Con: Fear holds some back from getting new shot

Sept. 20, 2009 at 4:20 a.m.

Marise Dudley will not sign up her two children for a vaccine she said is still in the trial-and-error stage.

The good hygiene her children, Hunter, 8 and Kennedy, 5, practice at home and at school are enough, the Victoria resident said.

"I don't want to put my kids at risk for any possible side effects that may occur," said the physical therapy assistant.

The Dudley children's doctor suggested the children take the vaccine, but Dudley declined.

Both children do not have underlying medical conditions, and Dudley is confident her children can fight the strain of the virus.

"If something were to occur, they can fight it," she said. "I'd rather fight it with antibiotics than a trial injection."

Hunter and Kennedy have not been left unvaccinated, she said.

The two recently received their seasonal flu vaccine, something Dudley said she trusts because it has been on the market and proven effective in years past.

It's difficult and almost impossible to find any physician who would advise their patients to not receive the H1N1 vaccine, said Dr. Bain Cate, the Victoria city and county health department director.

"The H1N1 influenza illness is mild compared to the usual seasonal Influenza illness," he wrote in an e-mail. "So if there was an issue of not being able to get one or the other influenza vaccine, I would recommend that any person get the seasonal influenza vaccine."

However, Cate does advise those with weakened immune systems or are infant or over 65 years old to receive the H1N1 vaccine, which will be a one-dose vaccine and separate from the seasonal flu vaccine.

The vaccine is made in the same manner as the seasonal flu vaccine; therefore, it is safe, Cate wrote.

There will always be people who have reactions to the vaccine that people will hear about, he explained.

Cate has heard about the fear among not only regular citizens, but a few health care providers as well, he wrote.

"There is always a subset of people that are suspect about any new product, and I am not going to be able to change their opinions about that, nor am I going to try," he wrote. "From what I have seen, it is a safe vaccine, and I would recommend it for everyone."

If the H1N1 epidemic is stronger next year and Dudley has seen the first year's events after the vaccine, she may consider getting it for herself and her kids, she said.

The vaccine's release next month is still too early in Dudley's eyes, she said.

"If my kids had potential with other medical issues, then I would think it puts you in a whole other scenario," she said.

Related: Pro: Don't take chances with deadly flu strain



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