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Flu shot? [Jun. 19th, 2007|03:37 pm]
A birth community for homebirthers etc.


My OB suggested something that I hadn't thought of during my last appointment. Getting a flu shot.  

She went on about how the Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) recommend a flu shot for women who will be pregnant during flu season (October to mid-May) and that pregnant women are considered to be in a high risk group. I asked why and she said because pregnancy suppresses a woman's immune system, we are at a higher risk for getting the flu, with far more serious symtoms and risk getting pneumonia and suffering other complications from the flu.

The flu (inactivated virus) shot does contain thimerosal, a mercury-containing compound.. but of course the CDC says 'because pregnant women are at increased risk for influenza-related complications and because a substantial safety margin has been incorporated into the health guidance values for organic mercury exposure, the benefit of influenza vaccine with reduced or standard thimerosal content outweighs the potential risk, if any, for thimerosal.'

Personally, I think the CDC can take a flying leap.  I've never had a flu shot, so I don't know how my body will react, and I rarely get sick. 

So I thought I'd pose the question to y'all since it seems so far there are many a like minded friend here. I'm not sure yet if I'll get one, but I'm pretty sure I'm going to opt "out" as it were.

From: sew_crafty_girl
2007-06-19 10:02 pm (UTC)
I haven't done any research about this, but I will talk to my midwife, when the clinics start here in Oct/Nov.

I work in public health and get the shot every year at my work site (and have never had any ill effects). It's actually policy here that if an employee gets the flu but has opted not to get the shot, then they will not be paid for sick time off.
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[User Picture]From: isarma
2007-06-19 10:05 pm (UTC)
I work in public health, too:) I'm a breastfeeding counselor at WIC, so I have less exposure than those that say, work the front desk. Alot of my work is over the phone. Still, they do make them available. I actually recently declined TB testing. Mine hasn't "expired" yet, but they wanted the whole department on the same schedule. I know they list no ill effects, but I don't want to put any unnecessary things into my pregnant body or screw with my immune system, so I opted out. I promised to do it once I birth, upon returning to work. It wasn't that big of a deal, apparently. Yeay!
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[User Picture]From: isarma
2007-06-19 10:03 pm (UTC)
The only person I know that got the flu this year also got the flu shot! LOL

Seriously, though, I only get that sort of thing if I believe there's a real and imminent danger in the disease. Me getting the flu sucks, but it's not a big deal. I can see why some elderly people would get it and probably formula fed infants. I think it's ridiculous for a breastfed infant, too.
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[User Picture]From: belleweather
2007-06-19 10:11 pm (UTC)
Last time, I got a flu shot because I was both working and going to school at an enormous university and undergraduates living in dorms, drinking too much and eating crappy food is like God's gift to the influenza virus. So I felt like I was at a high enough risk for getting the flu that it was worth getting the shot, especially since I have Asthma and every time I get a lung illness my asthma goes nuts.

This time, on the other hand, I'm graduated and at least at the moment unemployed so I feel like my risk is lower. If I start working in a big office environment, I'll think about getting one later in my pregnancy. But right now, I'm skipping it.

Also, I've heard that flu shots for kids under two are actually slightly less effective than a placebo, so we're skipping it for the new baby and my toddler as well.
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[User Picture]From: valkynlu
2007-06-19 11:04 pm (UTC)
I've never gotten a flu shot either. I'll be opting out per the usual. I generally dislike the public and don't go to highly populated areas very often, so I don't feel like I'm at a high risk of it. :)
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[User Picture]From: geeki
2007-06-19 11:20 pm (UTC)
I've never gotten the flu shot, and I don't have any intention of getting it any time soon.

I talked to my OBGYN about it, and she said she thought it wasn't worth the effort.
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