Wednesday, January 26, 2011

First vaccinations

Yesterday S got her 2 month Penta (diptheria-tetanus-pertussis, polio and Hep-B) and Prevnar (pneumococcal diseases) shots. She was a trooper - she did cry when the medication went in, but it wasn't the high-pitched "I trusted you both and you have FAILED me!" wailing I dreaded. After a few minutes, she calmed down and had pretty much forgotten the whole ordeal. She was a bit fussier than normal in the evening and it looked like her thighs were a tad swollen, but this morning she appears to be back to her normal, cooing, smiley self!

In terms of the "to vaccinate or not to vaccinate" debate, many of you know I'm not exactly the first person to spring to action when a new vaccine is introduced. I didn't get the H1N1 shot and I've only been inoculated against the annual flu once or twice. All in all, I'm healthy and I feel like my immune system will do its job if I were to come down with an illness like this. Plus, I'm not entirely comfortable with the amount of testing that goes into new vaccines. They need to ship these things quickly at times, so how can they guarantee that they are safe? On the flip side, most of the vaccinations given to infants and children are certainly tried, tested and true. Government authorities CAN state with confidence that the chance of serious side effects is extremely low. That said, one can debate why we're still routinely vaccinating everyone against old school illnesses; for example, Canada was certified polio-free in 1994 however vaccinations continue as part of the global polio eradication initiative. There was also that study conducted in the late 90s claiming a link between the MMR vaccine and the development of autism, however it was recently discovered that medical fraud was at play here. All in all, we did some reading when it came time for S's first shots and there is certainly a lion's share of anti-vaccine literature/propoganda (you choose) out there, but nothing which convinced me that the possible risks of our government-funded, routine vaccinations outweigh the benefits. We're of course going to monitor S closely each time she gets a shot, but otherwise we'll trust the system on this one.

In other health-related news, S had a visit with a pediatrician on Monday - Dr. Abdullah in Stratford. The doctor spent about 45 minutes with us reviewing our concerns and checking S out. It was nice to get this kind of comprehensive attention from a medical professional - unfortunately this strikes me as the exception rather than the rule. :-/ In any case, S is doing well. She does have some cradle cap and the doctor thought she might have a touch of reflux, but otherwise she's healthy and developing well! More on this in an upcoming post on her 2nd month! :)


  1. Congrats on trusting in science! Starryn should be healthier for it.

  2. I can't recall reading whether you're breastfeeding or not...but my doctor always encouraged me to nurse the boys while they were getting their shots. Caleb barely cried for any of his and Kieran has only had one, cried out once and recovered quickly. Just a little tip I thought I'd share :)

  3. @Doug - hi! :)
    @Wendy - yup I am. That's great to hear about your boys. Heard about that idea as well, though I'm curious how that would work? Starryn was pinned down pretty firmly and received the shots simultaneously in both legs...? Something to look into more for next time!

  4. Hm - I guess your doctor would have to be on board...normally I just hold baby in question in my lap in a kind of hug (cradle hold nursing style) and nurse on the side that's most convenient to expose the required leg. I can hold down his arms at the same time to avoid much squirming. Definitely increases the comfort factor anyway!