Thursday, November 05, 2009

Swine Flu Vaccination

I got the swine flu vaccination last night.

I did it to protect six week old Alia more than to protect myself. If I'm immune, then I'm not bringing it into the house and endangering her.

Zack also got immunized. He cried, cuddled me, then got a bandaid and a chocolate.

When I was at the clinic there were several older people there too. I couldn't help but think, why are older people here? I was under the impression that priority went to those most vulnerable.

In the news this morning, the Calgary Flames allegedly jumped the queue in Alberta, and a health care worker was fired. Despite all the hoopla and anger, I might have done the same thing if I was the health care worker with friends in a high risk group. Not high risk of death, but of contracting the Swine flu. I think hockey players exist in an atmosphere where they are particularly vulnerable to catching the flu. As do health care workers, customer service representatives, and people who work in high-traffic environments where disease spreads rapidly. IMO, the government should be organizing priority lists, going into schools to do mass vaccinations, organizing with companies to set up times and clinics where at risk employees can get immunized, and making sure the most vulnerable are served first!

According to health experts, it's children 6 months to five years who are most vulnerable to the dangers of the swine flu, as well as people with underlying respiratory health issues, diabetes, and a few other specific health problems.

It's these people who were supposed to be immunized first, which is why I was somewhat surprised to see that seniors practically outnumbered younger people at the clinic where I went. I was under the impression that seniors are likely to be immune to the swine flu because they've lived through at least one pandemic in the past.

People over a certain age, I'm not sure what, were supposed to be low priority. As I glanced over the dozens of older patients (it took me about 40 minutes to get in) I coudn't help but feel they were overreacting and shouldn't be here.

I suppose I blame the clinic for sending them notices, or the government for not issuing the flu vaccines appropriately.

On the other hand, perhaps we're just at a stage now where the supply and demand are starting to intersect, and the only issue is having enough health care workers to give the vaccines out in a timely manner, thus the lingering line ups.

It's been 16 hours since my swine flu shot. My arm where I got the shot now hurts and I have a mild headache.

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