Saving Your Bacon

At long last, the swine flu vaccine has arrived in Ireland. The vaccine and it’s administration, are free of charge for everyone. The distribution of the vaccine to GP surgeries begins today and the vaccination programme will start on November 2nd. It’s not a minute too soon. Rates of infection with H1N1 virus have been increasing week by week. So far, four people have died from the virus in Ireland, of which three had an underlying health condition. The arrival of the new vaccine brings a whole new meaning to saving one’s bacon!

swine flu vaccination

At-risk people will be vaccinated first. Pregnant women, patients with underlying health problems, people who live with someone with a compromised immune system and healthcare workers, will be the first to be offered the vaccine. People aged 65 and over seem to have some immunity to swine flu so they are not in the most at-risk group and will be vaccinated at a later stage.

Most people will need only one dose of the vaccine although children will be given two. Test results of the swine flu vaccine have indicated that children under 10 are likely to need two shots to be fully protected.

The HSE has a 24 hr Flu Information Line Freephone 1800 94 11 00 for up to date recorded information on swine flu or you can link to

The H1N1 virus is highly contagious and spreads quickly from person to person through tiny droplets in coughs and sneezes.

Here’s something nicer to pass around instead…

A Smile

Smiling is infectious, you catch it like the flu.

When someone smiled at me today, I started smiling too.

I walked around the corner and someone saw me grin.

When he smiled, I realised, I had passed it on to him.

I thought about my smile and then realised it’s worth.

A single smile like mine could travel round the earth.

So if you feel a smile begin, don’t leave it undetected

Start an epidemic and get the world infected!

15 Responses to Saving Your Bacon

  1. Grannymar says:

    I’m smiling from ear to ear… and I am not telling what I was up to! πŸ™„

  2. Annb says:

    What happens if you smile at someone when you have the flu? Do they cancel each other out?

  3. Lily says:

    Steph, Like your linking of the two in the one post!

    You with happy poetry to day. Me, happy plates yesterday. No one can say we’re not doing our bit!

  4. Steph says:

    Grannymar – I wouldn’t dare ask! πŸ˜‰

    Ann – If only! Have you ever tried to smile while sneezing? It’s impossible!

    Lily – I was going through a box of memorabilia yesterday and came across the poem in a homemade card one of the children had given me years ago. It gave me the idea for the post. Hope you’ve had a πŸ™‚ day!

  5. Mark McCrea says:

    Hi Steph,
    I just found your blog are you recently diagnosed with EDS .I am from Drogheda and was diagnosed in 1963 in the Adelaide .
    I like your attitude to EDS and I pretty much do the same as you regarding muscle tone.
    My Ehas the skin tearing as well as the joint problems ruptured patella tendons are my main issue along with all the other stuff of course

  6. This vaccine has us really confused.

    My wife, 22 weeks pregnant can have the vaccine in about 4 weeks from our GP, but we were genuinely unsure about whether she should or not.

    She’s spoken to her midwife at length and we are none the wiser, she is in great health, and the midwife says because of the untried nature of the vaccine on pregnant women, that she can’t really encourage or discourage the use of it.

    At the moment, we are leaning towards not.

  7. incidentally, I was going to post about this, and my title was very similar to yours πŸ˜‰

  8. Steph says:

    Mark – Hello and welcome to my blog!

    It’s brilliant to hear from another EDS’er here in Ireland. I was diagnosed in 1993, aged 36.

    I’d love to hear more about how you got your diagnosis. Maybe you’d be kind enough to email me rather than discuss it publicly on the blog. You’ll find my email address by clicking on ‘About’ at top left of blog.

    Xbox – Nice to hear from you.

    I do empathise with you over the dilemma you face with this vaccine. If we are to believe the HSE, they say that research shows that the vaccine is considered safe for pregnant women. The anti-viral treatment is also considered safe in pregnancy.

    I would strongly advise you to seek your own medical advice before coming to any decision. I suspect that any potential risk from the vaccination, is far outweighed by the risks posed if your wife contracts the virus. On the other hand, you could decide against your wife having the vaccination in the hope that a) she doesn’t contract the virus or b) if she does, that the anti-viral treatment would reduce the severity of her symptoms. It’s a really difficult one to call so make sure you get all the facts before you decide.

    For more information, click on in my post and then in the left hand margin you’ll see ‘Flu advice for the public’ which will link you to ‘advice for women who are pregnant or breastfeeding’. The best of luck!

  9. achelois says:

    Loved the poem, sent it with a card to someone not long ago it never fails to make me smile.

    Too late for me – just had swine flu – need I say more except I have now have pleurisy. Hope you are first on the list for the vaccine – keeping my bendy fingers crossed.

  10. Baino says:

    Aww. . love an infectious smile! I’m not sure about the Swine Flu. By the time we’ve all been vaccinated, it will have mutated into something different. I’ve only had a flu vaccine once, and that was the only time I caught the flu! Must admit it wasn’t as bad as it could have been but it didn’t seem to save me! Haven’t had one since and haven’t had flu since. I guess caution is wise tho and hey, it’s free.

  11. Steph says:

    achelois – You poor thing! I’m sorry to hear that the old H1N1 caught up with you. I hope you feel better soon.

    I haven’t seen my GP since he sent me to hospital last July but I’ve an appointment booked with him next week, to discuss amongst many other things, the swine flu vaccine.

    Baino – The H1N1 virus appears to have mutated to cause a more severe respiratory illness than when first seen. I presume the vaccine will provide some protection. Like you, I haven’t had the flu for many years even though others around me have. While there is no charge to get the swine flu vaccine here, there is a hefty administration charge for the ordinary flu vaccination (no charge for medical card holders).

  12. annb says:

    Have you seen today’s controversey over the vaccine?
    Now I’m really confused – we’re obviously high risk in our house but the jury is still out on merits of vaccine when taking immuno-supresants. We’re eagerly awaiting verdict from our docs. Just when you thought life was getting straight forward!

  13. Steph says:

    Ann – Hi! I presume you’re talking about the vaccine which contains the adjuvant and the fact that it’s not been tested on young children (under 3)?

    The HSE seems ultra-confident that the benefits outweigh any possible risks but the very fact that the GPs are looking to secure indemnity before agreeing to administer the vaccine, does little to reassure.

    You raise an interesting question re the merits of this new vaccine when taking immuno-suppressants. It does seem a bit incongruous to stimulate the immune system while at the same time, taking medication to dampen down the immune response. I presume all vaccines/immunisations raise a similar dilemma for transplant patients?

    I’ve an appointment with my GP tomorrow and shall be guided by his views on the vaccine.

  14. Annb says:

    There is nothing strikes terror through my veins like the words ‘HSE and ultra confident’ placed in the same sentence! Will keep you posted on our dilemma as soon as the docs get back to us. Good luck with your GP tomorrow.

  15. Steph says:

    Ann – How did I guess that you’d love that? πŸ˜‰

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