Despite unfounded fears of vaccine safety, I got both my boys vaccinated this morning against the H1N1 virus. They'll have a follow up booster shot in a month. I searched for a couple months and waited for my pediatrician to get it then while chatting with my dentist it struck me like a brick that his pulmonologist would likely have it or know where I could get it. Score! And thanks to our tax dollars it was free. Joshua is definitely in the high risk group having his asthma-like respiratory problems. Elliot is not in the high risk group but he got it too. Neither cried nor screamed although Josh was much more reluctant than Elliot.

So why are so many people afraid of this vaccine? Most seasonal flu shots don't cause an uproar of rejection like this one does. Some are afraid the vaccine was rushed into production with minimal testing for safety. There may have been a rush in the face of deaths and demand but the same stringent testing and approval processes were in place. There have been more news announcements about people dying from the virus and it's complications than from people with bad reactions to the vaccine. I understand fears to some vaccines. I was fearful of the MMR vaccine for both of my children. Although there is no conclusive evidence that the MMR vaccine causes autism [], the correlation is noteworthy and difficult to ignore. Rather than snub the vaccine entirely I delayed it until my kids were older than 18 months old and requested that it be the only vaccine for that visit. Not surprisingly, my kids did not develop autism. I was afraid the smallest trace of mercury-containing preservative thimerosal []. Five of the most commonly eaten fish that are low in mercury are shrimp, canned light tuna, salmon, pollock, and catfish []. My kids have eaten tuna, shrimp and salmon with absolutely no reaction. To be fearful of a tiny amount of mercury akin to eating fish seems ludicrous in retrospect.

Not getting vaccinated against a terrible illness is like riding a motorcycle without a helmet. There's wrong with doing that until the bike crashes, and then you'd wish you'd had your helmet.



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