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Monday, March 23, 2009

Evil Vaccines

On Friday, Mira went to the doctor for her 2 month check up. While there, she got 6 vaccines: 5 shots and one given orally. Yikes! Poor gal. After going through that experience, I can see why vaccines get a bad rap from lots of parents. Mira had been so cute and sweet to everyone at the doctor's office, smiling and cooing and being the most adorable thing on the planet, and how did she get repaid??? The nurse stabbed her repeatedly in the leg, that's how!!! As a parent, there's some visceral response to this: your guts just cry out "This is wrong! Don't do this to my baby!" I had to remind myself that this was for her own good. I think I even said out loud, "It's better than getting Polio, Mira." And then over the next two days she got a bruise on her leg, had a hard time sleeping, ran a mild fever, and was generally fussy. It's no wonder that some parents use excuses to try to get out of vaccinating their kids. Mumbo jumbo like: "Vaccines have mercury." (Actually, it's thimerosal, a derivative of mercury that, unlike mercury, can be metabolized normally and is used to preserve the vaccine and prevent Staphylococcus infection.) Or "Vaccines cause autism." (There's no scientifically founded evidence of this. The one study that has ever made this claim was since disreputed and shown to be biased.) Or "Vaccines make kids sick." (Usually the slight fever that people get after a vaccination is simply a slight allergic reaction to the vaccine, rather than an actual illness. And I'd much rather my child have a mild fever and be achy and fussy than to contract, oh say, Diptheria or Pertussis.)

So my logical mind knows that vaccinating my children is the best thing to do. I'm a strong advocate of vaccines. I'll probably even get Mira vaccinated against chicken pox, which is one vaccine that is considered to be optional. But I was surprised to find that even *my* mommy bone seemed to be making a different argument.


Lindsey said...

Yes get the chicken pox vaccine! Ryan was exposed to the virus when I had shingles last year and got all of two spots, which were questionable.

I used to have to send her dad out of the room when they gave her vaccines, he couldn't handle the crying.

Marcy said...

Not to mention than since 2001 no vaccines given to children under 7 contain any thimerosal (the only exception is the flu shot, and there's still a thimerosal-free alternative if you ask for it).

While you're at it, check when you or Brian last had your pertussis vaccine. Adults are supposed to get boosters every 7-10 years or so (something I had no idea about till becoming a parent myself), and apparently most cases of whooping cough in kids are b/c of exposure from the parents. When we took D in for his flu shot the nurses asked if Zach or I had been vaccinated for it recently and neither of us could remember, so they gave us the TDap (tetanus-diptheria-pertussis, I think) shots along with Donovan's! I think he's already gotten a dose of the chicken pox vaccine, have heard enough stories of kids who died from secondary infections after having the chicken pox. =(

And yes, shots suck. Luckily Donovan has handled them all really well this while time, even the 1yr shots which are supposed to be especially unkind.

Criss said...

Yesterday on my way to school, the car in front of me had a bumper sticker about "Are vaccines safe?" and some crappy "think again" website.

It was very hard NOT TO REAR-END this vehicle.