Beanie’s annual check-up always gets me thinking about vaccines. So I thought I would share my research with you.
Vaccines are a hot-button issue. But still, they are an issue that need discussion. You need to hear both sides. You need to decide what is right for your family. Then, you need to not marry your decision. Be open to any new information you learn. It’s all right if you would do it differently, if you had it all to do over again. We all are learning. We only have the information we are given. Just be confident that right now, you’re making an educated choice.
For me, vaccines started out as a no-brainer. Here’s why:
My biggest reason was Herd Immunity. Here is some info on that:
I felt it was our responsibility to be immune, for the sake of those who had health conditions that put them at risk. I also wanted to prevent my child from getting these diseases.
Then she had a reaction.
It was her 12 month check-up, even though she was actually 13 months. She got 5 shots, including her MMR and Varciella. In less than a week, she developed blisters up and down her legs. When I took her to the pharmacy to pick up her Prevacid and Axid, the pharmacist said, “Ooh, she has chickenpox.” I looked at the CDC’s handout, and it said 1 in 10 people who get the vaccine get the pox from it. No big deal, though. I’d had chickenpox and survived.
We went about life as usual. We had a cook-out with my parents, followed by cards and festivities with Rob’s parents. I noticed that Beanie was hot, so we took her temperature. 104.9. Rob’s mom, the nurse, gave her some Tylenol and Motrin. She took a nap. When she woke up, her fever spiked again.
Too bad the ER didn’t have their flat screen TV’s yet. It was a long night.
And the next morning, when we had our follow-up visit to the pediatrician, she was very disgusted with the ER docs. Beanie was severely dehydrated. So that was our first visit to the peds ward.
This ordeal was enough to lead me to question our own vaccine schedule. There are a lot of resources on vaccinating, and why you shouldn’t do it. There is another side to the story, and the people who choose this are quite educated.
Read these links, but then come back, to hear my perspective and where I ended up.
So, where did this place me? I was convinced that vaccines do work, and that it is beneficial for those who can get them, to do so. However, I was made aware of the corporate influences, and was very skeptical of CDC’s schedule–and even the slightly modified schedule our pediatrician used.
In Michigan, there are no mandatory vaccines. You can work with your doctor to set up a modified schedule, then sign waivers (at your child’s school) for any shots that you do not get, or do not get “on time.” But, I discovered, there is a large window for getting the shots, and we don’t even need to sign a waiver with the schedule we’ve chosen.
We decided to spread out the shots, doing only one at a time, with at least a month in between. This will give Beanie’s immune system time to recover. I was not able to find any websites with detailed information about delayed vaccination, but here are some books on the issue:
This is a lot of information to take in. And I had a lot of concern about questioning the doctor, who had been through med school. However, it is important for us to remember our roles as parents. When I meet with parents at school, I always tell them that I might be the expert on education, but they are the expert on their child. When we’re putting together an IEP, they have every right to say, “That won’t work for my kid.”
We ended up finding a new doctor for the Bean, one who will regard us as members of the team. We let him know that we wanted to do only one shot at a time, then he recommended an order in which to give them. I don’t pretend to be a doctor, to know everything. But it is all right to question. It is all right to seek out a doctor who will sit down and discuss things with you. This is your child, and you are their advocate.