Friday, 26 April 2013

Surely something is better than nothing?? MMR vaccine my thoughts.

For the last few weeks my stomach and mind have been churning about the MMR vaccine.  I have wrestled with my conscience, my heart, worried about my childrens health, freedom of choice and raised eyebrows from others.

I put my hands up and say I am one of those parents that choose for whatever reason to refuse the triple jab (I will not put my reasons here as I do not feel I need to justify or supply them as I don't expect the same of those that chose to vaccinate with the MMR vaccine).

Of course the current news regarding Measles in South Wales has me thinking. From what I can understand in 'Laymans Terms' is there is a school of thought that there is a current increase in confirmed Measles cases because of the low uptake of the MMR jab (so the 'herd' vaccination process was not as large as was needed to stop an outbreak)

However I, and more importantly, my children are not cows in a 'herd'.  As a parent I have to decide what is right for my children and myself and the MMR vaccine, after many books/websites read on the subject and exercising my informed choice, was not it.

Do I regret my previous decision? No but I do have questions now. I must add I did ask in the 90's when the vaccine was in the news at that time if my children could be given the same vaccinations but in a single dose. I was told no and that some Doctors were removing patients that refused the vaccine from their lists. I felt browbeaten, ignored and probably worst of all, a bad parent for daring to exercise my right to ask questions.

I have asked the same question again of my Doctor now in light of the outbreaks - again I have been told it is not possible. WHY??

The questions I am left with are:

Surely any vaccination (single format included) is better than none at all? So why can't I do this?

If there are clinics that offer single vaccinations in this Country why are Doctors not doing the same, especially in the light of the outbreak in South Wales.  Why does children health when it comes to vaccinations have to be an 'all or nothing' scenario?

The single vaccinations are around £100 per jab - do I pay or go with the 'herd' (there words not mine!) and let my children have the bloody jab - so much for freedom of informed choice!!! What about parents that can't afford them but still do not agree with the triple MMR?  What happens to them??

It goes without saying that my childrens health comes before everything but I do not feel with all my heart that I am behind the triple MMR.

I don't just feel this way about MMR and refused my children to have their baby vaccinations given at the same time as another - no jab in one leg and the other for us - it was one at each visit in one leg.  Although it is not the standard I was supported by my Nurse in this who, quite rightly, advised that it would be prolonging the vaccination process by having to leave a month in between each jab rather than doing 2 jabs in one (1 in each leg) but was happy to follow my wishes.

But at the same time that alone raises a question in my mind. Why does doing it one jab then another change things? Why the need for a month lapse between vaccinations?  Why if they are safe to give at the same time, one in each leg do I have to wait in between the same 2 jabs??  Don't get me wrong I am grateful to my Nurse for her understanding and agreement to do the jabs in a way that was comfortable to me but why the wait? I just don't get it!

So it boils down to a few things I believe;  find the money, vaccinate in single format, protect against childhood illnesses or give the bloody MMR through my Doctors and not feel totally comfortable with my choice but protect against childhood illnesses and worry about the effects of what giving a vaccine in 'bulk' will be later?

I'm sure I am not the only parent with unanswered questions.