Pearl got her first dose of the vaccine up in Pelham at her regular pediatrician back in November. A day before she was due to get the second dose in December, we got a call from the doctor saying the preservative-free vaccine which Pearl was supposed to get was part of that big recall that was all over the news and that her only option at the time was the vaccine with the mercury in it. Now I'm sooooooo not one of those Jenny McCarthy following anti-vaccine people - I firmly believe in the importance of vaccinations and Pearl gets all of hers. However the mention of the mercury in the vaccine did give me pause. My doctor said not to worry, that the amount of mercury present in the vaccine was less than you'd find in a tuna fish sandwich and would do no harm. But my reasoning went like this: if the vaccine with the mercury was deemed safe, then the mercury-free vaccine must be even safer, right?
So off to nyc.gov I went in search of a healthcare provider who still had the preservative-free vaccine. After many, many phone calls, I found out that many providers aren't offering the vaccine anymore, and many others will only vaccinate existing patients. One office referred me to Delany Sisters Health Center in Wakefield, and they actually had the preservative-free vaccine and were able to take Pearl right away. I was quite curious about visiting this healthcare center because it is part of Pedro Espada Jr.'s infamous Soundview Health Care Network, which is currently being investigated by the AG's office. Shockingly, I have nothing but good things to say about Delany Sisters. The office is efficiently run and very clean, and the doctor we saw was very nice and seemed quite competant. We had a 9:30am appointment and were out of there by 10:30am.
So, I never thought I'd be saying this, but...Job well done, Pedro!
Here's the info for parents interested in getting their kids vaccinated there:
Delaney Sisters Health Center
821-7 E. 233rd Street at Bussing Avenue
Most insurance is accepted, and the cost for the vaccine for those without insurance is $25. If this would be your child's second dose of the H1N1 vaccine, be sure to bring documention of the first dose from wherever your child received it. Parents can also try calling the Gun Hill Health Center (1012 E. Gun Hill Road, 718-918-8850), as they were said to also have doses of the preservative-free H1N1 vaccine available as well.