Recent Poll Shows Many Parents Oppose H1N1 Vaccine For Their Kids

According to a poll conducted last month by the Associated Press (AP), it seems that more than a third of all parents in the United States oppose getting their children vaccinated against the H1N1 virus, originally known as the Swine Flu.

Some parents stated that the vaccine is too new and were worried about possible side effects, while others commented that the swine flu is no worse than the regular season flu.

Officials at the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention said getting children vaccinated against the H1N1 virus is important. Unlike with the regular flu, the CDC said that its studies have shown that children have no natural antibodies effective against the virus. This can cause the disease to last longer with the symptoms being more severe, according to CDC’s website. This same website also states that immunizations can help stop the spread of the disease.

So far, CDC officials have said there have been no serious side effects reported as a result of the vaccine. This still doesn’t help soothe the nerves of some parents. One of them is Jackie Shea, the mother of a 5-year-old son in Newtown, Conn. “We’re talking about putting an unknown into him,” she told the AP. “I can’t do that.”

“It is not an unknown”, Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius reported last week. “We know it’s safe and secure,” she said.

Because of people’s fears, however, the federal government has set up a monitoring service to look for negative side effects.

This AP poll was conducted from the 1st of October through the 5th of October. Some of those parents who were polled stated that they remembered getting immunizations against the swine flu in 1976 which resulted in a torrent of complaints from people who said the vaccine gave them a paralyzing condition known as Guillain-Barre syndrome.

Health officials never found a link between the vaccine and the disease, claiming that the disease “was bound to show up in such a large population anyway”.

Jennifer Barnes of Decatur, Georgia, enrolled herself and her two children in an early government study of the new vaccine. She said parents are polarized on the vaccine issue. “There’s the ‘crunchy granola group‘ against the vaccines”, she told the AP. “Then there’s the ‘very staunch, follow-everything group’.”

She said she wanted the vaccine, not only for her own children, but to do her part to help control the extent and severity of a pandemic that has caused 9,000 hospitalizations and 600 deaths nationwide, 60 of those being children.

“My kids hang around kids who might have lowered immune systems,” she told the Associated Press. “I would hate for them to get something and pass it on.”

Now it’s your turn to weigh-in on this heated debate…..

So what do you think?

Is it all hype or should the warnings be heeded?

Should parents ignore the swine flu vaccine?

Leave your comments below…..

H1N1 Symptoms Plus Protection & Prevention


Protect Yourself and Your Family against H1N1

What is It?

The H1N1 virus (initially called Swine flu) is a new strain of the influenza virus that has been spreading in the United States since April 2009.  As far as health officials know, it spreads from person to person just like the more common strains of influenza. Since June 11, 2009, the World Health Organization has considered H1N1 a pandemic.

Most people who are diagnosed with H1N1 recover without medical treatment. However, because medical authorities don’t know how it will behave during flu season, and because it has caused severe illness and death in a few cases, please exercise caution.

How do I get it?

That’s where we are in familiar territory. The H1N1 virus spreads the way seasonal influenza does – an infected person coughs or sneezes, you touch an infected surface or hand (or get coughed or sneezed on) and then touch your mouth or eyes or anything else that isn’t protected by that first component of your immune system, your skin. Since you can’t go around in a bubble for the duration of flu season, it’s important to wash your hands often, avoid touching your mouth, eyes, etc., and cover coughs and sneezes just in case.

If you do become infected, realize that you can spread the virus even after your symptoms are gone. Continue to wash your hands, cover your mouth, and avoid close contact for a few days after you start to feel better.

How do I know if I have it?

The symptoms of H1N1 are similar to seasonal flu symptoms, and include fever, cough, runny nose, aches, chills, and fatigue. In some cases, people reported diarrhea and vomiting.  If you experience these symptoms, check with your doctor and try to avoid going out in public.

What are the differences between the symptoms of a cold and the H1N1 virus?

The following table can also help you tell the difference between a common cold and H1N1 Flu:

Symptom Cold H1N1 Flu
Fever Fever is rare with a cold Fever is usually present with the flu in up to 80% of all flu cases. A temperature of 100 degrees Farenheight or higher for 3 to 4 days is associated with the flu.
Coughing A hacking, productive (mucus- producing) cough is often present with a cold. A non-productive (non-mucus producing) cough is usually present with the flu (sometimes referred to as dry cough).
Aches Slight body aches and pains can be part of a cold. Severe aches and pains are common with the flu.
Stuffy Nose Stuffy nose is commonly present with a cold and typically resolves spontaneously within a week. Stuffy nose is not commonly present with the flu.
Chills Chills are uncommon with a cold. 60% of people who have the flu experience chills.
Tiredness Tiredness is fairly mild with a cold. Tiredness is moderate to severe with the flu.
Sneezing Sneezing is commonly present with a cold. Sneezing is not common with the flu.
Sudden Symptoms Cold symptoms tend to develop over a few days. The flu has a rapid onset within 3-6 hours. The flu hits hard and includes sudden symptoms like high fever, aches and pains.
Headache A headache is fairly uncommon with a cold. A headache is very common with the flu, present in 80% of flu cases.
Sore Throat Sore throat is commonly present with a cold. Sore throat is not commonly present with the flu.
Chest Discomfort Chest discomfort is mild to moderate with a cold. Chest discomfort is often severe with the flu.

