November 8, 2009 8:04 pm at 8:04 pm #590766Joe SchmoMember
Is anyone giving their children this vaccine?
Do we know for sure that it’s safe and ok to do?
I’m not anti vaccines at all, just this thing is so very new.
What you fellers say, eh?November 8, 2009 8:15 pm at 8:15 pm #671867
Dr. Yoel Jakobovitz (pardon spelling, the chief rabbi’s son) of Baltimore wrote an article in WhereWhatWhen suggesting that people who feel it necessary to get the vaccine wait till the first wave of shots passes so they can see what kind of reactions are being reported.
From what I’ve heard, this is prepared the same way as the standard flu shot so there shouldn’t be concerns of the reactions of 30odd years ago. Though I’m not a hundred percent sure the adjuvants aren’t an issue.
Almost moot. I’d like to get it for a high risk family member but you have to be on high alert for when a new (not Shabbos) clinic is available and be willing to give up the day for it.November 10, 2009 3:04 am at 3:04 am #671868mazcaMember
Who knows?November 10, 2009 3:18 am at 3:18 am #671869
the risk of death or complications from the flu is much, much higher than the risk of complications from the vaccine. I think this is a no-brainer.
Gina Kolata, a NY Times Science reporter wrote a wonderful book a few years ago on the subject of the 1918 flu pandemic and the flu virus. “Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus that Caused It”
Some of the over 60 crowd may remember polio scares and epidemics. That horror is just a distant memory (except for those who have post-polio syndrome) for Americans, thanks to vaccines which were made at a time when vaccine technology was prehistoric in comparison today’s technology.November 10, 2009 4:51 am at 4:51 am #671870
Not to knock Dr. Jacobowitz, but you shouldn’t bring his opinion on what to do. He is definitely entitled to his opinion and so is anyone of the bloggers. But, just because he is doctor doesn’t mean he is an expert in every field of medicine. As far as I know he is basically a Gastro who does some Internal medicine. This question should be presented to the child’s Pediatrician or to an Infectious Disease specialist.
All the pediatricians and Infectious Disease experts I’ve spoken to recommend the shot!November 10, 2009 3:43 pm at 3:43 pm #671871ZachKessinMember
Having been listening to TWIV (This week in Virology) (http://www.twiv.tv) which a podcast done by a professor who has been working on Viruses for 30+ years, they recommend it 100% for anyone who can get it. If you are interested in Virology look up TWIV, the most recent podcast is also very good as it was done in a high school.November 10, 2009 3:51 pm at 3:51 pm #671872NY MomMember
My pediatrician recommends it and I have already gotten it for one of my children who has a long-standing medical condition. Right now in NY there is not enough to go around, so that is why they are not giving it to everyone.
Also, I have had the flu and it is not pretty! It is not just a cold and some fever, it is much more severe than that. It always irks me when someone says that they have “a touch of the flu”. If you’re not sick like a dog and completely miserable, it is not the flu! So I go yearly for myself and my children to get a flu vaccinations.November 10, 2009 3:58 pm at 3:58 pm #671873
Health, true, but my assumption is that there is a population among his patients that’s recommended to get the shot, so he’s thought about this.
I’ve heard local doctors talk about this shot, they’re on the radio at least weekly. For the most part they’re saying what you say. But some are so arrogant (the MDeity type) that it’s hard to be mekabel. So I’ve still been trying to listen to the experts, and come to my own conclusion.
Anyway, moot till I can find a clinic not on Shabbos (NONE of our offfices – pediatrician, specialist, etc. have the shots).November 10, 2009 7:46 pm at 7:46 pm #671874
its a flu shot like any other just for the H1N1 strain. Why wouldnt you give it to your kids?
I gave it my kids.
I dont get the fear people have for it, it seems more than other vaccines. What is the fear?
Thank you in advance.November 10, 2009 8:34 pm at 8:34 pm #671875
I am going to get it myself as soon as I can; kal v’chomer for children who have no immunity to strains similar to H1N1. (Those who received the 1976 swine flue vaccine may have some protection against H1N1.)
