Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Drop The Needle

There is a 3% chance of conceiving fraternal twins.  We were very lucky and won the million dollar family lottery.  There is about a 10%  chance of developing moderate side effects to the chickenpox vaccine - Molly won that sweepstakes including a fever that bordered on the verge of a trip to the emergency room.*  A doctor's appointment Monday confirmed that this fever was not a virus - it was a moderate to severe reaction to her shot.  It was a scary week and we continue to monitor her regularly as side effects could continue for another 3 weeks.**

 Jack's Immunization Record (AKA Daycare Passport)

I'd never given much thought to refusing vaccination for my children, until this week.  I grew up knowing friends of my parents who were suffering from Polio related issues as adults.  My aunt died from cervical cancer, so I am going to encourage Molly to get her HPV vaccine when she gets older (even though ultimately the choice will be hers).  I am a total klutz so a Tetanus shot just makes sense, because let's face it, it's only a matter of time before Molly or Jack cut themselves on the back of their leg while simultaneously destroying a new pair of Ocean Pacific*** shorts that their mother has just bought for them while attempting to retrieve a tennis ball from a neighbour's yard.****

There's also the issue that earning a daycare place for your children in the city of Toronto is a competitive sport and being able to produce a fully filled out immunization record for your infant is like winning the coin toss before the match begins.  No one can deny your child access for not having their shots, but they can make your child stay home if an outbreak occurs and some day cares won't let you return until there is proof that they've been immunized.  I think I'd cry if I had to count up all of the money spent for days that my fully immunized children were not at daycare because they were sick with fevers, rashes and anything viral and disgusting. 

At this point Molly and Jack get one more booster (the second half of the one that contains Tetanus and Polio) at their 18 month check up and then nothing more until they turn 4 when it becomes decision time for Chris and I.  I'm feeling some guilt about not researching immunizations and making a more informed decision about our children and their shots.  That being said I don't have a crystal ball and I wasn't anticipating almost a week of scary feveral symptoms.  Somehow a bunch of Calamine Lotion and some itchy skin doesn't seem so frightening.

This is me at 6 months old with Chicken Pox, covered in Calamine Lotion, clearly it impacted my appetite severely....Cause I know what you're thinking, that poor kid is wasting away to nothing.

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*Worst Jackpot Ever.
**Chickenpox Vaccine Side Effects
***It was the 1980's, they were preppy cool and you know it.
****I am the worst at climbing anything and I still don't know who was more upset about the destroyed plaid shorts, me or me mom.


  1. Aww... Your poor little one. I hope she is doing better. Thankfully we have not had that severe of a reaction. So far my 4 (almost 5) month old has had two rounds of vaccines. The rotovirus is the one that effects each time so far!

  2. Wow, good post. I also planned to just get the shots without doing the research, mainly because I am pro-shots and worry about what could happen if not. But I hadn't thought of the side effects actually ending up being worse than actually getting the virus (chicken pox). Do you think getting a vaccine for a relatively mild sickness (for most) is encouraged more for economic purposes (vaccine companies $, missed days of work / home from daycare) than for actual risk?

    P.S. hope baby girl is feeling better now.

    1. From what I can see from my research is that major risk of catching chicken pox comes from adulthood, so the vaccine is preventative against serious side effects as children and adults. The vaccine was released widely (in North America) some time around 1995. For me it was scarier not knowing what was wrong with Molly than dealing with symptoms once we knew it was a reaction to the shot. That being said, it will (hopefully) be one less illness to deal with and Jack had no reaction whatsoever. And if we decide to get her second shot when she's 4-6 we'll know what we're dealing with and that she had a reaction last time.

    2. If you're ever worried about giving them their vacs. you can always put them on a delayed schedule - they still get everything but at a slower pace and later on.

  3. Note - I have received several articles on vaccines since this post if you want to check a few out here they are, from both sides:

    click on the last video, alysson ordinario