H1N1 Vaccine Info

27 Oct
photo via ghinson

Because this is such a polarizing topic, let me just start with my disclaimer: I’m sharing our decision and the thoughts and information that helped us reach it with the purpose of perhaps helping someone else who might be struggling with the decision. The information that I present here is “one-sided” because I feel there is a plethora of information that is easily available from the “pro-vaccination” side. It’s a little more difficult to find factual, evidence-based, medical/scientific information from the other side. Finally, I realize that your decision might not be the same as ours. That’s fine. My only request is that you thoughtfully consider what I present here. I hope that your decision is fully informed, and that, in the future, it will only become easier and easier for all parents to find balanced facts and literature in order to make a fully informed decision.

I would like to be 100% clear about the fact that I am not encouraging everyone to refuse vaccination. I am encouraging everyone to become completely EDUCATED on ALL pros and cons, in order to make the wise and safe decision for their own individual children.

I’ve posted before on our vaccine stance with Jenna. In general, she has reacted poorly to vaccinations in the past. This has led to much, MUCH research on the subject of vaccinations. Our conclusions? We are very concerned about the ingredients in vaccines. Toxic chemicals (like formaldehyde), animal tissue (including human embryonic cells, monkey, cow and chicken tissues), aluminum, and preservatives are worrisome to us. We have little faith in the governmental system that says “all those things are at safe levels” when repeatedly something has popped up that makes them say, “Oops! Except we were wrong about that one thing.” We’re also a bit suspicious about the for-profit nature of the business. Recommendations from organizations that have a monetary stake in vaccination promotion are not unbiased and do not foster trust.

Few (or no) doctors will argue with the point that natural immunity (acquiring the illness naturally & developing immunity in that way) is best. Our bodies build stronger immunity as a result of natural acquisition, and we’re usually protected/immune for life. It’s also interesting to note that, where outbreaks (like flu or measles) occur, most of those affected were vaccinated! This shows that vaccinations do not guarantee protection.

We really feel that H1N1 has been way over-hyped and that our odds of contracting it are no worse than “regular” flu. Combine that minimal risk with what really sounds like a higher than normal risk of danger from a vaccine that’s barely been tested, and we think the scale is weighted toward the side of NOT vaccinating. We do all of the things in this post daily. Really. We are responsibly working on prevention. We’re just not doing it with a vaccine.

Having said all that, the decision (OBVIOUSLY) has to be yours. I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: If only we had a book that had all the *right* answers for how to care for each of our children. *sigh*

Here are a list of links that I’ve collected on H1N1. For a list of links on vaccinations in general, see the bottom of this post.

Edited to add: Truth about Obama’s Declaration of National Emergency (audio interview with written summary below)

Happy reading. I know you’ll make the decision that’s best for you and your family. May you all be healthy, happy, and swine flu-free.


Posted by on October 27, 2009 in G-tube issues, H1N1, Health, Jenna


26 responses to “H1N1 Vaccine Info

  1. Kara

    October 27, 2009 at 6:34 pm

    GREAT post!! I totally agree that this “epidemic” has been given way too much hype. (Thank you media!!) I share the exact same feelings and thoughts as you, and it’s so reassuring to see and hear others that feel the same way! I’ll be pimpin’ this post whenever I can!!

  2. psychmamma

    October 27, 2009 at 6:40 pm

    Kara –

    The media seems to have become very good at fear-mongering, no matter what the topic. I guess fear sells. *sigh* Would love for you to share the info wherever you can! Thanks so much!

  3. hadassahsabo

    October 27, 2009 at 9:59 pm

    i have decided not to vaccinate myself or my kids. it seems the western world has become a nation of alarmists. thank you for speaking out about your decision.

  4. Lisa

    October 27, 2009 at 11:02 pm

    I will start by saying I am pro-vaccination and my daughter is up to date on all her vaccinations. However, I have decided to forego the h1n1 vaccine for my daughter (and myself). I agree that the media has hyped this pandemic and engaged in fear mongering. We practice lots of hand washing, staying away from unnecessary crowds during flu season, and my daughter isn’t in a daycare setting so I don’t really see the necessity to get a vaccine that I feel was rushed to market and doesn’t provide immunity until a month after the final injection.

