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The h1n1 vaccine saga continued and hopefully ended

standard November 11, 2009 4 responses

The vaccine is all anyone talks about these days. Did you get it? Do you know who has it? Who’s high risk? Who’s gaming the system?

Never ending speculation and rumors that spread like quickfire. That office is giving it to anyone who walks in! This place had a 6 hour wait!

I got to daycare this morning and was told that the mother of another child, patient of our pediatrician’s office, had received a call last night informing them that the vaccine had arrived and giving them an appointment time.

Now, allow me to backtrack a second.

After all my hemming and hawing I fell down hard on the side of needing to get my children vaccinated. 76 dead children will motivate you like that. I double checked with the pediatrician’s office that my girls were high risk and then I sat back and I waited patiently for the call.

My friends freaked out and raced around looking for vaccine doses, but I waited patiently. I didn’t call the office daily, I checked the website like they asked. I was confident that they were doing their damnedest and would do their best to get to us when it was our turn. I put my faith in the system.

So this morning, I was curious, but nothing more. I checked online to see if there were any updates, and when I didn’t see any I called the office to politely inquire as to why we hadn’t gotten a similar call. I apologized profusely for being an annoying mom, but I asked.

And I was told only the high risk kids were being called. When I informed them that my daughters were high risk the receptionist paused, put me on hold, checked a list or two, and then came back online to tell me that only the really high risk kids, the ones who had had transplants or were awaiting them, were getting the vaccine.

Pardon my internet speak, but WTF?

In a town of 27,700 people and multiple pediatrician’s offices, how many of their patients could possibly be waiting for, or have already received transplants? Two? Three? Dare I call BS on that argument?

I bit my tongue and resisted getting mad at the poor girl whose job has probably been hell for the last two months. I figured that by simply calling and getting her to pull their files I reminded them that my girls should be on their high risk. I didn’t want to tick her off and make the situation worse.

Oh, but how it chaffed to hold back! I was pissed. I’m good. I did what they asked. I followed their arbitrary rules to the letter. I never bug them. I never take up their time needlessly. And I was being passed up. Twitter tales of people who had lied to get the vaccine upset me further.

I so wanted to believe the receptionist’s assurance that we were on the very next list. That they’d call us as soon as they could. But really? Why should I believe them. I even started thinking of ways I could game the system myself. Ear infection concerns anyone?

Luckily work took over for the rest of the day, pushing my concerns and my anger to the side. Though I did let it flare up periodically throughout the day by relating the drama to a few close friends. I ranted some more when I went to pick the girls up at daycare. And then we went home.

Where the answering machine light was blinking.

“We made a mistake. Little L should have been on our list. Sorry. Oh, but we don’t have a vaccine for C. We only have it for kids 36 months and under. She’s going to have to wait. Oh, and please don’t mention anything to anyone. Thank you. Beep!”

Again, WTF?

Don’t mention it? No vaccine for C? We ‘made a mistake?’

I’m sorry. You’ve had well over a month to prep for this moment. A month to figure out a system that actually worked. How hard is it to create a list of kids who need the darn vaccine? And why on earth would my 4 year-old also asthmatic child be any less at risk than my 2 year-old asthmatic child? The vaccine reserved for kids 36 months and up is usually the nasal mist. Asthmatic children can’t get that. So, what? C never gets the vaccine?

Let’s just say that it’s a good thing I got that message after the office closed.

And let’s add that I felt like an ass when we got a call at 8:30pm informing us that they were also going to vaccinate C and when could we come in?

I’m still appalled that the website still hasn’t been updated. I’m frustrated at the way this has been handled. But I’m incredibly grateful that my girls are going to get their vaccine in the morning. It’s not going to make us any less cautious when it comes to public places and exposure, but at least it’ll ease the stress a bit.

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4 responses

  • I have to admit I’ve been kind of pissed as well. Kaiser didn’t handle it any better, I’m afraid. I’m glad the girls are going to get it.. and that you didn’t have to yell at anyone to get it. I have to admit I’ve been holding back because I know there are kids that need it more than Grace and Cate. But I don’t know how much more patient I can be. Hopefully I won’t have to wait much longer.

  • I’m so glad I don’t even have to think about this myself. I work with kids, but am not considered high risk, and in general my thoughts are against the shot.

    But, my son has asthma, and for him I might be thinking differently–if he were younger.

    You certainly had a little roller coaster ride.

  • My pedi. office said they don’t have any and they aren’t getting any. We made an appt. with the health dept. to get the mist this weekend. Hoping we’re all well enough as the two oldest have been fighting the crud and now dh is too.

    I think the shortage is just ramping up the hysteria.

  • I am so with you here. I too am super pissed at trying to abide by the system. I call 2x a week and am told that they are still waiting and that since they are a large organization they have ordered a large batch and that is why they are still waiting. WTF? It doesn’t help that every single person I know in my area has had their kids vaccinated and I am still waiting for my asthmatic high risk kids. That and I stumbled upon a free h1n1 flu clinic for kids 5-9 just taking A for a walk. I would have gone, got LM and lied through my teeth that he was 5 instead of almost 5 (how do 2 months matter?) if I hadn’t stumbled onto it right as it was ending.

    Anyway I got an email from a friend that there is an open clinic this weekend in a town a half an hour away and there is no residency restriction and it is for kids 6 months up. You canbet your bottom dollar that I am going to pack as many toys and food and if we have to hang out there all friggin day we will.

    That and I am thinking of trying to find a new ped practice even though I had loved mine up until they never vaccinated my kids…

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