The topic du jour. Are you going to get the H1N1 vaccination? I have a lot of friends and family that are quite vehemently against it. Citing that it's dangerous, untested and likely not very effective as the strain mutates so quickly.
Those that are for the vaccination argue the benefits far outweigh the risks, and that all flu vaccines cover similar testing (as the strains change every year, and for them to get the vaccine to market in a timely manner, there isn't years and years of testing). So in essence, if you're cool with the flu shot, you should also be fine with the H1N1 vaccine.
Except one little thing - the H1N1 currently available is adjuvanted. Which means it includes a mixture of squalene (shark liver oil), DL-alpha-tocopherol (vitamin E) and polysorbate 80 (emulsifier used in ice cream). This mixture bolsters the vaccine - essentially meaning they have to use less of the actual antigen to make the vaccine (because it was limited, this was a way for Canada to buy from the limited supply, and still have enough to provide to everyone). It's this adjuvant that is making many nervous. Because this is the part of the vaccine that is less tested. Do a google search re: adjuvant and you can learn a lot about it - more than you want to probably.
To put it bluntly, I'm nervous about it. Nervous enough that I am going to do my due diligence to see if I can instead get Maddie an un-adjuvanted version of the vaccine. She's under 3 and there are reports that it will be made available for those under 3 and pregnant women under 20 weeks.
At the same time - for us, I don't see an option of not getting it. As much as the adjuvanted vaccine makes me nervous, it's the reports of otherwise healthy children dying from this virus (like that poor poor boy just this past Monday) that make me more nervous. Maddie goes to daycare - many of those kids go to school. That just puts her at an exposure rate that I'm not comfortable with. And while I wouldn't say she is a sickly child, we have certainly had our share of "the sick" in our house in the past 2 years.
But that's us - and that's a decision made after several weeks of thinking, researching, asking for opinions and trying to learn all that I can about it. I highly recommend you do the same. The Globe & Mail published a great Q&A article about it, which I found to be fairly unbiased.
Lastly, vitamin D is being touted as a great defense against all flus/colds/seasonal shit. Because we in Canada cannot get the recommended amount via sunshine from October thru March, it is highly recommended we use supplements. There is also vitamin D in milk, fortified orange juice - lots of stuff. But if you want to be sure, just get some drops. And according to what I've read, the recommended dosage for kids is up to 400 IU from the 200 IU previously recommended. We currently give Maddie a multivitamin - but I plan on getting some additional D drops for the whole family. I mean, why not, right? That, I don't feel nervous about at all.