    Thanks for providing all those great links. I hope it helps make it a little easier for others to weigh both sides and come to their own decisions on what is right for their family.

  5. psychmamma

    October 27, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    Lisa –

    Thanks so much for adding an important piece of info that I forgot to include:

    The vaccine doesn’t even offer full immunity until one month after the final injection.

    Just hearing your comment, and others like you, saying you’re thinking twice about all the fear-mongering is encouraging. Thanks for your comment!

  6. Heather

    October 28, 2009 at 12:50 am

    Holy cow! You posted like twice in a week. I’m not sure I can handle the gravity of this situation.

    I likey…you done good, kid! Way to put everything out there so people can educate themselves.

  7. psychmamma

    October 28, 2009 at 1:48 am

    Heather –

    LOL! Hope I didn’t shock your system too much! xoxox right back atcha.

  8. jen

    October 28, 2009 at 7:10 am

    i will definitely go forth and read more of your articles … but i’m really concerned about the pregnancy issue and h1n1 … did you come across any articles that specifically discuss this?
    what i’ve found is that more pregnant women contracted the virus than would be expected given population of pregnant women … and that of those that were pregnant more passed away from the virus.
    those numbers kind of scare me … and i’m trying to figure out the best answer for me!
    that said … we vaccinate. on a widely different schedule than what is recommended … and we have an amazing pediatrician that wholeheartedly supports and encourages us. i have midwives that i trust completely. but … it’s hard to come up with my own thought when there are so many variables and varying articles out there.
    need. help. soon.

  9. psychmamma

    October 28, 2009 at 4:42 pm

    Jen –

    I’ll email you today. I can only imagine how hard the decision would be when pregnant. Hugs!

  10. Chantel @knowmeloveme

    October 28, 2009 at 11:06 pm

    This information has been very helpful in making my decision. Our county is having a H1N1 Clinic this afternoon. They only have the nasal vaccine. My gut instinct tells me to stay away for this vaccine. It has for months.

    Your post and the many links have confirmed this. Thank you!

  11. psychmamma

    October 28, 2009 at 11:19 pm

    Chantel –

    Glad to help! I’m learning to trust my gut more every day. Wishing you all the best!

  12. Kris

    October 29, 2009 at 12:45 am

    Thanks so much for all your research. Well done!!!

  13. Poison

    October 29, 2009 at 1:18 am

    Last month I did some research on this and have come to the decision not to vaccinate myself or my son with the H1N1 vaccine. I spoke with a nurse and told her my reasons and she told me that many parents have chosen not to so I at least felt a little better about my decision.

    My best friend and I went together and received the vaccine they were giving out in 1976. Ten years later we both started having health problems. I developed endometriosis, fought infertility and developed fibromyalgia. During that same year my friend developed chronic fatique and fibromyalgia. By the time we approached 40 we both developed arthritis and I also have Raynaud’s syndrome. With my recent research on this shot I was surprised to discover these illness have been linked to the shots given in 1976. It could be a coincidence since these illnesses appear to be somewhat common but I have to wonder since we both had the shot on the same day and then developed the same illnesses at the same time.

  14. psychmamma

    October 29, 2009 at 1:33 am

    Poison –

    I’m so sorry that you suffered with so many problems! Especially if they were possibly caused by the vaccine! This link:

    is an interview with a neurosurgeon who has done his own extensive research. He states that vaccines are new enough (historically speaking) that we just don’t know what the possible repercussions down the road will be – in 10 to 20 years or in future generations. He also states that there is now evidence supporting the fact that the 76 flu vaccines and polio vaccines from years ago created serious neurological problems, including lupus, MS, and rheumatoid arthritis.

    I commend you on doing your own research, and am also encouraged by your nurse’s comments. Thanks so much for your comment!

