1 vaccination. A little extreme, no? Doctors are very strongly encouraging the vulnerable population to inoculate; children, the elderly and those with existing medical conditions.

But the truth is, while experts are praising it, it just isn’t an easy sell. People are truly unsure. I heard on the radio yesterday that 59% of Canadians are AGAINST the H1N1 vaccine. I find this astounding. While I have opted out for my kids, I still doubt my decision. I truly do. My big son has viral induced asthma, and he would classify as one of those “vulnerable” groups being urged to get the shot.

So what do you do? To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

I would like to give some objective information and let you decide for yourself.

But first, check this picture out. It made me laugh…

Still Sittin' On The Fence About H1N1?

Okay, now back to the facts. This is from the CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention):

“This season, 2009 H1N1 vaccines are being made to protect against the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (sometimes called “swine flu”). There are two kinds of 2009 H1N1 vaccines being produced: a 2009 H1N1 “flu shot” that is given with a needle, usually in the arm; and the 2009 H1N1 nasal spray flu vaccine given via a nasal sprayer. The same manufacturers who produce seasonal flu vaccines are producing 2009 H1N1 vaccines for use in the United States and the vaccines are being made in the same way that the seasonal vaccines are made.”

Okay, this sounds encouraging. I’m running to Dr. X yesterday to get my shot, (despite the mercury and aluminum in the ingredients)!

Then I read these…

“A harmless prick – and thereby possibly save thousands of people. This is what several hundreds of volunteers thought, who each collected a payment of 250 Euro for their participation in the study of the swine flu vaccine trial at the Ludwig-Maximilians-University.

One of them has now quit the trial: The Diploma-businessman Axel Sch. (40). He claims : “The vaccination has made me ill! – the test is irresponsible.” He says that within a few hours after the vaccination, on August 10, he had sweat on his forehead. “I felt totally beat. On the third day, my kidneys and head were aching and I got a fever. I then had a coughing fit – and the wash basin was suddenly red – it was blood!“

or “Health investigators are under more pressure as two elderly women are reported to have died, days after receiving the swine flu vaccine. It brings the total number of deaths linked to the vaccine in just Sweden to four.”

If that doesn’t scare you, read this about the seasonal flu shot:

Still Sittin' On The Fence About H1N1?

Desiree Jennings, a beautiful 25 year-old NFL Washington Redskin’s cheerleader was just being responsible for her own health. Vibrant and healthy, she had no worries in the world. Fast forward ten days post the injection. Desiree is virtually paralyzed. When this beauty is standing still or sitting down, her body is overcome by spasms and random jerks. The crazy thing is, she is perfectly able to walk BACKWARDS, as well as RUN forward without any issues. She has been diagnosed with a rare neurological and irreversible condition.  Pharmaceutical companies are calling this a coincidence or rare reaction, and are still urging millions to get vaccinated. You decide for yourself.

Now, I can give you tons of other horror stories or I can also say for certain, that the H1N1 vaccine will probably save many lives this flu season. The reason I wrote today’s Blog, and why I am happy to bring a voice to this issue, is just to encourage you to READ and do the necessary RESEARCH.  My pediatrician who I trust implicitly is encouraging his patients to get the H1n1 shot. I am going out on a limb by going against him, and with my gut instinct. Am I scared? YOU BET! And even in my personal decision for my own family not to inoculate for now, I’m still doubting myself.  But, truth is, I’m just too scared of the alternative.

So, I think I will stick with the plan, for now, just like my guest Blogger Michlyn Metropolit. She has been very effective at keeping her family healthy over the years without any shots. Whatever your decision is, just make it responsibly, and not blindly. I wish all of you a Swine flu-free winter season, with much health and happiness.

What’s your take on the whole H1N1 vaccine?

Until next time,


  1. TO VACCINATE OR NOT VACCINATE, that was my question last week. I was being driven totally crazy not knowing whether to vaccinate myslef and my kids. This week I am really freaked out by the death of a healthy 13 year old boy in Toronto.

    After much controversy and I have finally decided we are all getting the H1N1 shot. My son was born with a heart condition and so if I am going to vaccinate him I am vaccinating all of us!

    Listen up from today Dr. Mitch on CJAD:

    My cousin Dr. Marla Shapiro on CTV News:

    It’s a no brainer!

    If Obama vaccinated his kids and plans to get ths hot asap…….then it’s good enough for me!

