Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Vaccinations

I usually stay away from politics or hotly debated current events on this blog because I really want visitors to my words walking away with something beautiful- a picture of my babes, a story about how great my husband is, something I learned from one of my colorful friends or the goodness of a random encounter. Beauty comes from the difficult things too and I want the grace of God to be evident in how I process the ugly bits and offer hope. I want to be raw and honest but a little restrained as well... I save the swears-packed rants for beer dates with girlfriends.. :)  The reason I write is to share my life and have a record of things as they happened so that our family can one day go back and re-read about the seasons as we go through them. I love writing and love even more when my life is worth writing about because of how much goodness is in it. People, places, food, holidays, etc etc- life is just precious. Thank you for reading what I write-

Today I am thinking about vaccinations so want to write about it and I want to hear what you think about it. PLEASE READ THIS NEXT PART. I understand that this topic is a hot one because everyone is affected by this subject and if you are a parent, you have made a decision about how your family "does" vaccines. I truly want to know how you came to your decision about whether or not to vaccinate, whether you follow the traditional schedule from the AAP or if you came up with your own schedule, how your child reacted to vaccines and where you found your information.

If you are willing to share, please simply share your personal experience and thoughts. This is not an opportunity to vent your feelings about how you feel about the different camps. Mamas take too much criticism from each other and I won't tolerate that here. But I am all about gathering information and sharing resources. If all you have to say is that you simply feel a certain way- share that! If you have a bibliography of articles you have amassed- share that! I know a lot of Mamas read this blog and all of us could use a little more information.

Here's mine: we decided to vaccinate both our babes following the traditional schedule from the AAP (American Academy of Pediatrics). We held off on the Hepatitis B vaccine because we felt they were already getting quite a few vaccines at each visit the first two years and their risk of contracting this particular virus was the lowest out of all the infant vaccines. We will have them both get the 3 step series before we take them to Haiti but felt comfortable holding off for right now. Neither Purslane nor Knox have had any adverse reactions to vaccines, other then a little grumpiness or low grade temp. We did our research about vaccines on the Mayo Clinic website and the AAP website. Grant also has a background in public health and we have both worked in pediatric hospitals and treated babes with pertussis, mumps and even influenza. We decided the small risk of reaction to vaccines was worth the benefit of avoiding these diseases and the others prevented by childhood vaccines. So that is us and we are peaceful with our decision.

And you? Thank you in advance for sharing with grace and kindness...

12 comments:

  1. I, too, decided to vaccinate both of my kids. I also have a child who falls on the autism spectrum and has ADHD. Do I think the vaccines had anything to do with that? No. And trust me... I have looked and looked for a correlation. Anything to give me a reason as to why it happened, but there is none. I have never regretted having my kids vaccinated. Not even a little bit.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you so much for sharing. I know that is usually the number one concern of parents who are researching vaccines. That clinical paper that presented the correlation between vaccines and autism was retracted and the doctor who did the study lost his medical license due to the errors in his research. It is hard to change public opinion though, once it goes mainstream. You sound like a fantastic, educated Mama. Love to you and your sweet babes!

      Delete
  2. I was a pediatrics nurse first before L&D and I think that getting your children vaccinated is a huge responsibility. Nick has gotten all of his so far and has only had the MMR fever as a reaction other then being a little upset the day of the vaccines. With the rebirth of several strains of vaccines in schools and groups of people they are even recommending the DTaP or TDaP for adults again if you hadn't had it in the last 10 years because Pertussis is on the rise in CA currently. My sister is an elementary education for special needs teacher and she and I debated the correlation a lot between vaccines and autism. Now since they have proven that it is in fact on a gene and not related to a vaccine I hope people are more open to getting the vaccines. I can think about how hard it would be to have one of the diseases that the vaccines help prevent but having a that same disease with a autistic child must be so much harder. I think my answer was much more one sided then yours but that is why we vaccinate.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for your thoughts- I always love hearing opinions from fellow health care professionals on the topic. Nick is so delicious!! And congratulations on babe #2 on the way... doesn't it seem like yesterday we were sitting in Med-Surg drinking way too much coffee and sweating over finals?

