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Human Swine Flu vaccination advice

  1. #1
    Liquorice is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Hong Kong

    Human Swine Flu vaccination advice

    Hi, I had a check up at the hospital this morning and they asked me if I wanted to have the swine flu vaccine. I wasn't aware of it and hadn't thought about it at all so decided not to do it today.

    My initial thoughts were - swine flue incidence is very low in HK, the vaccine is very new and although it has satisfied certain rounds of tests I am not certain whether taking it is worth the risks to my baby.

    My husband's opinion is that I should do it if the doctor recommends it. I spoke to the doctor at length about it but she wouldn't really give me a definitive point of view. She kept saying that the "government" recommends it and the "government" have weighed up the risks versus the benefits etc. But when I asked for her point of view specifically, she said it was a personal choice (she understood my concerns), that she couldn't really recommend either way and that I had to decide. She did say that whilst she could identify with my concerns about the risks, that actually the incidence of swine flu in Hong Kong isn't all that low.

    Can I ask what other people's thoughts are on this and whether most people have taken the vaccine or not?

  2. #2
    FutureHKmom is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2008

    I didn't because I felt that there was no need plus the vaccine is so new. I also used my pediatrician's advice for my son as a gauge - she had told me that if she felt it was neccessary for my son (who is 16 months now), she would have recommended for us - but she hasn't. I'm 30 weeks pregnant and felt that as my son (who technically has a lower immunity than me) doesn't need it - then I wouldn't need it either. Plus, those people that have caught the swine flu have only had mild forms of it and so I didn't really see a need. I think if you went to a government hospital, they are obliged to offer it as the government had been pushing for everyone to get it.

  3. #3
    nicolejoy's Avatar
    nicolejoy is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    North Point

    I got the vaccine when I was about 20 weeks pregnant - it's NOT a new vaccine, it's exactly the same as a seasonal flu vaccine. Each year, they slightly change the flu vaccine depending on what the main strain of flu is that particular year. So each year, the seasonal flu vaccine is slightly differently (that's why you need it every year, not just once). The science of it is exactly the same, it's just a different strain of the flu - as it is every single year anyway.

    I know people who had swine flu very badly, ended up in ICU and are still recovering 6 months later. One of my friends knows someone who was affected by it while pregnant. They had to do an emergency C section at only about 30 weeks or so, and both mother and baby were critical for a while before they both pulled through - but it could have been much worse.

    Most people who do get swine flu are not severely affected - but when it is bad, it can be VERY bad.

    That all said, the incidence of it now does seem to be decreasing now that it's not exactly "flu season" so I don't know if I'd bother getting it now for that reason - BUT if the incidence rate started to increase, I think I'd get it (if I hadn't already!!) The risks for the vaccine are exactly the same as any other flu vaccine, and swine flu may not be a huge risk - but I think there's a lot higher chance of having serious complications from the swine flu than from the vaccine...

    That's my thoughts from a medicinal chem major who has done lots of research on the subject anyway...

  4. #4
    charade is offline Registered User
    Join Date
    Jun 2010

    I am currently pregnant and chose not to take the vaccine. Mainly because I don't think there are too many cases being reported now. My sister who was pregnant (in the US) around the time when there were a lot more cases being reported chose to take it.

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