Of course, if you’re unsure if you have the flu, it’s best to consult with your physician.

What can I do to prevent it?

When and where available, H1N1 vaccinations are a recommended precaution you can take. However, there are several everyday things you can do to reduce your risk of getting or spreading the virus:

  • Cover your nose and mouth when you cough or sneeze. Throw tissues in the trash after you use them. (Please don’t leave your used tissues on the dining room table. It’s gross and a health risk.)
  • Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water or with alcohol-based instant hand sanitizers. During the spring there was a run on these, so you may want to pick up a bottle just in case.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth (especially after bowling, because we are really not sure about what’s growing in the bowling ball holes) to avoid spreading germs.
  • We know that you love sick people and want to take them chicken soup, but just push it through the mail slot or something. Keep you distance until they’re better.
  • If you get sick, the CDC recommends you stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks, and we recommend you avoid hugging the people who want to bring you chicken soup.
  • Stock up on the medicine, tissues and hand sanitizers you might need now so that you don’t have to go out in public once you get sick. These are good things to have on hand anyway, and if you’ve already got them you won’t risk infecting the rest of us.

H1N1 Fears Lead To Rush On Tamiflu

H1N1 fears lead to rush on Tamiflu

Parents are scrambling to find the liquid medicine for their kids

Original Article by Rob SteinBuy Tamiflu Here

The Washington Post

Posted @ 7:26 a.m. CT, Thursday, October 29, 2009

Reprinted here due to expiration of original post:


Then it was the quest for the vaccine. Now, as increasing numbers of children are coming down with swine flu, more parents are facing yet another anxiety-provoking chase: the hunt for liquid Tamiflu for kids.

Spot shortages of the liquid form of the medicine are forcing mothers and fathers to drive from pharmacy to pharmacy, often late into the evening after getting a diagnosis and prescription from a pediatrician, in search of the syrupy concoction recommended for the youngest victims of the global pandemic.

“It was so frustrating,” said Cheryl Copeland of Silver Spring, who finally found some of the elusive medication for her sick 5-year-old son, William, at an independent drug store Monday after being turned away by a CVS and Rite Aid. “There was a moment when the first pharmacist said, ‘We don’t have it. There’s been a run on it,’ When I said to myself, ‘Where on Earth am I going to find it?’ “

The drug can make the flu milder, go away more quickly and may cut the risk of serious, potentially life-threatening complications. The shortages are being caused by a surge in demand because of the second wave of swine flu sweeping the country, combined with a decision by the Swiss company that makes the medication to focus on producing the drug in capsules.

In response, the federal government has shipped hundreds of thousands of courses to states from the Strategic National Stockpile, which is on standby in case there are bioterrorism attacks or natural disease outbreaks. Officials have also instructed doctors to suggest that pharmacists break open capsules and mix the powdered contents with syrup to make a liquefied version for children on their own if the company’s version is unavailable.

‘Patients are getting treated’
The Food and Drug Administration and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have also posted the formula for pharmacists to follow, including guidelines for the correct dosing by each child’s weight.

Taken together, federal health officials are confident that there is enough Tamiflu available in the capsule or liquid forms to make sure children can get treated promptly.

“For the most part, patients, are getting treated,” said Greg Burel, director of the CDC’s division of the Strategic National Stockpile. “There have been shortages in sporadic spots, but generally it’s still available.”

Roche, the manufacturer, is still producing the liquid form of the medication. But after consulting with U.S. and World Health Organization officials, the firm decided to focus on the capsules when it ramped up production to meet an expected surge in demand after the H1N1 virus emerged in the spring. That allows it to produce 25 times the amount of medication it would have otherwise, officials said.

“The bottom line is looking at how the company could ramp up as quickly as possible to get as much medicine out as possible. This was the best way to do it,” said company spokeswoman Kristina Becker, noting that the company has been increasing production capacity in 2005 since the ominous avian flu virus emerged in Asia.

The company also makes lower-dose capsules that children can take or parents can open themselves to mix the powder with a sweetened liquid to help them take it. But they should do this carefully following a doctor’s instructions to ensure the proper dose, officials said.

Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius released 300,000 doses of the liquid formulation from the national stockpile earlier this month, including some doses that had to be tested by FDA to make sure they were still potent because their expiration dates had expired.

“We believe the shortage may become more severe as the disease progresses in coming weeks,” Burel said. “So what we tried to do is take steps to fill a potential gap.”

Anxious hours for parents
But the spot shortages are creating anxious hours for many parents, especially because children appear to be among those at greatest risk from the disease. While the overwhelming majority of children who get swine flu recover, nearly 100 children have died from the disease so far this year, which is about double the number that die from the flu in a typical winter. The antiviral medication, also known as oseltamivir, along with another called zanamivir or Relenza, is highly effective, especially when administered within the first 48 hours of developing symptoms.

“The earlier the better,” said Tim Uyeki, a medical epidemiologist at the CDC’s influenza division. “Antiviral treatment should be started as quickly as possible.”

In fact, in response to the pandemic the FDA issued a special emergency authorization in April allowing the use of Tamiflu for children younger than age 1. But many infants, and many other young children, can only swallow the liquid form of Tamiflu.

‘It was pretty stressful’
Shelley Waters Boots of Silver Spring scrambled to find some liquid Tamiflu for her 2-year-old son, Carlin, who was prescribed the medication at Holy Cross Hospital last week after being diagnosed with the swine flu. Carlin is considered at high risk because of his asthma. The first seven pharmacies Boots tried did not have it, prompting her to start frantically calling relatives in New York, Florida and California before finally finding the medicine at the same pharmacy where Copeland did.

“I was like, ‘Thank god!’ It was pretty stressful,” Waters Boots said. “They said it was so important to get it in the next 48 hours. So that night before I found it I was freaking out.”

The Kensington Pharmacy, which filled the prescriptions for Copeland and Boots, has been getting requests for 10 to 15 prescriptions a day.

“The formula is very simple,” Tunc Husseyin, the pharmacy’s owner, adding, however, that the process was more time-consuming than filling a typical prescription. “A lot of other pharmacies are calling us to see if we make it and sending us their patients.”

Stores still experiencing shortages
Major drug store chains, including Walgreens, CVS, Rite Aid and Wal-Mart, say pharmacists at all their stores can prepare the liquid form of the medication individually, a process known as “compounding.” But several of the national chains said that some of their stores were still experiencing spot shortages if they ran low on the capsules or the syrup, which is made by two companies that have been racing to keep up with demand as well.

In some cases, pharmacies have run low because of sudden outbreaks, such as what recently occurred in Crystal Lake, Ill.

“All of a sudden you have hundreds of kids out of school and we couldn’t anticipate hundreds of prescriptions coming in within several hours,” said James Cohn, a Walgreens spokesman. “Within 24 hours or so we are able to get supplies back into the location. But over time we’re seeing more and more instances where there have been shortages.”

Combined with her hunt for vaccine for her son and daughter, who also got the flu, Boots was frustrated by the government’s response to the pandemic.

“We’ve been too little too late on both counts,” she said. “It’s the same story.”

H1N1 Virus – Swine Flu Resources & Tips

H1N1-pandemic-logoInformation within the ever-changing world of the H1N1 epidemic pandemic needs a place for resources to turn to for assistance as well as a place to answer questions about this particular virus. The links below should help keep you informed with up to date information and news sources on the Swine Flu pandemic as well as tips on how to deal with it when you find yourself surrounded by it.

All of the listings in the next section just below are links to posts within this website.Swine Flu_Fears


H1N1 Fears Lead to Rush on Tamiflu

Parents are scrambling to find the liquid medicine for their kids

TAMIFLUThe medicine Tamiflu can make the flu milder, go away more quickly and may cut the risk of serious, potentially life-threatening complications. But some parents are having a tough time finding the liquid version to treat their young children…..

…article continues here [LINK] —> from MSNBC/Washington Post [28 October 2009]

* Update – The LINK above is a re-posting of the original link that had already expired.


Helpful Links:

  • AAP.orgAmerican Academy of Pediatrics

  • Flu.govA service of the US Depatment of Health and Human Services

  • FDAUS Food and Drug Administration

  • NIAIDNational Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases

  • OSHA Occupational Safety and Health Administration

  • USDA United States Department of Agriculture

  • Medline PlusUS National Library of Medicine and National Institutes of Health

  • WHOWorld Health Organization


The most current and updated information can be found at the website of the Center for Disease Control & Prevention.

Here is their link >>CDC


10 Things You Should Know About The H1N1 Virus This Season

Swine Flu Update > 10 Things You Should Know About The H1N1 Virus This Season

H1N1-pandemic-logoHere you will find updated information about the H1N1 Virus (Swine Flu) as we’re heading into the fall and flu season of 2009.

