I know that MDC mamas mostly choose not to vaccinate, or they vaccinate on their own terms. Parents have rights and that's part of living in the U.S. I certainly would not want anyone telling me what to do with my child.
As a peds RN working on a respiratory unit I have to say, pertussis is awful. If you go to youtube and google it or whooping cough, yes the patients are really that bad. It's beyond awful. To support a baby through endless coughing spells when they cannot eat, cannot breathe, cannot get a break, and cannot be comforted. I had one dad cry while watching his child suffer. He had several children and said this was by far the worst thing he had ever had to deal with as a parent because he could do nothing to help the baby. Some of our patients end up sedated and intubated until it's over. Some die. Luckily not many die but the suffering of the ones who survive is so very awful, there are no words for it.
Here's a little girl:
Here's a baby-
The nurse is helpless other than suctioning and some O2 and positioning. That's how I feel when I have these patients. The mom is helpless. And this goes on and one with no rest between the spasms. No one sleeps for days.
Most of my patients are too young to get the vaccine. In some cases they are able to trace it to an adult who was around them, or to a daycare situation. Very few of my patients have families who don't believe in vaccination. They are adults who are not vaccinated or it ran out and is no longer effective in them. They get a cold and a small cough, the baby gets very very sick.
I personally do vaccinate my kids. I have been to India and see polio victims. Thankfully they have pretty much wiped out polio finally but the victims are still there and cannot walk and there are few resources to provide for them like they have in the US. I found out when I was pregnant with my first child, when I had titres drawn, that I was not immune to rubella. Somehow my vaccine either wore off or never took in the first place. Thanks to herd immunity I never got it during the pregnancy. If I had my child could have been severely affected.
I have seen a couple of kids harmed by bad side effects of vaccines. One boy I know his mom on-line, he suffered permanent brain damage from swelling in the brain. I have also had a young Guillain-Barre patient who got it from the live flu vaccine and needed months of therapy to recover. Vaccines are not without risk, but I guess I figure the bigger risk is getting the infections, statistically speaking.
Edited by USAmma - 9/27/13 at 2:13am