My last post on H1N1 was October 30th. That post was an effort to put the latest bits of info all into one spot for readers. I’d like to do that again today as part of a “blog tour” with Mom Central*. (I’d also like to add my usual disclaimer here that – and, I don’t think this comes as a surprise – I’m no scientist; I’m no doctor. I’m simply pointing people to information sources that I think are helpful and making my own personal commentary here and there.)
The objective of this blog tour is to provide mothers in Ontario with reliable sources of information related to H1N1; it’s a joint initiative with Mom Central and the Ontario Ministry of Health. I agreed immediately to be part of this initiative because it is pretty shocking what some people will use as a source of information related to their health and that of their family. Some popular bloggers have been citing dubious sources like the Dr. Mercola website or even home-made You Tube videos as sources for health-related information.
I am a big believer in critically assessing information — not swallowing anything whole, and always checking the source. Sure, I’ll take an interest in a conspiracy theory here or there, but when it comes right down to it, I’m on the side of science. Rigorously researched, tested and proven — science.
I also come from a basic belief in Canada, and in our government. I’m not a huge fan of all things government. But yes, when it comes right down to it, I do believe that my government — that is, my fellow Canadian citizens who are the government – is working in my best interest.
I believe that Canada did an excellent job in quickly securing H1N1 vaccines for our population, despite the many flaws in communication and delivery at clinics. Overall, I think Dr. David Suzuki said it best, in response to backlash, “I’m just astounded at people. Do they think doctors, scientists, and government are out to poison them or something?”
Now that you know all of my bias, you won’t be surprised then to find that I am again referring you to government-related sites. (In the past, I’ve referred you to the World Health Organization, to the Public Health Agency of Canada and to an up-to-date list of Ottawa area clinics and wait times.)
Phew. That was a mighty big preamble for these latest tidbits:
- Vaccine recall: Late last night, news hit that a lot of the H1N1 vaccine was being recalled by the manufacturer. The reason for recall was cited as a higher incidence of allergic reaction from this particular lot. Of note for Ontarians is that this lot (A80CA007A) has not been administered in Ontario, according to the Ontario Ministry of Health.
- Dosage for children: My last post reported WHO’s recommendation that children do not need two doses of the H1N1 vaccine. Canadian health officials have followed this recommendation as follows: for healthy children aged 3 years to 9 years = one 1/2 dose. For children with chronic health conditions, the dosage recommendation is still two 1/2 doses.
- Eligibility for vaccine: Vaccine is now available to all Ontarians, not just the priority groups. All Ottawa clinics are now open again and wait times are updated regularly here. The wrist band system now being used at all Ottawa-area clinics is explained here.
And, last but not least, should a member of your family take ill, an assessment tool with guidelines for how to care for him/her is now available online here. I know a number of families who have been hit with influenza over the past couple of months — it’s not pretty, but thankfully they’ve all fared well.
I wish you and your family the good fortune to be spared from the flu. (And I also wish that I was a shareholder in Purell.)
*Disclosure note: Mom Central will be sending all 20 of the bloggers chosen for this blog tour a “Fight the Flu” gift pack as a thank you for taking the time to participate. I don’t actually know what’s in it, but I imagine it will contain a lot of Purell.
Edited on Nov 21st to add: I just read another blog tour post and realized that my disclosure note was not complete. In addition to the “Fight the Flu” pack, my name will also be entered into a draw to win an Acer Notebook Computer. And unlike other bloggers who have very high ethical standards and note that these kinds of incentives do not motivate them, you should know: I can be bought (for the right price). So if someone is reading this and wants to send my family on an all-expense-paid vacation to a beach — yes — I will happily blog about it for you!