      Delete
  3. I am straddling the fence. After reading numerous websites (including Dr. Mercola's and countless others I can't even remember!), I also took out The Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears from the library and read it cover to cover TWICE. I loved this book because it seemed to have very little "agenda" - it presented each vaccine individually - discussed how it was made, when/how/why it originated, what it does, possible side effects, what it prevents, and then talked about the risk factor of using or not using it...
    Based on this info we decided to do the following:
    1. Not do both Hepatitis B and A as they are for sexually transmitted/drug related diseases not likely that my child will contract.
    2. No flu or chicken pox shot as we feel they are not well tested and the flu shot changes year to year.
    3. Not do the one for that "R" sickness - I forget the name of it but my doctor even said they hadn't seen a case of it in their office for like 30 years. It's like a stomach bug one.... sorry my brain is shot.
    4. Space out shots so he gets NO more than 2 at a time, but preferably only 1. Spaced out over at least 2 months.
    5. Delay Measles, Mumps, Rubella until after age 5, when we'll have him tested for antibodies to see if he even NEEDS the shot.

    Basically we are doing as few as necessary and as slow as possible. We are happy with the decision and our son has had VERY little illness. Reactions to the shots have been lots of crying at the moment, but then very little else - no redness, crankiness or even sleepiness.
    Also to consider - my son stays home with me all day and I did not put him in nursery until he was over 6 months so this also helps reduce possibility for contracting illneses.
    We are comfortable with our decision and have had good results... I think either way - vaccinate or no, you have to put your trust in the Lord to protect your child: whether from illness, or from side effects.
    It certainly IS a hot topic and I hate that parents get volatile about it! :( We're all doing the best we can for our children!!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I always think information is the way to go- so proud of you for doing the hard work. I think I understand your reason for forgoing the varicella vaccine- most of us had it as children and other than a week of misery it really isn't a big deal. But what about the influenza vaccine? You said it changes year by year but that is because it is specific to whatever strain of influenza the CDC has determined to be the most prevalent that year. Does that concern you?

      Delete
  4. I am just not a fan of the flu shot. I know this is totally second-hand non-scientific evidence, but our friend who is rehabbing at a spinal clinic is rehabbing with a woman who experienced severe paralysis after the flu shot!

    I have heard people speculated the flu shot is linked to guillian barre, but I don't know of the accuracy of that information...have you ever seen any scientific documentation about that one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. In the 70's the particular strain of H1N1 created for the vaccine was linked to a slight increase in the incidence of GB (an additional 1 per 100,000 individuals vaccinated). As you probably understand better then I do, it is extremely difficult to near impossible to prove a direct causal relationship. Also, the cause of Guillian Barre has never been directly linked to any particular virus or cause. There have been a higher number of people diagnosed with GB who had also just received vaccinations, leading the CDC to think that possibly the temporary strain on the immune system caused by vaccinations might leave one more susceptible to GB. But would they have contracted the disease anyway having been exposed?

      Here is the CDC website info on vaccinations and GB: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/gbs_qa.htm

      Delete
  5. We have chosen not to vaccinate for the time being. After lots of reading I have come to the conclusion that at this time in our lives the risks of getting sick do not outweigh the risks of negative reactions to vaccines. If the climate changes I would definitely reconsider my stance.

    As you mention in your most current post, pertussis is more of a threat and we have considered, more than once, ordering only that shot for Gideon. We haven't gotten it for him, but I believe we will once we move and have another baby.

    We have plans to, at some point, live in Europe. When that happens we will have our children vaccinated, but on a delayed schedule.

    There are a few vaccines which were grown in aborted fetal tissue (Chicken pox, Hep A, Rubella, Polio, Rabies, and smallpox) which I have a strong moral aversion to. I haven't finished wrestling through exactly how I feel about this issue, so I won't say much on the subject for now except to bring it up.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you for sharing- I do admit to wondering why you do not vaccinate. Even though I obviously disagree with you, I admire the thought that went into your decision and your willingness to re-evaluate. Gideon is a lucky guy to have such a thoughtful Mama on his side.

      Delete
  6. We have stayed with the standard schedule of vaccines for both of our children. I have read many articles of the dangers of some vaccines but I survived them and so have my children. I will, however, not give them a Flu vaccine. I have personally never had one nor have I ever had a serious bout of the flu. As I learn more, maybe my views will change. But for now, my husband and I are fine with our decisions and our children are happy and healthy thanks to God!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. People's thoughts on the flu vaccine are so interesting- I admit I have never heard this one! Usually individuals are of the opinion that they got the flu from the vaccine (which is virtually impossible, as it is a dead virus) and then decided not to get it again. I respect that you are willing to rethink your views if/when the time ever comes. This is the best way to parent, I think. Go confidently in the direction that seems reasonable and loving until proven otherwise.

      Delete