Monday, October 26, 2009

This is Bullshit

This whole H1N1 vaccine thing is bullshit.

In the state where I live, it is illegal to give a shot that contains the preservative thimerasol (mercury) to a child under the age of 3. Except for within the next 6 months. Our secretary of health lifted the mercury ban in response to getting more H1N1 vaccines to the population.

I get it. The single-dose preservative-free shots are more expensive, take longer to manufacture and are - by virtue of being single doses - less economical. The drug companies can respond faster with the larger dose vials that get more vaccines to more people. This is a good thing.

However, the momma in me - and specifically the hippie momma in me who is already skeptical of THE MAN and so many of his vaccines that we now give our kids (chickenpox, Hepatitis B to infants, you don't want to get me started) - is like, why the fuck would I give my baby something that is illegal to give her in any other circumstance?

Don't get me wrong. We vaccinate. Mostly. We are on a slower schedule. Missy did get her regular influenza vaccine this year. And I totally would give her the H1N1 vaccine except I cannot find a thimerasol-free version. Apparently I don't have the hook up.

Our friend's pediatrician in the next town has a few precious vials of the perservative-free vaccine but she is doling them out to her patients who also happen to be invited to her young son's birthday party next week. Alas, we are not on the guest list.

So what we've been doing instead is being social pariahs. We go to the park a couple of times each day for fresh air and a change of scenery but I chase Missy around with CleanWell hand sanitizer like a complete germ-a-phobe. Otherwise, no children's museums, no shopping, no zoo, no library.

Of course we are taking Missy into the lion's den tomorrow for her surgery. The staff have assured me they are on heightened alert for the flu and have very strict procedures. Still, I worry.

So I guess what I'm admitting - and I apologize and beg your pardon and all that - but until I can find someone who will give us the mercury-free version, I will be one of those people who relies on other kids getting their vaccinations to keep mine safe.

I really don't like playing it that way. But I like injecting my daughter with mercury less.


Thalia said...

I can understand your concern, but wonder if you've done all the research on this. You're injecting a mercury conjugate, not mercury itself. The body will metabolise it into ethyl mercury, which is similar to the form found in tuna. The amount in the vaccine is 1/100th of what she'd get from eating a tuna sandwich. To me, the effect of H1N1 in children is definitely worse than that.

Hope you find something that works for you soon.

Bean said...

Just FWIW. I understand your concern and we had hoped to get the preservative free version for our baby too. However, they aren't available here either. It is not however illegal to give vaccines with thimerasol here. I had a very long talk with our pediatrician who strongly advised that the risks of our baby getting the flu far outweigh any risks of the vaccine itself. Either way hope you all stay healthy!

B. said...

How do you find out before you're sitting there, swabbed and about to be poked, whether or not the vaccine your doctor has is with or without thimerasol?

Fertilized said...

Poor you, Poor Missy, Yes hotness crush on Coach Taylor!

So sorry about the H1N1 - i am frozen solid and have no idea what to do.

L said...

My husband actually got the h1n1 immunization, but was exposed before it could take effect, and got sick anyway.

Now I am sick and taking the antivirals.

S has no symptoms. Yet. They are not immunizing kids here, yet.

Thalia is correct. My pediatrician also said there is more mercury in breastmilk than the shot. Hubby is also a medical librarian, if you want any more information.


Wordgirl said...

I am so tied in knots over the h1n1 -- wanting to get vaccinated -- not only to protect me in this last month of pregnancy -- but to confer some immunity to the baby in the first vulnerable six months.

There's no vaccine to be had here -- they are now saying it may not be available until AFTER her birth -- which isn't great news for us.

It's been so frustrating the haphazard way they are immunizing here -- the department of health basically giving doses out in a lottery -- and then each place deciding how to give what few shots they have to which prioritized patients.


FRUSTRATING. I couldn't even find a thimerosol free seasonal flu vaccine -- and took the risk of having it rather than the flu -- but I was really conflicted and couldn't believe that they had nothing to offer me other than that.


Purel is my best friend.

stickybun07 said...

It's just so tough. And I dontthink doctors are neatly sensitive enough to these concerns. I mean, I know the research says it's fine, but there are lots of things that are technically fine and only cause a one in a million chance of something going wrong. But the nature of parenting is to try to drop those odds to zero to protect our little ones.

In the end I did get the vaccine for the stickies. It's their first time in preschool, so it's the only way to protect them. And, in the end, it worked out totally fine. Not a single I'll effect.

But I do understand your concerns. And it is too bad that they weren't able to make more thimerisol-free to just take an additional weight off!

Fiddle1 said...

How did Missy's surgery go? Been thinking about you all.