  15. Shelley

    October 29, 2009 at 10:15 am

    Thank-you for providing that commentary and links. I had a neurological reaction (similar to peripheral neuropathy or MS) within a couple of hours of a Tetanus vaccination. A very strong constant tingling/buzzing started at the injection site and worsened and spread down my arm and leg and when it finally stopped, I’d lost the feeling in those muscles. That was 12 years ago and I still have no feeling there. I’ve had numbness, tingling, vibrations, shaking, weakness and tremors, among many other symptoms that come and go without reason. I missed three months of work and endured painful tests and countless medical appointments. At times I had trouble walking. I didn’t know if I was going to end up in a wheelchair. I never had neurological problems before that shot. I don’t have allergies and was in good health when I was vaccinated. I knew the day would come when I’d have to choose between protecting myself from a “pandemic” and risking further disabilities and who-knows-what. Since nobody, including two neurologists, could tell me WHAT ingredient in the vaccine caused the reaction, I don’t know what I have to avoid – the thimerisol, mercury, aluminium, formaldehyde preservatives, additives (adjuvants), the disease component, what?? It makes for a very stressful, scary decision. In my experience, if you have an adverse reaction to a vaccine or a even to a medication taken exactly as prescribed – even if you have done your best research first – you are ON YOUR OWN.

  16. psychmamma

    October 29, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    Shelley –

    I’m so sorry about your severe reaction. These are the stories that break my heart. I can only imagine how hard it must be for you to consider any future vaccinations, and how uncertain you must feel about possible illness if not vaccinated. Thank you for sharing your story & warning here. I wish you all the best.

  17. Lisha

    November 2, 2009 at 8:28 am

    Psychmamma – I actually was wondering if you were able to wean your daughter off the feeding tube? I googled how to wean a child off a feeding tube and your post in 2008 came up. My daughter is only 7 months old but I would like to arm myself with some suggestions/information so that I (myself) am prepared for when the doctors give us the ok to start the weaning process. I don’t think that will be for a while but it doesn’t hurt to start preparing for it now. Thanks so much!

  18. psychmamma

    November 4, 2009 at 1:39 am

    Lisha –

    Nope. She’s still not weaned. =(

    So sorry that I’m not more helpful on this one. We’re still working on it. It’s been an ongoing process, and we’re working with docs and nutritionists. Every time we try cutting down on the formula calories, she loses weight and doesn’t gain enough from food by mouth. I really wish I could help you more. She’s almost 4 now, and I think we’re gaining some ground with logic with her. She’s starting to be interested in the idea of not having a pump and tube, and understands that she has to eat more by mouth to accomplish that. We’ve also been having good success with PT/OT with a speech and occupational therapist (pediatric) who is working on oral/motor skills and some sensory issues.

    Wishing you all the best!! Would love to hear from you if you find something that works!

  19. L. E. Falcon

    November 5, 2009 at 10:28 pm

    Great posting! Thanks!

  20. Andrea

    November 7, 2009 at 6:03 am

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for this post. We are deep into the process of deciding whether or not to vaccinate Blythe against H1N1. Her pediatric allergist strongly recommends it, as nearly 1000 of “his” kids have been hospitalized due to complications from H1N1. With Blythe’s pre-existing conditions, as well as her age being such that he’s afraid we won’t know she’s sick until she’s VERY sick, he feels it’s better to deal with a known (the vaccination – although, calling it “a known” is speaking a bit freely, isn’t it?) versus an unknown, which is how her body would handle the coughing and difficulty breathing that comes with H1N1.

    I’m also getting mixed information regarding which type of vax to go with, if we DO decide to go for it. B’s allergist doesn’t want her doing the mist because of her asthma, but the hospital’s “policy” is to do mist-only in children under age 5. In fact, they don’t even HAVE the injectable vaccine available in children’s doses.

    That being said we are taking a ton of steps to try and keep the illness from coming into our home. I quit my job as a preschool teacher, we wash hands, sanitize toys, use a cart cover that is washed frequently, use hand sanitizer when we go out in public. I’ve also altered or schedule so that Blythe doesn’t go with me when I go to especially dirty places (like Wal-Mart and the pharmacy). The biggest unknown is whether or not Alison will bring it home from school.