This is serious. folks; tens of thousands of Americans each year die from the normal seasonal flu, and H1N1 may be more dangerous. This is no time to be spreading misinformation or putting your children at risk.November 10, 2009 9:29 pm at 9:29 pm #671876dveykus613Participant
arc – I personally am freaked out – I think it’s different because this one wasn’t tested for years; when they last had one 30 years ago pple died from it, they only recently discovered that mercury in some vaccines causes long term side effects, and who knows what else they’ll discover – they only decided xrays and radiation were dangerous after at least 20 years of using it!
On one hand, pregnant women are considered more at risk forgetting swine flu, but frankly, I’m scared out of my mind to get the vaccine – even if I would risk possible long term side effects for myself, to risk affecting a fetus in it’s most developmental stages is even more terrifying!
I feel my hands are tied, and it truly is a dilemma – do you approach it like a regular flu that anyone can get, or truly be nervous since pregnancy lowers the immune system and if one does get it, it risks even more complications from H1N1, but atthe same time if we wouldn’t contract it (and even if yes) we might be exposing ourselves and especially a fetus to who knows what as it hasn’t been tested (and for sure not in the long term)?!?!
Maybe a bitachon question for the rav what is b’geder hishtadlus…November 10, 2009 9:48 pm at 9:48 pm #671877
It’s been tested just like any other flu shot.
Every year the flu shot is adjusted for the current strain this is the same shot just for H1N1.
“Approved vaccines — including the 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine — are calculated to be much, much less risky than the diseases they prevent. For example, out of every million people who get a flu shot, one or two will get a serious neurological reaction called Guillain-Barre syndrome (GBS).
But flu itself causes serious problems, including GBS, in far more than two in a million cases. And since a large proportion of the population will get swine flu, the vaccine risk is far smaller than the disease risk.”November 10, 2009 9:51 pm at 9:51 pm #671878
I have a question about the H1N1 vaccine: I’ve heard people say (here & elsewhere) that the H1N1 vaccine is “new”. But isn’t the seasonal flu vaccine “new” every year, since it includes the strains that were prevalent in Asia during the previous spring? In what way is the H1N1 vaccine different from the seasonal flu vaccine, besides that the virus strains are different? Are any other components of the H1N1 different from the seasonal flu vaccine?November 10, 2009 9:59 pm at 9:59 pm #671879
Is the swine flu vaccine brand new? Yes and no. The 2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine is made exactly the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine, by the same manufacturers using the same materials — except for one shiny new piece.
What has changed is the piece of the virus the vaccine uses to prime the immune system.
Vaccine experts tell WebMD this change isn’t all that new. Every couple of years or so, a new variant of a seasonal flu virus comes along. When that happens, a “new” vaccine is made using the relevant part of the variant virus.November 10, 2009 10:09 pm at 10:09 pm #671880
arc, so the H1N1 vaccine is about as different from the regular flu vaccine as the seasonal flu vaccine from one year is different from the seasonal flu vaccine of the previous year. And the safety & efficacy of the seasonal flu vaccine has been well-established, based on years of research. So there is no reason to think the H1N1 vaccine is not safe.November 10, 2009 10:17 pm at 10:17 pm #671881
Pretty much. Its mostly just peoples fear of anything related to swine flu.
