Friday Flu Shot: This Week's Voices for Vaccines
Dec 09, 2011

As I mentioned in Monday’s post, I recently hosted a special conference call that was intended to provide other bloggers with information on seasonal influenza and the universal recommendation of flu vaccine.  The call included remarks from both Dr. Schaffner, an influenza expert and current president of the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases, as well as Jen Lastinger, a parent advocate from Families Fighting Flu, who lost her young daughter Emily to influenza.
After the call, I was especially motivated to discover all the passionate voices for vaccines there are out there.  Even though all the participants heard the same things, it’s each participant chose a unique way to share this important information.  Each article I read was accurate, informative and inspiring.  As a parent, concerned about the growing trend of vaccine hesitancy and the spread of misinformation on the internet, I’m extremely proud and honored to be able to collaborate with so many responsible, caring and intelligent people.  People who, despite frequent attacks from vaccine opponents, continue to use their blogs and their talent as writers, to speak out in favor of vaccines.  Together, we are creating a cooperative network of vaccine supporters who will continue to share positive immunization messages, such as those echoed by Jen Lastinger on our call.

“Please vaccinate your children, and yourself, this and every flu season. It could save the life of someone you love.”

As we wrap up National Influenza Vaccination Week,  I would like to highlight some of this week’s unique perspectives on the issue of influenza in our community:
Shannon Des Roches Rosa contributed a detailed transcript of the call within her BlogHer article entitled Why Every Last Mother and Child Needs a Flu Shot.  This piece provides readers with a better understanding of both the medical and emotional effects of influenza.   She also posted A Critical Flu Season Q & A, on her Squidilicious blog, which offers an insider’s view of the question and answer segment that concluded the call with Dr. Schaffner and Jen Lastinger.  From the questions posed, it’s clear that each call participant had experience and knowledge about flu communication efforts and were helping to address the concerns that face parent’s today.  As always, Shannon made sure that she covered the call completely and accurately so that her readers could be well-informed.  She concludes her post on Squidilicious by drawing attention to specific examples of how “dramatically misinformed vaccine opponents” are making it necessary to “communicate helpful, correct vaccine information” on a regular basis and we are grateful that she is a part of these efforts.
The information from the call also resulted in a very prominent piece on the Moms Who Vax blog.  Their Loss, Your Decision not only went into great detail about little Emily’s battle with influenza and the impact the flu has had on the Lastinger family, but it also helped address various myths about the flu vaccine.  Myths that, sadly, have been difficult to dispel.  Myths that are, unfortunately, keeping people from protecting themselves and their family from seasonal influenza.
Since there were several doctors and pediatricians who participated, I want to emphasize how grateful I am that these medical professionals not only educate people through their private practice, but also take the time to blog about important immunization issues as well.  I especially enjoyed the way in which Dr. Lara Zibner’s was able to weave her flu message into an entertaining post entitled I’m A Bully. Yes I Am.   In this piece she shares a personal story about her own child care provider who claims to never get sick and then openly admits she’s a flu shot bully when it comes to encouraging others to be vaccinated for flu.
As the pediatric contributor to , Dr. Iannelli is often heard addressing concerns over outbreaks of  vaccine preventable diseases, and this week he shared his views about the influenza vaccination to kick off NIVW with an introduction to Emily’s story.  Various other articles at have also helped provide critical flu information this week such as Your Flu Vaccine Options, Flu Vaccine for Pregnant and Nursing Mothers, Flu Shots for Those With Chronic Conditions and Flu Shot for Kids.  Others doctors such as Dr. Natasha Burgett of KC Kids Doc and Dr. Swanson of Seattle Mama Doc frequently discuss immunizations and have specifically encouraged readers to get their flu vaccine.
Again, the intent of National Influenza Vaccination Week is to raise awareness of influenza vaccination, and to foster greater use of the flu vaccine after the holiday season and into January.  It’s important that people realize it’s not too late to get vaccinated.  During the busy holiday season, I can’t think of anyone who can afford to be sick, or who would want to suffer with the flu. Get yourself vaccinated and you’ll be doing yourself, your family and your community a great service.
A big thank you goes out to everyone who participated in National Influenza Vaccination Week.

Related Posts

This guest post was written by Alethea Mshar out of concern for her son Ben.  A version of this post originally appeared on her blog Ben’s Writing, Running Mom. Like all parents, my child’s health...

Every Child By Two asks you to join in urging Congress to protect crucial funding for immunization programs.  Politics aside, if and when the Affordable Care Act is repealed, nearly $600 million in funds...

