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H1N1 Vaccine
Posted: 23 October 2009 01:06 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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George, tips for the shots based on my experience, if you’re getting them at a clinic rather than your private doctor’s office:

Bring distractions for the kids - might be a long wait if it is an unpublicized clinic, or a VERY long wait if it is publicized. (At the publicized clinics people have been lining up the night before to get a spot in some locations.) Handheld video games or a notebook and crayons to draw with would be wise. Download a couple kids games to your mobile phone.

If possible both parents should go, or the parent going should bring a friend. One waits inside or in line, the other waits outside with the children. When called for your turn, signal the other adult to bring the children in for their turn. Also when we went, there was lots of paperwork to fill out, many parents were having a hard time filling out all the forms while minding the kids at the same time, since it was so crowded and busy.

I suggest the kids waiting outside or in the hallway for two reasons - one reason is the kids have more room to hop around outside (Bring chalk if the line is on the sidewalk they can hopscotch & draw) and burn off some energy.

The second reason is that the clinic we went to had a small crowded waiting area. Many kids appeared to be quite sick, tots were coughing and sneezing everywhere and some were declined the shot because they had fevers. I don’t want to bring my kid to get the H1N1 shot, only to have him come down with strep throat, a nasty cold, or the flu itself.

It was a madhouse where I went, and it was a pediatric clinic that was not even advertized or publicized.  The government clinic at the mayor’s building that ran for tots (2-5 only) had a wait line of a few hours. I only waited an hour or so at the pediatric clinic. I don’t know how it will be where you are, but if it is not in your private pediatric office, expect lines. At your private doctor’s office it should be a normal wait as for any appointment.

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Posted: 23 October 2009 01:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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Thanks, Jules, but going anywhere with three young boys is almost always a disaster. Thank god for DS!  cheese

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Posted: 23 October 2009 02:09 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Nintendo DS handheld is a big hit here, too. Handy for long waits.  LOL

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Posted: 23 October 2009 03:19 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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mckenzievmd - 21 October 2009 03:59 PM

Still waiting for our pediatrician to get the H1N1 vax in (we’re doing to intranasal, so no worries about the shot, but a bit higher chance of a stuffy nose). My appt for my seasonal shot was cancelled today because the pharmacy couldn’t get any. Seems like availability is still a bigger problem than phobia! grin

Yes, i’ve been hunting everywhere for a flu shot, I get one every year. The other problem is that they halted production of the seasonal flu shot early so they could jump on the H1N1 production since each vaccination requires one egg….

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Posted: 23 October 2009 03:41 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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Why is it that flu shots still require eggs? I heard the nasal vaccine spray had faster production, is it made differently? It still has eggs in the formula, the disclaimer says. I wonder why it came out faster.

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Posted: 23 October 2009 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Jules - 23 October 2009 03:41 PM

Why is it that flu shots still require eggs? I heard the nasal vaccine spray had faster production, is it made differently? It still has eggs in the formula, the disclaimer says. I wonder why it came out faster.

I don’t know how the nasal spray is produced. I just know that the flu vaccine is made with eggs. because the flu virus grows well in that medium.

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Posted: 23 October 2009 04:21 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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It is crazy with all the misinformation out there.  Between commentators from Fox “News” telling people not to get vaccinated to the regular non-immunization fanatics to people claiming the vaccine isn’t safe because the manufactures have immunity from lawsuits.  If the situation wasn’t so serious all this would be laughable.

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Posted: 24 October 2009 06:08 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Its amazing how badly the media have reported on this issue and how poorly people listen when they this is discussed. Maybe its something about human nature but people seem to only hear the negative claims and not the accurate science.

I’ve seen dozens of media stories and reports on the H1N1 vaccine. Most of them contain factual errors. I did see one report on the nightly news that had two doctors accurately spelling out the facts about this vaccine. At the end of the doctors discussion the reporter, who must not have been listening to what the doctors said at all, says “So it seems the vaccine may not be very well tested”. The doctors had in fact said just the opposite. Over the next few days at least a half dozen people who had seen that report had all come away with the impression that the vaccine was unsafe.