Speak to your doctor, I’m sure they’ll be more knowledgeable than I.November 11, 2009 1:47 am at 1:47 am #671882
Dveykus613, you’re pointing to the catch22: the most vulnerable to the flu are also the ones who are most scared of reactions. Until and after you make a decision, frequent handwashing and being aware of where your hands go are your best lines of defense. Pregnant women don’t want to go crazy in the supplement dept. but ask your dr. about taking vitamin C, and what safe limits are (maybe a gram a day).November 11, 2009 2:30 am at 2:30 am #671883
I personally think that this is the yetzer horah. How come so many people in the frum community believe all these rumors about vaccines? So much so, that almost always recently everytime there is some sort of outbreak with one of these diseases that there are vaccines for, it involves a frum community. Hashem creates the refua before the makah, sometimes this is in the form of prevention. Nothing in the alternative health arsenals come close to stopping infectious disease like regular medicine. You might not get sick or die if you don’t vaccinate, but this is because you put yourself in the category of a fool. Shomer Pisayim Hashem! Do you really want to be in this category?November 11, 2009 3:11 am at 3:11 am #671884mybatMember
Is this flu really so dangerous?November 11, 2009 3:37 am at 3:37 am #671885
similar flus have been horrific in the past. Particularly the 1918 pandemic flu, which was an extremely virulent strain of H1N1 flu. But, no one knows for sure.
The casualty figures for the 1918 swine flu were estimated to be between 50 million and 100 million souls worldwide. That’s about seven times as many people as died in WWI, which had just recently ended, and about 3% of the world population in 1918, and between 10% and 20% of those infected by that flu.
Some communities were almost completely wiped out by that flu. In Samoa, 90% of the population was infected. 30% of the adult men, 22% of the adult women, and 10% of the children died.
Again, this H1N1 probably won’t be that bad, but it is not possible to know. The problem is that it takes many months to produce and test a specific flu vaccine, and even longer to vaccinate the public. Public Health authorities can’t wait to see what might happen, because then it is already too late to consider vaccination.
We are fortunate to live in an age where vaccines have been perfected to the point where they can wipe out diseases and save much suffering at minimal risk. When was the last time you worried about your children getting Polio or Smallpox, both very deadly diseases?
Even the 1976 Swine Flu vaccine was inocculated into 40 million people. Of those, an infinitessimal number got Guillain-Barre syndrome, somewhere in the range of 4000 – That’s about one illness per MILLION people vaccinated. Of those, only about 25 died from the syndrome.
Compare this to the potential danger of any flu, and especially to the statistics above for the H1N1 epidemic of 1918.November 11, 2009 3:47 am at 3:47 am #671886
Health, you are so right. We are given brains to think for ourselves.
Who would refuse a PROVEN vaccine for cancer or heart disease?
At the least, the flu will take you out of commission and make you utterly MISERABLE for at least a week.
These vaccines are gifts from heaven above. If your ancestors, 200 years ago, who had an extremely high probability of dying of an infectious disease, were offered any of these vaccines, you could see that they would be fools not to take it.
Most infectious diseases are gone BECAUSE of vaccines – also, better sanitation, public health, public education, virology and medicine, but vaccines definitely played a part in that.
Chances are that none of us will die of infectious diseases, unlike the prospect for our ancestors.November 11, 2009 4:19 am at 4:19 am #671887
Every doctor to whom I have spoken about this has said he will not give the H1N1 vaccine out yet. The “jury is still out” on its long-term safety, and as long as that is an issue, I would not indiscriminately give it out. It is not exactly like any typical flu shot, and enough people have not yet been given the shot and then studied for both its efficacy and safety, for doctors to make an informed judgment about it. Maybe it is a godsend, or maybe it will turn out to be another thalidomide catastrophe, causing permanent disastrous side effects in its users.November 11, 2009 4:20 am at 4:20 am #671888
There are several reasons why Hareidi communities are hit relatively hard by disease outbreaks. Some of those reasons apply more in Israel and less in the US, but that does not really matter since the communities in Israel and the US associate with each other.
The first one is that so many of the activities in the Jewish community require public assembly. Men feel that it a requirement to go to minyan and the bet medrash, and will not forego this in the early stages of the flu, when symptoms are mild (just a little cold) and the risk of contagion is high. Who among us (Hareidi or not) has not participated in such behavior?
Second is the distrust of outsiders. We know that Hareidim vaccinate at far lower rates than does the rest of the population, and one of the reasons (not the only one; see below) is distrust of authority outside of their own communities.
