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Swine Flu Trials – Would You Let Your Kid be a Guinea Pig?

By bethanysanders |

guinea-pig-swine-flu1Swine flu — or novel influenza A H1N1, if you like — has taken the world by storm, and the CDC has warned Americans that we’re likely to see a resurgence as early as September when kids jump back into the germ pool (school).

Clinical trials for a vaccine have already started, but health officials aren’t just looking to inject healthy adults — they’re also trying the shot out on kids, too, to see if it’s effective. And some parents — hoping to avoid swine flu altogether — are more than happy to let researchers experiment on their kids.

From, who talked to Jessica Shelly, a mother who’s trying to get her almost three-year-old triplets into a swine flu vaccine clinical trial in Ohio:

“We definitely didn’t follow the exact vaccine schedules laid out by the AMA with the boys,” the Union Township woman said. “But for this particular incident with the H1N1, we feel comfortable and confident being part of the clinical trials.”

Because the bulk of the swine flu vaccine has been manufactured exactly like the seasonal flu shot — which has a long safety history — health experts believe the risk of severe reactions are small. But vaccines are one of those dicey parenting topics, anyway, so letting your little one try out a brand spanking new version? Other parents aren’t so sure.

Rita Palmer, mother and founder of My Children, My Choice tells

“Nobody’s truly aware of the risks, the benefits, whether or not this will combat the disease, whether or not there’s truly a health crisis going on with the swine flu,” she said. “All we really know, in my opinion, is there’s aggressive marketing by Big Pharma and ignorance by federal health authorities.”

Big Pharma conspiracy theories aside, we’ll all face this decision sooner or later this fall: Let the kids get the shot or risk letting them catch the flu. If you could sign your children up now for clinical trials — essentially putting them at the front of the line for early protection, would you? Or would you rather wait and see the results when they come out? And when the shot does become available, will you get it?


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6 thoughts on “Swine Flu Trials – Would You Let Your Kid be a Guinea Pig?

  1. Maggie says:

    No. I would not let my son be part of a clinical trial. Once it’s tried and true, I would absolutely want him to be vaccinated for swine flu.

  2. TK says:

    No way on earth would I subject my child to any type of clinical trial (unless s/he were terminally ill and the trial could possibly save his/her life.) We won’t be getting any type of flu vaccine this year (or any other year)

  3. LtotheA says:

    Did any of you ACTUALLY read the clinical trial information? and search for “H1N1 and kids” and it will pull the clinical trial info. Maybe read what they are going to do, then make an EDUCATED decision about whether or not you would enroll your child in a trial.

  4. Eric says:

    “letting your little one try out a brand spanking new version”
    Not to be picky, but remember that every season’s flu vaccine is a ‘brand spanking new version.’ Even then, its a guess as to what strains might be showing up here during the following flu season. I don’t think the swine flu is a super serious risk at this point, but quite honestly I’m glad there are some people concerned enough to be developing a vaccine and enrolling in trials.

  5. [...] your kids get the swine flu and calling the doc for a Tamiflu prescription. As parents debate whether they’ll allow their children to receive the swine flu vaccine, a new study says the side effects of Tamiflu may [...]

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