All the talk on the news suggests that the H1N1 (Swine) flu vaccine is almost here. Based on the information from the CDC, just about everyone should be vaccinated including pregnant women and young children. There are also reports that there is widespread H1N1 activity in half of the country (including the DC area). There was a recent report that a middle school student in Baltimore City died from the swine flu and that she had no underlying health concerns.
Why them am I so ambivalent about getting the vaccination? Truthfully, I am skeptical about the true severity of this flu. The regular flu kills upwards of 30,000 people each year in the US and I don't see anything so far to make me more worried about this flu than I am about the regular flu.
I have never received a seasonal flu vaccine but I have always made sure that my kids were vaccinated. This time i'm not even sure about that.
One of my concerns is that because the vaccine is so new I am not convinced of its safety. However, I am also afraid that I am going to be putting my kids at risk if they don't get it. I feel that there are significant risks either way.
I know I need to make a decision quickly. For myself, I will probably pass and take my chances with the flu. However, for my kids I just don't know what to do.
What are your thoughts?
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Dr. Stacey-Ann Baugh
Century 21 New Millennium
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