“I don’t feel so good…”

Sick kids.

Good times will not, I repeat, not be had by all.

Occasionally, it starts with the statement, “Dad, I don’t feel so good “, or “My tummy hurts “.  Usually it begins, at least in my limited experience, with kids that are playing as if it is the last day on Earth.  Running.  Screaming.  Laughing.  All the good times in the world are happening right then.  And then, its like they hit a wall.  Que instant slow motion in real-time.  Then…vomit.  Vomit everywhere.  More liquid vileness produced in such a short time, one has to wonder “Where the…how did…oh my word…you poor thing…oh maaaaan…”

I’ve been really lucky so far this year, that is, my kids have remained, for the most part, flu free.  We had a minor bout of the typical coughing, runny nose type of sick that ran its course a month or so ago.  Not a big deal.  I’ve become quite proficient at handling two sick kids at one time, all the while somehow keeping myself, for the most part, feeling generally sick free.  Hoo-ray!

But, lets really get to the issue at hand this morning.  Did you catch the news last night or this morning?

According to the local news this morning, not only is there a stronger than normal flu virus floating around, wreaking havoc on the masses, but couple that with a new stomach virus named “Nora”.  Who comes up with these names?  I mean…Nora?  I have this vision of a woman from the 1950s complete with an apron and charming smile.  You know, someone’s mom with a plate of cookies from “Leave it to Beaver”?

Moving forward…combine the “Nora” virus with this year’s flu virus, the local news reported that there have been about 128 million doses of the flu shot (Tamiflu) used and that we were “in a true vaccine shortage”.  Really?  I have to wonder at the logic on the total number of produced vaccines after the Swine Flu virus vaccine shortage.  Yeah, I’m sure you remember that one.

According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control – http://www.cdc.gov/flu/protect/keyfacts.htm) on the topic, :

“Who Should Get Vaccinated This Season?

Everyone who is at least 6 months of age should get a flu vaccine this season. It’s especially important for some people to get vaccinated. Those people include the following:

  • People who are at high risk of developing serious complications like pneumonia if they get sick with the flu. This includes:
    • People who have certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.
    • Pregnant women.
    • People 65 years and older
  • People who live with or care for others who are high risk of developing serious complications. This includes:
    • household contacts and caregivers of people with certain medical conditions including asthma, diabetes, and chronic lung disease.”

Additional considerations must be taken into account however:

“Who Should Not Be Vaccinated?

There are some people who should not get a flu vaccine without first consulting a physician. These include:

  • People who have a severe allergy to chicken eggs.
  • People who have had a severe reaction to an influenza vaccination.
  • Children younger than 6 months of age (influenza vaccine is not approved for this age group), and
  • People who have a moderate-to-severe illness with a fever (they should wait until they recover to get vaccinated.)
  • People with a history of Guillain–Barré Syndrome (a severe paralytic illness, also called GBS) that occurred after receiving influenza vaccine and who are not at risk for severe illness from influenza should generally not receive vaccine. Tell your doctor if you ever had Guillain-Barré Syndrome. Your doctor will help you decide whether the vaccine is recommended for you.”

Personally, I have not gotten a flu shot in several years.  Yeah, I catch a bug occasionally, but nothing that does not go away in a few days, or is remedied by some basic over the counter product from the local market.  My children on the other hand, did get the vaccine this year.  And last year.

And they still have gotten sick.

Wether or not it is the same virus that is causing the predicament at the time or not is unknown.  But I really have to question if the vaccine is…well, working as intended.  So…that being said, do (or did) you get the vaccine?  If you didn’t, will you?  Do (or did) you get your child(ren) vaccinated?

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