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Should Your Child Get a Flu Vaccination This Year?

I’m the last person from whom you’d want to get medical advice. Well, maybe not the last. There was a long line of people who bought deep-fried butter at the Texas State Fair a few years ago. I may be slightly ahead of them in my qualifications to discuss health matters.

Here’s the deal. You probably clicked on this link, not to get advice, but because you already have firmly entrenched beliefs concerning the safety of vaccines. Either you feel the association between thimerosal and autism is bunk… or you are absolutely positive it’s real.

Are Flu Shots Safe?

Actually, there may be some of you, like me, that aren’t 100% sure? And if we can’t be completely positive, how do we choose whether to give our kids the flu vaccine or not? That was not a rhetorical question; I’d really like you to leave a comment with your advice.

I realize this is a very touching subject for many, so please keep comments polite and thoughtful. There are loads of parents who really don’t know what to think. I suspect much of the reason for this uncertainty about vaccines is people aren’t sure who to trust?

Have you or are you going to have your children vaccinated against flu this year? How about you… have you gotten the vaccine? To avoid possibly skewing or discouraging comments, I’m going to hold off for now on telling you if we gave our daughter the vaccine or not.

Please leave a comment with your advice:

10 comments

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  1. Tracy

    No my children will not be getting the vaccine. I did get the flu vaccine 6+ years ago but not since then.

    If you are considering it, research and decide what is best for your child.:) Nothing is 100%

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hi Tracy. Hope you all are doing great! You’re right. Nothing is 100%. The final decision is ours, and I imagine should be made in consultation with our children’s doctors?

  2. Kelli

    We aren’t getting flu shots this year, but its a matter of economy, not a safety concern. At the moment, we don’t have insurance. We have all received flu vaccinations, but when our kids last got theirs, they got the nasal version rather than an actual shot. I realize that there may be some connection with autism and themisol, but I tend to think that it has a lot to do with timing of the injections and the age in which autism is often diagnosed.

    1. Michael Schmid

      I hear you concerning the timing and the age at which autism is most commonly diagnosed. Cause, correlation or coincidence? I’m pretty sure the single dose flu vaccinations (either shot or nasal version) don’t usually have thimerosal, as its preservative qualities are unnecessary. The larger shared vials of vaccine do. I wish you and your family a safe and healthy winter, Kelli!

  3. Tunde

    I think that these kind of injections are forced by the pharma-indusrty, our babies don’t need them at all… Of course, I know that there are some of them which are really necessary, but that so many…

    1. Michael Schmid

      Yeah, I know. It sure seemed like an awful lot of shots my baby girl needed to get. We did choose to spread them out much more than the normal schedule. We probably paid more for those extra visits, but it just seemed logical, if give them all to her, to at least spread them out a bit. Our Pediatrician, while he didn’t fully agree, did what we wanted.

  4. Mitch

    Definitely a sensitive subject here, Michael.

    My family hasn’t gotten the flu shot this year, but we have in past. I can’t say whether it’s all “pharma-industry”, but I do like the extra protection. When I was growing up my parents always opted out of the shots, and as a result I got the flu every freaking year. It wasn’t until I was around 19 years old that I realized the true difference between a cold and the flu. I always had the flu. And as a results I would end up missing at least 2-3 school weeks a year to recover. So, that’s something to think about, too.

    Mitch

    1. Michael Schmid

      Hey Mitch. Thanks for stopping by. Even if I determined that the shots were risky for my daughter, I personally would still get one for myself at the least. I work at a 50,000 student university, and if I caught and brought the flu home to my family I’d feel awful.

  5. DrS

    You shouldn’t listen to anyone on here- you should ask your pediatrician!!!
    But since you asked, I feel I must say something (but I will not engage in arguments with any who comments after me).
    #1) The single dose influenza vaccines are preservative free. Almost no vaccines have thimerasol anymore. In my office we don’t even have any vaccines with thimerasol in them. The injected flu vaccine is same for age 6 months and above, it does NOT have any live virus in it and you can NOT get the flu from it. The nasal flu vaccine is safe for age 2 and above if you do not have asthma, nose problems, and some other stuff, but it does contain actual live attenuated influenza virus in it, so I prefer to give my patients the shot.
    #2) all the studies trying to connect thimerasol in vaccines and autism have been debunked many, many times. The original study has been retracted as a complete forgery (the guy just made up data and had his medical license rescinded).
    3) Educate yourself with the many resources available. A good quick read is Paul Offit’s book “Vaccines and Your child”. If you prefer videos, the children’s hospital of Philadelphia website (chop) has many. Or you can read the simple information provided by the CDC (just google CDC vaccine information sheet).
    4) I have seen a previously healthy child die from influenza here in the USA. Do not be sad like his parents are.

  6. Dewi

    He will be able to respond to the imtniizamuon well, despite coming down with a different virus/cold. We encounter hundreds to thousands of mold, fungus, bacteria, and virus just walking around on planet earth, touching the dirt, and eating fresh fruits and veggies every single day. The main reason to delay vaccination in the face of fever (over 101.5) is not for fear of the vaccine working, rather not wanting to confuse the diagnostic picture down the road if the child develops fever or other symptoms from vaccine. Also, on a practical point, just like your worry and story illuminate, the last thing we want to do to our little loves is make them feel additional symptoms when unwell! I often will have families schedule a follow-up for the following week with the RN for shots only if a child has a temp at the visit. Further, with the live virus (nasal Flumist) we recommend not giving if children has temp over 100.4. Talk w your child’s pediatrician if you remain worried. Hope you all feel better shortly!VN:F [1.9.10_1130]please wait…

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