2 responses to “Friday Flu Shot: This Week's Voices for Vaccines”

  1. E.F. Barnes says:

    Open and honest dialogue is important in all avenues of life that people travel. Upon reading hundreds of articles about vaccinations, the pros and cons, those against and those for, how they are made, who makes them, and who the owners of these companies are and their other political and religious and philosophical wires, it can certainly overwhelm one in search for the truth. We must be dutiful and be willing to accept where the facts lead us. One persons facts are another persons opinion and so on. So at the end of the day it must be the individuals freedom of choice that makes the final decision in what we ingest into our bodies. Malnutrition seems to be the leading cause of most diseases in the world today. In this country after WWll with the advent of better transportation and the availability of more variety of different foods people’s health dramatically improved. Although I not against the idea of vaccinations in a genuine concern for the health of the public I have a very notable concern about the vaccine industry and their lack of open and factual research and their refusal to do double blind studies using placebo effects against segments of society that are well fed with balanced diets. I understand they have done this secretly without letting the results out to the public. Not liking the results they suppressed this information and refuse to do these type of studies. Our government should require these studies outside of the mistrusted FDA and the pharmaceutical companies themselves. By having honest facts published each individual will have the information to make up their own mind for themselves and their families. Their should be no law which requires for a person to ingest monkey liver or any other ingredients against their will. Only an innocent, gullible person with a belief that one person would not harm another for the love of profits could only believe in a system as we have in our health care industry. A person would also have to turn their back on their children and the welfare of the nation in order to believe because someone said so. Lack of knowledge is the real culprit and as long as it is suppressed there will be no trust in the industry and rightfully so. One question that many honest and concerned people inside and outside of the medical establishment have ask is why after 1986 when the pharmaceutical companies became “not responsible” in a far less way financially way did they ramp up the number of vaccines that would be pushed upon the American people. You don’t see the profit motif? When there is a pay for information involved and people are paid for their loyalty in articles it must be measured against an honesty that can only be inspired by a love of the truth in and of itself no matter where it may lead. In the early nineties autism and childhood diseases shot up hundreds and thousands of percent. What else happened at this same time? The number of vaccines given to children is the only thing that changed. I am simply amazed at the fact that again people write this off as coincidence or simply deny this momentous change in the lives of our fellow man. The pharmaceutical companies would only have to do studies whose many in the scientific community endorses and the so called uneducated masses demand. The argument that the masses don’t understand the scientific complexities of creating vaccines is no more an argument than the same scientific community saying that these companies are moving way to fast without proper studies being done. As proof of this one does not have to possess a degree in science or medicine they merely have to observe the many pharmaceuticals rushed to market and pulled only after many thousands of people lose their life and the meds are pulled after the harm is done. It is not for another individual, company, or government to make these life and death decisions, it is for the right that God gives every individual to make these decisions. Is it any more wrong for a person to make his inherent God given right to make a decision and suffer loss for it rather than someone else to invade this same God given right to privacy and conviction and suffer for it? This is one of the most invasive rights to privacy that one can foist upon another. It really does come down to individual rights. Should one have the attitude that if they go out and drive recklessly and someone dies as a result it is defended that they should not be held accountable because people die also of two vehicles colliding while not breaking the law. This is the logic believe it or not by some who blindly and with all due respect ignorantly defend the establishments who perpetuate this for profit industry without giving any consideration and no desire to take them where the truth leads them. One must ask themselves the question of what drives their decision making process. Is money involved? Are they working for the offending party? Are they blaming an innocent party on the loss of a loved one?
    When people believe, know and understand that the people making a product has their best interest at heart can live with losses far better than not having this trust. When these multiple billion dollar for profit companies that are answerable and held accountable to their stock holders and must “profitably” perform it is a flawed system where profits without a question take preference over health. Again why the rush to get new drugs to market without proper testing? It is for no other reason than to keep the stock from falling. When a person writes articles and they do not take into consideration all the different sides of the argument and only presents the side they are “working for” whether monetarily or philosophical their article should be severely discounted or dismissed all together. It’s like people growing up believing only in what religion they grew up in, never having a desire to question or search for themselves because it is much easier to just be told what to believe.
    It is one thing to believe something in ignorance, it is quiet another to perpetuate something you know , ” is not quiet right”.
    There is a bible quote that reads to the effect that each man stands or falls in what they have done in this life, not what another does or does not do. The implication is how honest have you been to your true conviction?
    When each of us can ask this question in sincerity will we find contentment in knowing we have done all we can for another. It is by choice.
    Sonny Barnes

  2. I got my flu shot courtesy of the community hospital. I will be availing of booster shots for this fall.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.