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.