The global swine flu epidemic has sickened more than 1 million Americans and about 500 people have succumbed to it since it first emerged last April. Since it has spread worldwide, tens of thousands have been infected and nearly 2,000 have died.

As this summer is winding down, the virus has surprisingly taken a stronghold in the United States, refusing to fade away as flu viruses normally do. Health officials are now predicting a surge of cases this fall season, perhaps being more substantially noticeable in the very near future as schools have reopened for the new school year.

A panel of experts from a recent White House report  suggests that from 30% to 50% of the population could catch swine flu during the course of this pandemic and that from 30,000 to 90,000 could possibly die.

So how worried should you be and how do you prepare?

To help consolidate the mass amount of information being released by the panel of experts in Washington DC along with the CDC (Center For Disease Control), here are 10 things you should know to be more knowledgeable or to put it another way, “flu-savvy”.

(1) – There is NO cause for panic –

So far, swine flu isn’t much more threatening than regular seasonal flu. During the few months of this new flu’s existence, hospitalizations and deaths from it seem to be lower than the average in comparison to seasonal flu, and the virus hasn’t dramatically mutated. That’s what health officials have observed in the Southern Hemisphere where flu season is now winding down. Still, more people are susceptible to swine flu and American health officials are worried because it took such a firm grasp here during the summer….. a time of year the flu usually dissipates.

(2) – The virus will be tougher on selective groups –

Swine flu is more of a threat to certain groups:

  • children under 2
  • pregnant women
  • people afflicted with health problems like asthma, diabetes and heart disease

Teens and young adults are also more vulnerable to swine flu.

Ordinary, seasonal flu hits older people the hardest, but not in this case with the swine flu. Scientists think older people may have built up some immunity to it from exposure over the years to viruses similar to swine flu.

(3) – Wash your hands longer and more frequently –

Just like with seasonal flu, Swine Flu spreads through the coughs and sneezes of people who are sick. You should emphasize to children that they should wash with soap and water long enough to finish singing the alphabet song, “Now I know my ABC’s…”

It is also highly recommended to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers on a regular basis.

(4) – Get the kids and most ‘at-risk’ groups vaccinated –

These groups should be first in line for swine flu shots, especially if vaccine supplies are limited:

  • Young people from 6 months to 24 years old
  • Pregnant women
  • People affected with those high-risk medical conditions previously noted.
    Also a priority:
  • Health care workers.
  • Parents and caregivers of infants

(5) – Act quickly and get your shots early –H1N1_Vaccine

Millions of swine flu shots should be available by mid-October. If you are in one of the priority groups, try to get your shot as early as possible. Check with your doctor or (local or state) health department about where to do this. Many children should be able to get vaccinated at school. You can expect permission forms to be sent home in advance.

(6) – Immunity takes awhile –

Even those first in line for shots won’t have immunity until around Thanksgiving. That’s because it’s more than likely going to take two shots… given three weeks apart… to provide protection. And it takes a week or two after the last shot for the vaccine to take full effect. The regular seasonal flu shot should be widely available in September.

People over 50 are urged to be among the first to get that shot.

(7) – Vaccines are being tested –

Health officials presume the swine flu vaccine is safe and effective, but they’re testing it to make sure. The federal government has begun studies in eight cities across the country to assess its effectiveness and figure out the best dose. Vaccine makers are doing their own tests as well.

(8) – If you’re surrounded by swine flu, then what? –

If an outbreak of swine flu hits your area before you’re vaccinated… be extra cautious!

  • In general, try to keep your distance from people — Stay away from public gathering places like malls, sports events, concerts, churches, crowded movie theaters, crowded restaurants, etc.
  • Keep washing those hands with soap and water (remember the sanitizer also) and keep your hands away from your eyes, nose and mouth.

(9) – What if you get sick? –

  • If you have other health problems or are pregnant and develop flu-like symptoms, call your doctor right away. You may be prescribed Tamiflu or Relenza. These drugs can reduce the severity of swine flu if taken right after symptoms start.
  • If you develop breathing problems (rapid breathing for kids), pain in your chest, constant vomiting or a fever that keeps rising… go to an emergency room.
  • Most people should just stay home and get some rest.
  • Cough into your elbow or shoulder.
  • Stay home for at least 24 hours after your fever breaks.
  • Fluids and pain relievers like Tylenol can help with aches and fever.
  • Always check with a doctor before giving children any medicines. Adult cold and flu remedies are not meant for them.

(10) – No swine flu from barbecue –

You can’t catch swine flu from pork – or poultry either (even though it recently turned up in some turkeys in Chile).

Swine flu is not spread by handling meat, whether it’s raw or cooked.


Here are a few recent posts from this blog related to this important topic:


cdc_logoFor any additional information, go to the CDC website(s) listed below:

U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention