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Swine Flu Vaccinations

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Hi all, I work in a clinical diagnostic laboratory and we are performing a huge volume of influenza testing. Our test volume has increased every week and we are significant number of positive specimens. All of them to date, are swine flu - no one has tested positive for the "seasonal" flu, although I am seeing reports of a few cases of seasonal flu in a couple of states (not ours).

My daughter (17) did not want to get the vaccination. She is a dancer, and she had stumbled across an internet report of a young woman who suffered from ataxia, 10 days after getting the swine flu inoculation. That scared the dickens out of her.

But this flu, at least in our state, does seem to be predominantly affecting the under 24 age bracket, and from what I've observed, the positives are largely from middle school and high school age. And we are seeing hospitalizations in these age groups...

I am not a big fan of drug treatment, and usually try to avoid them for myself and my family - if I can find a way to address the situation without them. Sometimes you just can't, and I feel the benefits of this vaccination outweigh the risks, at least for my daughters age group.

But, I let her make her own decision. Her high school has been holding clinics this week, offering both the Swine (H1N1) vaccination along with the seasonal flu (separate vaccination). I told her that based on the strains that are being identified, she should at least consider getting the swine flu vaccine.

Well yesterday, she did get the Swine vaccine - what was being administered was the nasal prep (live attenuated virus) not the injection. She got that first, then was offered an injection for the seasonal flu. She declined that. (I was fine with that)

They kept the students for 20 minutes afterwards, to observe for adverse reactions. She didn't confess any to the shool nurse, but leaves the building, and driving on the way home, calls me from her cell phone to say she had felt a little dizzy afterwards. Fortunately we live less than 10 minutes away from the school... but she generally felt crappy. In the evening she complained of a scratchy throat, and today some feelings like she was going to have diarhea, even though she hadn't eaten anything out of her norm. All of what she experienced is within the realm of the "normal" side effects of this vaccination. Despite this, she had a good day today and is dancing as I type.

I am glad she got the swine vaccination. I hope your kids have had the opportunity, tho I know the whole issue of vaccination is sensitve/scary because of potential adverse reactions. What is everyone else thinking, deciding on this issue for their kids?

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I am asthmatic and pregnant, so I got both vaccines. I did not have the flu mist, since I don't qualify for the live virus. I had no adverse reactions - not even much in the way of a sore arm.

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Just to clarify, this is the H1N1 virus. It is not called the swine flu (anymore). That was a mis-classification in the early identification stages.

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My dad (a physician's assistant) sent out a very strong-worded email to my brother and I and some other younger folks he knows insisting that we all get it. I thought about it and decided against it. I know 6 or 7 people who have been diagnosed with the H1N1 so far and all of them have described it as "Flu Lite" because it's easier than the regular seasonal flu.

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My household didn't get it - my husband, me, 4 and 2 year old, 4 month old. There was no sense because the flu hit us before the vaccine was even available. I think we all experienced something but my 2 year old was the classic flu case - fever, fatigue, not eating, vomiting. He got over the cough last week and is now on to another virus. What a fall season!

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My family is not getting the vaccine (personal reasons), and when my oldest came home from school on Monday he had a fever of 102.1. He just didn't seem himself. A friend recommended I get some elderberry extract since it helps fight viruses. Sure enough, today he's fine. Yesterday he was lethargic, and crabby, and had a mild fever even with Motrin. He might have been fine either way, but it seemed to me like he might be coming down with the flu...

My best friend's family just had the H1N1 flu, and they're all doing fine. She said it really wasn't that bad - and her 8 year old had landed in the hospital with pneumonia 2 years ago from the seasonal flu. They hadn't even had a chance to get the vaccine yet.

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We live in a University town, and 1,500+ students have been stricken with "flu-like" illness since Sept. (They don't test for H1N1 and assume that's what it is, since it's too early for seasonal flu). The school I work in had an absentee rate of about 20%, and every single teacher and most aides have had it. The severity has ranged from very mild to quite severe. My district is quite aggressive with prevention and there have only been a few hospitalizations, no deaths. Since vaccinations have increased, the spread has slowed. (and having so many kids sick-and-recovered makes them immune, too)

Something to remember is that H1N1 doesn't have to be life-threatening to be serious. Students, staff, and their families, are missing about 4-6 days plus a few more of "I feel better but not great" days. It is extremely disruptive.

My college-age son got the attentuated (flumist) vaccine with no side effects. My younger son is immune-impaired and we will get him the shot as soon as there are some here. (What was available has gone to babies and asthmatic children) His doctors have no hesitation or question, and they are at one of the nation's most respected pediatric research hospitals.

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We are a vaccine free household, although the kids have been told if at anytime, they feel strongly about getting them, they can. We homeschool though so we have much more of a ''controlled environment'' than most people.

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Our family would like to get the vaccine, unfortunately there has not been availability here in San Diego.

My boys pediatrician had the H1N1 nasal mist in mid October, but unfortunately both boys had a flu bug with nasal issues so we missed that window.

