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    Includes Expert Content
    Flu vaccine
    nic14120 posted:
    Hello. I am the mother of a 4 1/2 yr old and a 6 month old. My son has received the flu vaccine every year since he turned 6 months. He did receive the two rounds of the H1N1 vacc as well. I did not get the vaccine while I was pregnant with my recent pregnancy. I am having a hard time deciding if I want to get the vaccine. For my son, I felt that he has had so many years of vaccines, that he would be ok if he did not get it, however I am torn as he is in school now, and my daughter is so little. Do you know if the H1N1 strain has changed since the original mass vaccination? I did hear talks that the vaccine will soon be created in a very different (and gross way other than using eggs), has this started as of yet? In regards to my 6 month old, do you see babies in the 1st year that are considered healthy, that get the flu, recover well from it? I am so torn and want to do what is best, but I am fearful either way. My 6 month old has responded well to all her other vaccines, except she seems to react to the hepitis one, she gets red and swollen, all others there is never a reaction to them. Thank you so much!
    steckie98 responded:
    If it were me, I would get the vaccine for all who are able. I have a newborn who cannot receive it, so the rest of us are definitely getting it. Especially since my husband travels throughout the state for his job and I work in a clinic. In fact my husband and son went and got their shots this evening.
    phoenix31674 responded:
    It's not just the H1N1 strain being vaccinated against. There are several strains of flu in each year's vaccine and it changes from year to year to try to catch what researchers will be the dominant strains. Also the immunity to a given strain does wear off over time. There is a reason they recommend getting the flu shot every year unlike something like chicken pox or measles which is a slow mutation virus. Flu is a very rapidly mutating virus.

    Also keep in mind that your 6 month old will get the vaccine in two doses to be fully vaccinated, so until that second dose she will remain vulnerable. for the most part it is infants and elderly (and others with weakened immune systems) who are hit the worst with flu. The H1N1 flu was the exception - that seemed to hit folks in their prime the worst.

    Just given how horrible flu can be and that a little body will have a harder time fighting it off, I would recommend your entire family get the flu shot. I know myself, my 4.5 year old and my 1 year old will be getting shots this year.
    sarah0323 responded:
    Last year my 6 week old got the flu. Everyone else in the house had been vacinated against the flu. She was healthy until she got the flu. She ended up spending 14 day in the hospital total. She started with the flu and it turned to Pneumonia. It was horrible. She had such a hard time breathing. She was on oxygen for 10 of those days, she had IV's, and monitors every where. It was scary. I know your LO is a little older than mine was but why would you even want to chance it?

    Everyone in our house will be getting the flu shot this year. Even my SO who is afraid of needles gets the flu mist every year. The flu shots aren't readily available here yet but when they are everyone will be going to get theirs.

    Also, like PP said the flu strians change every year. You are actually receiving about 4 of the strains that the scientist think are going to be the most prevalant.
    Sarah 32, SO 32, DD1 11, DS1 7, DS2 4, DS3 3, DD2 3 months
    Sara DuMond, MD, FAAP responded:
    Hi nic14120,
    I am so glad that you posted this question. I think many parents struggle with this same issue. Let me directly answer the specific questions you raised. #1 - This year's flu vaccine contains identical strains to last year's shot. That might be tempting to take this information and feel reassurred, but the reality is that even though the strains are the same, and even though your son has received the flu shot previously, immunity from a flu shot only lasts about 6-12 months. This is why, even in the face of identical flu strains, it is recommended that people get vaccinated against flu every year. #2 - I am unaware of any new technology being used currently to create flu vaccine. #3 - With regard to your 6 month old son, and whether or not we see otherwise healthy babies under 1 year of age recover well from influenza, the answer is yes AND no. One of the replies on this thread from a mother of a young baby who was hospitalized with flu and secondary pneumonia is probably the most powerful piece of evidence that I could present to encourage everyone to get their children vaccinated. Certainly, the youngest and oldest, and those with underlying medical conditions are most at risk of having severe complications from influenza, but influenza is a highly virulent organism, and any time that's the case, the risk of severe infection is real, whether the child was previously healthy or not. Hope this helps you make your decision.
    Dr. DuMond
    kay_kay75 replied to Sara DuMond, MD, FAAP's response:
    Dr. Dumond,

    Do you suggest the preservative free Flu Vaccines for children? My Daughter is 8 months old, and I would prefer for her to have the preservative free vaccine, is there anything different between the two? other than the preservative?

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