Baby is eight weeks old this week. She had her first vaccinations this morning.
I know that vaccinations are a really hot button issue. However, to me, it’s an absolute no-brainer. She will absolutely have every vaccination that we can get her, unless we are advised otherwise by qualified doctors with an extensive knowledge of her medical history.
Why we believe in vaccinations
Put bluntly, I want my daughter to have the best chance at living a long and healthy life. Vaccinating her against life-threatening illnesses is an excellent way to do that.
I struggle enough seeing her strain with hiccups. I can’t imagine 100 days of whooping cough. Have you ever seen or heard a baby suffering with it? I want to limit the suffering she goes through in her life.
The meningitis vaccine wasn’t available when I was a child. A girl I knew at school nearly died from meningitis. She was off school for almost a year. Working with older people, I’ve seen the effects of polio, for example, on people who caught it before the vaccine was available. I don’t want that for my daughter.
I work with and know some people who are immuno-compromised. They cannot have vaccinations. I don’t want to be responsible for my daughter passing a deadly illness onto them.
Our herd immunity is dropping. More and more people opt out of vaccinations nowadays. Maybe it’s because of the falsified MMR study, maybe it’s fear, maybe it’s just because they’re worried about the potential side effects of vaccines, but whatever the reason, we’re getting to a point where society is risking an epidemic of these illnesses again.
I’d far rather a day or two of fever and grouchiness than meningitis, diphtheria or measles.
All of that to say, we intend to follow the NHS vaccination schedule unless told that there’s a reason we shouldn’t.
We had a letter a couple of weeks ago, once baby was registered at the doctors. It invited her to come along for vaccinations against:
- meningitis B
- pneumococcal infections
- whooping cough (pertussis)
- Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), a bacterial infection that can cause severe pneumonia or meningitis in young children
- hepatitis B
Phew, that is a lot!
Fortunately, the last six are a combined jab, and rotavirus is oral. So three jabs and one oral syringe. Not too bad!
We turned up there this morning, Calpol in my bag ready to give her afterwards (the MenB jab can cause a fever). The nurse gave her the oral rotavirus one first, which she loved. Then two jabs in one leg and one in the other.
Baby screamed like she was being tortured. Partly because she was hungry, partly because she was cold and had had her legs exposed, and partly because of the injections.
The nurse took me through to the feeding room at the surgery. I fed baby for nearly 45 minutes before we headed home. I gave her Calpol about five minutes after the injections, and it seemed to help. It was her first time trying it and she did love the sweet taste! She can have it every four hours. The nurse said to keep on dosing her throughout the day.
We got home and she slept for a bit, woke up and was giggly (is there such a thing as a Calpol high?) and then suddenly switched to crying and feeling miserable. I think her legs probably ache and feel a bit heavy. So we danced and sang around the living room for a couple of hours. Then I put her in the car seat and we went for a drive to help her sleep.
We’re home now, and she’s lying in her cot, sleeping but whimpering occasionally. Poor baby, I think it’s the first time she’s known discomfort.
But I’d far rather she feel a bit miserable today than that she catch any of the illnesses she’s been vaccinated against. I’m so grateful we live in an era of vaccinations. I’m so grateful to the NHS for providing them to us free at the point of delivery.