Monday, November 9, 2009

To vax or not to vax

That is the question. For tomorrow. For the swine flu.

Each time I go to my OB's office, they promise that they'll have the thimerosal-free H1N1 vaccination in "any day now." Apparently "any day" really means "any day," but not any day SOON. I know it's not their fault, but I really want that shot!

So, on our hospital birthing center tour this weekend, we ran into my husband's general practitioner, who was also getting a tour with his pregnant wife. He pulled us aside and said "PSST. I've got some doses of swine flu vaccine. Come in on Tuesday and I'll set you up." They're the regular kind with the preservative, but he gave one to his pregnant wife and basically said that the risk of getting the flu while waiting for the shot was greater than anything the dose of preservative could do to me or the baby. The CDC website seems to agree -- they recommend the shot for all pregnant women, with or without thimerosal.

My doctor, however, does not seem to. I called today and the front desk person said that she "really wants" her patients to wait for the thim-free shot. I asked about the CDC recommendation, and the risk of waiting vs. the risk of getting the regular shot, and she said the doctor would have to call me back. Which she hasn't yet.

I'm heavily leaning towards getting the shot. Any advice/stories from out there in internet-land?

UPDATE: My doctor just called and said to get the injection. I'll leave the above hand-wringing up as a data point for anyone with a similar quandary!

UPDATE #2: We are now both vaxed and hope to stay oink-free! Thanks for all of the input.

15 comments:

The Patterson's said...

I got the injection with thimerisol. My doctor didn't seem to think it would be a problem and, like you said, the CDC recommends it either way. I haven't had any problems.

Brittney said...

I am in a similar quandary - I've been debating on whether to get it for the past couple of weeks...

Kerri said...

I strongly preferred the preservative-free version, but couldn't find it anywhere. In fact, my OB's office ordered the vaccine WITH thimerosal. They were not concerned about it at all. So, I eventually decided to go ahead and get the shot (after I was able to hunt it down). I hope I did the right thing.

meinsideout said...

I go to a high risk practice at a huge medical center - basically, with all the bells and whistles - and I saw two physicians there - they were both pregnant. Both women got the regular and H1N1 - with thimerosal. They said it was truly harmless and that the mercury in it is as much as *maybe* two tuna sandwiches. And you are right - the CDC agrees that both are fine.

I got both and I am fine and the babies are fine. I also did a bunch of research prior to getting the vaccines - and all of the education made pushed me over the edge to get them. Although, I am still scared shitless that it will have long term effects on the babies' brains, something we do not know about, like autism, etc. etc...I hate that nothing is 100%.

So - my bottom line is that I felt the benefits outweighed the risks. Sigh.

Valerie said...

Get the Shot!!

My OB office only got 10% of their vaccines and only are vaccinating those that are 36 weeks+. You'd think being pregnant with twins would up my chances or something!

Jo said...

When I read the title of this post, I thought perhaps you'd gained a Dracula-esque accent and were posing a question of another kind. . . .but alas, I am glad that the doctor has answered your questions and I hope and pray for your health and that of the baby.

Hugs,
Jo

IF Optimist, then... said...

My husband and I discussed getting the shot (the only type on hand had thimerosal). I had to fly out in an emergency to help my brother who landed in the hospital while on a business trip. For the 5 additional airports I had to travel through, we decided the mercury content (which was the equivalent of a swordfish steak or a couple of cans of tuna) was less risk than getting the flu and having my temperature go up. I know that you are past this stage of growth with the baby, but any type of influenza or sickness that raises the mother's body temp has been studied and known to cause birth defects in the 1st trimester. For the later trimesters it is very bad for the mother to have problems breathing and you are more likely to develop worse symptoms while pregnant with the flu.

Sue said...

I was feeling the same way last week. Luckily my OB got in the thimerasol-free version (I had no choice but to wait since no one else here has any shots that I am aware of) BUT just a few months ago I got the seasonal flu shot with thimerasol in it...didn't even think about it at the time. So, I would definitely get the shot. It is such a scary virus for a pregnant woman...and then you need to think about your baby too! The good news is that the little one will now have some protection too!!! Glad you are getting it.

itsazooaroundhere said...

Glad you got some resolution from your doctor! I'm here in the Bay Area, and my doctor basically said the chances of actually getting the thim-free H1N1 anytime soon are close to zero. I went ahead and got the shot, figuring that the sickness would be way worse than the effects of the shot. Plus, my husband is a teacher and hundreds of kids are out sick from his school each day lately...I have too much exposure to risk it.

My doctor also said that the daddies of babies should get one as well, and if they can't find one before the baby is due, that the hospital will give them the shot before the leave after delivery. Don't want to risk infection with a newborn!

K said...

I got the vax with. Both my DH and OB said do it. Not worth the risk to wait. And I'm so glad I did. It's pandemic in my area.

Jon and Tracy said...

Glad to hear you got the shot. I was on the fence but finally got it yesterday since my high risk OB's office had it in. I don't want to take any chances with this little one.

Hope you are feeling well! :)

Michele said...

OurOB recommends the vax.

chezperky said...

I'm really surprised your doctor would advise you AGAINST getting the shot while waiting INDEFINITELY for the thimerisol-free vaccine. Seriously (and I'm not joking), the amount of mercury in the flu shot is less than you'd get from eating a tuna sandwich. My OB said they hope to get the H1N1 vaccine in, but if I find it elsewhere - GET IT. I can't find it anywhere and I keep missing my county's clinics for pregnant women (they're by appointment only, and I can't get an appointment).

Glad you got the vaccine.

My Endo Journey said...

Mine was all about now now now. She's pregnant too, about 2 weeks ahead of me. She told me that the amount was so little, and that really, the research didn't show any adverse effects.

At the end of the day, I feel like we have to make the best of what we have as far as options go and just look ahead.

Hope you stay oink free! I've been in contact with two germy little ones recently. I have until Sunday to see if this lastest run in will develop into anything. ARGH!

mekate said...

thanks for the sweet support!
and good for you for going for the vaccination. How do we know? we can only do the best we can.
take care,
Kate