Third is the lack of education. Many in the Hareidi communities have not had an education in the sciences beyond middle-school level, and have no idea of how vaccination works, or why it is safer to vaccinate than not to vaccinate. In many cases, this also applies to the leadership, who the rank-and-file look to for advice. Although well-meaning, it is difficult to offer advice if there is no education providing a foundation for that advice.
Last is the method of dissemination of information in the Hareidi world. In certain communities in Israel, information is disseminated only by word-of-mouth and by pashkevilim. Hareidi society is particularly susceptible to anecdote: “I heard from my neighbor, who heard from the gabbai of a chashuvishe Rav that his niece (chalilah) got very sick from the vaccination….”
Such rumors, in the lack of other information do not make for intelligent decisions, especially about health. Of course, any clinician will tell you that he or she has to deal with these kind of rumors from a great many patients, Hareid or not. However, Hareidim have less access to other types of information, and thus have to give greater weight to anecdotal information.November 11, 2009 5:18 am at 5:18 am #671889
It should be pointed out that the scare about vaccines causing autism in children was based on one tiny study that appears to have been faked. The authors are under investigation for scientific misconduct. Since then, millions of dollars have been wasted on studies all of which confirm that children who get vaccinated develop autism at the same rate as children who do not. Yet people still believe the falsehood. There never was any *real* evidence that vaccines cause autism, and it has now been proven conclusively that they do not. If you don’t believe it you should never bother going to a doctor or a hospital for anything, because very little they do is as clearly understood as the fact that vaccines do not cause autism. Get your children vaccinated!November 11, 2009 2:44 pm at 2:44 pm #671891
Health is 100% right. My great grandmoether OB”M used to say in yiddish “who would believe that they would come out with a way to stop labor pain and who would believe people wouldnt take it”.
Oomis15 I dont know how many doctors you have spoken to but I know my Doctor and many others that are giving it. They cant make them fast enough which means people are taking it.
As I posted earlier it is the same flu shot as any other the only difference is the starin of flu in the shot. And as Charliehall so eloquently wrote the biggest fear that people have with the shot is based on a purposely false study.November 11, 2009 8:37 pm at 8:37 pm #671892
Sorry, I don’t believe you. Since you have a chezkas kashrus- please post their names and numbers so I can contact them and re-educate them.November 11, 2009 8:53 pm at 8:53 pm #671893haifagirlParticipant
From another web site:
Over 33,000 Israelis got immunized against swine flu this week.
The Ministry of Health considers the rate of vaccinations reasonable and said that among the recipients of the vaccinations there were no strong side effects.
I wonder what they mean by “strong side effects.” Does that mean there were mild side effects? I wonder what they were.
And for the record, my doctor told me I really need to get a flu shot. I haven’t decided yet if I will.November 11, 2009 9:36 pm at 9:36 pm #671894
also according to that same ministry, is that some 35 Israelis and one Palestinian have died from the swine flu, already, and it’s just the beginning of the season. That’s, um, 35 more than died from the flu shot.November 11, 2009 9:48 pm at 9:48 pm #671895
and almost all of the people who got the vaccination can be very sure that they will NOT die of that flu this winter.
Here is why I get the flu shot every year, for at least the last 15 or so:
Each winter, I visit my mother in Florida. She lives in a community with many elderly people. These are the people who are most susceptible to dying from complications of the seasonal flu.
If I were to bring the flu to that community, people could die because of my visit. Don’t I have an obligation as a good Jew and citizen of the world to be vaccinated? Would I want other people visiting that community that houses my mother to have the vaccine: YES.
This year I convince my wife and her mother to get the seasonal flu vaccine, just in case they come with me to Florida.
