I figured I go ahead and start it...What are your views on the H1N1 vaccine?

MOST HELPFUL POSTS

[deleted account]

The only thing that really, really bugs me about that Q and A session is that the flu isn't treated with antibiotics (or it shouldn't be, anyway)-it's not a bacterial infection, which are the only infections affected by antibiotics. The flu is a virus, and an antiobiotic wouldn't have made one iota of difference to the Spanish flu-unless it wasn't really the flu. I know it's a bitty thing, but it does make me question the rest of what the source has to say. lol

Ez - posted on 11/03/2009

6,569

25

237

Lindsay our seasonal flu vax are only free for the over-65s (free as in paid for by the governenment). Anyone else must buy the vaccine at the chemist (not sure of the price though because I get mine for free from my workplace). It's only the swine flu needle that is free.

Jenny - posted on 11/03/2009

4,426

16

129

Here's the best info I've come across



Q: Should I get vaccinated or not? Young people are dying from this flu, surely the vaccine might help?



A: It largely depends on your own situation. If you are the kind of person who routinely gets the flu every year, finds yourself missing work, has other chronic conditions or, even, is just plain worried, go ahead. It might help and probably won't hurt.



If you are, like me, relatively healthy, rarely get the flu and don't work in a situation where it might be hazardous to be sick (such as a hospital), then you can probably give it a miss.



Q: Are public health officials fear mongering?



A: Not really. If they didn't push a mass immunization campaign, they would not be doing their jobs.



Yet with the media focusing on deaths in the rare cases, such as otherwise healthy young children, clearly this isn't productive

Logic and rationality, not raw emotion, should govern our responses.



Q: Is this pandemic worth worrying about?



A: Probably not. If we can learn from the experience in the southern hemisphere, which just had its main flu season, mortality from the H1N1 virus is relatively low.



Most countries had flu-related mortality rates of less than one per 100,000 cases. That's tiny.



Q: But what about the Spanish flu of 1919? Couldn't the swine flu pandemic be a repeat of this massively deadly pandemic?



A: Not likely. It's healthier to think in terms of probabilities, not possibilities.



The Spanish flu had such a high death count partly because it took place in a world without antibiotics and which was much less wealthy and less hygienic than today.



Do we need reminding that in 2005 the World Health Organization predicted that up to 150 million people might die from Avian flu? The eventual death toll was 262 people.



Q: But surely the H1N1 flu is severe and deadly?



A: Compared to what? The regular run-of-the-mill seasonal flu? Nope. There is substantial evidence that the mortality rate from H1N1 flu is actually much smaller than seasonal flu.



Q: Does the vaccine work?



A: It depends on your definition of work. It works in terms of helping people develop antibodies to that particular virus. But are those antibodies enough to keep you from getting sick?



Often people who get the flu shot still get the flu. And we know there are many other circulating viruses that could still make you sick.



When people tell you the flu vaccine "reduces mortality by 50 per cent" you need to know that these stats come from cohort studies, which compare death rates in vaccinated people versus non-vaccinated people.



The truth is, those two groups may be very fundamentally different to start with and the vaccine might have had nothing to do with the observed outcomes.



This "healthy-user bias," as it is called, is rampant in vaccine studies. Without randomization and a true control group to compare, we don't really know for sure if flu campaigns achieve their intended outcomes.



Q: Isn't it public spirited to get vaccinated, so you won't spread the virus to others?



A: That sounds plausible, but is that recommendation evidence-based? Researchers who have combed through hundreds of flu-vaccine studies find very little evidence that suggests a vaccine will prevent the spread of the virus in the general population.



Of the hundreds of studies on flu immunization campaigns, only about four are of sufficient rigour to say anything definitive. And two of those studies show the vaccine in question to be useless.



Basing public health policy on only two quality studies doesn't seem sound to me.



Q: Is the vaccine safe?



A: Again, depends on what you mean by safe. Within the bounds in which it was studied, the H1N1 vaccine appears not to have much of a tendency to produce adverse effects.



The truth, however, is that we don't know of any rare but potentially serious effects of the vaccine campaign until we've inoculated many thousands of people.



Repeating the refrain that the vaccine is "safe and effective" is fine for reassurance but it is starting to sound strained because no one can say with 100 per cent confidence that the new flu vaccine won't cause adverse effects in some people.



