Monday, March 22, 2010

How do I feel about vaccines?

How do you feel about vaccines? I've been reading a TON about them (about 4 1/2 years late) and I'm curious what other mommies think.

I was hoping to get a sweet picture to go along with the answer to this question. Lucky for Will, no picture opportunity materialized.

Today Will was supposed to get his five year old immunizations. He was nervous to say the least. Last time we went in I didn't know they were going to give him shots. I had just gone in to get the boys a flu shot and they sprung immunizations on us and shot Will a few hundred times, or so it seemed. He screamed bloody murder, kicked the nurse a few times, and tried to hide behind the examination table. I bribed him but it didn't do a bit of good. His brothers had to get flu shots and they were fine until Will freaked out. The screaming that ensued from the three of them was enough for the entire hospital to go deaf. I tried bribing Isaac with ice cream and he said, "I don't like ice cream!" Right. Anyway, I held the boys down one at a time and they got their shots.

Today I thought maybe if I prepared Will first, things would go better. He started obsessing about it and asking if they would give him a shot in the most ridiculous places-like his cheek. I finally told him that he couldn't go to school unless he got all his shots.

When we got there they said he was caught up so Will dodged a bullet.

So, in answer to the question, yes, my kids get immunizations. I have to admit though, that every time I go in I have a tiny concern. When I was pregnant with Will I worked with a little girl that was blind and deaf. I was originally assigned to a little boy, also blind and deaf, who used to see and hear perfectly. He went in for his 18 month immunizations and had a terrible reaction which lead to his blind and deaf state. It was very sad.

I guess his story is always in the back of my mind when I take my kids in to get immunized. But, I also feel that the risk is so small that it would be foolish for me not to get them immunized. Of course, saying this, I haven't done a lot of research on the subject. I do know that people claim autism stems from immunizations--a claim that is refuted in other studies. So, I don't know.


chelsey said...

The federal government just published a huge study that's been going on for years regarding Autism and imunizations. It specifically said that immunizations do NOT cause autism. I completely agree. I have one child on the autism spectrum and 2 others that are fine. They all 3 had the same shots on the same recommended schedule. If these immunizations caused autism, wouldn't all 3 of my kids have the same issues? They're all from the same gene pool (though I know there's some arguement here about having a recessive gene or something).
That said, I get frustrated when a parent has a child get measles and takes them to a public place. That HAS happened to us before! My youngest couldn't be immunized for MMR yet and was exposed to a potentially serious disease. I was NOT pleased at the idea of being in primary with that particular child whose parents didn't think immunizing was important. Now other kids had to be exposed.
Everyone has their own beliefs regarding the issue, so I just hope that if parents aren't going to immunize, they are smart about exposing other children if their kids get sick. In my opinion, the risks are too great to NOT immunize. People think that America has eradicated many of these deadly diseases, but hey, even the chicken pox is miserable! Why would you do that to your kids? I had it, and it wasn't fun. Adrianne, didn't you get it a bit older? Thankfully, my kids haven't had any reactions to shots, so I say they're worth the screaming fits that are sure to ensue.

chelsey said...

Sorry.. didn't realize that was so long. You just found my soap box moment. Whew. Done now.

Mike and Adrianne said...

Chelsey, yes. I got chicken pox and I got it so bad that I have scars on my body from them. Mom said they turned green and got infected. I'm so glad my kids don't have to do that.

Lilola said...

Since I am (slightly) older than you *snicker* I remember when every kid got measles and mumps and chicken pox - there was no vaccine.
Small pox was going, as was polio, diptheria, tetanus and tuberculosis.

I would vote for vaccination every time!

Ammon said...

