Should I Get H1N1 Vaccine For My Kids?

by Mike Holman

Please note that Mr. Cheap wrote a very good post yesterday about H1N1 so check it out if you haven’t already – a lot of great comments.

H1N1 (Swine flu) vaccine hysteria has hit my city in a big way – last week there were people lining up for 6 hours to get shots for their kids and presumably themselves as well.  Since the initial clinics the vaccine has only been allowed for high risk groups:

  • Pregnant women.
  • Children aged 6 months to 5 years.
  • People under 65  with chronic conditions.
  • People who live with infants under 6 months and/or with immunocompromised people.
  • Healthcare workers.

I personally haven’t been that worried about Swine flu so far this year but once the vaccine became available it seemed that the public awareness and concern went up a notch or two.  I know lots of my friends who have kids are worried about the flu and naturally are also worried about the vaccine.  Is it safe?  Will there be side effects?  Will the needle hurt?  (ok, that was my concern).  Here are some vaccine myths.

I think we are going to get the vaccine for our kids – as I read recently, while there might be some risk from the vaccine, it is dwarfed by the risk from the flu itself.  The analogy they used was seatbelts – in some cases seatbelts (and airbags) do more damage than good but overall your odds of survival in a car crash are far better if you are wearing a seatbelt.

What do you think?  Should everyone line up for 6 hours to get a shot?  Are you going to wait a few weeks to let things settle down?  Are you going to avoid the shot altogether?

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