Monday, February 21, 2011

Increased Seizures in Children Receiving the 2010-2011 Fluzone Vaccine

As a mother of two young children (Pookie, 2 years and Snoogie, 5 months), their health and safety is my first priority.  On a not-so-fun and fabulous note, my little Pookie was running a fever last night.  Motrin did the trick for a few hours, but he woke up with a 103 temperature again this morning, so it was off to the doctor's office we go.  The poor little guy was practically falling asleep on my lap in the waiting room and then sure enough, he tested positive for the flu virus.

The first thing that went through my head was, "oh no, my poor baby", and second "oh no, my other baby...I hope he doesn't catch it too".  Luckily, we caught it early enough to where the doctor was able to prescribe him Tamiflu.  Unfortunately, babies under 6 months of age cannot get the influenza vaccination, but luckily my little Snoogie will be 6 months old next month.  But being the overly-protective, paranoid mother that I am, I have been doing my research and found numerous articles online claiming that the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has detected an increase in febrile seizures followed by the administration of Fluzone, which is the only influenza vaccine recommended in the 2010-2011 flu season for babies between 6 and 23 months old.

"Febrile seizures" are seizures that usually last only a minute or two, that are caused by high temperatures, but rarely have any long term effects on a child, according to The Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The FDA and the CDC are currently conducting further investigations in order to provide additional information to the public and health care providers as it becomes available. Recommendations for influenza vaccines in children have not changed and in the cases reported, all children recovered and no lasting effects have been seen according to the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System (VAERS).

This is still enough to make me think twice about getting my 6-month-old a flu vaccine.  Do I risk him getting the flu or risk him having a reaction to the vaccine and possibly having a seizure as a result?  This is tough.  And with my older child having the active flu virus now, I feel like if my youngest goes without catching it now, then the chances of him getting it later are slim (especially since I now have my flu shot and my husband and Pete will be getting theirs as soon as the little guy gets better).  I am just kicking myself in the rear for not getting vaccinations for all of us earlier in order to avoid this whole flu season altogether.

I'd love to get other mother's opinions on this.  Did you get your 6-month-old vaccinated with the 2010-2011 fluzone?  Are the risks worth the benefits in the long run?  Feel free to comment on your thoughts or experiences.

My poor little Pookie!

1 comment:

  1. I did. She has had the first of the two-shot vaccine (number 2 is tomorrow) and had no problems. I look at it like this-- though there might be a slightly elevated risk for seizure, the seizures are not harmful. The flu, however, kills babies and young children every year. That being said, we all have to do what we are comfortable with. Ah, the decisions we have to make!