Flu shot-to do, or not to do?

Hello everybody, I have a question that has been on my mind since the flu season started. My daughter is 13 months now, or 10 months adjusted, she already received her Synagis shot (RSV) last week, now we are scheduled to get her flu shot next week. She did not receive it last year since she was too small ( I guess the don't do it if a child is under 6 months), she only had a Synagis last year. So after hearing all the controversy on this flu vaccine, I am so torn,, she also might get this flu like symptoms as they say, but how severe will they be? Does anyone have any suggestions? Did you do it for your little ones?

15 Replies

  • No shots for us
    I agree with the other mommies who say this is a personal decision for every family. We decided against the flu shot this year, mainly because 1) the shot the kids received last year wasn't even for the string that was going around and 2) Caleb was INCREDIBLY sick after he got the shot last year - he was "down" and pretty miserable for about 14 days.

    Daisy is in preschool this year so we are washing hands diligently (and they do in class as well) and leaving shoes at the door. So far so good - cross fingers, toes and eyes. :)
  • Family Flu Shots
    My husband, son, and I all have respiratory issues so we get our flu shots every year. Right now our former 29 weeker is feverish and congested, and I've possibly had a sinus infection for 2 or 3 weeks.
  • My son has lung issues so he has been getting the flu shot every year since he was 6 months old he is now 7 1/2 and the pulmonologist and his pediatrician make sure he gets one every year. He has never had a problem with it. The older he gets the better the flu season is on him. I think it helps but everybody's doctors have different opinions. My 2 year old daughter has got one every year to and she has never had a problem. You should really talk to your doctor more because the flu can be really serious for preemies. Take care :smile:
  • In reply to katek:

    Re: Fluzone Preservative-Free
    Wow, you are lucky...our county can't even get their hands on the Fluzone shos. Our Peds office would love to order them, but they can't either. It isn't as simply as them just wanting to order it...because I'm sure most parents would not mind paying the extra few dollars. There is simply so little of it even produced that it is saved for special cases in certain areas.

    Though the CDC still stands firm that Thimerosal does not cause Autism, it rising stats of children being diagnosed with it are frustrating.

    My fear is that after all the NICU meds, the synagis, immunization, flu shots.....after all the hard work we've done to get and keep our kids healthy......the parents who do believe what the CDC studies are showing, are choosing not to vaccinate their kids...which leads to an entirely new problem. Measles, mumps, whooping cough, so much of it can be prevented....it we all do it.

  • I struggled with this too
    Not only did I want my daughter to get the thimerasol free shot, I am breastfeeding and couldn't get a definitive answer as to whether it pass through my milk or not so I wanted the preservative free shot as well.

    As far as my daughter, her pediatrician does offer it, so check with yours hopefully they do.

    As for me, believe it or not the only place I could find one was the grocery store, Kroger's, pharmacy. You have to tell them that you are allergic to thimerosal. Just make sure the one they give you is the one dose shot and not drawn from the vial. I know you are looking for your child, but if all else fails maybe you can take them to Kroger
  • Fluzone Preservative-Free
    Just an update on what I found out about the flu shots. There is a company that makes a preservative-free version of the flu shot. It is called Flu-zone Preservative-Free. Our pediatrician refuses to order it. I've read that peds don't like to order them because (a) it costs about $4 more per shot, and (b) they don't want to validate parental concerns over Thimerosal (mercury preservative).

    Given that the results are inconclusive about Thimerosal and autism, I find it maddening that pediatricians as a group could be so arrogant as to presume that they know everything about autism, because they don't. The research is not conclusive at all. There are three major hypotheses about the causes of autism from shots. (1) Mercury in the shots causes autism, (2) An immune response is trigger by shots that results in autism. and (3) Some kids have a genetic predisposition for autism, which is facilitated by the shots. I'm guessing that a combination of 2 and 3 are the most plausible suspects. That said, I don't want to chance it with number 1. The studies claiming that Thimerosal doesn't cause autism are rather weak in design (for a wide variety of reasons that I won't detail here). I'm a methodologist by training. Also, we know of a few parents whose children developed signs of autism within a couple days of having their MMRs.

