Sunday, October 11, 2009

Swine Flu - Cause for Concern or Hogwash?

There are lots of decisions to be made when you're a parent. Some of them are easy, many are inconsequential, and others are very, very difficult. Our latest dilemma: deciding whether or not to give Ethan the swine flu vaccine. Lots of thoughts ran through my mind when listing the pros and cons.

1) Obviously, protecting against swine flu.
2) Flying during Christmas = Germ City.
3) Our pediatrician recommends it, and last time I checked neither Ryan nor I have attended medical school.

1) Brand new vaccine... should I be worried?
2) I have little to no faith in flu vaccines in general.
3) The stress of constantly calling the doctor to see if the vaccine is available yet is less than appealing.

We decided not to bother with it. There's a lot of media hype and public hysteria, and we refused to get sucked into it. Our minds were made up.

And just as quickly as we had made our decision, we started second-guessing it.

We talked to a friend who DID happen to attend medical school, and he said it was a good idea to get the shot. Another friend, feet firmly rooted in the pro-vaccine camp, passed along articles with lots of GREAT information (and attention grabbing titles!), such as Swine flu still spreading; blamed for 76 child deaths and Sebelius: Americans must get swine flu vaccination. I referenced FluTracker, which maps confirmed H1N1 cases and fatalities in the US and around the world. I checked Ethan's horoscope (nothing about swine flu, but apparently he's going to have an incredible financial opportunity arise in the near future). It certainly gave us a lot to think about - what we thought before was a good decision was perhaps, with a little more research and some input from trusted sources, not in Ethan's best interest.

After careful consideration and countless conversations, we've re-made up our minds and are definitely going to try to get our hands on the H1N1 vaccine for Ethan. We're also taking further precautions, just to be on the safe side.

Bring it on, swine flu, we're ready for you.