Wednesday, October 7, 2009

The H1N1 Vaccine: What you need to know

"It’s time to wake up from our advertisement-induced collective slumber and begin to review the folklore of conventional vaccine recommendations with a more critical eye." - Dr. Mercola

When it comes to vaccinations, I don't believe there is an easy answer. I have come to my own personal conclusions about what I will do for my family, but I am not so pig-headed (pun intended!) that I can't see the flip side of the argument for vaccination.

However, I stand pretty strongly against the H1N1 vaccine.

Instead of droning on and on about why I have come to this conclusion, I'm just going to point you in the direction of several articles and videos that I found extremely helpful in making my decision. Below each link, I'll give you a few of my thoughts on each article.

Article #1

This article includes opinions from three doctors - all strongly against the H1N1 vaccine. The video includes the opinion of a credible infectious disease doctor who claims he will not vaccinate his children. Be sure to scroll below the text to read what Dr. Mercola has to say about the swine flu. All the information is great, but I was most disturbed by this statement:

"I also learned at the conference from Dr. Vickie Diebold who is the consumer representative on the federal vaccine panel, that the CDC has budgeted over 12 million dollars to BLAST kids this fall on TV with characters such as Elmo from Sesame Street to propagandize them to be afraid of the swine flu and make sure that they get their vaccine. This is over 50% of the total amount ($21 million) they have budgeted to determine if the vaccine is even safe." - Dr. Mercola

What? HALF of the budgeted funds are going towards TV propaganda instead of testing the vaccine? Frightening.

Article #2

A big part of making an informed decision is reviewing information from both sides of the argument. Article #2 is Dr. Sears's take on the vaccine. He does recommend both the seasonal and the H1N1 vaccines, but only if you feel comfortable with them. He takes time to explain the spacing between the shots (the H1N1 vaccine requires two doses, one month apart)

However, he is very clear that he does not think that pregnant women should receive the swine flue vaccine or ANY flu vaccination. There has been NO testing to see how the vaccinations affect the unborn child and that is not a risk that should be taken.

"The bottom line is that the swine flu is about the same level of seriousness as the regular flu." - Dr. Sears

Article #3

Another great article by Dr. Mercola. This article pertains to all vaccines, not just the one for H1N1. This section makes so much sense to me:

"Less than 100 children in the U.S. die each year from seasonal flu viruses.[iv] If we use Australia’s math, a very rough estimate would be another 100 children could potentially die of swine flu in the United States in the coming year.

If children are the first target group in the U.S. per Sebelius, that means we’re about to inject around 75 million children with a fast tracked vaccine containing novel adjuvants, including dangerous squalene, to prevent perhaps 100 deaths.

I’m not overlooking the tragedy of the loss of even one child to an illness like the H1N1 flu virus. But there can be no argument that unnecessary mass injection of millions of children with a vaccine containing an adjuvant known to cause a host of debilitating autoimmune diseases is a reckless, dangerous plan."

For me, it's all about weighing the benefits versus the risks. What's the risk of NOT getting the vaccine? Death. People do die from the swine flu! What's the risk of TAKING the vaccine? Death or long-term illness or neurological problems. I believe the risk from the vaccine is greater than the risk from actually contracting the virus.

I'm not just leaving everything to chance. I know that H1N1 is potentially deadly, just like the seasonal flu. So I'm taking steps to protect my family. This winter, more than ever, we'll be eating healthy, getting plenty of rest and I'll continue to breastfed Madeline.

I'd love to hear from you. What have you decided to do about the H1N1 vaccine? What helped you make your decision?


  1. I agree with you. My mom told me about the vaccine back in the 70's, more people died from the vaccine than the actual flu. My kids are in school though and I worry about the potential contact with other students. Frequent handwashing, eating right, and monitoring the kids for symptoms is something I will stress this year. I still think that in the end, we will forego this vaccine as well.

  2. this is really interesting, thanks for posting! Do you have links to those articles by chance so I could read the full things?

  3. Hi, thanks for posting this Molly, I am struggling with this one!! I am so afraid of this particular vaccine, I don't want my kids to get it.
    have a nice day

  4. Samantha - The articles should be clickable! One of the links wasn't working earlier, but it should be fixed now!

  5. Great summary! I've not done flu shots for my kids (or self) the past few years and don't plan to do swine flu either. I feel like if we take care of ourselves and stay on top of any symptoms that come, even if we are infected, we will be able to fight it off as any normal flu.

  6. We're just getting over what was most likely the Swine Flu. Hubby & I had discussed whether to vaccinate the week before we all got sick & had decided not to, mainly because we are all relatively healthy, but also because of concerns about side effects from the vaccine.

  7. I am strongly opposed to flu vaccines for anyone, especially my children. While it is possible to die from flu, the majority of deaths are in individuals with weakened immune systems. If we continue to eat well, drink lots of water, play in the sunshine, etc., we are keeping our bodies healthy naturally.

  8. Oh, duh. Click on it.. duh, gosh sorry!! :) thanks!

    I'm not getting the flu vaccine. My husband really, really wants me to but I'm so against it.

    I have considered it, because I always have the WHAT IF in the back of my head. It's such a hard decision for me.

  9. Molly, I didn't know you read Dr. Mercola, too! :)

    Thank you for sharing these articles. I have not considered the H1N1 vaccine for my children, but considering our recent trip, it did cross my mind. After a chat with my midwife I went with my gut instinct and opted not to get the shot. With what I've been hearing and reading this week, I am so glad I went that way!