The flu vaccine has been a disaster for most doctors offices this year. Between calls from desperate people who want a vaccine we don’t have and countless questions from other people who are afraid of a vaccine they don’t need to be fearful of its added at least 45 minuted to every work day if not more. I’ve literally spent hours re-educating people because of all the misinformation in the media about the vaccine. I am considering sending a bill to all the local media outlets requesting reimbursement for the time I’ve wasted correcting the problems they have caused. I doubt I’ll get a penny from them but it might get the point across. I finally had to add a page or two to my web site to dispel some of the myths that have been created by the media about the vaccine. There is no doubt in my mind though that there will be many people who will not get vaccinated and some who will die because of the misinformation given out by media organizations.

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Posted: 24 October 2009 09:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Do you have a voicemail message that answers before the receptionists pick up? For example, my doctor’s office says “You’ve reached XYZ medical associates, if this is a life threatening emergency hang up and call 911 or go to the nearest hospital. For appointments press 1, if you are a physician press 2, for prescription refills press 3, to speak with a nurse, press 4.”

Maybe you can create a phone message that says “We do not have the seasonal or H1N1 vaccine in stock, for information on where to obtain the vaccine, contact the city health department referral line at 999-555-1234.” or something like that. At least it would filter some of the calls from people seeking the vaccine. Although it would do nothing to filter calls with questions about the vaccine itself.

Could one of your nurses help field the calls regarding vaccine questions? Sometimes when I call my doctor or pediatrician with a question, I just ask to speak with the nurse. It saves time for both me and my doctor, and she can usually answer my questions regarding prescription instructions, follow up, etc. If she doesn’t know she takes a message, asks the doctor when she has a free minute, and phones me back with the answer.

Of course most of your time wasted may be with the patients already in your office, who probably want to have a long chat about what they heard on the news regarding vaccines. Could your nurse, when first getting them in the room and set up, maybe ask if they have vaccine questions before you come in the room? Or is there that F.A.Q. vaccine sheet you can keep in the room, with answers to commonly asked questions about flu vaccine? They can read it while they are waiting, you can tack one to the wall next to the exam bed. Maybe you can create a one page sheet with the question you are most frequently asked, rather than use the government fact sheet (which I thought was not well written, and leaves open to suggestion that some of the nutty claims may be possible. It should have been written in idiot-proof language rather than medical terms.)

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Posted: 24 October 2009 10:56 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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I’m not sure whether people are panicked and lining up in greater numbers to get a seasonal flu shot, or the supply is lower, or people are confusing it with the H1N1 shot, but all of the seasonal vaccine is gone,and lines have been longer than the supplies at the outlets providing the vaccinations. I know that they have stopped producing the seasonal vaccine early to start on the H1N1 which (I believe) is considered the greater threat, which may have contributed to the ‘shortage’.

This is also the first year in CA that nurses legally MUST get vaccinated or go in to sign a refusal. At some hospitals, nurses were threatening to strike, because of this law (I think those nurses are just plain stupid, uninformed, or both). This new law probably caused some of the shortages in CA. It will be interesting to see the results when the numbers are crunched at the end of the season!

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Posted: 24 October 2009 01:26 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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From a personal standpoint, I wasn’t paying much attention to the whole issue because, at my age, the publicity seemed to say that I wouldn’t need the immunization.  However, last night at the local CFI discussion group some people there said quite strongly that the latest recommendations were that, in addition to the very young and pregnant women, those over sixty-five also should definitely get the H1N1 vaccine shot.  Anyone have any information on this?

Occam

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Posted: 24 October 2009 02:18 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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From CDC website, initial Target Groups Are:

When vaccine is first available, ACIP recommends that programs and providers administer vaccine to people in the following five target groups (order of target groups does not indicate priority):

- pregnant women,
- people who live with or provide care for infants younger than 6 months (e.g., parents, siblings, and day care providers),
- health care and emergency medical services personnel,
- people 6 months through 24 years of age, and,
- people 25 years through 64 years of age who have certain medical conditions that put them at higher risk for influenza-related complications.

