Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Fluarix Vaccine

As mentioned in my prior post, for egg allergy reasons, Georgia can't get the H1N1 vaccine right now. Nor is she eligible for the regular seasonal flu vaccine.

But! (--and this is the good part--) We were able to get her an alternative type of seasonal flu vaccine, administered at the allergist's office. It's called Fluarix, and I'm no doctor, but it is my understanding that in the U.S. it has been FDA approved for adults, but in the case of young children it requires a doctor's prescription. Also, I think it has been approved for both adults and children in Europe for some time now. The allergist's office sent us a thorough letter explaining this drug, and I'm kicking myself because I can't find it now. I believe the drug still contains egg proteins (like most flu vaccines), but perhaps it contains less egg, which is why our allergist is okay with giving it to patients like Georgia? (Again, kicking myself for not being better able to explain this right now, but I swear it all made perfect sense in the letter. If I ever find it I will update this post with more information.)

Anyway, if your child has tested positive for an egg allergy but has never had an anaphylactic reaction to eggs, it might be something to ask your allergist about.

Now, as for the actual shots? I was under prepared. I knew they wanted to give Georgia a partial dose and then have us wait to make sure she had no reaction before giving her the remainder of the dose. I thought we were talking about a 5 minute wait or something. Turns out there was a wait at the allergist's office before our appointment even started, then there was the first shot in her right thigh, followed by a half hour wait, then the second shot in her left thigh, followed by another half hour wait, and then we were dismissed. Whew! Had I known, I would've packed a couple more books to entertain my two year old. Oops.

It all went as well as can be expected, although I did feel bad for Georgia heading back in for the second shot. I mean, the first one was like the kid didn't know exactly what was coming, but c'mon -- she's no idiot. By the time we were walking back in for the second shot, she knew what to expect and wasn't happy about it. There weren't too many tears, though.

Another thing I didn't know about until after we got there: We had to return 4 weeks later for yet another dosage -- the booster that's apparently required for any children getting their first seasonal flu vaccination. She was more scared walking in for the booster, because she knew a "pinch" was coming (that's what she calls shots these days). But it was nothing that an Ernie and a Cookie Monster sticker couldn't fix.

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