Unfortunately, we have not yet had the option of getting the H1N1 right now. My doctor only got five doses assigned to her, and she is using them for her most fragile patients, particularly the few who have bone marrow disorders or transplants. We are not in a high risk group, so we can wait until more vaccine is available.November 11, 2009 9:50 pm at 9:50 pm #671896
most of the side effects are low-grade fevers and a tenderness around the injection site.November 12, 2009 7:53 am at 7:53 am #671897haifagirlParticipant
I always got flu shots:
1) When my parents were alive and vulnerable
2) When I was in school and therefore around a lot of people
3) When I taught children
I have not had a flu shot in several years. I really don’t see the purpose in getting one this year.November 12, 2009 8:08 am at 8:08 am #671898
Does anyone have contingency plans for frum communities, should the H1N1 flu prove to be a virulent one?
Many private employers now have campaigns that discourage “presenteeism,” that is, coming to work when you are sick, and potentially sharing your viruses with your fellow employees. Can we change Jewish mores to accomodate the greater good and the preservation of life?
As Starwolf notes:
<<<so many of the activities in the Jewish community require public assembly. Men feel that it a requirement to go to minyan and the bet medrash, and will not forego this in the early stages of the flu, when symptoms are mild (just a little cold) and the risk of contagion is high.>>>
How quickly can we break old habits and convince members of the community that it is a greater service to stay home when you are infectious, then to go pray with your community?November 12, 2009 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm #671899
Sorry, I don’t believe you. Since you have a chezkas kashrus- please post their names and numbers so I can contact them and re-educate them.”
Frankly and respectfully, I do not need for you to believe me. My personal physician will not give the H1N1 to his patients AT THIS POINT, until several tens of thousands of doses have proved to be safe. He says the jury is still out, and he is not normally so conservative. My husband’s doc (not the same as mine) said the same thing. My kids’ pediatricians (there are several docs in the practice) likewise will not vaccinate my grandchildren, though they have already given the regular flu shot to them.
BTW, I could not post names and numbers if I wanted to. This is an anonymous forum.November 13, 2009 12:32 am at 12:32 am #671900
many millions of doses have been given out worldwide already.November 13, 2009 2:12 am at 2:12 am #671901
Oomis1105, in that case I sincerely hope that none of your doctors’ patients fall into the at-risk categories, since H1N1 has already killed several of those people.November 13, 2009 2:23 am at 2:23 am #671902
Oomis, I’m just amazed your dr. has it – in these parts no doctor has it and you have to go to mass clinics to get it.
And about autism: I don’t worry about the connection re vaccinations but I do wish that the doctors would use a different schedule. These poor babies are overloaded with combined vaccines; it seems like a lot for a developing immune system.November 13, 2009 3:15 am at 3:15 am #671903
Hey, don’t shoot the messenger. I don’t know if millions of doses have been given out or not, but even if they have, we do not (yet) know what the longterm side effects of this vaccine may be. It is not like the typical flu. When I was hospitalized recently, I overheard nurses talking about their concern that they were being forced to take the vaccine. I asked my doc for it, but neither he nor most doctors in the neighborhood are willing to give it yet, and they will not assure us that it is safe.
In the 1950s, pregnant women were given a drug called thalidomide, which calmed their nausea. A statistically significant large number of those women gave birth to babies with horrible deformities, having limbs either missing entirely or foreshortened, as well as other malformations. All their doctors thought they were doing the right thing at the time. The H1N1 vaccine is relatively new and there has not been sufficient time for a thorough follow up at this point. It is a gamble, according to the people with whom I have spoken. I sincerely hope that none of my doctor’s patients, myself included, come down with this illness. But I have to also believe that if my doctor is so concerned, there is a valid reason for that. Meanwhile, I just had major surgery, and I cannot even take a REGULAR flu shot yet, much less a swine flu one.November 13, 2009 3:27 am at 3:27 am #671904plonisalmonisMember
My siblings’ doctor was saying absolutely NOT – don’t get it. But now, he said get it if you can (meaning he doesn’t have any) but only get the injection, not the nasal. The school I work in (and my sisters attend) sent out letters and H1N1 handbooks to all the parents. I guess they’re getting a batch and giving them out to all who want.November 13, 2009 3:50 am at 3:50 am #671905BEST IMAParticipant
It has been going around our community like crazy in the last few weeks. The schools over here are giving it out but poeple were so confused they didnt know if they should give it to their children or not. My 7 year old daughters best friend just came down with it a few days ago and she is in very critical condition. Theyre switching her to the city now there are better machines for her there. Please everyone daven for her she needs our tefilot. Sarah Miriam bat Tamar. Bezrat Hashem this horrible virus should stop very soon.November 13, 2009 7:27 am at 7:27 am #671906
As Damon Runyon wrote, paraphrasing a line from Ecclesiastes (Kohelet): “The race is not always to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, but that’s the way to bet.”