Once the demand for vaccine for the target groups has been met at the local level, ACIP recommends that programs and providers begin vaccinating everyone from the ages of 25 through 64 years. Current studies indicate that the risk for infection among persons 65 and older is less than the risk for younger age groups. However, once vaccine demand among younger age groups has been met, ACIP recommends that programs and providers should offer vaccination to people 65 or older.

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/vaccine_keyfacts.htm

You’re last on the list Occam!  LOL

Occam, you should definitely get the SEASONAL flu shot in the meantime. It does the most damage to you lovable old fuds. There seems to be a shortage around, so call local pharmacies and see if they still have it in stock. The pharmacist can give it in many states. Also try the city health department.

[ Edited: 24 October 2009 02:24 PM by Jules ]
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Posted: 24 October 2009 02:54 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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Occam - 24 October 2009 01:26 PM

From a personal standpoint, I wasn’t paying much attention to the whole issue because, at my age, the publicity seemed to say that I wouldn’t need the immunization.  However, last night at the local CFI discussion group some people there said quite strongly that the latest recommendations were that, in addition to the very young and pregnant women, those over sixty-five also should definitely get the H1N1 vaccine shot.  Anyone have any information on this?

Occam

The thing about the H1N1 is that it WAS around in the 1950s, but the real question is ‘Did you get it’? Unless you were infected with the H1N1 at that time, you are as vulnerable as the rest of us. If there is any doubt (I don’t recall what year it came around, although you can google it), get the vaccination.

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Posted: 24 October 2009 03:43 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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Yeah, Occam if you can get your hands on it, go ahead and get the shot to be safe. It may be hard to come by though, depending on supply in your area. Or it may be rationed to specific target groups, like the government center here who only distributed H1N1 shot to tots between 2-5 years of age. I’m not in a target group, but was fortunate to have the opportunity to get one while my child received the shot at the one private clinic that carried it. I consider myself lucky to have received a dose, given the production shortage of the H1N1 vaccine.

Asanta, you were talking before about various reasons for the seasonal vaccine shortage. While I don’t know about production, I can tell you an interesting story from our city. Last year in February our city and hospital planned together to order 13,000 doses of seasonal flu shots. H1N1 was not on the radar at the time. They ordered 13,000 for this season based on prior years demand and average number of shots they gave out. Well, this year they got their 13,000 doses in, and instead of selling out in several weeks as anticipated, it sold out in just about two weeks. It seems either more people were coming out to get the shot than years past, or people who normally were not in a rush to get it, wanted to make sure they received some before it sold out. In addition, news reports in weeks past suggested getting seasonal shots early this year, perhaps people listened to that advice. Now that the city is out of seasonal, local pharmacies and private physicians are selling out of seasonal too.

I STILL can’t find someone to give my son his 2nd dose of seasonal that they recommended because he is under 10. I doubt I’ll be able to find him a 2nd dose of H1N1 a month from now. Will he be afforded some protection from one of the H1N1 shots, if we cannot find a 2nd dose for him 4 weeks from now? And the seasonal as well? He’s had one of each but now they’re sold out everywhere and I’m sure we will not be able to get the 2nd dose for a long time, if at all. The Target pharmacy is the last local place to have has seasonal, but pharmacists cannot administer to anyone under 18 due to state law. The rules out the CVS and Walgreens when they get it back in stock, as well. 

Now I wonder if it takes eight weeks to find a second dose of seasonal, will it still work, or has too much time passed since his first shot? They said they have to be four weeks apart. I hope the one shot offers some protection.

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Posted: 24 October 2009 04:17 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Occam - 24 October 2009 01:26 PM

Anyone have any information on this?

This might be of interest to you, Occam:

dn18014-1_553.jpg

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