or Connect
Mothering › Groups › November 2011 Due Date Club › Discussions › Vaccinations - desperately need input!

Vaccinations - desperately need input! - Page 3

post #41 of 52

I'm going to be an odd voice on this thread and say that we have decided to vax both kids. But selectively, and somewhat delayed (I've refused varicella, rotavirus and flu shots, and they don't give Hep shots here until later anyway). DD, who will be three in 10 days, just got her 18 month shots.  I AM torn about vaxing her further, however, because she did have a reaction this time (her whole upper arm was swollen and red for 4 days). I'm waiting on the Canadian Disease Control folks to get back to me with a recommendation after I reported her reaction, then I'll talk to my doctor. 


Oren is just 2 months behind the Canadian schedule, and I'll probably keep him close to that. DD got her shots at the same time as O got his first set, and so her reaction happened AFTER he had his needles. If it had happened before, I might have been more hesitant to innoculate the baby, but as it is, he had absolutely no response to the vaccines - no lump, soreness, fever, no crying or crankiness on the night of (all of which DD had as a baby), so I feel OK continuing with his vaccines. 


Amanda - for me, the greater good does impact my decision. I'm afraid I'm not very articulate on the subject, but someone in my community compared vaccines to cycling - you do incur greater personal risk by riding a bicycle rather than driving a car but the overall repercussions of that decision to cycle, as part of "cumulative changes in behaviour" makes the overall risk of accident or fatality lower for your area.  I liked that. I am generally community-minded, and my decision to vaccinate my kids had the scale tipped in favour because of those considerations. Otherwise I was totally on the fence. And of course, I still do fret about it, and how bad would I feel if one of my kids had a major reaction? So bad. But I am glad to be in that crowd of the vaccinated that helps make it safe for anyone to decide to not vaccinate. And I totally respect anyone's decision to not vax, I fully understand where you are coming from, it just wasn't what I felt in my gut for our family. 

post #42 of 52

I just want to say that I really like your words.  Thanks for sharing, Amanda!

Originally Posted by TalkToMeNow View Post

I'm going to give my experience here; maybe it will help. I finally made up my mind after ten years. Ten. When I was pregnant with dd1, the (in)famous Wakefield study was still very much present in everyone's mind. There had yet to be a lot of follow-up either way. The big fear was that MMR caused autism. And if that was possible, what could the other shots do? So I decided to wait to vaccinate until I had done more research and made up my mind. Years and years passed. I never made up my mind. I read articles in Mothering and listened to what other parents said, but that's not really research. So finally, after Jasper was born, I decided to figure out where I really stand.


Initially, I decided that the science supports vaccination. So I chose to vaccinate Jasper based on the Dr. Sears alternative schedule. Those first two were horrible; I was terrified that I was doing irreparable harm to my baby. He ended up having no reaction. I took him for the three month shots, and he had the reaction that 80% of babies do to the Pneumococcal vaccine: irritability and fussiness. He also had a mild fever, which is another common reaction. Dh and I started to worry, so I decided to really buckle down on my reading. 


First, I read the Sears book. I like that he comes right out and says he is pro-vaccine. And, contrary to his opposition, I do not think he states that his alternative schedules are better. He is trying to find a middle ground for parents who want to vaccinate but are afraid. I think this is a great thing. He gives a good run down of the diseases and vaccines, the risks and benefits, but he leaves the decision up to you. I think a lot of doctors do not like him because, from an epidemiological standpoint and barring negative reactions, having all babies vaccinated according to the standard schedule is the best way to prevent disease. I do find it a bit disturbing when he encourages those who do not vaccinate not to tell their friends the reasons why. He states that too many unvaccinated children would weaken the immunity of the herd. I'm not sure that the concept of relying on herd immunity is completely ethical. But that is another topic.


After the Sears book, I read two other recently published pro-vaccine books. These purported to examine both sides of the issue from an unbiased perspective and then form an opinion. I highly doubt that was the case with at least one, as the author is a specialist in infectious disease and vaccines and helped develop the Rotavirus vaccine. However, I found both books highly informative. After reading these, and a few more informal sources, and discussing this with my pediatrician, I now feel completely confident in my decision to vaccinate Jasper. It is a good feeling. 



Now, I am not at all trying to convert anyone to my position. I am simply sharing my path- how I was able to come to a decision I felt comfortable with. I think doing your own research really helps. If you read books and articles on the other side of the debate and are able to feel confident in your decision not to vaccinate, that is great. It is a completely individual decision! But I can't tell you how much better I feel now that I have made up my mind. I would highly recommend doing whatever you need to do to come to a decision. 


post #43 of 52

Amanda, where are your girls with vaccines?  I'm just curious if they remained unvaxed or if they caught up on an alternative schedule.

post #44 of 52

Sara, they both have the Dtap shot that is given to older kids. Dd1 also got chicken pox and MMR. Dd2 was sick that day and couldn't get the shots. Vaccinating a 7 and 9 year old is 100 times harder than a baby. After the first shot, it took two nurses and me to give dd1 the second. While I'd like them to have a few more vaccines, I'm not comfortable with the idea of physically holding dd1 down to have them.So I think I may have partially missed the opportunity.


