Tuesday, August 26, 2008

12-Month Shots

Here Claire is reading the Alumni update for ISU. She is an avid reader already.

Today Claire had her 12 month shots. She did great. They let me hold her and even leave her in her front carrier. She cried while getting stuck 4 times, but as soon as I stood up and started swaying, she was fine! I was really surprised! They offered her a sucker, but she wasn't very interested. So I ate it. It was good. :) Haha!
I love our Health Department. Not only are all the shots free (cough, ahem, already paid for by our tax dollars), but they (the people) are really nice! They recommended a lead-check screening at 12 and 24 months. So we made an appt. to go and get her tested for lead, which is just a finger-prick test. The results will take about 1 week.
I know a lot of people are uneasy about shots. Rightfully so, I think. I love Dr. Sears and all of his great advice when it comes to co-sleeping, breastfeeding, and baby-wearing. I have not read his new book called THE VACCINE BOOK, but it's on my to-read list. Not because I will change my mind to not get shots, but because I think it's interesting to see what other people read and keep up on things. http://www.askdrsears.com/ I love the Dr. Sears site and his newsletters.
I am very pro-shots. I feel like there is enough out there that can go wrong without adding previously eradicated diseases to the list. As I've heard before, diseases are only a plane ride away. And that doesn't mean that baby is flying somewhere, but someone is flying in from someplace. Since we go to church and a lot of people go on Mission Trips to Third World Countries, I feel like not vaccinating, would be leaving Claire open to exposure. I think it would be like not putting sunscreen on her when we plan to be in the sun for awhile. She might not get burned, but she might. And I don't want to get burned when it's not necessary.
Also, I know we are a very "international" family. And of course when you travel internationally, you have to have all your shots up to date. I figure why delay and mess around with anything. All of the clinical trials for the shots were developed on a certain schedule, so why mess around and do it "later?"
I've gotten the flu shot yearly since I lived in the dorms in college at 18. Hello...communal living/sharing restrooms/yuck. I know that now colleges are requiring more shots than ever to live on-campus. I think that's great. I think in general campuses, like our government wants people to be healthy. NOBODY wants a Pandemic on their hands!
Today Claire got her MMR (measles, mumps, & rubella), the Chickenpox, the HEP A, and the Pneumococcal shots. The office is of course full of propaganda for getting all your shots on time. A sickly, blotchy 4-month-old baby with meningitis on the bulletin board looked so horrible. I didn't even know NOT getting shots was an option until Claire was probably about 4 months old. I am just glad that shots have been developed. I had the chicken pox. AND it was HORRIBLE. If I can spare her pain and suffering with a tiny needle stick I will. I had it in my throat and in my privates. It was by far the sickest I have every been.
I know some people are concerned about the preservatives in shots, like thermisol because it could cause "autism." Right. They used to think Ultra-sounds caused autism. It is nice though for parents to have something to blame for an otherwise unexplainable thing. Autism is not caused by shots.
Josh also works at a company where there are a lot of people traveling domestically. Josh is a software engineer at http://www.greatcdltraining.com/ So since we actually leave our house to go the store, etc...I feel like not getting shots is not an option for us. I guess I trust Western Medicine. And in general I do trust the government. They put a lot of time, money, and effort into disease prevention. If only they would put that effort into public education...
There is a reason we have not had a plague in the past 3/4 century. I asked my mom, about not getting shots. Ultimately, she said it's my decision, but to review all of the diseases and see if I would be comfortable with Claire coming down with them. Smart lady.
Then I saw this ad over and over in magazines called DO IT FOR YOUR BABY. http://doitforyourbaby.com/ Basically, it's encouraging moms and dads to get up-to-date on their shots. Josh and I were able to get free flu shots and our TDAP (tetanus, diptheria, pertussis) boosters this year from the Health Dept. W00T! I listened to the Whooping Cough baby. How sad. I would not feel comfortable with Claire getting that. I am sure that she would agree.
Well, I guess the schools have things figured out. I asked today about exemptions from shots. They said, there is no philosophical exemption from shots. So you can't just say that shots "could be" bad and not get them and still get enrolled. And the only way you can get a Doctor's exemption is if the child has had a shot, had a severe reaction to it, and is essentially allergic to it. Many kids get rashes and fevers from the chickenpox and MMR, which is normal and not a sign of allergies. And the only other exemption: Religion. I think it's the Christian Science "cult" that thinks that shots are evil and bad. And of course, they don't like to use antibiotics either. I guess it's what Darwin would call: SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST. Remember, from Biology class? It's where the weak die out on their own.
State and local laws also require cats and dogs to be vaccinated for a reason. You can't even take your animal to be groomed without current shots. If everyone were innoculated, the diseases would get wiped out. It's really sad to see this pockets of smallpox and other things breakout.
I looked at some Amazon reviews of the new Vaccine book. http://www.amazon.com/Vaccine-Book-Decision-Parenting-Library/dp/0316017507/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1219802693&sr=8-1 I thought the 2nd comment was hilarious as the commentator wrote, "Dr. Sears is the darling of LLL." I love LLL and breastfeeding, but I think for me personally, I would not feel comfortable with the decision not to vaccinate. Claire has gotten all of her shots on the public-health prescribed, on-time schedule.
I asked Josh about his stance. He is also for shots. He said, if a baby is going to die, it will be in the first three years. You need to immunize as soon as possible to prevent issues. I also have worked with several autistic students and read a lot about autism. It is such a spectrum disorder, and I have enough to write about that for a whole new posting.
I am not trying to judge any other parents for their decisions, as I think parenting in general is a tough job full of tough decisions. I think what is important is that a parent has read about it and made an educated choice. And I think, like one gal on a delayed schedule said, she feels comfy with her choice, and I think that's what is important when it comes to all parenting choices. I feel comfy with this choice.


pam said...

I have Dr. Sear's Vaccine Book if you'd like to borrow it. I also have a couple of other books about vaccines too. Deciding to/not to vaccinate was one of the toughest decisions for us to make.

Patty said...

So, I do agree with you about being glad we have shots, but I do want to say this...I'm not so worried about autism in particular, but the fact that it has popped up within weeks of the MMR in previously well children is terrifying to me. (I actaually know a child that this happened to.) I read an interesting study about the link and I wish I could find it for you...Probably in the vaccine book...Anyway, it found that in sibling pairs, one with autism and one without, the autistic child had the exact strain of measles antibodies in their digestive tract and the non-autistic sibling did not. My big concern is really painting all of the vaccines with one paintbrush. We dose almost every other medication by weight and age, but not vaccines with potentially devestating side effects. I'd just like to see some good studies to tell me about doses and perhaps finding the risk factors for kids with immune defficiencied that might be more likely to have problems after a minor insult like a shot. Again, I'm for vaccines, but worried about anything the government forces on me. More than two cents...Guess you figured out I like to talk...