I know, I know, if I don't want the pro-vax speech, then why am I doing well baby visits? Well, we haven't done one since 6 months, I would like to get a height/weight check and show him off to the doctor (yes, I'll admit it), but I'm sure she'll ask me what our vax status is. Last time we talked about it, I told her I wasn't doing any more until at least 12 months, if not 18 or 24. Now, I'm certain we won't be getting any more. So, I'm trying to prepare myself for the onslaught of manipulation and ignorant good intentions that I will inevitably encounter at this wbv. I don't want to be long-winded, I don't want to argue, I just want to be fully informed and able to intelligently express to this ped why we're not going to be getting shots.
Here are my reasons. Are these statements more or less correct? If they're problematic, why?
-There's a greater risk of him having a vaccine complication than there is of him catching a case of a vaccine preventable disease. In cases where that statistic is not necessarily applicable, such as in the case of pertussis, I would amend my statement to say that there is a greater risk of injury or complication with the DTaP than with catching a case of wild pertussis. Simply put, if he gets pertussis, we can treat it easily and, given his otherwise excellent health, there's no reason that he should develop injurious or life-threatening complications from whooping cough at 12+mos.
-The vaccines we'd be "catching up" on (HiB, Prevnar, IPV, DTaP, Hep B), are intended to prevent diseases that are not usually dangerous to children after a year of age, with the possible exception of HepB, which is a different conversation (see next), or are so rarely seen that the risk outweighs the benefit of the shot (as in the case of IPV).
-I want my son to decide for himself if he would like to be vaccinated for Hepatitis B, as it is most easily communicated through unsafe sex and intravenous drug use. When he is old enough to decide for himself, he will get Hep B if he wants it.
-The MMR is obviously under a lot of scrutiny and is a controversial subject. I don't want to argue about MMR, I'm aware that the Wakefield paper was "debunked", and anyway it's not even necessarily just autism that concerns me about MMR or about vaccines in general. We can probably agree that mumps and rubella are mild childhood diseases, easily treated if that even becomes necessary, and that the wild-acquired immunity is probably more effective than the vaccine-acquired immunity. In the case of measles, it can be more dangerous than the other two, but I'd still take the disease over the risk of complications from the vaccine. If asked why, I couldn't give you well-thought out answers, because measles is a sticky wicket.
Am I better off not trying to talk to her about it at all and just fold my arms and repeat "We're not vaccinating for personal reasons"? I'd like to be able to keep this doctor as a pediatrician, since I'm not a complete antiallopath, so it would be nice to be able to converse reasonably with her about this aspect of my son's health. So, do I more or less have my facts straight?