Jim and I had an interesting discussion last week about the H1N1 vaccine and the government. We both felt like the government (CDC, FDA and whoever else is involved in the flu vaccines) has really laid an egg this year (No pun intended.) They have gotten the whole country panicked about H1N1, but they haven’t been able to supply the vaccine to fill the need they have created. At the same time there are conflicting news reports about how mild or severe this flu actually is. I felt that it is extremely irresponsible to cause this situation and then leave us to deal with it. As a parent what do you do.
Over the weekend people where lining up at 3 a.m. for vaccinations at Snohomish County clinics and I am sure that is happening across the county. They interviewed one woman who had been to clinics in 2 other counties the previous weeks, getting turned away at those because of lack of supply. So she got her 2 kids up at 3 a.m. and was standing in line for 6 hours in the cold and rain to get them vaccinated. She didn’t even get to have a shot because she isn’t in the high risk category. This is ridiculous. We are just doing what they have told us to do, get our kids vaccinated.
Luckily we happen to have an appointment at our pediatricians office last week and they had just gotten some vaccine in, so both boys were able to get vaccinated. If we hadn’t been so lucky, we would have been among those people on Saturday morning waiting in the cold.
This whole process has been so poorly managed, from the start with the news reports of the inital outbreak (I remember a quote from the CDC chairman saying “People will die.” Even if that is true you don’t say that in a news conference) to the distribution to the counties and clinics. King County has been so secretive about their supply you don’t even know if they have it.
It shouldn’t be this hard to do the right thing. We were lucky to have been in the right place at the right time for the first dose, who knows what we will have to do to get the 2nd dose like we are supposed to. This isn’t even for Jim and I, who know what we will have to do to get our vaccinations.
Lastly I want to share some valuable info I found about the safety of the vaccine. I have heard a lot of people saying how it hasn’t been tested and is it safe. It is manufactured exactly the same as the regular vaccine. So if you believe that the regular seasonal flu shot is safe, then believe this one is too. There was an article in the Seattle Times a couple weeks ago about how the vaccine is produced. I couldn’t find that one, but here is a NY Times article that is good as well.
I hope that if you choose to vaccinate you are able to find it and don’t have to stand in line for 6 hours in the cold to do so.