Yesterday the girls and I came home from school sniffling and sneezing, with our throats itchy and hoarse. We must have caught a flu virus somewhere. I quickly rummaged through the medicine cabinet for our Vitamin C tablets.
Of course, there’s no scientific study that shows definite proof of vitamin C’s ability to arrest an infection. After all, Dr. Linus Pauling’s Vitamin C philosophies are still controversial, and the medical profession remains skeptical towards them. But, well, as a mom, Vitamin C (along with water) had become part of my weaponry.
Each time a cold or cough looms in any family member, I double/triple the Vitamin C dose, with dosages spread throughout the day. I learned in Physiology class (more than a decade ago, hehe) that the body absorbs a certain amount of vitamin C at a time; whatever exceeds that amount is excreted through the urine. Because of this, I give our Vitamin C tabs in divided doses.
“The percentage of a single dose absorbed decreases with increasing amounts. For example, only 16% of a single dose of 12 grams is absorbed. Maximum vitamin C absorption of large doses is attained by ingestion of several spaced doses throughout the day rather than by a single large dose.” (Source)
You’d be shocked at the mega-doses suggested by other doctors, in hundred-thousand milligrams! I’m not too keen on going that far.
So last night, I popped a 500-mg tablet and my kids took their own chewable Cees (in addition to what we had in the morning). As they always ask me to when they feel sick, I massaged their legs and back with Vicks. I’m not sure whether Vicks is effective at all. But it does make them feel better. And a little bit more of mom-and-‘babies’ bonding time surely goes a long, long way.
I woke up feeling better. Patch felt okay and was able to go to school. VGood, however, was feverish, so she is home now nursing a flu. *sigh* I forgot to mention that Nate is still recovering from an earlier viral infection. I hope he does not catch this new infection going around our home. *sigh, sigh, sigh*
I used to work in the pharmaceutical industry, several years for a vaccine company. So, yes, with all the PK (product knowledge) inculcated in me, I do believe in vaccines. I think vaccines are one of the greatest discoveries in the medical world. Now, if only they could be made more affordable, then not just the class A-B markets will be saved from possibly life-threatening diseases. Vaccines, as sold by the companies, are already expensive. Unlike generic drugs, much research (therefore, funds) goes into the development of vaccines. But I find the profit margins by doctors horrendous, reaching as much as 300% for certain shots! But that’s another topic for another day… let me go back to my topic.
With all the viral infections coming in and out of our home, I’m thinking it’s time for flu vaccination. Actually, we are late. Flu season starts when the rains come, so my kids should have gotten their shots last month.
Recently, CDC released an update on guidelines for flu vaccination. Some of the new things I read are the following:
- the importance of administering 2 doses of vaccine to all children aged 6 months-8 years if they have not been vaccinated previously at any time on the basis of accumulating data indicating that 2 doses are required for protection in these children;
- children aged 6 months-8 years who received only 1 dose in their first year of vaccination receive 2 doses the following year;
- The 2007-2008 trivalent vaccine strains are A/Solomon Islands/3/2006 (H1N1)-like (new for this season), A/Wisconsin/67/2005 (H3N2)-like, and B/Malaysia/2506/2004-like viruses. (Being in the Northern Hemisphere, the Philippines is covered by these strains. Learn more about how flu vaccine strain recommendations are made here.)
The Philippine Pediatric Society, as confirmed by our Pediatrician, follows recommendation #1. (See the complete Childhood Immunization Schedule for 2007 in the Philippines here.) Bakit kaya? Eh hindi naman tayo sakop ng CDC? Hmmm…
Since I buy my vaccines directly from the Medical Representative, I will save about 70% on vaccine cost. But I will still be spending a lot, because Nate And VGood will get two shots (given one month apart), Patch one shot, and I think I will get my dad one too.
So, Miss J (my medrep-friend), order ako ng 6 boxes. 😛 (That is, after we all recover from flu!)