Thursday, September 17, 2009

Adventures in Pregnancy - flu shot edition

So, I've done a bunch of research on flu vaccines recommended for pregnancy, since I definitely want to get one. I already feel like I can't freakin' breathe and don't want the flu - swine or regular - on top of it. After looking through the CDC and the FDA as well as the anti- vaccine sites and the anti-conspiracy sites debunking them, I come to the personal conclusions that: 1) Concerns about squalene are probably crap, and it's not being used in any US vaccines anyway, so who cares? 2) Concerns about thimerosal are likely also crap, but there's a thimerosal-free vaccine especially for pregnant people and young kids, so might as well take that anyway. I mean, if they can tell me "better safe than sorry" and blithely prohibit a bunch of things I really want to do with zero evidence it will effect this baby negatively, well, I can say it right back when it comes to dubious claims of medical risks that are probably crap. Can't I?

So I set out to call around and find a single-dose flu vaccine, the regular kind so I can get it out of the way by the time we can get around to the H1N1 - the sources don't seem to be able to make up their mind as to whether they can be taken contemporaneously. I call the local clinic first, 'cause it's right down the road. Here's how that went:

"I'm looking for flu vaccines."
"We have a clinic this Saturday from nine to noon, you can just walk right in."
"Great. Do you know whether they have the single-dose, mercury-free ones? I'm in the second trimester of my first pregnancy and I'm just trying to be extra careful."
"It's . . . they have the regular kind. Oh, or we could give you a nasal spray. That might be what you're looking for."
"But isn't the nasal spray a live vaccine? I thought you weren't supposed to get that when pregnant."
"Then it must be the other one then."
"Okay. Um, thanks. Bye."

I do presume that no doctor would have given me the spray after seeing my 'condition.' Still, that's a tad troubling.

Next I call Walgreen's in Iowa City. Not only does the pharmacist know what I'm talking about, she can tell me the brand and manufacturer of the vaccine, and yes it's Thimerosal-free. I've got a 2:30 appointment.

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