Q: What's your bottom line? What needs to be done to eliminate all this uncertainty of the vaccine?



A: More research. Better research in the form of large, randomized, placebo-controlled trials on the annual flu shot would undoubtedly erase some of these concerns and establish where the benefits and harms lie.



Following patients over the long term will give us a much clearer picture of a vaccine's safety and effectiveness and the effects of natural immunity.



To those who say that studying the sacred flu shot with randomized, placebo-controlled trials is unethical, I say that if such a trial were planned, I'd be first in line to roll up my sleeve.



To me, it is unethical to carry on large-scale, hype-inducing public health programs without collecting the kind of good quality data that is needed to prove the vaccines are doing what we hope they are.



Q: Any last words?



A: Here's my sound bite: "If they randomize, I'll immunize." In the interim, government policies of calmness, coupled with accurate information for both professionals and public is my prescription. Hype can make us all ill.

Sara - posted on 11/01/2009

9,313

50

586

Well, I first want to say that I absolutely do not believe that vaccination is a personal choice. It's not mandatory, so in that sense it is a choice, but it is a choice you are making that can have adverse affects on your community if you chose not to get vaccinated (I"m not just talking about the flu, but vaccines in general). What really irks me about the H1N1 debate is the idea that moms are spouting on here again and again about us being guinea pigs and it's too new to know the side effects, yadayadayada. That is just ridiculous to me for the simple fact that if you had done appropriate research you would know that 1) it's made the same way as the regular seasonal flu vaccine and thus is not new. If you follow the false logic some have touted on COM, then no flu shot can be trusted because it is too new because it's changed every damn year. And 2) flu vaccine effacacy and safety have been studied and peer reviewed for years and has REAL science to back it up. For me, it's totally frustrating to read all of these threads that have so much misinformation and government conspiracy theories in them. We're talking about disease people...and yeah, it will kill you.



I, my daughter and my husband have all had the seasonal flu vaccine and the H1N1 vaccine. I trust that it is just as safe as the seasonal flu vaccine, which we get every year anyway. If you chose not to get it, then fine, but I really just wish people would make educated decisions about vaccines with information from trusted sources (i.e., scientific research)...not crackpot websites.

This conversation has been closed to further comments

28 Comments

View replies by

[deleted account]

Well-yeah. But without having the flu, which develops into pneuomnia, the issue becomes a non-issue.



And I think that if that's what the author meant, the wording should've been chosen more carefully.

Jodi - posted on 11/03/2009

3,562

36

3907

Quoting Diana:

The only thing that really, really bugs me about that Q and A session is that the flu isn't treated with antibiotics (or it shouldn't be, anyway)-it's not a bacterial infection, which are the only infections affected by antibiotics. The flu is a virus, and an antiobiotic wouldn't have made one iota of difference to the Spanish flu-unless it wasn't really the flu. I know it's a bitty thing, but it does make me question the rest of what the source has to say. lol



Diana, while the flu is a virus, generally those who die are dying from complications which have developed as a result of the flu, such as pneumonia, which are treated with antibiotics. So technically, it would have made a difference to the death rate (although not the incidence rate).

[deleted account]

That was an interesting read, Traci. I hadn't seen the US numbers for average age of those w/ H1N1 flu etc, but those sound pretty much in line the data I saw from Australia, so it doesn't really surprise me. But I think that 1% mortality rate is way too high - he probably meant 1% of those who are hospitalized. I think the percentage of people dying after they get the flu is a whole lot lower than that.

Traci - posted on 11/03/2009

2,158

2

102

Just got this info from a friend...

















Interesting flu information from a management meeting here at State Farm last week.





At our staff meeting this morning, one of our speakers was Mike Claver from Corp Ad Services. He is the head of State Farms H1N1 response team. He gave us some interesting information.



- All flu viruses are indentified by the symbols H and N. Each virus has different numbers for each of those letters. There are 38 flu viruses or combinations of H,N and numbers. H1N1 has never been seen before this past spring.



- Average age of infected people 12



- Average age of infected people being hospitalized 20



- Cost for H1N1 test $400 Only people being hospitalized are being tested.



- Average age of people dying from H1N1 37



- Average age of people dying from seasonal flu 65



- Mortality rate for H1N1 1%



- Mortality rate for Avian flu that was in the news a few years ago. 56%



- H1N1 is spreading 5x faster than seasonal flu. Very contagious. Skin to skin contact is most common method of virus transfer for H1N1.



