Sunday, November 1, 2009


To get vaccinated or not to get vaccinated . . . that is the question . . .

Honestly, for me, it wasn't much of a question. Liam's pediatrician recommended the shot, so that's what I planned to do from the beginning. It seemed to make sense to me as Liam is in daycare with 10 other babies, all of whom are in the "if I can put it in my mouth I will" stage and that makes for A LOT of germ sharing. (Ironically, that is about the only thing that infants and toddlers share!) It is inevitable that H1N1 will rear it's ugly head in the daycare and when it does, it will spread like wildfire. I feel that as a parent it is my job to do whatever I can to protect Liam (and myself as I am in the daycare too!) from getting it. And that means to get the shot.

But Daddy wasn't sure that he wanted Liam to get the vaccination. He was concerned by the fact that the vaccine wasn't very throughly tested and that no one knows the long term effects. And that there are many doctors out there that are saying to stay away from the shot. Unfortunately all of his reasons for not wanting Liam to get the shot are just as valid as my reasons for wanting him to get it.

So we debated the pros and cons and asked everyone we knew what they thought and what they were doing for themselves and their kids. We want what's best for our baby but it is so hard to know what that is in this situation.

In the end, we decided that Liam and I would get the shot. There was a clinic in North Gower today, so I got up this morning and headed over to the Alfred Taylor RA to line up for a wrist band which would guarantee us a shot today. We arrived at 7:00 and began to wait. The atmosphere around our spot in line was a little tense and concerned as it was immediately apparent that we were not going to be in the 300 wristbands that were guaranteed to be handed out at 7:30am. Many rumors circulated as we waited . . . they didn't have enough vaccine, they had to wait for more to come from other clinics, they didn't have enough people to administer the vaccine, there would be more wristbands, there wouldn't be anymore wrist bands . . . as the minutes ticked by, the rumors continued to grow . . . finally we got the official word that they would be giving out 300 more wristbands. Still, I wasn't sure we were going to get one, there were still many people ahead of us. But at 10:30, after 3 and a half hours of waiting, Liam and I had wristbands. We were to return at 1:00pm for our shots. I felt relieved . . . it would be smooth sailing from there.

I couldn't have been more wrong. We arrived back just before 1:00 and was told that we would have at least an hour wait before we got into the building and another hour and a half once we were inside. I could have cried! So back in line we went. Eventually someone from Ottawa Public Health came out and explained the situation . . . in order to get as many people as possible through the clinic today, they had double booked return times. They assured us that we would all get the shot, but that it would take time. As much as I understand their desire to get as many people as possible vaccinated, I wish that they had given later return times as opposed to double booking. However, at that point, I had two choices . . . wait or give up and do it all over again next weekend. I waited. At around 4pm, we finally got into the building and then things moved fairly quickly. We got our shots and were finished and ready to leave by 5pm.

It was a LONG, EXHAUSTING day and I am glad that it is over. However, we have to do it all again in three weeks. Young child need to get two shots of this vaccine, at least 21 days apart. So, on November 26th, when Ottawa Public Health again invades the Alfred Taylor RA in North Gower, I will be there again. Hopefully by then they lines will have dwindled, but given that these are the only two clinics scheduled for North Gower, I am going to guess that it will be much of the same.


  1. I'm another parent worried about long term effects from the shot. I'm afraid it'll end up another "Have you or a loved one suffered _____, _____, or _____ after taking the H1N1 vaccine? If so, call us now." type of commercial. I'm STILL weighing pros and cons with the hubby..

  2. I havent decided if I am going to get it for my son. He is in daycare, and actually a baby in his class had the H1N1 flu two weeks ago - but it was isolated. The teachers are really really anal about keeping things clean...doesnt mean it cant happen, but at least they are making a genuine effort. I am just on the fence with it. Since I am BF'ing my baby is getting my antibodies anyway, so hopefully that will be enough. And hey - babies get sick....and from what I hear the H1N1 flu virus is just like any other strain of the flu....Argh! I dont know what I am going to do....I have two weeks till his appt to figure it out! Thanks for the post, it got me to start thinking about it!