Flu vaccines and vaccines in general are not brand new. This one is made pretty much the same way as vaccines have been made for a long time. Some of the adjuvants (agents that will stimulate the immune system are newer, but none are brand new.
Experience over the last 40 years has shown that it’s about ONE MILLION TIMES as dangerous to get the flu as to get the flu vaccine.
No one is arguing that there is no danger, there is a slight danger, and one infinitesimally slighter than actually getting the flu.
So, your choice really is: one in a million chance of getting a bad reaction to the vaccine, or a mortality rate of one in a thousand (for normal flu) through one in 33 (for the most virulent of the H1N1 that has been recorded to date).
One is about 1000 times more likely to die of the flu, then to get seriously ill or die from the flu vaccines.
How would you bet with those odds?November 13, 2009 7:47 am at 7:47 am #671907
The injectable form of the H1N1 vaccine contains killed virus, but the nasal version contains weakened virus. That’s why the latter is not recommended for infants. The seasonal flu vaccine is also distributed in both forms.November 13, 2009 9:30 am at 9:30 am #671908
I am quoting Best Ima’s post earlier in this thread:
“It has been going around our community like crazy in the last few weeks. The schools over here are giving it out but poeple were so confused they didnt know if they should give it to their children or not. My 7 year old daughters best friend just came down with it a few days ago and she is in very critical condition. Theyre switching her to the city now there are better machines for her there. Please everyone daven for her she needs our tefilot. Sarah Miriam bat Tamar. Bezrat Hashem this horrible virus should stop very soon. “
“The schools were giving it out, but people were so confused that they just didn’t know…..”
The major hospitals, epidemiologists, and virologists, immunologists, and research physicians have been recommending this vaccine for quite some time. Yet, because of the fear-mongering and disinformation out there, people “just didn’t know”.
The Yeshiva community is exceptionally susceptible to this kind of fear-mongering and misinformation, because of the relative lack of secular education and the distrust of the medical community (being composed mostly of people unlike themselves).
We see the consequences in this all the time in the Hareidi communities in Israel, where distrust of the “medina” and the medical community makes them (the Hareidim) one of the communities in which we are most likely to find infectious diseases.
By all means, daven and say tehillim for this poor girl and all others who are in danger form this and other diseases. Say those tehillim with special kavanah–when you are waiting for you and your children to be inoculated in the doctors’ office.November 13, 2009 1:15 pm at 1:15 pm #671909BEST IMAParticipant
Starwolf i dont think the reason people arent giving the shot is because of the lack of secular education and the distrust of the medical community. I dont live in a yeshivsh community and many of the community members here are doctors themselves. Its just that even among the physicians here there is so much conflict people cant decide. The hospitals may be recommending it but the pediatricians arent and thats why everyone is having a hard time deciding what to doNovember 13, 2009 1:48 pm at 1:48 pm #671910
Praying for the end to the epidemic without getting vaccinated — and getting your children and family members vaccinated — is like praying for a shidduch while never going out on a date. HaShem often gives us the tools but we have the free will to decline them. The yetzer hara is very strong.November 13, 2009 1:50 pm at 1:50 pm #671911NY MomMember
Ron is right. They are making this vaccine the same way that they make other flu shots. This is just a new dif/new strain of the flu. And comparing thalidomide to a vaccine is not a fair comparison.November 13, 2009 2:56 pm at 2:56 pm #671912
Oomis: refuah shleimah!