    Long story short. Our county health department has flu shot clinics, and they do offer the preservative-free shots. So for those of you who are interested in preservative-free shots, you might want to call your county health department to see if such shots are offered.
  • Thimerosal
    Thanks, Shonda. It is good to know that it is less than in the regular rounds of immunizations.

    I have read the CDC information. But I think that they are so concerned about people ignoring the shots altogether (creating outbreaks), that I'm not convinced that their research on the thimerosal is objective or robust.

    I'll grant that the odds of getting the flu or whooping cough is greater than the odds of becoming autistic after an immunization, but I still don't think that their studies on the thimerosal are convincing.

    We did give our son the whooping cough and other immunizations, because whooping cough specifically is active in our community. But all in all, if I can my hands on a non-thimerosal flu shot, I'm going to try, even if I have to pay for it myself.

    Thimerosal was supposedly eliminated from shots in 2002. That was part of the basis of the CDC's finding. Autism rates in the few years before and after 2002 were comparable. However, the bottom line is that thimersol was still being used in the shots, so the experiment was ultimately a flawed one.
  • Well, the thermisol question was bugging me........so I called our Peds office.

    While there are single doses that allow for thermisol free shots, they are hard to come by. One, they are more expensive...so few are produced for fear the consumer would not buy them. Two, it is easier and cheaper for clinics to use multi-dose vials.

    Our Ped office does not give ANY immunization with thermisol, so I asked why they give the one with the flu shot. I was told our county (largest population in the state) does not even have any thermisol free doses. Simply put, your doctor can not get ahold of them.

    An excellent pharmacist did tell me that the percentage of thermisol was very low in the shots, our nurse told me they much lower than immunization. And of course, the CDC still stands firm that thermisol does not cause Autism or other effects.

  • In reply to katek:

    Re: thimerosal
    There are shots that do not have thermisol in them. Ask your doctor or call other clinics, to find a place that uses the drug Flu-zone for the injections.

    The flu shot is a personal decision. Since we have a son who still has lung issues from his prematurity...we all get the shot, as do all the grandparents. None of us have ever had side-effects from it.

  • I am a nurse so I see hands on how the side effects are SO minimal in comparison to what the actual flu can bring on. I recommend one by all means, I wish you luck on your decision making.

    You can specifically request preservative free vacination, but we discussed this recently and the amount of mercury you get is less than you would get in eating tuna!
  • thimerosal
    My son's pediatrician said that many of the flu vaccines contain thimerosal (mercury preservative).

    Does anyone know how one goes about finding places that give flu shots without thimerosal?

  • Kamryn got her flu shot last week. This is her first year getting the shot, since she was born in Jan of last year. After screaming her head of for 2 minutes, she got over it and seemed to feel fine the few days following the shot. Just like the other moms said-- I would rather her get the shot and possibly have a few side affects than get the flu, especially since she is still on O2 at night!
  • Ansley got the flu shot and has for several years now...starting when she first came out of the NICU. I've given her Tylenol before getting the shot and she's never had so much as a slow down in energy! I also get one each year and have never had a reaction to it. This year, she's already gotten hers --with no problems--and I'm getting mine on Monday. With her being in school and around new kids and new germs, I just felt better about it. Like Shonda said, the chance that she might feel a little run-down for a day is much less of a stress on me than a week of the flu itself! It's really your call, but I would check with your dr. first and express your concerns with him/her.
    Tracy :grin:
  • Wow - this is *such* a personal decision. For ME - and this is just me personally.... - the POSSIBLE - (and I stress possible - nothing has really been proven that I have seen so far....) side effects are way less than the real effects of my sick, fragile child getting the flu.

    Take care - a well researched decision made from the heart will be the right one. Have faith in that!

    Take care,
  • Flu Shot
    I just took my daughter to her 18 month check up today and I expected her to get the flu shot. The dr said that he doesn't recommend it for her because she is no longer immune compromised, but that everyone else in the house should get one. She was a 26 weeker and is not even eligible for Synagis this year. I think that your should talk to your dr more about it before you make a decision.

    Take Care,