  2. Hi Davina,

    Thank you for your comment. I read about that Toronto boy today, and it is an awful story. It will be interesting to see if he had any underlying condition. I am waiting for more details on that…

    I am speaking to many mothers who are vaccinating like yourself. All I know is, for today, Oct. 27th, I opt out. I am leaving the door open for myself if I panic, and choose to change my mind. If I happen to change my mind, I will wait a few more weeks to see the reactions of the first round in Canada.

    I bought a few immune boosting solutions today at the health food store for my kids. I figure it can’t hurt. And I told my son to visit the Purell dispenser at school 3 times daily. I figure that can’t hurt either!

    Anyhow, I will wait and see before making my final decision. All I know is, for right now, I’m holding off.

    Thanks for reading!
    Erica 🙂

  3. I am so unsure. I can’t sleep because of this darn shot. To do it or not do it. I’m so confused. Maybe i’ll wait a few weeks like you said to see all the initial reactions. i just don’t know what to do.

  4. Hi Erica,
    I feel the exact same as you! I am riddled with nerves over my decision, but that’s how i feel for now. My son and Daughter both have viral induced asthma, as well as an allergy to Egg. Therefore, they both cannot have the vaccine. I have never been a strong beleiver in flu shots for my family. It’s all very scary, but as you said, i’m sticking with my decision for now.

  5. My dad’s friend who is a doctor emailed this to me. He finds it the best chart he has seen. Keep it handy! Plus I read gastro problems such as vomiting or diarrhea are often present in H1N1.

    Know the Difference between Cold and H1N1 Flu Symptoms

    H1N1 Flu

    Fever is rare with a cold.
    Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100°F or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.

    A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold.
    A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).

    Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold.
    Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.

    Stuffy Nose
    Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week.
    Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.

    Chills are uncommon with a cold.
    60% of people who have the flu experience chills.

    Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold.
    Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.

    Sneezing is commonly present with a cold.
    Sneezing is not common with the flu.

    Sudden Symptoms
    Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days.
    The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.

    A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold.
    A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.

    Sore Throat
    Sore throat is commonly present with a cold.
    Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.

    Chest Discomfort
    Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold.
    Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

    The only way to stop the spread of the epidemic is to spread the awareness. And keep washing your hands.

  6. Trust me ladies, I too was full of with anxiety and I couldn’t sleep for days! Which is why I made a decision to get informed instaed of backing away from the shot.

    I have spent much time in discussions with dr friends, my own peds dr, as well as others and now that I feel I am well informed, I don;t see any reason not to vaccinate against H1N1. I don’t think you will find a dr who is not recommeding it at this point. I think the key is getting yourself well-informed. Lack of knowledge brings on fear.

    I too was not a great beleiveer in the seasonal flu shot and didn’t take it myself but people are dying of H1N1; it is so rare to hear of a death from teh seasonal flu.

  7. Yesterday – I was getting my whole family vaccinated. Today, I am not. I find that there is so much propaganda urging us to vaccinate that we have stopped thinking about what we are doing. Am I anti-vaccination? Absolutely not.
    I agree that the key into making this decision is information. But it is also turning out to be the dagger. Who do you belieive? The scientist who has computed data and rates your chances of dying from the flu shot at 1 in 10,000 vs a chance of 1 in 502,000 of dying from the flu? Do you believe the doctors that tell you its a safe vaccine? How do they know what the effect will be in 5, 10, 15 years?
    One pressing question I would like to have for all these experts: why is the H1N1 a pandemic while the seasonal flu isn’t? Doesn’t the seasonal flu kill more people?
    Like you Erica, I have a child that has asthma and another with a heart condition. I am a terrible mother for not RUNNING to get them vaccinated?
    It is a very complex issue and the information on it is abundant and confusing.
    And then there is the whole mutation aspect. Is the vaccine already possibly outdated if the virus has mutated? Confusing is only the starting point in this debate, in this choice.

  8. After talking to *many* doctors about it (both in the US & Canada), we got the H1N1 flu mist. EVERY SINGLE doctor I spoke to said that this vaccine is prepared NO DIFFERENTLY than any other flu vaccine and that there is NO downside to getting it. It is true that the diseases we vaccinate against are deadlier than the vaccines in general, and not vaccinating puts not only the children, but their families and schoolmates at risk. There will be two sides to every story, but in this case, I feel like I’ve protected my family.

  9. I’m definitely still on the fence. It seems like the vaccine has been rushed out without the usual months of testing, just to appease a panicking public. Personally I think I’d rather take my chances with H1N1 then some dubious vaccine!

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