  10. Thanks for sharing! We have decided not to vaccinate for H1N1 too. I have been making sure the kiddos wash their hands constantly, and am going to breastfeed my youngest longer than I had originally planned.

  11. Thanks for posting this! We also are a 'no vacs family', lovely to read such a nice summary to confirm what we believe!!!

  12. I'm 5 months pregnant and I'm not getting it. I tend to fall on the "don't vaccinate" side most of the time, but I regard Dr. Sears' opinion highly-especially since he generally recommends vaccines-so if he says not to get it, there's no question for me.

  13. I work in a hospital where there are several pregnant women on respirators - SEVERELY ill with H1N1 flu. Pregnant women are much more likely to become very ill from this flu - and possibly lose their babies - than they are to experience adverse events from the vaccine. Please get your info. from instead of quack medicos. The CDC does not profit from Big Pharma. It is immoral to pass false info. to pregnant women like you have in this blog. Listen to reason, folks.

  14. Jill, While I have no doubt that the H1N1 has the potential to be very serious and potentially deadly, I'm just sharing the information that *I* found useful in making my decsion. Dr. Sears is not a "quack" by any stretch of the imagination. He is a highly regarded doctor who was educated at Harvard and is associated with the AAP. He's not anti-vax and in fact reccomends that children be fully vaccinated. So if he is recommending that pregnant women not get vaccinated, I listen up. My own OB/GYN reiterated what Dr. Sears has to say about flu vaccines when I was pregnant. It's not some off the wall suggestion. People need to be educated on both sides of the issue.

    This is a tough issue for many people. It's not a black and white as you make it appear. I know several pregnant women who have been advised NOT to get the vaccine from their mainstream OB/GYNs. Additionally, I just heard that my pediatricians office will not even be OFFERING the vax because there are so few parents willing to vaccinate thier kids. I'm in the majority here with my concerns, not the minority.

    Everyone has to make the descision that they feel is best for thier family. I simply shared what was helpful in making that descion for MY family. I have friends who also chose to GET the H1N1 vax. And that's fine too. As long as people have taken the time to do thier research and evaluate both sides of the issue. Knowledge is power.

  15. So by no one getting vaccinated you are willing to let all vulnerable people (unborn infants included) take the hit.You don't expect your healthcare givers to be vaccinated and they can spread it to the vulnerable.The virus could very well come on stronger or not: vaccinating could prevent that.People are very selfish and naive...I will get the shotand hope others will consider it.

  16. Thank you Molly. I have two small children and cannot see why i would INJECT the flu, amongst the other additives in the vaccine, into my little folks. It is very comforting to know that you are out there choosing what some are calling a dangerous path. I think it is more scary to play around with "medicine" that hasn't had full studies and openly contains harmful ingredients. I wish you grace and a placid flu season. Again thank you for blogging about a position that is really under attack.Peace and many blessings.

  17. I'm 6 months pregnant and wasn't going to get the swine flu shot - however, a coworker's wife contracted a very bad strain of the virus and was on a respirator. She went from having a cough to being put on a respirator within 48 hours. It scared me enough to get the shot. I follow Dr. Sears - and didn't feel that Dr. Sears advised pregnant woman to not get the shot - he just mentioned that the flu shot hasn't been tested on fetuses. Seeing someone almost die from H1N1 made me rethink my decision. It's scary - either way.......

  18. dr sears does not state that pregnant women should not get the flu shot and there is no squalene in the h1n1. i have not decided what to do for my family as of yet but when people keep putting out false information it makes it that much more difficult.

  19. Hi Molly
    Thanks for your links and views on h1n1.....I have actually posted a link to your website on my facebook. I think its important everyone does their homework/reading on the vaccine before making a decision!

  20. There is a preservative free vax that my ob is giving preggo women. My sister lost her baby to miscarriage after contacting the H1N1 flu and was seriously ill.

    My children have had pneumonia 3 and 5 times since they were two because they have allergies and reactive lungs. Do I want to vax them again? HELL NO! But do I want them on respirators in the hospital? DOUBLE HELL NO!

    Is this a random chance they will get the flu and become super sick? Probably but I'm not willing to take it.

    Do I wish the CDC made single vial doses w/o thimerisol for ALL children - ABSOLUTELY! As parent's this is the issue we need to push for - preservative free for all children. Not fight the CDC and doctors on not vaccinating.

    To those that don't know Dr. Sears has an awesome alternative vax schedule.

  21. I like your post but please read what dr. sears website has to say to that too - and that the H1N1 vaccine isn't more dangerous than any other flu vaccine before.

  22. My 18-month-old daughter and I received the H1N1 shot two weeks ago. So far, so good.

  23. i really think that pregnant women shd understand when they're making this decision, that as of now 33% or 1 in 3 pregnant women who contract H1N1 die. the majority of whom, were were generally healthy individuals. pregnant women account for up to 18% of all H1N1 related deaths, even though pregnant women account for less than 1% of the population. many more women go into premature labor and contract severe pneumonia. for some reason this flu has profoundly severe consequences for pregnant women. the public health community is urging pregnant women to get vaccinated as they are expecting a third wave of the flu this spring.

    women need to make the best choices for themselves, their bodies, and their families. but this is a very serious flu with very serious risks shd a pregnant women contract it.

    the H1N1 vaccine is produced exactly the same way that the seasonal flu vaccine has been produced for the last 40 years. One of the reasons that the H1N1 vaccine of the '70's was so dangerous was because they altered how they manufactured the vaccine in order to produce more vaccine quicker. they did not do that this time. the only reason that h1n1 was not in the regular season flu vaccine was b/c of time.