Anon for this: the live virus is also contraindicated for people with autoimmune conditions and on immunosuppressants.
To charliehall: I don’t think that’s entirely true. While people are doing the watchful waiting thing they can take extensive precautions like frequent handwashing, being aware of their environment, etc. (Helps a lot also if you don’t have to take the subway or other crowded public transport.)November 13, 2009 4:30 pm at 4:30 pm #671913
Good point tzippi. Because the nasal vaccines contain live, albeit weakened, virus, they are contraindicated for anyone with a compromised immune system.
Oomis’s point that pregnant women need to be vigilant about what medicines/ vaccines they take is a good one. Many pregnant women have safely taken the seasonal flu vaccine safely, so there is no reason for a pregnant woman to be more concerned than anyone else about taking the vaccine. And since the H1N1 vaccine is not materially different, except for the strains included, it is also safe for pregnant women.
Epidimiologists have noted that pregnant women are particularly vulnerable to H1N1, and are infected at greater rates than the general population. In addition, pregnant women are more likely than others to become very sick or die from the H1N1 virus.November 13, 2009 5:20 pm at 5:20 pm #671914
In today’s news:
The CDC is out with updated swine flu figures for the six-month period from April 1 to the October 17. So far, 22 Million Americans have been sickened by H1N1. Over 150,000 people in the USA have been hospitalized for that flu and its complications, with as many as 6100 deaths, including 540 children.
“We do think we are having a substantial number of deaths,” CDC immunization and respiratory disease chief Anne Schuchat, MD, said at a news conference. “The numbers are only through Oct. 17, and we have seen a lot of deaths since then. Unfortunately, we will see more. … I do believe the pediatric death toll will be extensive and much more than we have seen with seasonal flu.”
It is still very early in the flu season. What makes this season so unusual is that it has started VERY early, and that most of the severe cases are among the young.
The CDC has conservatively estimated at least 1,000 more deaths.November 13, 2009 5:33 pm at 5:33 pm #671915
<<<raying for the end to the epidemic without getting vaccinated — and getting your children and family members vaccinated — is like praying for a shidduch while<<<
Yes,charliehall, are we not Hashem’s partners in creation? He makes the fruit trees flower and fruit, but leaves it to us and our good sense to plant and tend the orchard.November 18, 2009 3:54 am at 3:54 am #671917
I had a thought this weekend about why people are having trouble giving their children the flu vaccine.
I talked to a number of my older female relatives at a simcha this weekend, women who had children in the late 1950’s and early 1960’s. I asked them if they had any reticence to vaccinate their children back then, when vaccines weren’t nearly as good and harm-free as they are now.
All said they didn’t hesitate at all, because they knew what a scourge polio was, and the vaccine was regarded as nothing short of a miracle.
I think this is for several reasons. There was more trust in the government back then, and a much less cynical worship of medical practitioners.
So, I thought further. Maybe we don’t take flu so seriously because it is so commonplace. We say “I had the flu,” which usually doesn’t mean the flu, just a bad cold. We don’t think of it as a killer.
But the flu really is a reliable killer. Maybe not in huge numbers, and maybe not so dramatically, though in total it kills about 60,000 Americans per year. It does so undramatically and reliably when it rolls around every winter.
Does the ubiquity of flu make us complacent?
When a West Nile Virus or Eastern Equine Encephalitis occur, people run in panic to their doctors for vaccines? Why? because they’re rare and new, so rare that when someone does succumb, we hear about it on the news.
The flu is neither new or rare, but it dwarfs the death toll from West Nile or EEE. But we don’t hear about each flu death on the news, we just hear the numbers on the radio, and occassionally we lose someone close to us.
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