To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question.
Brooklyn parents have mixed opinions about the H1N1 vaccine, with some touting its merits and others flat out refusing to subject their children to the shot.
“Parents are saying, ‘Are you doing it?’ Everybody is asking each other,” said Laurie Windsor, president of School District 20’s Community Education Council (CEC), which represents Bay Ridge, Fort Hamilton, Borough Park and part of Bensonhurst.
Windsor said her son won’t be vaccinated.
“I’m not worried about swine flu,” she said. “We have to deal with regular illnesses.”
James Dandridge, who has four children in Brooklyn public schools, said his kids will not receive the swine flu vaccine either.
“I’ve talked to people in the medical field about the benefits and downfalls of receiving the vaccination for myself and my children,” said Dandridge, who is president of District 18’s CEC representing Canarsie and East Flatbush. His wife decided, “absolutely not. She’s not comfortable with it.”
On the other side, Park Slope parent Rachel Gertzog believes the vaccine is necessary.
“Kids should get the vaccine,” she said. “I’m a teacher and I think teachers have a responsibility also. It’s dangerous. Four thousand people have died so far from swine flu. A handful of people who have had the vaccine have suffered a bad reaction. The numbers tell us that we need to deal with it.”
Cecile Iacono, president of the Presidents’ Council for District 21 representing Coney Island and Bensonhurst, said all four of her children will be vaccinated.
“It’s something that I spoke with my doctor about,” she said. “He didn’t see any problem with it. I don’t like to take chances.”
“Both my daughters received it,” Iacono said. “I watched the procedure. It’s very simple, very easy, and it doesn’t hurt them.”
Doreen Daly, president of District 20’s Presidents’ Council, wonders if non-vaccinated children will be at risk if exposed to children who have had the vaccine.
“A lot of parents are worried about their kids being in school while all these kids have the live virus,” she said. “Imagine 40 kids all sitting in a room with a dose of live virus and the parents wondering, ‘Are they going to sneeze on my kid?’”
Iacono said her eight-year-old twin daughters, who attend P.S. 216 at 350 Avenue X, did not display any cold or flu symptoms in the days after receiving the vaccine.
To learn more about the H1N1 vaccine visit www.nyc.gov/health.
©2009 Community News Group
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