My dd1 has certain issues that make things like exams, etc difficult. Dd2 said she'd go in for the shots as long as I hold her hand. Dd1 said no way, never again, she doesn't care about the diseases, etc. Sooo... I don't know what will happen. Maybe it seems hypocritical of me to have that attitude. I guess technically, I am forcing Jasper to have the shots, too. It just doesn't sit right with me to force an almost 10 year old to do something to her body that she doesn't want. Is that weird? Hmm... My hope is that as she matures, I can discuss the issue with her further so that we can work something out that she will agree to. I think we will get there eventually... she certainly doesn't want to have dental work done at the dentist, but she is able to understand the need and the consequences, so she goes willingly. 


Obviously, I still struggle with some aspects of my decision! 


Oh, one other thing: dd1 and dd2 are on their father's insurance plan, which is Kaiser. So I can't choose a pediatrician that will work with me. It makes it harder when you see a different doctor every time and they rush in and out.  That doesn't help build trust with the girls. 


Dsd was fully vaxed as a baby. 

post #45 of 52

Those are some of the issues I wondered about.  I agree that it feels wrong to force someone to do something regardless of age.  It's easier with a baby because he's not saying "no" in advance.  There are shots I would like the kids to get before puberty, since they've had zero vaccine preventable diseases so far, but I expect them to be able to look at it rationally by the time that comes around.


What is it about firstborns that makes them so sensitive?

post #46 of 52

Joanie, I really feel that if you haven't made up your mind, it's not going to happen at your ped appoint either.  You're either going to feel guilty, forced, etc. or scared and leave doing nothing.  If you don't know yet, just wait.  Like Abra and others have said, you can't take them back, but you can always catch up.  It's okay to wait.  It really is.  Take the time you need to work through it.  I am very happy not doing any vaxes and waiting to see what the future holds.  If my kid needs a tetanus shot then I'll get it.  If they aren't immune to rubella and mumps by the time they're hitting puberty, then I'll revisit those.  If we plan to travel to riskier countries then I'll reconsider then.  I think it will be more challenging to vaccinate an older child, certainly, but hopefully we can talk about it and come to an understanding.  I remember getting an MMR booster when I was 12 and a tetanus booster when I was 15.  I recall feeling sorry for myself that I had to get them, but also proud of myself for going through it and being okay.  I think older kids can feel a sense of adventure about getting shots that you could play up and maybe even a little special surprise to go along with it like a fun dessert, a movie, etc.

post #47 of 52

My parents forced me to get some vaccinations when I was 12.  I wish they had not.  I wish they had sat down with me and explained why they thought it was important and then left the decision ultimately up to me. I decided to get some vaccinations before I travelled when I was 18, I probably would have gotten the ones I was forced to earlier anyway but without feeling the way I do about it now.  I'm still mad about it. So that's my two cents on delaying...

post #48 of 52

I got that stupid Gardasil vaccine in my early 20's and will forever regret it, especially since it hasn't been around very long and who knows what kinds of effects it might've or still might have on me. *sigh* I hate that I was raised to believe everything my doctors told me, and it has been to my detriment that I put so much faith in them in the past. Now people might call me paranoid but I actually think I'm just more grounded in reality than others I know now.

post #49 of 52

I am still not at peace with this issue.  DD1 is starting playschool in the fall and I feel like I am getting pressure from the ped and from family as well to vaccinate.  I have a pit in the bottom of my stomach because I am afraid of making the wrong decision.  There has been a pertussis outbreak in VT and there is pressure everywhere to get the kids vaccinated and to get myself vaccinated.   Are all of these commercials on TV and stories on the news just a fear tactic?  It worked on my SIL and she is getting her 3 year old vaccinated in August.  My dh is dead against vaccines and I feel like I am stuck in the middle and don't know what to do. 

post #50 of 52

Jill, I know it's a tough, tough decision and when there is actually an outbreak it can really make you reconsider when you thought you were settled.   My kids traveled to WA state when there was the outbreak up there and I freaked out a bit.  But I got online and read about the disease more and the treatment and felt confident that if my kids should display any cold like symptoms after being up there that I would simply insist on having them tested and getting treatment right away to prevent the worst of the illness.  Abra can attest to the fact that earlier treatment caused much less severe symptoms.  But she can also attest for the fact that the illness itself wasn't that bad in her breastfed, well nourished children.  Still a very personal decision, but I felt fine about a wait and see approach and I still stand firm on re-evaluating as circumstances dictate as my kids get older.

post #51 of 52

I go back and forth on pertussis too. I might get it for Eowyn when she stops nursing. First time we had it DD2had just stopped nursing and it just went on and on, we stayed home for 4 months.  We got it again when Abra did and it was much milder, I think because we all had some natural immunity, but Eowyn won't once she weans.

post #52 of 52

Regarding fear tactics...I've found it difficult to find provders who will bother to test for itI feel like they just aren't that worried about accurate reporting of mild cases, this was the case in both times in two different states,Dh's doctor was not very concerned either, so maybe if you have a pediatrician you trust talking it over with them might be helpful.

  Return Home
  Back to Forum: November 2011 Due Date Club
Mothering › Groups › November 2011 Due Date Club › Discussions › Vaccinations - desperately need input!