Sunday, May 9, 2010

First Vaccine

Today Raphaela received her first vaccination ever. After deciding against the "Quintuple threat" [DPT plus Hepatitis and Oral Polio], I instructed the nurse that I wanted only Tetanus, which happens to be coupled with Diphtheria in Israel. With Raphaela crawling everywhere and eating dirt at the park, I want her to be protected.

The nurse agreed ("Whatever you say, you are the parent.") and then right before Raphaela was injected, I re-read the box and saw that it was in fact DPT; Pertussis is optional even in America these days. She didn't believe me but I finally got the correct vaccine.

Raphaela cried, a little. About two seconds later I gave my daughter a Chiropractic treatment, in front of the nurse and doctor, and explained that it would help avoid side effects like fever and irritability.

"Whatever you say, you're the parent."
Damn straight.


shoshi said...

I do not understand why you left out polio and pertussis.

I just got pertussis a few months ago, as an adult: never would I like a small child to get this horrible disease. You feel as if you are about to choke.

Polio is even worse. It might damage the walking ability forever...

Amy Charles said...

I agree -- polio is still around, and it's still a dangerous disease. Same with pertussis. We have unvaccinated kids here every year who get it, and many end up in the hospital. It's a serious and frightening disease.

Raphaela's still young for this, but by the time my daughter was three I was able to tell her about polio, n a way she could understand, and this made getting the shot easier for her. The storytelling itself was calming.

If it's autism you're worried about, not only has the autism-thimerosal link not been supported by studies, but I'm pretty sure thimerosal is no longer used as a preservative in the vaccines anyway, except the flu vaccine. You can read about it here:

koshergourmetmart said...

you are so worried about causing RR the pain of a shot that will go away shortly or side effects that probably will not happen, you are willing to forgo the more major thing which is protecting against diseases such as

Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis Haemophilus influenzae type b.

As for Pertussis, also known as whooping cough, is a highly contagious disease that is one of the leading causes of vaccine-preventable deaths. There are 30-50 million cases per year, and about 300,000 deaths per year. 90% of all cases occur in developing countries.

In Italy pertussis vaccination is optional. Fewer than 40% of children younger than 5 years of age are vaccinated, and pertussis remains a common childhood disease. Approximately 25% of Italian children have experienced clinical pertussis by their fifth birthday. The disease is most severe in those less than 1 year of age; in this group an estimated 1 in 14 cases are hospitalized and 1 in 850 die. The incidence appears to be increasing in the 1- to 4-year age group despite increased vaccination coverage. The low vaccine coverage appears to be caused by the ambivalence of the Italian pediatric community about the vaccine rather than parental concerns about vaccine safety. Legislation is being considered to make pertussis vaccination mandatory.

the cdc recommends it gettig vaccinated

The best way to prevent pertussis is to get vaccinated. In the US, the recommended pertussis vaccine for children is called DTaP. This is a safe and effective combination vaccine that protects children against three diseases: diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis. For maximum protection against pertussis, children need five DTaP shots. The first three shots are given at 2, 4, and 6 months of age. The fourth shot is given between 15 and 18 months of age, and a fifth shot is given when a child enters school, at 4–6 years of age. Parents can also help protect infants by keeping them away as much as possible from anyone who has cold symptoms or is coughing

shoshi said...

Pertussis is quite frequent now and often goes undetected in adults who contract a milder form (due to childhood vaccine).

However, the milder form is just as contagious as the "real" one.

I did not realise it was Pertussis until 2 or 3 weeks into it, when the cough just would not go away.

During the first week, a baby was born to a friend. I was invited to the seudah celebrating the event.

I stayed well away of the child and did not take her into my arms. But imagine my shock when I found out it was pertussis and read that children under 6 months were unprotected (and yet most fragile).

Fortunately, the child did not get infected.

With the bigger children, I was not worried, because they were vaccined.

But imagine how an adult in my place would feel if Raphaela contracted Pertussis from him???