Friday, February 4, 2011
if you decide to do a delayed/selected vaccination schedule...
...prepare to be judged. That is what I got a healthy dose of today at the public health clinic. We usually see this one nurse who is totally cool and respectful of our choice to selectively vaccinate Sadie. Today I got to see a different nurse, and I think I totally threw a wrench in her game. Our convo went a little like this:
Her: Have you been getting your vaccinations done somewhere else? It looks like we have incomplete records for your baby.
Me: No, we are doing a delayed/selected vaccination schedule.
Her: Oh, well I need to get one of these forms and fill it out, because we can actually get into trouble from the state if they audit us and it shows our clients are not vaccinated up to schedule. Can I talk to you about doing a combo vaccine today?
Me: No, I think we are just interested in doing the Hib as a single.
Her: Well, it really is easier if we just give her the Dtap, polio and Hep B virus in one shot.
Me: No, I think we are just going to stick to the Hib.
Her: Okay, let me make a note of this in our records.
Me: Okay, there should be a box down by the bottom that you can check that says "Child's mother is a paranoid hippie."
The interaction continued in that vein. To be fair, the nurse was really nice. I suppose she is used to having people follow the vaxing schedule to the letter OR not vaxing because they don't understand why or just plain forget. She asked me if I understood how vaccines worked, giving me a cute little analogy of the immune system referring to the white blood cells as the "little soldiers" and the viruses as "the bad guys." I told her that I get the concept of how the immune system develops antibodies, I was just concerned with overwhelming the "little soldiers" with too many "bad guys" all at once.
Not to worry, she told me. She was recently at a conference and learned that a baby could literally be injected with up to 6000 viruses at a time and show no adverse side effects. Me: But why would you do that, and who volunteered their kid for that study?
Don't get me wrong. I recognize the value of immunizations. I am not anti-immunizing at all. In fact, before Sadie ever enters a public school or daycare she will be current with her vax schedule. I just don't agree with loading up infants with so many vaccines all at once. We wanted to delay Sadie's shots until one year, but we went ahead and started the DtaP series at 3 & 5 months, and because it is a problem in our region, we decided to start the Hib series now that she is 6 months old and running more on her own immune system.
If we were to follow a conventional vaccination schedule Sadie would have received the following vaccines at her 6 month check-up: Diptheria, Tetanus, Pertusus, Polio, Rotovirus, Hib, Hepatitis B, Pneumococcol Conjugate vaccine (which consists of 13 strains of pneumonia) and maybe a flu shot. Seriously? Are our "little soldiers" even trained up for that kind of warfare? I don't feel like there is research, time and data enough to see what the long term implications of this kind of a vax schedule are. I have done extensive, unbiased research on this topic and have read some pretty compelling information on the link between multi-vaxing and early-onset insulin dependent diabetes as well as SIDS.
The bottom line is that most kids come away from a conventional vaxing schedule totally fine. However, some don't. There is no way to know if you have the latter kind of kid except trial and error. As a parent, I just want to do what is safest for Sadie. It is my prerogative, so judge away. Crazy paranoid hippie mom signing out.