I am so conflicted about getting a flu shot this time around. I got one with both of my other pregnancies and they are both totally fine. I get one every year and so do my boys but now I'm second guessing. I'm not gonna get the swine flu shot, I'm trying to not let all the hype get to me, but the regular one I'm still just not sure about. I have found scary things on the internet about both sides of the argument. What will you do? How do you feel about the swine flu shot?

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Laura, I am choosing not to get either. I don't ever get the flu shot and I know some people really feel more comfortable getting it every year, but for me I just believe that my body is strong enough without it. I am really trying to do my best to be as natural and drug free throughout my pregnancy and birth. I feel you just never know with all of that stuff and my body was made to do this and I don't want any vaccine to compromise my immune system. I have a lot of friends that don't do the research and just do what their doctor says and their kids are yes "fine" but they seem to always get sick and ear infections. I think our medical system has played to our fears and who wants to put their baby or themselves at risk... but sometimes I think we have to think logically and if we feed our bodies with plenty of nutrition that to me is much more important... But this is all my opinion and in the end you have to do what YOU most feel comfortable with.. You don't want to do something because your afraid.. either way.
I am going to get the regular seasonal flu vaccination for both myself and my one year old, but I'm really wishy-washy on the H1N1 vaccine right now. I'll definitely be doing way more research before I make that decision!
I never get the flu shot and I will not be getting it this year esp since I'm pregnant. I'm trying to take as little drugs as possible so I won't be getting the swine flu vaccine either. My OBGYN office is giving the swine flu vaccine and assured me it was completely safe. But I always do my own research. I'm reading The Vaccine Book written by Dr Sears and he has a great website with updates from the book. This is just the facts about the vaccine!! I thought you might want to read it - http://www.askdrsears.com/thevaccinebook/

How are these vaccines manufactured?

Here is the interesting part. Everyone has been worrying and theorizing about how these BRAND NEW vaccines are going to be made and what new and dangerous ingredients they might contain. Well, what has ended up happening is that these four companies have made their “swine” flu vaccines using the exact same process and ingredients that they’ve used for their regular flu vaccines. All they’ve changed is the strain of the flu germs that go into the vaccine. Not to say that these vaccines are completely chemical free and 100% safe. But we aren’t dealing with brand new flu vaccines here. We are dealing with the same thing we face with flu shots every year: same chemical ingredients, new flu vaccine strains. You can find out more details on how regular flu shots are made in the flu chapter of the vaccine book, and apply that same process to the “swine” flu vaccines.

* Sanofi Pasteur’s pandemic H1N1 vaccine is analogous to their regular flu vaccine Fluzone, a brand that has been in use for several years.
* CSL’s pandemic H1N1 vaccine is analogous to their regular flu vaccine Afluria, a newer player in the flu vaccine market that was first made last year for the 2008/2009 flu season.
* Novartis’s pandemic H1N1 vaccine is analogous to their regular flu vaccine Fluvirin, which has been around for a few years (previously made by Chiron).
* MedImmune’s live nasal spray pandemic H1N1 vaccine is analogous to their regular nasal spray Flumist.

What safety and efficacy testing has been done on these vaccines?

Here is where we are flying by the seat of our pants, so to speak. The product inserts make it VERY clear that the “swine” flu versions of these vaccines have NOT undergone any testing to demonstrate whether or not they are safe and whether or not they even work. They are relying on the fact that they are so similar to the regular flu shots that they should work just as well.

Although I don’t like that approach, I must admit that they may be right. I don’t see any reason to doubt that our immune systems won’t respond to this vaccine the same way they respond to regular flu shots. And I don’t expect that the side effects would be any different either. In The Vaccine Book, I give a lot of detail about flu vaccine ingredients and side effects that you should be aware of before getting this shot.

What about pregnant and/or nursing mothers?

This is a little scary. The flu shots are ALREADY recommended for pregnant and nursing moms, BUT (and this is a really huge but) the vaccine product inserts make it very clear that the regular flu vaccines have never been tested on pregnant or nursing women to determine if there is any harm to fetuses or young babies (with one exception – the ­­­­Flumist nasal spray brand did have some testing in this area, BUT not enough, as is stated in the product insert).

Despite this complete lack of research, it is recommended for these moms anyway. Anyone see a problem with that?

If you do get a flu shot, at least make sure it is mercury free (or at least only TRACE mercury).
We will not get the flu shot. I never have either. The link below to The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears did very well to lay out the facts. I had made my decision long ago not to get the flu shots. We will do the same thing we have always done, eat well (as organic and non-processed as possible), wash our hands and take care of ourselves.
My DH is ADAMANT that I get both flu shots. He is scared about reports that H1N1 can be fatal to pregnant women. I don't have a MW yet but as soon as I get one I am going to follow her recommendation.
This is good website for all vacc info www.nvic.org
I got both flu shots. I was ambivalent at first, but the thing that scared me is the unpredictability of those who die or have severe complications from H1N1. In seasonal flu it's pretty much a known that people who can die from it are over 65, young children, and people with auto-immune disorders. While young children and folks with auto-immune disorders are also extremely susceptible to dangerous complications from H1N1, there are also an increasingly large population of people who were totally healthy and the CDC has no idea why they died. Because the danger level is unpredictable, I figure, better safe than sorry. It's just two bruised arms instead of one.

And I agree that it can be a cause for alarm that the vaccines haven't been thoroughly tested on pregnant women, but I do know this: that if I get the H1N1 flu I'll be in a measurably dangerous condition for me and my baby versus a hypothetical one with the vaccine.
My 3 kids all have the necessary vaccines, but I have never given them the seasonal flu shots. I simply don't believe in them. I won't be vaccinating them for the H1N1 either.

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