Virusology

If you still haven't heard about that flu A(H1N1) - a.k.a. the swine flu - then you've probably been kidnapped by aliens several months ago and only just came back to read this post.

I heard about it. A lot. Maybe too much.

On the one side, I work for the government and kept a close watch on any official information released about that virus. I felt pretty good about when my options consisted of:
  1. getting through the flu just like every winter, or
  2. getting the vaccine and saving myself from the flu this year.
But then things changed: I became pregnant.

All of a sudden, taking risks with my own health, puts more than just my own person at risk. When I got the first chain letter warning me about the vaccine I thought nothing of it. When the chain letter turned into several emails and PowerPoint shows and videos on YouTube, claiming that the vaccine was dangerous and unsafe, especially for pregnant women, I raised an eyebrow thought there was no way I would ask to have this unknown "poison" running through my veins just to save me from the flu.

What flu? Oh yeah that flu which made 28% of pregnant women infected DIE in the U.S. during last August! I certainly did not want to take that risk either.

I felt trapped between two bad options and I did not want to make a choice.

2 days ago now, the vaccination campaign has started in Canada. Along with it, a 13 year old otherwise healthy boy passed away only 36 hours after experiencing his first symptoms. The country is shocked.

Along with that new campaign, long pages of information have been put on the web and several videos promoting vaccination have been seen. It's only after I saw the video made by the Secretary of the Collège des Médecins that I was fully convinced. He made a lot of technical and medical information understandable for general public and put things into perspective. He dissolved the fears I had for the vaccine and made me feel very confident that it is a safe choice I cannot afford not to make.

Between Nov. 9th and 15th, I'll get my flu shot.

For me. For my baby. For my family.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey Cynthia,

I completely agree with your decision. I will also be getting the vaccine and because I work in a medical clinic (I sterilize equipment) I am on the front lines and intend to get it today. This means that I had to choose to get the adjuvanted version of the vaccine, as opposed to the non-adjuvanted version that is specifically recommended for pregnant women (which isn't available yet).

However, doctors have specified that if you are over 20 weeks pregnant and are at higher risk (medical clinic, etc...) that you should get the adjuvanted version - so that's what I'm going to do.

I dreamed about this all night, so clearly this is on my mind. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Ann
(sorry for the extra long post!)

Cynthia said...

Keep me posted. I want to know how it goes.

I also heard the same thng about the 20+ weeks pregnant women being able to get either one of the 2 available vaccines. In one newspaper article this morning, they were talking about 14+ weeks.

I'm only 8 weeks along though so I'll have to wait a bit before I can get the flu shot. It should be available on Nov 9th in my area, so it's not too bad.

Cynthia

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