Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Chalk (H1N)One up for Team LIAYF

A co-worker mentioned it Monday morning during a meeting. The H1N1 Swine Flu vaccine had finally arrived at the HMO we share, and her husband was in at 8:00 AM sharp to get their kids vaccinated. However, word was that the limited supply wouldn't last long. Perhaps only through the day.

I had been anticipating the arrival, but was still unsure what I would do about it. My uncertainty had nothing to do with the risk of the vaccine. Mrs. LIAYF and I had done the research and decided that the risk of Lukas contracting the virus at his daycare was greater than the risks associated with the vaccine. No, my concern lie with the fact that he is only 28 months old, just over the cutoff age for the mist, which was the only form of the vaccine available. We had serious questions of whether he would be able to successfully inhale it through his nose. A nose that was also runny.


I called and consulted with the injection room and was told "Not to bother". He needed to be congestion free. End of subject.

However, I thought about this all day. There are 18 toddlers in close proximity in Lukas' daycare room. Once one of them got H1N1, then the rest would soon have it. If I had the chance to get my son the vaccine now, then I owed it to him to at least try. So I picked him up after work and drove the 10 blocks to our clinic, arriving just past 5:00. As I approached the clinic, 2 year old in my arms, I was told "We are closed!"

I needed more information about future availability, so still holding Lukas I attempted to flag someone down for information. All the nurses were finishing up with the last of the people and paid us no attention. I waited. Finally, a woman came over and I asked if the mist would still be available in the morning and would it work for Lukas. "Can he breath in through his nose?". "I believe so. Lukas, breath in through your nose" He just buried his head in my shoulder. I let them know that he had done this outside before entering. Dubious looks ensued. "He is too young. You will just have to wait for the shot in a couple weeks" was her verdict.

At that point I took him outside the glass doors and set him down. "Can you breath in for daddy like a bunny?" I said, sucking in through my nose. He did a huge inhale, followed by a laugh. "Very good, Buddy!" I glanced up to see the nurse looking at us. I motioned toward my nose that he was doing it. She reluctantly opened the door and said. "Let's give it a try". We used the bunny trick (suggested earlier by the same co-worker) and he successfully took all the vaccine, then flashed a big "I did it" smile. I was proud of him.

"Lucky you", said the nurse. "There were only 2 doses left in our supply."

I don't know yet about 'Lucky'. No one really ever knows how their child will react to a new vaccine. All we can do is weigh the various risk factors and make the best decision given the information available.

Then hope it is the the right one.

16 comments:

SciFi Dad said...

I have never, in all my life, heard of a vaccine dispensed via a mist.

That would make getting kids vaccinated so much easier.

Eric said...

Medical Personnel can be the wort people to talk to after 5PM. It's like they clock out of being helpful the same time they punch out as well.

Hope Lukas stays well.

Being us... said...

Keep us posted! I am going back and forth as to whether to get Jacob the vaccine, but with a 2 1/2 month old I am leaning toward getting it.

PJ Mullen said...

Nice, that is great you were able to get him to inhale like that. We are still waiting for the vaccine here. The good thing is I'll know before our peds office does because my wife works at the hospital pharmacy that supplies it to them.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

I'm sure you've made the right choice.

Cool trick too.

morethananelectrician said...

The whole vaccine thing is one that divides parents sharply. It sure is a tough one isn't. The day care issues have to weigh heavily on your decision...

Mighty M said...

Glad you did your research before making up your mind. We are waiting for the shots up here, but I have asked many valued minds for opinions/fact. I am generally a pro-vaccine person, but I was just feeling a little less certain about this one...but I think the risks that getting the flu has aren't worth not getting the shot.

Scary Mommy said...

This was a really hard decision and bravo on getting the mist to work. I waited too long and had to drive 45 minutes to a grocery store's pharmacy to get them. But, it's done. Phew.

Lady Mama said...

Agreed. All you can do is research as much as possible and figure out if it's right for your family. My only problem is how I'm going to get to a clinic with both boys next week given the lengthy waiting times. Should be much fun! Well done for getting your son to inhale the mist.

Captain Dumbass said...

Nice trick. I'm going to remember that one.

Daddy Geek Boy said...

We too are weighing the odds of our kids getting swine flu vs. the odds of the vaccine affecting them. Think you made the right choice.

Joe @ IrrationalDad said...

The nice thing about the mist, aside from not stabbing your son with a needle, is that it is impossible to get the flu from the vaccine, unlike the shot.

That being said. We have no vaccinated. We're keeping our fingers crossed this season.

Karen @ If I Could Escape . . . said...

We're still waiting and wondering what to do. My oldest son can't have the live flu mist so it's kind of a mute point for us at the moment anyway.

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Just to pick up on Joe's comment, it is possible to get the vaccine injection without a live protein so that the recipient can not possibly get the virus from it.

That is the case with the vaccine for pregnant women, I'm not sure about the version for children, but I imagine it's the same.

Loukia said...

Good job! At least it's over with. I feel like I'm walking around with ten tons of bricks on my shoulders... from all the worry and stress I have. I need to just trust my doctor. And get the vaccine for my boys.

WILLIAM said...

So now he may get the rabbit flu.