- Current estimates are for between 20 and 40% of US population to experience H1N1 before cycle is over.



- 2-9 yr olds need two doses of H1N1 vaccine app 28 days apart.



- There will not be enough vaccine for everyone wanting a shot.



- Each infected person will infect 7-8 additional people.



- H1N1 can be killed just by rubbing your hands together. Friction. Washing with soap, hot water, antiseptics, help get to areas of skin that you can’t rub easily.



- Recommended actions to reduce risk of getting H1N1:



Take vitamins



Get plenty of sleep/rest



Drink lots of water.



Be hygienic



Eat right



Reduce stress where possible



All the above recommendations are helpful in strengthening your immune system.



H1N1 is way more contagious than seasonal flu. H1N1 is targeting younger age groups for the most part. H1N1 is a head/chest flu but there are signs indicating that a slight mutation is occurring that will make stomach/intestine symptoms possible as well. High fever is indicative of H1N1. Other symptoms vary in severity and occurrence.







Mike reiterated that if you feel sick or achy to any degree, or especially if fever is present, stay home.

Traci - posted on 11/03/2009

2,158

2

102

Quoting Erin:

Lindsay our seasonal flu vax are only free for the over-65s (free as in paid for by the governenment). Anyone else must buy the vaccine at the chemist (not sure of the price though because I get mine for free from my workplace). It's only the swine flu needle that is free.



I like that you put "free as in paid for by the government" in your post. :)  It's always nice to have those little reminders that NOTHING in life is free, everything comes from someone, somewhere. :)  Good job!

Traci - posted on 11/03/2009

2,158

2

102

Thanks for that post, Jenny. I found that helpful. Much more helpful than the hysterical news broadcasts.

Lindsay - posted on 11/03/2009

3,532

26

267

We are heading out in a bit to get the kids'. They will be getting the mist and I was suprised to hear that they are giving them for free. We typically pay $25 each for the seasonal flu shots.

Traci - posted on 11/03/2009

2,158

2

102

For the record...I don't read crackpot websites and stuff...lol. I'm fully aware that the vax is made the same way as the seasonal flu shot.



I don't think it is necessary to get a flu shot. I don't think it is necessary to get the swine flu shot, either. There are more people getting both the flu and the swine flu and living to tell about it than not. If it mutates into a strain that will most likely kill, than I would consider it. Until then....I'm not interested.

Jodi - posted on 11/02/2009

3,562

36

3907

Quoting Erin:

I can't believe so many of you guys are having availability issues though! My surgery runs a clinic every afternoon which is free and available to all of our patients over 10. Babies and children under 10 aren't being done here... I'm not sure why. Instead they're focusing on the parents and caregivers of kids in that age group.



Erin, I heard (but have not verified) that it is because the authorities here are not happy that the risks of the vaccine outweigh the risks of the virus in kids that age.  From what I gather they are still assessing the data and have been unable to form any conclusions at this point.

Ez - posted on 11/02/2009

6,569

25

237

I had the vax a couple of weeks ago, but only because of my job in the health care industry. It's summer here so, even though the government is warning of a resurgence of the disease when travellers and tourists return from the northern winter, I probably would not have had it if not for my job (that's the only reason I have the regular flu vax too).

I can't believe so many of you guys are having availability issues though! My surgery runs a clinic every afternoon which is free and available to all of our patients over 10. Babies and children under 10 aren't being done here... I'm not sure why. Instead they're focusing on the parents and caregivers of kids in that age group.

[deleted account]

Well, part of the reason we don't have enough vaccine is because of the anti-vaccine hysteria here. That seems to be a major factor in our use of flu shots without adjuvants. If we were using the versions with adjuvants (like pretty much everyone else in the world is), we'd have 2-3 times more doses available. I suppose that's why I find all the nutty conspiracy theory type posts on the welcome page to be so annoying. As for my family, it doesn't look like there will be vaccine available here any time soon. So far they're just giving them to healthcare workers and high-risk people, and supply isn't meeting demand at the moment.

Lindsay - posted on 11/01/2009

3,532

26

267

We get the seasonal shot every year. I had the flu several times as a child and while I'm still here and alive, it was absolutely miserable! The school system here is giving the H1N1 shots Tuesday night. None of the pediatricians have any in yet, so we'll be waiting in line I'm sure. I'll be getting mine if/when it becomes available.

Jodi - posted on 11/01/2009

3,562

36

3907

You know, Australia apparently had 20 million vaccines shipped here. Our total population is only 23 million (give or take a few). And yet, surveys have shown only 25% of Australians are planning on getting the vaccine, so the rest will be shipped to 3rd world countries. And you guys can't get enough......

Dawn - posted on 11/01/2009

489

8

41

My kids got theirs over a week ago. After seeing my 9day old in NICU with pneumonia. I don't ever want to see that again. It took a long time before my husband and I decided to do it. I'm glad I did. No side effects. Even my cousin who suffers from seizures and her 20m son who has the same prob have gotten it. She is also 5m pregnant.

We are waiting for there to be enough for us (adults) to get it.

Jodi - posted on 11/01/2009

3,562

36

3907

Personally, our family never gets the regular flu shot, so I don't intend on getting the H1N1 shot. Realistically, we are entering summer at this side of the world, so flu season has passed. I don't work in the tourism or health industry. My son will be on school holidays for summer for 2 months in another 5 weeks. I don't believe we are high risk. And given we don't get the regular flu shot anyway, and I can't remember the last time someone in my household had the flu, I don't see any reason to change my mind about flu shots now.

[deleted account]

My son will get it when he goes back for his second flu shot mid-November. Even though we've all already caught the regular flu, I'd rather be safe. He's a preemie, and his dad and I both work in places where there have been a lot of confirmed cases of swine flu. If the peds office here already had the vaccine, he'd have already been given it. I haven't really weighed in on the discussions about vaccines because they're always the same old thing and there are much more fun things to debate about and talk about. =) My personal feeling is that there hasn't been any conclusive evidence that the risk of vaccines outweighs their benefits. The amount of children who have severe side effects is extremely small in comparison with the number of children who get the shots. But in places where vaccines are less routine, reports of illnesses that those vaccines prevent have skyrocketed-which makes perfect sense to me-which is why my son has been so far and will in the future be vaccinated.

Traci - posted on 11/01/2009

2,158

2

102

I'll let the first couple rounds of guinea pigs get the shots...and then go from there. I don't even get the seasonal flu shots, and neither do my kids.

Jocelyn - posted on 11/01/2009

5,165

42

275

I have a simple answer to the "should or shouldn't" debate.... if you get the normal flu shot, then you should get the h1n1 (if it had come out earlier they would have been combined). If you don't normally get the flu shot, then don't get the h1n1 shot either...
It is just a flu... one lady in another discussion was trying to compare h1n1 to the plague and aids...I had to giggle a little at that...

Lindsay - posted on 11/01/2009

542

18

80

It's a personal choice whether or not vaccinate for any disease (although I am strongly for them!). My whole argument over the H1N1 postings(on the main page and just about every other one) is that people are not using factual information to make their points. They are telling others what to do based on what they've "heard" or read on non-credible websites.



I am 16 wks pregnant and have a daughter who was born 12 weeks early with on going lung issues. We both got the H1N1 vaccine yesterday (my husband got it last week-he's in healthcare).

JL - posted on 11/01/2009

3,635

48

107

I got enough PM's from some of the nutters on the main page when I dared to post links to credible evidence and factual opinions..so I will just say my kids will be getting the H1N1 vaccines as soon as they are available here and they just got their seasonal flu vaccines last week like they do every year. My hubby got the H1N1 and weeks later he was still acting like an annoying man who does not pick up after himself. Honestly I was hoping for a side effect one in which he spontaneously started cleaning the house..I wish..haha.

Jodi - posted on 10/31/2009

3,562

36

3907

Kate, I think we are all a bit over it, and the nut jobs over at the main page don't really want to discuss it with intelligent people, LOL :)

Kate CP - posted on 10/31/2009

8,942

36

758

LOL! I started this thread thinking there would be a sudden in surge of people from the main page wanting to discuss the vaccine. It was so popular and heated on the welcome page that I figured it would be a hot topic here! I guess I was wrong. ;)

Join Circle of Moms

Sign up for Circle of Moms and be a part of this community! Membership is just one click away.

Join Circle of Moms