Tuesday, October 27, 2009

some days, I just want to give up

With all the controversy surrounding the H1N1 vaccine, it took a lot to convince myself that the risk would be outweighed by the benefit. I asked the midwife if her clinic would be getting the vaccine to distribute.

Wouldn't it make sense, if pregnant women are at the top of the list of who should get the vaccine, that the vaccine should be distributed to OB's offices? Am I unreasonable for thinking that way?

Anyhow, no vaccine at the midwife's/OB's office. She instructed me to contact my primary care doc (does anyone really see their PCP more often than their OB/GYN/RE?- what a misnomer!), so I did. I specifically inquired about the H1N1 vaccine. I did NOT ask about the seasonal flu shot. I didn't even mention it. I was surprised when I got a call back yesterday informing me of a flu clinic this Friday and letting me know that they'd booked a slot for me. How nice! I was happy to be getting that over with before I had a chance to reconsider.

So, today, the PCP's office called to confirm Friday's appointment for the vaccine. Just to be on the safe side, I said, "This is for the H1N1 vaccine, right? That's the one I had called about." Nope- it's the seasonal vaccine. And no, they're not taking names or making a list or offering any information on the H1N1 vaccine. I'm welcome to call them every few days to ask if they have it or know when they'll get it, but they can't promise that they'll ever get it.

Am I overreacting or is this utterly ridiculous? Pregnant women are supposedly at the top of the "list" of recommended recipients of the vaccine, but no one knows where to get it or when it'll be available. And, the real kicker, no one seems to give a damn. They put the fear of God and a dead fetus in our heads and then turn their backs on us.

And what about the thimerasol-free vaccine that's apparently preferred for pregnant women? No mention of it anywhere. When, or more accurately IF, I ever get into a flu clinic for the H1N1 vaccine, will they give me the chance to look at the bottle to see if there's mercury in it? And why do they hide mercury behind the totally not-mercury-sounding name of thimerasol?

At this point, I am about ready to just give up on the whole vaccine thing. Screw it. If it's this hard to find, it must not be that important.

I have the level 2 u/s apointment, along with a consultation with a genetic counselor and an MFM specialist, tomorrow afternoon in a big city hospital. I'll ask there about the vaccine and mercury. Maybe, since they're BIG, they'll actually know something.

One last thing- a friend's daughter got the seasonal flu vaccine two weeks ago. Today, she was diagnosed with the H1N1 virus. Just a little anecdotal evidence to support my decision not to get the seasonal vaccine first.

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