We aren't sure but suspect the boys (14&16) and my husband have already had H1N1 - it was reported during early/mid October that the only flu strain circulating while they were sick was H1N1, no seasonal strains. Their high school had many cases of suspected H1N1.

Docs didn't test for H1N1 unless admitted for complications.

Their symptoms were quick onset sore throat/lethargy, followed by runny nose & high fever for a day or two. The sore throat never got bad enough to not eat - stayed generally sore for a week. Cough started about day 3 or 4 and hung around for a couple weeks in the lungs.

Can't believe it didn't get me...must be all the vitamins I'm on now :)

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It's a hard one, isn't it? Both my kids had the regular flumist, but neither has had the H1N1, because our schools said they were going to administer it (but haven't yet.) On the one hand, my son didn't feel well for a week after the flumist. His doctor says that wasn't the problem, but it sure looked suspicious to me. On the other hand, my 14 year old daughter recently had a virus, probably H1N1 but unverified, and it was scary. Like a lot of the other people who said their children didn't seem that sick, she didn't seem that sick, either, she just couldn't breathe. Her fingernails turned blue. We went to the doctor 3 times in a week and pumped so much medicine in her it was awful. And now 3 weeks later, her lung capacity still isn't what it should be, so she will need to be on some powerful asthma maintenance medicines for 6 months. I don't feel the H1N1 vaccine has been tested enough, but the virus can be very serious.

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"I don't feel the H1N1 vaccine has been tested enough, but the virus can be very serious."

Although the H1N1 novel virus has not been around for very long, the seasonal viruses have. The H1N1 vaccine has been prepared using the same materials and same methods as the seasonal vaccines - both the "mist" forms and the injectable form. Although the "swine flu" is a novel strain, its still an influenza virus. So we can expect the side affect profiles of these vaccines to be more alike than different.

Concern for side effects is very real, and I am not vaccine-happy myself. Case in point: I have not taken my teenage daughter in for the HPV vaccine. There have been some troubling adverse reactions reported and the incidence of these seems to be higher than "background". My jury is still out on that one.

We didn't know what form of the flu vaccines were going to be available in the highschool, And I was very happy she ended up getting the mist form for the H1N1. This does not contain any thimerasol, as does some of the injectable forms of the vaccine. Thimerasol is used as a preservative in many different vaccines and there have been concerns about association of this chemical with some significant although rare adverse affect.

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I got to deal with H1N1 last week--it quite literally ate a week of my life and energy (which I never have in excess to begin with). I'm told by friends and others who had it that while we all felt like kicked dogmeat, I had energy issues for longer than they did. I wasn't planning on getting the H1N1 vaccine, however, partially because I react badly to the regular flu vaccine. In addition, our college only received 100 H1N1 vaccines--for a school of 2000+. Those who have asthma and were immuno-compromised got the vaccine on a first come, first serve basis. (I qualified for the vaccine, had I not gotten the virus.)

I've always had problems with vaccines because I react to them. I have friends and family members who vaccinate and others who don't--and I still don't think any of us actually know what the correct thought process is.

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Although there are thousands of stories of people getting the H1N1 and describing it as milder than the seasonal flu, every person handles it differently, and I know of one young person who was in perfect health and just recently died from the H1N1 a couple weeks ago. Granted, most of the cases are milder than the seasonal flu, but I wasn't willing to take that chance.

My family (self, husband, 2 year old son) all got the H1N1 vaccine 3 weeks ago and had zero side effects. I feel much better having had the vaccine because my immune system is currently very weak and even a cold makes me so sick I can't get out of bed for a week. I wasn't going to chance it with the flu.

It basically boils down to a personal choice, but we had the vaccine and had no side effects, so good news here!

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Although there are thousands of stories of people getting the H1N1 and describing it as milder than the seasonal flu, every person handles it differently, and I know of one young person who was in perfect health and just recently died from the H1N1 a couple weeks ago. Granted, most of the cases are milder than the seasonal flu, but I wasn't willing to take that chance.

My family (self, husband, 2 year old son) all got the H1N1 vaccine 3 weeks ago and had zero side effects. I feel much better having had the vaccine because my immune system is currently very weak and even a cold makes me so sick I can't get out of bed for a week. I wasn't going to chance it with the flu.

It basically boils down to a personal choice, but we had the vaccine and had no side effects, so good news here!

I appreciate your reply, because as a health care professional, I get to see the statistics, like the scenario you reported, first hand. Granted, the worsat case scenario is not every scenario.. but the risk does seem to be be uncomfortably elevated. If you have the opportunity to get the vaccine... do so!

Yes, my daughter did have some side effects - they were inconvenient but mild, and quickly dissipated. Maybe she would have gone through this flu season w/o getting severely ill, w/o the vaccine. Maybe.From what I've observed,I didn't want to bet on those odds. Ok that's just me.

Any hoo, we're both happy she has been vaccinated!

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Got the vaccine. Had a very nasty headache two days later that could have been from the vaccine, but also could have been from allergies. But then, I usually get a headache after shots...

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My daughters school have been talking about this vaccine and I must admit, I was in two minds, about letting her have it, having read these posts I think I will go ahead with it and probably have the family sorted aswell (job lot)..

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