Friday, November 5, 2010


I'm grateful for the vaccinations we have against disease. For my generation, it's hard to picture the very real threat of diseases that once devastated communities and that is something to be grateful for, not complacent about. Our pediatrician was very clear that he thought it best for Keats to be vaccinated, but seemed to feel the need to convince us of this fact. We whole-heartedly agreed with him, so questioned this need to convince us. He said that many new parents weren't having their children vaccinated because they felt it was an unnecessary medical procedure that subjected their children to dangerous illness. I understand the logic here, but I think we've forgotten what the "real" diseases do to our children. Polio, measles, Diphtheria, Rubella, etc., are really scary viruses/diseases that are far worse than any reactionary illness a child may have in response to receiving the vaccine (not including an allergy to the vaccine/something in the vaccine). Birch and I take Keats' health so seriously in the other aspects of his life, it seems backwards to not protect him in such a simple manner, especially since it's covered by our insurance!

I highly recommend reading the chapter on vaccines in Baby 411. In it, Dr. Brown discusses the facts and misconceptions surrounding the vaccine debate.

I don't remember the momentary pain of the actual shots as I received them, but I do remember having a very healthy childhood (still going strong). Yes, I had chicken pox and had to quit ballet after only one day (still slightly bitter about that. Darn you chicken pox!) I'm grateful that I'm living now and not just one hundred years ago when these vaccines didn't exist and hundreds of thousands died because of it.

Hint: The first time we took Keats to get his shots, the nurse gave him the sweet, liquid vaccine in doses between injections. This greatly calmed him down, taking his mind off the pain. The second time, we had someone else and she didn't do this. We now ask the nurse to give the liquid between injections. Distraction is a great tool... so is a little sweetness.

Schedule of Vaccines from Birth to Age Six
Vaccinatiohns/Healthcare for the Uninsured (in the Bay Area)

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