The Doctors Next Door

My Kids and the H1N1 Vaccination

The CDC is now calling H1N1 a disease of children.  This information combined with what I already know about H1N1 caused me to call that 24 hour health department line to make appointments for my kids to get the nasal vaccineSince only the nasal spray is currently being offered at the health departments and since H1N1 has already infiltrated, and it will take about two weeks for the vaccine to take effect, I'm moving ahead...

...with the nasal spray vaccine, Flumist

Break for disclosure: I guess some bloggers have made money by endorsing products. I don't count myself among those sought after bloggers so I have nothing to disclose.  This practice has led to proposed legislation that bloggers disclose those influences in the interest of transparency.  The makers of Flumist have not approached me and even if they were to do so, my commitment to you is to remain free of corporate influence in the content of my posts.  I'll let Dr. Brenda speak for herself but I can tell you that to date she has not agreed to endorse any products, unless of course she's holding out on me.  Yet--I know her integrity and do not suspect that one iota. 

Anywho...while at first I hesitated to schedule my kids for the nasal vaccination, I decided to go ahead because time's a wastin'.  The H1N1 is in our communities.  In fact, I'm 99% certain my eldest son, the one at college, has had it.  Earlier today while I walked out of Rush University Medical Center after delivering a medical student lecture, a security guard offered me a squirt of hand sanitizer before boarding the bridge to the parking garage.  Walking along side me was another doctor.  The hand sanitizer episode spurred him to announce that the flu was only going to get more dangerous as time went on.  The public health community has expected this in fact.  In 1918, the first wave of the flu was not as deadly as the second wave.  We've been watching for antigenic drift in the current strain and didn't see much of it between Spring and Fall but that's not to say it couldn't still happen.  The doctor at my side me told me it was best that my eldest son had already had the disease. 

Perhaps I should have the hand sanitizer at the door on Sunday for the Bears party I'm hosting.  Or maybe I should cancel the party all together... my housekeeper just called to say they can't clean because someone called off with the flu!  I might have to scrub the toilets myself!  Cancel...scrub the toilets...cancel...scrub the toilets...  I'll sleep on that one.  I might be saved by the Bears themselves.  I've learned that the Cleveland Browns have had players out and the Caveliers...

Dirty toilets or not, I choose not to live in fear.  I will have my friends and family over and we'll exercise common sense.  Note to friends and family:  I prefer no lip kissing.  In exchange for the courtesy of a nice hug, I'll clean my toilets for you.  I recommend concerted action and let fear go by the wayside.  I will have my two sons vaccinated.  As for the eldest--despite the fact that he had all the signs and symptoms, he did not get tested for H1N1 since it's only recommended for people who are very ill and hospitalized.  He did not get treated with Tamiflu for the same reason. He took a while to get better and I admit to some anxiety since he's away at college but I called him every day and he's nearly completely recovered and asking for money again. 

Relax and enjoy one another as the holidays approach.  Exercise common sense and stay home if you have signs and symptoms of the flu. Get the vaccine.  Interestingly, despite some anti-vaccine campaigns out there, I had a little trouble scheduling appointments for my boys because appointments are booking up!  Call 866-848-2094 to find out where to get it near your home.

P.S. more picture difficulties today


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2 Comments

mustknow said:

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Dr. Carrie - will your son at college get the vaccine? just wondering because many people that got the flu BUT are not sure if they got the H1N1 because there is not testing available unless you seek emergency room medical care. Please advise.

Dr. Carrie said:

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Great question--yes I will have him vaccinated since I can't be 100% sure he had it. Testing isn't recommended unless a person is severely ill enough to require hospitalization.

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