Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wellness Wednesday: Rant---the H1N1 Vaccination---Decide!

This is so controversial, but important for me to post.

Whether or not you get the H1N1 vaccination is up to you. It is such a personal decision. No one should be forced to get it. However, everyone should make a conscious decision for themselves.

Here are the facts:
(1) The H1N1 vaccination has not been tested the way it should have been. It may not be safe. It may or may not even be effective. We don't truly know. It's impossible to tell who to believe or to trust those who think they "know".
(2) The H1N1 vaccination can have terrible, even deadly side effects.
(3) The H1N1 vaccination will have limited usefulness unless a critical mass of people in a given area receive the vaccination.
(4) The H1N1 vaccination may actually compromise your own immunity to the H1N1 virus or to viruses in the future.

And more facts:
(1) The H1N1 virus itself may or may not erupt and become terrible. It may, or it may die out.
(2) The H1N1 virus itself may be mild and surviving it may result in increased immunity.

However, I got an H1N1 vaccination. So did LoveHubbie (the physician, the first responder). Why?

Because here in our little town in Washington, and other places as well, maybe your town, people are dying from H1N1. At our hospital, where LoveHubbie works. People who did not fit the profile and without known underlying health problems. Three people so far have died there in the last month. And it's not being reported in the papers as far as we can tell.

Each person must compare the potential risks and rewards in an educated way and decide for themselves. Compare how you feel about the risk of the vaccination and the risk of acquiring and surviving the virus and make an intelligent and personal decision. Weigh what you can know for sure.

A family member is not getting the vaccination because he "heard about that cheerleader". Don't be like him. Research the facts. Really think about this. Pray about it, if you pray. Do due diligence.

No matter what you decide, no one knows what the right decision is for you, no matter what they say. No one. Too many variables are uncertain and unknown. There is no one known right decision that is right for everyone. So we have to do the best we can, each of us, and then live with whatever the outcome is.

LoveHubbie and I decided that we would take on the risks of the H1N1 vaccine because the risks of doing so for us were way less worse for us than the risks of acquiring the H1N1 virus. And LoveHubbie goes to the hospital where it is spreading every day of his life. That's our decision. But it may not be yours. We know we still might yet have a reaction to it, that it is poison to our bodies, after all. You need to decide what is right for you. Just don't NOT decide, don't remain ignorant.


patti said...

My husband works in a hospital also Olivia and had the vaccine last week. I figure if he is immune, he will not bring the virus home, therefore I don't need to have it.

Is that sound logic?? I feel I am at a low risk, being a home body, rather than someone who goes out to work in the city every day with lots of people contact.

There has not been anything in our press here in Australia about the virus recently, other than to comment that people were not rushing out to have the vaccine, despite it being free. It is summer here, so maybe we are all forgetting about the risk of winter flu's.

Also, a lot of the fear of H1N1 virus is media driven, so without the media frenzy, it is not so much in our minds.

Thanks for your post Olivia, I may do some further research.

Olivia said...

Well, my husband uses his phone and pager frequently without washing his hands (in a patient's room), plus wears his scrubs from the OR and inpatient procedures into our home. Then he'll use his phone (I call it MRSA-Phone) and beeper and wear his scrubs all over the house. He even leaves his OR booties on sometimes, but I try to catch him before he walks into the house with them on.

He doesn't like to wash his hands here because he feels he does it so much at work, but he will if I ask him to. So I feel like he brings home whatever he's been exposed to and then spreads it around here.

I'm a homebody too, but I have a compromised immune system and I get all kinds of things, and presume he brings them in.

I think that as long as you feel comfortable you'll be fine, Patti. Your husband probably isn't like mine. Mine is pretty eccentric.

And too, at his hospital there may not be any deaths at all. I am sure that there are regional differences too, and obviously differences from country to country.

Thanks for your comment, Patti. It made me think some more about everything and all of the differences between everyone's situations (I wrote this a week ago to post today). I think that no matter what, it is important not to buy into fear--this doesn't help health at all. And that also once we've made a decision, not to fear the outcome, either. We just do what we can do and that's all we can do, then have a positive attitude!

Love, blessings, health,


Anonymous said...

I chose not to get the shot, but Sylvain's whole family has had it. You can bet, though, that if I come down with H1N1, I will quarantine myself until I'm no longer contagious. My ex died from pneumonia, a complication of H1N1. He got the shot, but not in time.

Olivia said...


I didn't know that this was how he got pneumonia, but of course. Again, I'm so very sorry.

A very sad reminder of how quickly things can change and of how fragile life is.

Love, O