Normally this organic mom steers clear of the vaccine debate. We skirted it in The Complete Organic Pregnancy on purpose – parents need to discuss the issues (real and less real) with their doctors and trusted advisers, and to make educated decisions that are right for their families. That’s what I do. But what’s right for me might not be right for you.
I cannot tell you how many emails I’ve gotten in the past few weeks asking me what to do about the H1N1 vaccine, and I don’t feel like I can ignore them all. These are from pregnant moms, parents, and even concerned grandparents from all walks of life. These are people who have never given their kids shots, people who have delayed vaccinations and never done flu shots, people who do give shots for deadly diseases but tend to think of flu shots as unnecessary. It’s a real conundrum. And it’s made that much worse by the media hype and misinformation. There’s even a pediatrician in my neighborhood telling parents there’s something in the H1N1 shot that has been linked to Gulf War Syndrome, and that we therefore don’t know what might show up years down the line. The parent spreading that story didn’t bother to ask what it was, or to see the studies her doctor was referring to, but was busily repeating it others, scaring/horrifying them. After a little independent research, I gather the doctor was referring to squalene, which isn’t, as of this moment, allowed in vaccines in the United States and so isn’t even an issue here….