The letter from the school district came home today. The message was simple. Please vaccinate your children against the H1N1 flu. The message echoes everything else I've heard from medical professionals.
I have read every article about the H1N1 vaccine. I mean every, single thing I can find. I have to admit I really don't want to vaccinate the girls. This is an untested vaccine they are rushing to market a month earlier than planned. The research on it is mixed. It might work, but if the virus mutates at all, then it won't work. And, let's face it odds are good the virus will mutate.
As with all flu vaccines, scientists make their best guess about the strain that will infect everyone. How many, many times do we find out later that the annual flu shot was ineffective because the strain of the flu we all tried to prevent was different from the one that eventually invaded? Too many times that I can remember.
I hate this.
I'm not an anti-vaccine crusader. The girls are fully vaccinated. They even received the Chicken Pox vaccine. On another day I'll go into why I really dislike that vaccine, but today we'll stick to H1N1.
If we decide to have them vaccinated, I'll worry about the long-term effects and undiscovered side effects. If something happens later, I'll always wonder if it's related to the vaccine.
If we don't have them vaccinated, and they get sick, I'll regret that decision.
Either way it stinks. It's a lot of worry about an epidemic that may or may not develop. It's a lot of worry about an illness we face down every year.