I have spent the last two afternoons compiling information and opinions on the H1N1 vaccination. As many of you know, I am pregnant and apparently at a greater risk for serious complications if I come down with the H1N1 virus. According to WebMD and other credible sources, 28 out of the 100 hospitalized pregnant women died from H1N1. These women were otherwise young and very healthy. Apparently, pregnant women suffer greater complications because of their decreased lung capacity (caused by the baby pushing on the lungs) and their weakened immune system. This is an abnormally high percentage, enough to make me give this vaccination a second thought.
My mom is stressing that I get the vaccine. After all that she’s been through with my dad’s recent passing, I can understand why. On the surface it seems like a no-brainer. After all, some of the research I have found against the vaccine seems a little “conspiracy theory-ish”. Some people say that the government is purposefully infecting Americans WITH the vaccine to help control the population. Others say drug companies are strictly out to get your money. While the latter I’m sure is partially true, I tend to believe – regardless of my opinion of the current Administration - that the government and drug companies are for the most part trying to help us, not harm us. Perhaps that is naive of me to think so…I just don’t know.
Regardless of all the conspiracy theories, something is still not sitting right in my gut. The bottom line is that the vaccine hasn’t been on the market long enough to have had adequate testing. No one really knows the immediate risks or long-term effects of the vaccine, much less if it is even effective. And the risk you take by injecting harmful chemicals and pathogens in your body is a scary one. Some of the credible research I have found against the vaccine scares the pants off me and causes me to question the viability of our healthcare system in general.
So will I get the vaccine? I don’t know…I still haven’t made my decision. But I can tell you that I will not be first in line to get the shot, nor will I ever allow my two-year old daughter to get it. In the meantime, a holistic doctor and trusted friend told me to take 5,000 IUs of Vitamin D a day. Recent anecdotal evidence shows that Vitamin D helps to prevent onset of the H1N1 virus. Apparently, it will even help prevent some of the possible side effects if one decides to get the vaccine.
I would like to hear from all of you. Anyone out there have strong opinions either way they are willing to share? Any other pregnant women who have made a decision either way?