H1N1…to jab or not to jab…that is the question?
It’s crunch time…the H1N1 jabs are here.
We were one of the last places to receive the first batch. Patients and staff are approaching me, asking whether they should have one or not. My instinct is to shirk the issue and hide under my couch, but alas I can not do that.
Everyone asks me all the questions, and I can give the answers to all but one….”Are you going to have the jab?” So lets answer that now….
I virtually hang out with a few conspiracy theorists who tell me that the jab is a government ploy, or that the jab itself has been rushed through the testing stage. I know the 1976 jabs were blamed for neuro problems including Guillain Barre, see below…
but convincing evidence is difficult to find. The coincidence factor is always a concern.
Every year I hear : “I had my flu jab, and the next day…<add any random common presenting feature here>…my hair turned blue!
I argue with myself….I’m perfectly healthy (physically, mental health is debatable….I mean I blog therefore I must be a tad nutty!)
So why should I have the jab??? Well….
In 1991 I did a research project looking at the effect of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccine (MMR) and specifically looking at the WHO target of complete UK eradication of the three childhood diseases. My research found that indeed the three nasties would be eradicated by the year 2000 as planned…. it didn’t happen of course as some twit Andrew Wakefield in 1998 decided the vaccine caused autism… which was later disproved ad nauseum, none-the-less the damage was done and the diseases were not eradicated. So I am quite pro- immunisation and aware of the detrimental effects of negative press.
The H1N1 vaccines are much the same as any other flu jab, just one aspect of it has changed, surely the risks must be fairly minimal.
Perhaps a microbiologist opinion might be worth having….
Then I argue back with myself… It’s just another upper respiratory tract infection, mild flu symptoms in the vast majority of cases, why bother getting stabbed.
Then the good angel appears on the other shoulder…if I get piggy flu and feel just a bit sick, I can still pass the bugs on to someone else who may not cope with it as well, that may be an immune suppressed patient or one of my precious kids, and that wins the case.
I get the jab and I get some brain altering weird extra head growing side effect…well that is rotten luck. Cash in on the critical illness cover, pay the mortgage off.
I don’t get the jab, I pass the bugs to my nearest and dearest and they get really ill… and it’s my fault, the mortgage doesn’t get paid off early.
Yes I’m a cynical nurse, but I’m a dad first.
…and “Yes” Deborah, that’s just a government ploy to get us all jabbed, but it’s a good one!
and “No” Sister, you don’t have to make any jokes about just having a small prick, my sleeve is up, just get on with it!