Posted by Bronwyn
We got a letter from school in the dreaded 'Wednesday Packet,'
which is filled with papers to throw away every week.
The letter was from our school district and the Cook County
Board of Health to notify us that swine flu vaccinations were going
to be administered at our elementary school and we needed to sign
the consent form. A couple of sheets with very basic flu
information were included as well as the 800 number at CCBH to
contact for questions, but that was about it.
My son has had all of his regular vaccinations, but has never
gotten a flu shot. We never seem to get sick any more often than
anyone else-including friends and neighbors who do get flu shots.
But swine flu is supposed to be something different all together. I
am not opposed to vaccines at all-just feeling a little railroaded
by the procedure.
The information sent by the county includes the notice that both
live and inactive vaccine will be administered (basically a shot or
a snort up the nose) but I am not permitted to choose which one my
child will have.
It then gives the less-than-reassuring information that the
'inactive' vaccine may or may not be preserved with thermasol,
which some studies have linked to autism. It states that the CCBH
does not believe there is a connection. Since they don't seem to
know which boxes of vaccine even have the thermasol in
them, it makes me wonder if they are even able to track it.
My issue is not so much that my son will almost have to receive
the swine flu vaccination at this point. Since pretty much every
other kid at school that day will be getting it, it seems that his
chances of getting sick could be increased if he is one of the few
who does not.
It isn't even the issue of thermasol and how the vaccine has
been cooked up, preserved, etc. There has been a great deal of
contradictory evidence on both sides of that argument over the past
few years and I have to say that I am still personally on the fence
about thermasol being linked to autism. I know I am inviting a lot
of angry comments and links to various studies and Web sites, but
it's the truth for me.
My main concern is that the vaccine to counteract swine flu has
undergone little or no testing in children. A neighbor of ours who
is a health care worker says that the group of kids getting it now
are basically going to be the large 'guinea pig' group. I know
world health organizations want to get this vaccine to people as
fast as possible, but with so many other drugs handed out to
children after only being tested on adults, I feel the need for
I may call the number, read more articles and visit more
information Web sites, but in the end, I'll most likely sign the
consent form. After also reading the long list of possible side
effects that came along with it, I am hoping I don't get a call
from the school to come and pick him up.
I know we don't want a worse epidemic on our hands. I know that
some suburban schools have been literally shut down by swine flu.
But so far we've managed to dodge it on our own. I almost wish my
son had gotten it and gotten immune on his own so I didn't have to
make a decision about the vaccine either way.
Let us plan your weekend with the best family events and activities in Chicagoland.
Start the week right with deals, prizes, parent life hacks and more delivered straight to your inbox.
Need last-minute ideas for a weekend of family fun? No worries. We've got you.
Get the inside scoop on the people, places and things we are loving right now.
Resources, tips, inspiration and more for parents of children with special needs.
Score exclusive offers from our fabulous advertisers.