So, I have a lot to say about the immunization standards in our country right now, so this will be a very brief statement of where we are for our kids. Elaboration will have to come later.
We started out getting most routine vaccines for our oldest. We opted out of a few (which I’ll go into in a later post). And then came her 12 month vaccines. She had a skin reaction in the form of a total body rash and we took her back to the pediatrician. He said the rash wasn’t related to the vaccine at all, and insisted it was a reaction to a recent “serious viral illness”.
Except… she hadn’t been sick. Not so much as a sniffle. But she had had a set of vaccines.
Can we report it?* We asked. No, was the answer. Why? Because this reaction’s not been noted before. Can we be the first? No. Why? Because this hasn’t been noted before.
Do you the kind of circular logic there? If no one can report a reaction for the first time, it never gets reported.
We continued to opt out of the same vaccines we always had, and staggered the rest.
Fast forward six years. Our younger daughter goes in for her 12 month vaccines. Because of older sister’s reaction, I request to stagger each one.
Good thing we did. She had the exact same reaction, in the exact same timing as her older sister did.
Because I insisted on staggering hers, we now know it was the pertussis vaccine that caused the reaction in both girls.
See, that’s one of the other problems. Giving so many vaccines at once means there’s often no way to know for sure which vaccine causes which reactions.
In fact, for years we had blamed the MMR vaccine on my oldest’s reaction, since statistically that vaccine has the most reported reactions. Just a numbers game.
But we were wrong. Same reaction, same timing, same family, and the only vaccine that was the same was the pertussis.
Now we know.
My oldest has a lot of weird… quirks with her body ever since then. Unexplained rashes, extremely sensitive skin, food sensitivities, the list goes on.
Every time something new pops up I wonder if I did that to her. The sad & scary thing is because of the way vaccines are administered we will never know for sure.
So far, nothing has been serious, but I can’t help but wonder if we will find something later, some unexplainable medical issue that she has no family history of. I suppose only time will tell.
So for now, we are done with vaccines. I want to be clear that I am not anti-vaccine at all. But I do believe in being cautious and diligent, and I have a lot of problems with the way immunizations are handled in our country. A lot.
Will we never ever get another vaccine? I don’t know. It’s a constant reviewing of the risk / benefit for my children, and there is a very real possibility that may change in the future. But for now… we’re done.
Tell me, have you opted out of any vaccines? or had any reactions, big or small?