Learn about the Influenza vaccine

By on Oct 28, 2015 in Heath | 0 comments

It’s flu season and I wanted to post on the community page and share what I’ve learned about the Influenza vaccine, the difference between the shot and the mist and some variables that may influence which you may choose for your family.

My motivation is myself becoming one of the millions immuncompromised in this country, learning about the vaccines and how they can affect my health, and also learning that patients are sometimes not told that their choice can affect the health of the people around them. Keep in mind, I’m not a healthcare professional and I’m still learning. I also know as a parent, every parent’s goal is to have a healthy and happy child and for many parents, part of that is getting the annual flu vaccine. We all want healthy kiddos.

First thing is first, the influenza shot is a an inactivated virus vaccine. It does not shed, meaning the recipient can’t sicken those around them. The FluMist is a Live Attenuated Vaccine, meaning the recipient can shed and can sicken the immunocompromised around them. It is approved for people ages 2-49 years old. When I attend events with large amounts of children, I wear a mask and gloves to protect myself. While this is not scientific at all, the two times I did not wear a mask and gloves I became sick afterwards. I do know the first time I sat next to a sweet little girl and helped her with her projects and she had recently received the FluMist vaccine, the second time was a large event with 500 children and God knows what was floating around.

How many immunocompromised are there in the United States? Well, we don’t know. In 2008 there were over 10,000,000 immunocompromised, but that only included HIV/AIDS patients, cancer patients, and organ transplant recipients. However, the immunocompomised also includes anyone with an autoimnune disorder, anyone with rheumatoid arthritis, anyone on steroids, and the undernourished and I’m certain I’m forgetting some. The number of immunocrompromised people is much higher than 10,000,000. Everyone of us know at least one person that’s on this list. I’m personally annoyed by this well known in the medical community but not well told to the Average Joe fact. It reads very clearly on my prescription pamphlet to avoid any contact with a person that’s received a live virus vaccine (FluMist and polio ).

The downside is there appears to be a slightly better efficacy rate with the FluMist over the injection. However, ( just my perspective ) given how many immunocompromised we have among us, am urging people to really research both options before you choose and then ultimately make the best choice for your family. Overwhelmingly, when a healthy person gets the flu, they are sick for a week and fully recover. That outcome is very different for the immunocompromised. This also means if your little one has recently received a FluMist vaccine and they’re attending a Halloween party or birthday party, asking the host if she’s aware if there any immucompromised children in attendance. The parent of a highly asthmatic child may want to know and choose to keep her child home. It means holding off on visiting Grandma if she’s getting over a significant illness. You would think if an immunocompromised person simply gets the flu shot, it negates the need to restrict contact with FluMist recipients, however my doctor says that’s not the case, further complicating the issue.

That’s my public service announcement. Ultimately, the message is to do your own research and make a choice that works for your family. The CDC has some great information. I’ll attach some links in the comments.

Did you know there are only 56 days left until Christmas??

By on Oct 25, 2015 in Christmas | 0 comments

I’m sure many of your children know it even if you don’t want to think about it. And I bet many have their lists made out already, too, right?

What if you couldn’t afford Christmas? What if your excited child(ren) was bouncing around talking about Christmas and wanting that new Barbie doll and her car or that awesome Hot Wheels that shoots halfway across the room but deep inside you know you’re doing all you can to provide for their daily needs and just don’t have a way to provide Christmas gifts. How can you explain to a wee one that Santa visited her classmate but didn’t visit her? Well, it’s happening…to many families in the Triangle area here. cry emoticon

Carolina Cares has taken on helping almost 50 families with a combined total of just shy of 300 children! We want to give these families the best Christmas possible and help these parents get thru it w/o being stressed and having to tell their young children that they just can’t make it happen. Can YOU help US make their Christmas that much brighter? Go purge out those toy boxes or hit those before Christmas sales. It’s season change, do you have some good condition clothes that your young one has grown what seems like 6″ since last winter and can’t wear anymore? Let us put them to use with someone who really needs them.

How can you help? We’re looking for donations of new or gently used toys, new or gently used clothing for children of all ages toddler thru high school, donations of toiletry type items (shampoo/conditioner, soap/body wash, toothbrushes & toothpaste) and non-perishable goods to give each family a Holiday meal they can prepare.

If you have any of these items and would like to donate them or would like to volunteer your time to help with our event the 1st weekend of December please send us a message OR an email to [email protected] and the Founder, Co-Founder or a Co-Director will be glad to get back with you and set up a time/place to meet or come pick up your donations or get you directed to the right person to sign up to volunteer.

Please join us in our FaceBook group, Carolina Cares, to see the other things that we do to help the community all year long. IE: Feed The Homeless the 2nd Sat of every month, make weekly bread drops in various areas around the Triangle to help those in need, help families with food, clothing and resources for housing or utility bill assistance among many other things!