Monday, November 9, 2009

Preservative Free H1N1 Vaccine

There are a lot of pregnant women with concerns about the H1N1 vaccine. Here is one of the emails I got this week.

Hi, I am 9 months pregnant and live in Peoria... did we get any doses of the H1N1 vacine without the thimerosal?

The CDC says only 12 percent of the H1N1 injectable vaccines are preservative free. However, it doesn't sound like any of the vaccines obtained by Peoria County are preservative free. I haven't gotten a clear cut answer on this, but most of the time I have been told the injectable vaccine DOES contain thimerasol (mercury.) (at least in Peoria County)

The nasal mist vaccine does not contain thimerasol. It carries a live, attenuated virus. Pregnant women and those with compromised immune systems cannot take the live virus. What a nightmare for a lot of pregnant women. Many would like to avoid injecting themselves with a known neurotoxin like mercury while they are pregnant. I am not saying the small amount of mercury in the vaccine will hurt the fetus, but I can understand why pregnant women would want to avoid it. Many pregnant women won't even take Tylenol.

The Peoria City/County Health Department says they are giving out 1,000 doses of the vaccine at each clinic this week. So if you want to get the shot before they run out, get to the clinics early. However, you don't have to be at one of the first clinics of the week. They won't be running out before Friday. Also, the health department is supposed to get another 5,000 doses at some point.

If you want your child to get a mercury-free dead virus, you are out of luck. Most kids, unless their immune systems are compromised, will be getting the live nasal vaccine. "Mom or Dad don't feel comfortable with that" will not be accepted as a reason to give your child a shot instead. The nurses are asking a series of questions. Your answers will determine which vaccine you get. You do not get to choose.

The PCHD says some doctor's office will be getting the vaccine for their patients. However, there is no list available to the public.

It sounds like we will see a lot more people getting seriously ill from the swine flu at the same time more concerns are raised about the vaccine. Did anyone get the vaccine today?

Oh and it looks like we aren't the only ones having trouble getting a preservative free swine flu vaccine. Here is an article out of Atlanta.

-NewsAnchorMom Jen

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