Monday, June 28, 2010

Vaccination Frustration

Ember just got her first set of immunizations. Yes, she is 6 months, 3 weeks old.

For some reason, where vaccinations were concerned, my gut said 'proceed with caution'. I'm not against vaccines. I'm not even sure where my hesitation stemmed from. Perhaps it was the debate of autism and all the speculation that surrounds its origins*. Maybe it was the fact that when I expressed my hesitation to my family doctor, I was just lectured and told to "have them done". Possibly, I just didn't know enough on the subject and it had to do with my inability in finding information from an impartial source, one that wasn't an extremity for or against. My concerns weren't anything too strange: can allergies develop; there's no trace of egg protein before 12 mos; do we really want children to not get the chicken pox?

Rather than booking an appointment at two months of age for Ember, I chose to put it off. I looked into homoeopathic remedies as an alternative but again, I couldn't find enough information and didn't feel right about it either. I expressed my uncertainty to every health care professional I encountered and was met with finger wagging. Recently, the health unit called and told me Ember was several months past due, and nicely informed me that if she not vaccinate, and an outbreak occurred while Ember was in school, she would be sent home. I was getting worn down. I didn't even know what I was questioning anymore.

Then I received a phone call from the pharmacist, Melissa at my doctor's office. Apparently my doctor had expressed my concerns to her and asked that she call me. Melissa was the first person to put aside her job title and she answered my questions like a girlfriend. She relayed her experiences and opinions when it came to vaccinating her own children. It was so refreshing to actually converse with someone on the matter!! She completely understood that I wasn't trying to be controversial or obstinate, but only trying to inform myself. Very kindly, she reminded me that it's our job as mums (parents) to ask questions and trust our gut instincts. Furthermore, where immunizations are concerned, the schedule for baby's is recommended and doesn't have to be strictly adhered to. In fact, I have a girlfriend who is immunizing her daughter every four months because she finds the reaction and recovery that much easier. I scheduled an appointment for Ember's vaccinations after speaking to Melissa.

Remember that babe is yours and you have to do what you are comfortable with.

*There has been no substantiated evidence of a tie. The doctor who alleged that autism is related to immunizations has lost his license.

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