Hi! I'm a new mom to a 5-week-old girl, and I'm really torn about the DTaP vaccine. I do understand and worry about the threat it poses to infants, but I'm probably not going to give it to her for the following reasons:
It doesn't offer much (any?) protection until the third dose at 6 months, at which point the risks of the illness are much less.
It has a bad side effect profile and contains relatively high amounts of aluminum and formaldehyde.
If it were more effective right away, or had fewer controversial ingredients, I would absolutely get it for her, but given both those things, I don't think I will.
She is exclusively breast-fed (which I plan to continue for at least 2 years) and not in daycare, although we do live in an intentional community so we share meals, kitchen and living space with many others, but we have private sleeping space. I or my husband are with her all the time.
My plan is to watch for any cold symptoms at all (runny nose, slight fever, cough, etc.) that could possibly be the early stages of pertussis and take her to the doctor to be seen right away to test for it (from my research I read that you can diagnose it from swabbing the nose) and start her on treatment right away if she has it.
I am also taking immune-boosting supplements -- natural vitamin C, garlic, elderberry, oregano oil, as well as cod liver oil and probiotics, in the hopes that at least some of that will pass through breastmilk. I give her infant probiotics as well.
Could you please share your opinion about this, and any other suggestions to prevent pertussis without the vaccine, as well as how to recognize it early and what to do if I suspect she has it?
Thanks you so much in advance!