I am currently on maternity leave with my 3 month old boy, R, and as he is my second child am finding it so much better and relaxed than with my first daughter A.
I will be taking him to the local doctor’s surgery on Monday for 2-month immunisations.
I haven’t the heart to tell his innocent smiling face that soon a nurse in her uniform will come to him and jab him in his thighs with very sharp needles! Poor trusting R!
This got me thinking about immunisations in general. We recently had to cancel a family holiday in France, which we had really been looking forward to, due to the increased incidence of measles there. Apparently they have had nearly 5,000 cases from January-March 2011 alone, almost the same as in the whole of 2010.Measles in France
There was no way I wanted to risk taking my little boy there to expose him to that risk.
I am very pro-immunizations and though I understand the plight of some parents regarding the MMR vaccine, I still think it is one of the safest vaccines around and lots of studies in Scandinavia and USA, where it has been used for longer have proved this. I also think here in the Western hemisphere, we have forgotten the perils and severity of these diseases as they were almost eliminated for so long. Children die from measles, which is a fact not often remembered. Also those of us who wish their children to have immunisations rely on “herd immunity”. This means if the older children haven’t had their vaccines, and contract measles they pass it on to the babies. The parents of the babies have no choice as its not recommended having the mmr before a year.
I recommend any parent thinking about not giving vaccines should spend some time in a third world country and see how some diseases like polio are still rife and ruin children’s lives. We need to remember the remarkable improvement made by vaccines for all first world countries.
There-I’m off my high horse now! I will be taking my child to the doctors on Monday knowing that he can be as protected as is possible and hopefully poor R will forgive me when I give him a big cuddle!