You know how I vote. I have had 11 children and all had current immunizations. I had every childhood disease there was and they weren't fun. My cousin nearly died with whooping cough. I watched the tail end of that. My generation saw the devastation caused by polio - and it is so easy to prevent now. I know there are risks with a few children - probably like those that have an allergic reaction to some antibiotic or other medication. Not all people have the same reactions - but that doesn't mean the medications aren't good for those that don't have those reactions. Unfortunately, we don't know who that might be. I believe it's better to have the immunizations. I would cry every time I had to be with my little kids when they got shots. It made me so sad. You had the worst chicken pox ever - you didn't have very many, but the ones you had were horrible. I'm really glad they have a vaccination for that now.
Because Ammon is so fragile, we make sure he has all the vaccinations up-to-date. We were told that if he got chicken pox it would kill him.
We don't invite families into our house that don't believe in vaccinations. They have the right to their beliefs but we have the responsibility to take care of our children and I don't want Ammon to be exposed to simple childhood diseases that could be prevented by a simple shot but which could potentially kill him.
Most of the families that don't immunize their kids don't advertize it and sometimes we don't even know it until their kid has come down with one of the diseases. It irritates the death out of me! Be responsible, folks!

Cali said...

I studied a lot about vaccines while I was pregnant with Collin. While I, too, fear the devastating side-affects that happen to a small percentage of those receiving vaccines, I have decided to vaccine anyway. But, every time I take the kids in, I pray before hand that they will be safe and pray to know if I shouldn't give them a vaccine.

I don't, however, give them the flu vaccine. And I hold off on any vaccines until their 2 month checkup, so that they can gain some weight and have some time to build up their immune systems before they receive any.

Super B said...

I am Nancy's sister. I just wanted to let you know what I think about immunizations. Although I do not completely believe that autism stems from immunizations I do a delayed immunization schedule. In consultation with Eve's pediatrician (who is awesome) we discussed what she thought were the most important to do first, etc. I just don't think that little babies have to be subject to so many vaccines so quickly. Most of them can be started later. I breastfed and wanted to give my daughter a chance to build up her immune system. We did 3 out of the 13 or 14 they wanted to do beginning at 2 months. We have done a few others, but waited until she was a bit older. She is 2 now and there are still a couple of vaccines she needs, but only before she goes to school. We are in no hurry. I just think it is important to study and research and find out for yourself what you think is best. We just wanted to be more moderate with how many vaccines she got at one time.
ps. she recently had her nose swabbed for some stuff and one thing that showed up was a bacteria that would probably not be there had she not gotten the vaccine for it. (does that make sense?)
Thanks for letting me share my thoughts.

Jason said...

I agree 100% with Chelsey. This is one of my soap box issues but since Chelsey (and Mom) already hit most of my points, I will leave it alone.

Mike and Adrianne said...

Cali and Super B, that is interesting. My comment will prove that I haven't done a lot of research on this subject--what is the purpose of waiting a few months? How long do you wait? Do your doctors treat you rudely when you ask to wait? I better start researching this.

I admire that you have researched this and that you take charge of the vaccines because I feel like as parents we need to the an advocate for our children. I used to think doctors knew everything and didn't question them but now I am learning that it is your responsibility as a parent to fight for your children and what you believe.

Chelsey, Mom, and Jason, I agree with you all.

Life as a Greenstreet said...

Well since I asked this question I love all the answers. My favorite book on vaccines is by Dr. Sears. For us the purpose in waiting is to not overload a child's immune or nervous system when they are so tiny.

i.e. Andrew was sheduled to get 6 shots at his one year check up. He weighed 11 lbs. This was WAY too small (I feel) and we've been moderate in what shots, when and which brands. Especially when they are so small because of the ammount of aluminum in some shots.

Our kids don't get hep b shots til they are older- it's not a necessary risk for infants- it's an STD (or transmitted by needles, but we're pretty careful with stabbing them with needles)

They didn't/won't get a DPT shot til 2 years old as there have been many studies which link the pertussis vaccine to SIDS.

For us- we're super careful about taking our kids out when they're sick to be sensitive to others. I do think if you're going to not vaccinate or selectively and wait on vaccines you need to be sensitive to those around you.
Herd immunity is something to be respected.