Calling all mamas! I’m looking to take a poll and could really use your input. I’m sitting here thinking about the latest dilemma/threat facing our children, only this one not only affects the kids. This threat isn’t discriminatory based on age, or gender, or race. It hits anyone susceptible, and it hits hard.
I’m talking about the flu.
No, not the H1N1 (swine) flu, not specifically. I’m talking about the flu in general, and how many millions of different strands there are out there. The flu is mutating faster than the scientists can create vaccines for, even the “regular” flu, for lack of a better term.
As a volunteer in a high-risk organization (Search and Rescue), I receive my flu shot for free, should I choose to get one. I’ve never had a flu shot and have only caught the flu maybe twice my entire adult life. That has me pondering what that flu shot is really doing.
Here’s the facts: the flu shot is a dead flu virus injected into your body. White blood cells attack the foreign substance and, although you may feel some mild symptoms of the flu as your body fights it off, your body will build an immunity to the specific strand injected into you. With the flu nose spray, you are inhaling a dormant, yet still alive version of the flu string, but works on the same principle. Put something foreign in your body and it will fight it off. They hope.
The whole point of injecting the flu into you is so you won’t catch the flu if you’re exposed to it. What happens if you’re exposed to the infinity of other strands out there and not the single strand you were injected with? Was that shot really worth it, getting the flu (even a mild case) just to build an immunity to a strand you didn’t even get exposed to?
That leads me to today’s topic. How far will we go to protect our kids from these ever-mutating viruses? Would you inject your child with a dead virus to build up their immune system? What about a live virus? What about tossing them in a room full of sick people and seeing if they come out with anything?
Montana is one of the two states in the lower forty-eight that doesn’t have a pandemic on their hands with the latest, greatest, flu virus (as of October 9th). It is also one of the states with the lowest count of the vaccine available to them. Coincidence? Hmm… Maybe the reason we don’t have widespread flu is that we don’t run out and get a flu shot every year. Maybe we’ve just been lucky.
I don’t know the answer. I’m not a doctor and don’t play one on TV. I’m just a parent who has her kids look up to her (except the 17-year-old boy, who is six foot three and I have to crane my neck to look at him) with trust, knowing I’ll do nothing to ever hurt them. I can’t say the flu shot doesn’t have lasting side effects. The FDA is getting way to “approval” happy with its meds. How do I know the flu shot today won’t make my daughter sterile in the future? If you don’t believe me, look at Yaz. That birth control wasn’t even on the market a year and they found serious side effects they didn’t find in the trial studies.
Okay, so I’m going to extremes here. I admit there. But I still ask myself, how far will we go?