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I know that childhood immunisation can be a controversial topic for some people. I do immunise. Up until now I have not seen a reason not to immunise my children. And that is my basic stance on the topic; it is another area where it is up to the individual to decide what is right for them and their child in their situation. I don’t judge any parents on their decision to immunise or their decision not to immunise if they go that way.
But I had pretty much decided to immunise both my kids to schedule. It was supposed to have been a big decision we had already made, while I was pregnant with Little W, five years ago.
Lula came along last year and by 10 weeks old had been diagnosed with various food intolerances namely milk and soy protein. It was easily kept under control by this breastfeeding mama cutting out soy and dairy in her own diet. If you are wondering – rice milk tastes pretty gross at first but I actually got used to it. By 11 months we had tried a little of this and that it seemed that she had outgrown the intolerances. Then, a week out from her 1st birthday, I decided to give her eggs.* Instant allergic reaction. Red where she’d picked it up, red around her mouth, hives. Trip to the overcrowded ER. She was put under observation, but was fine, sent on our way with a few hurried words about don’t give her egg and something about egg in immunisations.
So I looked into which immunisations contain egg. Flu Vaccination is the big one. But also apparently MMR. It just didn’t seem right to inject her with something she is allergic to.
So when we went to Lula’s 12 month jabs today I told the nurse I wasn’t comfortable with her having the MMR today. I was all tensed up and pre-emptively defensive. I expected the nurse to try and talk me into it, considering Lula’s reaction was not anaphylactic. But not so. “That’s fine,” she said. So my brave little girl had two little (non-egg based) injections, and we were given a referral to have the MMR done under ‘supervised-conditions’ at the hospital.
I am not sure when to do this, the nurse suggested having it done prior to the chicken pox vaccination at 18 months. Lula is due to see the paediatrician in December (when I was supposed to be saying yay! She’s grown out of her intolerances.) and I think I will hold off so as to discuss it with them. And maybe get the Vaccination done in the New Year.
But Joe and I haven’t made a final decision yet.
I think it is very hard to find unbiased information on immunisation and the possible side effects; obviously both sides of the argument are very passionate about their point of view.
As always, Joe and I will hear the experts out, find out what other information we can and then make our decision based on what we feel is best for our child in our particular situation.
How did you make your decision on Immunisations? Did you consider it an easy one? What parenting decisions would you consider to be hard ones?
*I know, I know right. What was I thinking? Egg is one of the most allergenic foods! And I made scrambled eggs so I really stuffed it up – was it the white or the yolk?