As a middle ground vaccine mom, who does almost all vaccinations, but on a delayed schedule, I often find that not only do moms who feel like me make up a good number of moms, but we also have a tendency to get ignored in debates. Plus we get insulted by both sides. Oh goody.
One of the vaccine topics I'd like to debate is the one about how all kids should be vaccinated. For those who say they should, I'll ask, "Have you ever read the inserts?" But the better question might even be, "Has your doctor offered you the inserts?" Maybe not.
Getting "all the vaccines" isn't nearly as simple as people think. In fact, there are many vaccines that children of many different types shouldn't get ... as written by the manufacturer themselves.
I can't stress the importance of reading the inserts before getting any vaccine enough. Learn the reasons to get it, and also the potential complications. There are even medical conditions that are contradicted for various vaccines that you should know about.
For example, if your child is allergic to gelatin? Might want to talk to your doctor about the Tripedia DTaP:
It is a contraindication to use Tripedia vaccine after a serious allergic reaction (eg, anaphylaxis) temporally associated with a previous dose of this vaccine or with any components of this vaccine, including thimerosal and gelatin.
How about uncontrolled epilepsy or infantile seizures? That's contradicted too. Gelatin also is in the Varivax varicella vaccination as well.
Considering the Rotateq rotovirus vaccine? Around immune compromised people? You should know that virus transmission to unvaccinated people is recorded.
The FluMist nasal spray shouldn't be given to kids or teens undergoing aspirin therapy, or kids under 5 with asthma.
Now, my point here is not to tell people not to vaccinate -- not at all. That'd be like saying because some people are allergic to peanuts that we should never eat peanuts. My point is that before someone starts rampaging about how people who don't get their children vaccinated -- fully or even in part -- are killing their kids, your kids, bringing back diseases or whatever insult or accusation of irresponsibility you can think of, consider that it's not nearly as cut-and-dry as "get them" or "don't." Just like with many medications and procedures, each individual person has their own risks and benefits to weigh, and the results will not be the same for everyone.
Heck, I can't even touch amoxicillin without getting blisters ... if I swallowed it, I would die. However, for many other people, it's the perfect antibiotic, right? My family's decision to be a completely amoxicillin-free household isn't a reflection of our opinion on whether or not other people choose to use it. It's merely the choice we've made for our family from my medical condition. Vaccine choices are often the same.
Just a little something to consider before hearing someone skipped one vaccination (or all) and wanting to go off on them about how all kids need vaccines and parents who don't get them are irresponsible, eh?
Do you read all vaccine inserts? Do you skip any for your kids due to medical conditions?
Image via Daniel Paquet/Flickr