    Two people in my community died last week from H1N1. They were otherwise very healthy people, but they were both misdiagnosed with pneumonia and by the time they went back to the hospital, they had to be hospitalized and their organs had already begun to fail – they didn’t make it. That scares me more than anything. I mean, why wouldn’t they be tested for H1N1 if they had all the symptoms?

    It’s such a difficult decision to make. Blythe has reacted very severely to the immunizations she had as an infant, and I had decided that she would NOT be getting any others based on that. I can’t imagine seeing her go through that again. *SIGH*

    What to do?

  21. Tammy and Parker

    November 9, 2009 at 8:34 pm

    Parker’s odds of surving H1N1 with his immature lungs and severe pulmonary hypertension made GETTING this vaccine a no brainer for us. If he were a healthy kid this flu wouldn’t have be anywhere the concern it is now for us.

  22. Karen

    November 9, 2009 at 8:53 pm

    It is strange to me that news about H1N1 is “fear mongering”. I personally know of a 3 year old “healthy” child who is clinging to life as I write this; he has a secondary infection as a result of H1N1. To me the “fear mongering” is all the ANTI-vaccine hype. I would feel horribly guilty if a single person avoided getting this vaccine and then had a child fall seriously ill as a result. My children regularly get flu vaccines and have gotten the H1N1. PLEASE don’t rely on theses articles written by “Doctors” claiming to know of bad vaccine side effects. Most of them are selling products and services and benefit from people being afraid of vaccines.

  23. psychmamma

    November 9, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    Karen –

    News about H1N1 is not fear-mongering. Making it the lead story most days, focusing on the one severe case in the area, gravely reporting in a manner that says “be afraid” IS fear-mongering. Many die every year from “regular” flu, we just don’t hear about it, and they’re sure not pointing that out in their reporting this year. Additionally, getting a flu vax is no guarantee that you won’t get the flu. Many of the hospitalized WERE vaxed. I don’t wish to minimize the suffering of anyone who has been hospitalized, but do want to point out that Jenna has been hospitalized at least once a year for secondary infections from the flu. Even the year she was vaxed for flu. The hospital sucks & is scary, but she gets better and we go home.

    WE would feel horribly guilty knowing that Jenna suffered debilitating side effects from a vax that we chose to inject her with that offers minimal protection for something she can recover from naturally. I think all parents have to weigh their own comfort levels & their child’s personal information & history with all the information they can gather. Information from BOTH sides. And the “cons” of vax are just not presented in “mainstream” media.

    Finally, I’m a little bit offended by your use of quotation marks around the word doctor when referring to those providing information on possibile side effects & dangers of vax. The doctors I’ve referenced, went to the same medical schools for the same number of years as the doctors promoting vax. And, if you want to talk about profiting from recommendations, I think it’s only fair to point out that most of those promoting either have never done their own research & go by what’s presented to them, or have something to gain from promoting vax as well (or both).

    Again, if you choose to vax your kids or are vaxed yourself – great. But please don’t attack those who do not for various reasons that are most likely complex & have involved much study & considerable thought.

  24. psychmamma

    November 9, 2009 at 11:31 pm

    Tammy –

    Here’s hoping for a healthy and uneventful flu season for Parker!! You all have enough on your plate right now.


  25. Kris

    November 13, 2009 at 7:02 am

    Hey there… Just wanted to let you know, my daughter came down with H1N1 on Monday. Today is Thursday, and she is FINE…. We had concerns about her breathing, and took her in, (all turned out just fine) and they confirmed her flu, and then it was a few days of lots of tea, and hugs and snuggles, movies, baths, humidifiers, TLC and then she managed to …get this… be OK!!!!

    Now, of course, a few of my friends’ kids fair’d worse, high temps and bad chest coughs etc, but then, my daughter was the one I was worried about with her previous history of pneumonia….

    I am so glad we chose to not vaccinate, and let “nature” take it’s course….

  26. psychmamma

    November 18, 2009 at 1:26 am

    Kris –

    SO glad to hear your good news!! Thanks for sharing it here – I’m hoping it helps relieve some of the fear from those who come thru here while trying to make a decision.


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