Thursday, August 7, 2008

A Vaccination Story

The girls received vaccinations yesterday for MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) and Chicken Pox. Two shots. That's how we refer to it at our house. Two shots. I don't take vaccinations lightly. I hate allowing a doctor to inject them with Godknowswhat but unfortunately, I believe in vaccinating. I say Godknowswhat because I am forced to believe that Some Drug Manufacturer, The Government and Dr. have my girls' best interests at heart. If I don't believe this, the world might as well implode.

The Chicken Pox vaccine caught me a little off guard. When I inquired as to what shots they would be receiving at this 15-month appointment back during their 12-month appointment, I was told the MMR. Dr. informed me of the Chicken Pox vaccine at the beginning of this appointment so I had an hour to mull over it. It's only 80 to 85% effective.

And yes, I am One of Those Parents. You know the Ones I'm referring to. We ask the doctors questions. We want answers other than "because they need to be vaccinated." We want to know the risks and side effects.

Why do I believe in vaccinating? Because these diseases exist and how would I feel if my child contracted the measles because I made the decision that she should not be vaccinated?

When I was eight months pregnant with Abigail, there was a measles "outbreak" that hit a little too close to home. It was called an oubreak even though a mere eleven people contracted the virus. The originator of the outbreak worked for the SAME company as Rich. In the SAME building. On the SAME floor.

It was determined by the Department of Health that Originator had contracted the virus during a visit home to India. He had never been vaccinated for measles. To acquire a work visa to the US, you do not need to be vaccinated. Come work in our country and bring your diseases with you!

You don't want to mess around with the Department of Health. They take these matters very seriously. Rich and his co-workers had to provide proof that they had been vaccinated. If you couldn't, you received a paid two-week vacation unless you could work from home. Rich received a booster. Just in case. I was eight months pregnant.

What if? What if Abigail had been born earlier? What if I had taken her for a visit to Rich's work? Happens all the time around here. I just stood next to a woman and her baby in the elevator the other morning. What if? What if Grammy brought the girls to my office for a visit? BFI has international offices. BFI has international employees wandering the halls. What if?

Does my face look blue? I'm holding my breath for the next two weeks. No side effects.

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