I am in the pro-vaccination camp. Firmly and completely and totally. All I need to do is imagine a world where none of the childhood vaccinations many of us receive existed. All I need to do is grab a few 19th century death certificates from my stash and look at the cause of death. There will be many that we no longer see as causes of death.
I’m not dumb enough to discount the fact that better diet, sanitation and a raise in general standard of living have helped to lower infectious disease rates. However, vaccinations have also played a huge part.
My research is far from complete and thorough; however, I know enough to say that I am pro-vaccination.
I have what it considered a ‘medically fragile’ child. Due to Di George Syndrome, Enfys has an under developed thymus gland. The thymus gland is responsible for maturing T-Cells. T-Cells have the job of telling the rest of the cells of the immune system what they need to be doing. This Immunology Cartoon from Max Appeal explains it so much better than I can.
Enfys is more susceptible to nasty bugs and viruses than the average child. Bronchiolitis almost killed her; chicken pox could make her exceptionally ill; measles could kill her.
The answer for most children would be give them the MMR. However, Enfys’ immune system cannot cope with live vaccinations. A live vaccine would probably make her very ill. My older children are up to date with their vaccinations which provides Enfys with that little bit more protection. It is unlikely that the virus can come home with any of the children.
Macsen will be having his pre-school boosters including the 2nd dose of MMR on Wednesday. It’s causing me a bit of a dilemma in that some people say it sheds whereas others say it doesn’t. I’m concerned if it does shed because of Enfys but in the back of my mind what’s worse? A small amount of shedding from a vaccine or Macsen contracting true measles and shedding before we even know he has it?
Anwen also has her 8 week imms (at 11 weeks) at the same time. On the schedule for her are the 5-in-1, Pneumococcal, Rotavirus and Men B. I’m happy for 3 of them to be given but this time I’m opting out of the Rotavirus Oral Drops. Macsen was among the first babies to be given Rotavirus routinely and while he suffered no ill effects from it, Enfys went into congestive heart failure within hours of receiving it along with the other vaccinations.
We have no indication that Anwen will have the same problem, I’m not chancing it for the sake of Rotavirus.
This time I am more aware. I have considered vaccinations and whether to consent more than ever before. As far as I am aware, Anwen does not have any underlying health conditions that contraindicate having her vaccinations. If she does have a reaction then we will deal with it. However, I am not willing to join the un-vaxxed demographic.