Wednesday, September 23, 2009

2009 H1N1 swine flu vaccine : Q&A

I was browsing through the CDC website to find out more information about the H1N1 vaccine and thought I'd share some direct quotes from the general Q&A on H1N1 vaccine safety, as well as links to other reputable US government sources of information.

General Questions and Answers on 2009 H1N1 Influenza Vaccine Safety
"Will the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines be safe?
We expect the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine to have a similar safety profile as seasonal flu vaccines, which have a very good safety track record. Over the years, hundreds of millions of Americans have received seasonal flu vaccines. The most common side effects following flu vaccinations are mild, such as soreness, redness, tenderness or swelling where the shot was given. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) will be closely monitoring for any signs that the vaccine is causing unexpected adverse events and we will work with state and local health officials to investigate any unusual events.

Are there some people who should not receive this vaccine?
People who have a severe (life-threatening) allergy to chicken eggs or to any other substance in the vaccine should not be vaccinated.

Will the benefits of the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccines outweigh the risks? Is this something I should talk to my healthcare provider about?
Currently the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus (sometimes called “swine flu”) virus seems to be causing serious health outcomes for:
  1. healthy young people from birth through age 24;
  2. pregnant women; and
  3. adults 25 to 64 who have underlying medical conditions.
Seasonal influenza vaccines are highly effective in preventing influenza disease. The expectation is that a vaccine against 2009 H1N1 influenza would probably work in a similar fashion to the seasonal influenza vaccines. CDC and FDA believe that the benefits of vaccination with the 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine will far outweigh the risks.

What is the best source of information for 2009 H1N1 influenza vaccine safety?
In addition to talking openly with your healthcare providers, CDC also encourages you to stay informed by checking the following Web sites often for the most up-to-date news and information: and"

Edited to add my personal opinion:
Whether or not to have your child vaccinated for H1N1 is a very personal decision. That said, we are not planning to vaccinate our son due to his egg allergies and the fact the the vaccine has been fast-tracked. Verbiage like "expectation", "would probably" and "unusual events" from the above direct quotes, coupled with the fact that the substances in the vaccine have not been disclosed yet do play a part in our decision. I feel it's important to individually weigh the pros and cons for your child.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

H1N1 swine flu and kids with cerebral palsy

I've read some posts on other blogs, including Ellen's post at To The Max, about H1N1 swine flu and concerns of how this may affect kids with epilepsy, cerebral palsy, or other neurodevelopmental conditions in the coming months.

The CDC report states that, of the thirty-six (36) pediatric deaths associated with H1N1 in the US in 2009, twenty-four (24) were kids with high-risk medical conditions. Of this high risk group:
"... 92% had neurodevelopmental conditions (e.g., developmental delay or cerebral palsy), a finding consistent with the results from a study of influenza-associated mortality during the 2003--04 influenza season."

I've read a bunch of information on this topic and found an interesting article linking low vitamin D with increased flu death risk in kids. Here's a quick quote from the article:
"All of these neurological conditions are associated with childhood Vitamin D deficiency. Exacerbating the problem further, many of these kids take anticonvulsant drugs, which lower Vitamin D levels."

I've written about Vitamin D before, and this research only solidifies our decision to continue to test and supplement our sons Vitamin D3 levels.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Oxygen Paradigm

This is a lecture by Dr. Philip James at the 2001 International Symposium of Hyperbaric Oxygen for the Brain-Injured Child. I think Dr. James gives a good overview of reasons to utilize HBOT for brain injury.