Monday, November 16, 2009

This Controversial Shot

The French government started it's vaccination campaign against H1N1 last week. Since Rosebud is considered "at risk," we recieved our papers for the vaccine fairly early. Granted, Rosebud can't have the shot (too young) but the government is recommending that everyone who shares a household with a young baby should be vaccinated as soon as possible.

It's a funny thing, this whole H1N1 vaccine. I'm not sure either Hubster or I would be worried about getting it if it weren't for the children. But since there is a history of respiratory issues in his family and in our boys, we are trying to muddle through and decide what's the best thing to do for the kids and for us. Truth is, one minute, we're all for it, the next, we worry. Is it really the best thing to do?

So in true Dig waffling nature, I've been asking various and sundry neighbours and friends in the village what their take is on the whole situation. To my profound surprise, all of them, without exception, are against the vaccine.

"It won't do anything."

"The flu virus will mutate and the vaccine will be useless."

"The stuff in the vaccine could cause more harm than good."

"I don't see the point of vaccinations at all."

One friend is even convinced that it's all a conspiracy and that the Minister of Health, Roselyne Bachelot, was given a fake shot when posing for press pictures last week. And it turns out that of the 15 members of the volunteer fire service (who were all offered the vaccine earlier than the general population,) only 3 agreed to be vaccinated.

I can understand the hesitation about vaccinations. It's scary stuff. (Perhaps not as scary as H1N1 but only time will tell.) But what really boggles my mind is that the French are the most pill happy people in Europe. I kid you not, it's not uncommon to leave a doctor's appointment with a prescription that rivals a school shopping list. They love their medicine. So why are they so afraid of this one? A news piece about the opposition to the vaccine made it seem as though the general population thinks that Sarkozy and his group are out to get them and get them they will! With the H1N1 vaccine!

"AAAAHHAAA! We've tricked you! There is NO H1N1! We've injected you with rotten pickle juice and from now on you will all like peanut butter and wear track suits!"

All I ask is, why? Good lord, good French people. Why?

So far, we haven't seen very many cases of H1N1, if any, in my neck of the woods. That's not to say it isn't in France, but so far, where we are, things are calm. Will that change? Will this flu hit us as hard as it seems to have hit the US and the UK? Will the French conspiracy attitude change when all around them are coughing and sick?

Yes, I'm worried about this vaccine. It's new. It's untested. I'm also freaked out to think about Bubba-Love or Mini-Husband on life support when we had a chance to help them before hand. But what I am fairly sure of is that this is not a conspiracy by Sarkozy to turn the French into mindless mortally ill drones.

Talk to me. Tell me what you think about the vaccine. And while we're at it, mindless French drones.

14 comments:

Sue said...

Lots of H1N1 illness here and the vaccine is just beginning to get into the mainstream. We've had quite a few deaths from the after effects of the virus...mostly pneumonia with staff infection. Here's the WebMD info on the vaccine.
http://www.webmd.com/cold-and-flu/features/is-the-h1n1-swine-flu-vaccine-safe

Dig said...

Good link, Sue. Thank you! Now to find out if the vaccines here are the same ones as over there...

Stephanie said...

We are going through the process that you are. One day we are all ready to get the kids their shots. The next day we say no way. I think we would be more willing if the vaccine had more history, like the seasonal flu vaccine. There is just too much unknown. Today it is no shots.

Bertrand said...

Angie here. Interestingly enough we have been over the same debate at home given C's bad ashmatic history. However after a weekend with a group of doctor friends, French I have to add, we decided not to get the vaccine. First up we have been exposed to it numerous times. One of the doctors, who works in Issoire, had it just before he visited us and A was doing a sleepover in his house at the time. Also many of my students have had it, including being hospitalised and yet we don't seem to be catching it. My cousins kids got it while I was with them in the uk also and we didn't catch it. The Dr friend who caught the virus reckoned it was alright but he did isolate himself for 6 days. Finally the one reservation I have is why have the vaccination companies been given carte blanche over possible litigation of ANY side effects!? Thus once you take it you are on you own. However I can completely understand taking it due to your family problems. I think you need to speak to someone medical but who is not in "their role" when speaking to you. It is a difficult one and the decision has to be something you are prepared to live with happily and knowing you made the right decision for your family. x

kissmekaty said...

The general flu shot is created each year targeted toward a certain strain of the flu. This year, there are two strains going around, so it is getting extra coverage. A forty year old woman from Topeka died this weekend with no previous health issues. One of my co-workers is out right now with it. Am I a carrier? If I win the lottery next week and come to visit you, am I putting your family at risk even thou I feel fine. xoxoxo

Diane said...

My kids had swine this summer and I never want to go through tat again. Ihave never seen them so sick. Three ended up with brinchitis as a complication that lasted for weeks and one ended up with Pnemonia. My healthy kids were so down and out. It is just dumb not to get it. Why risk weeks of sickness with potentially serious compliations when you can avoid it?

Kitty said...

Every year the CDC makes a vaccine of the virus expected that year. The vaccine becomes available in the fall. Mike and I have gotten this vaccine for years. We've not had a bad reaction to the shots or the virus. So it seems like they know what they are doing.

kissmekaty said...

Have you noticed that the people you have known your whole life, people you trust, recommend the shot. People you have basically known for 6 years or less are making you wonder whether you are doing the right thing or not?

Dig said...

Now, as I said to Katy on the phone, there is something to listening to those you've loved longest.

But as I also pointed out, loving those people doesn't necessarily make them the most logical people to listen to.

Case in point: Katy herself. There ain't no way I'd take parenting advice from her! Doesn't mean I love her any more or any less than anyone else who comments, but I'm just not going to ask her how to deal with bed wetting issues. How to deal with drunken binges and getting hit on by men who only have 2 teeth, yes... ;)

kissmekaty said...

Touche! xoxoxo


(Remember, the toothbrush was invented in Idaho, Not the teethbrush!!) xoxoxo

Diane said...

We all just love you, Dave and your kids! We want you to be around and in our lives for years to come. I have to say it, Katy has been around all the little Clarks so much, I am thinking her thoughts on a particular parenting issue might actually be spot on!

Dancers said...

Difficult one, John and I have been offered it but still don't know either. Total indecision xxxx

Kitty said...

One reason the shots are slow in coming out in the US is because they are made in Europe and filled those orders first. . .

Kitty said...

Ok. If you get hit "hit by a truck, have chills and fever, sore throat and cough" go to your doctor no later than the 3rd day. There is also a little concern about pneumonia. I thought I was feeling better. . . Now I have Tamiflu and an antibiotic.
I've been on the couch for three days. . .
Go get the shots if you can.