Tuesday, November 06, 2007

The end of the vaccination debacle
After Logan's allergy testing came back negative for vaccination allergies, I made an appointment to speak with his pediatrician about what we should do next. Since our move to our small town, we've always met with Nurses & Physician's Assistants at the clinic we take Logan to. We had yet to sit down with a pediatrician, even though the Nurses & PA's work with the Doctors as a team. It never bothered me & I was never concerned about how this clinic functioned, but after all we had been through with reactions & testing, I thought it was time to get a second opinion & speak one-on-one with a pediatrician.

I am so happy I did.

We met with Dr. B (oddly, this is the 3rd Dr. B we've seen since Logan's birth). She went over Logan's history with me & we talked about his vaccination reactions. She took the time to explain what diseases would be the most dangerous if Logan were to contract them & which diseases he had virtually no risk of ever coming in contact with. She also explained that if he were to contract some diseases, like Pertussis, he would be fine but if we had another baby it could be fatal for him/her. She never used any scare tactics or tried to push vaccination propaganda at me. She was honest, telling me that many of the vaccinations that Logan was "scheduled" for were unnecessary for his health, but important for the health of others.

After weighing the risks, we made the decision that Logan only needs two more shots; DT (Diphtheria/Tetanus - he never reacted to this, so I'm fine with it) & Hib (H. influenza type B). Hep A is a possibility. These diseases pose the greatest risk of serious complications or fatality if he were to contract them at his age. He will get them separately & spaced a few weeks apart. He won't get Polio, Pertussis (as this is the main vaccination that caused his reaction), MMR (measles, mumps, rubella), Prevnar (pneumococcus) or flu shots (due to his egg allergy). Chicken pox (varicella), Hep B & flu shots were not very high on the list of serious illnesses.

This was the first time I felt understood & listened to since our move to our small town. I was so disappointed to leave our pediatrician when we moved because after having met with two other Doctors, we finally found a one that was best for our family. Now I had to find another one to fill her shoes. Well a year later, I found her. Dr. B was very caring, understanding & compassionate about my concerns & anxieties with Logan's reactions. We came to a compromise that balanced medical responsibility & mothering responsibility that I felt comfortable with. I didn't feel pressured & I certainly didn't feel like she ignored the risk of more adverse reactions like I had felt from previous appointments - even though her professional opinion was that another reaction was unlikely. She still took the time to listen to me & helped me develop a health care plan that would be best for Logan. It was an awesome consultation & it's such a HUGE relief that we have some solid decisions that I feel good about.


Anonymous said...

As a microbiologist, I would be very concerned about him not getting vaccinated against HepB. It is a disease that is not curable, and most schools and colleges require that students come in vaccinated for HepB. If he does not get that vaccination now, then he should get it later in life. I would think about that one again.

Kristin said...

Hep b was not a high priority because the disease is mostly an "adult disease" typically bring transmitted through unsafe sex & IV drug use. Dr. B explained that children are vaccinated for Hep b because it's easier to ensure a person will be vaccinated for it then rather than trusting an individual to do it as an adult.

Because the likelihood of him contracting this disease or spreading it to others as a child is very small, other vaccinations hold a higher priority.

Liz said...

This is great news!

(and no tattoos for baby logan! :-) )

me said...

what a relief to have such a helpful doctor! I am trying to decide what shots to give my second son right now and I'm terrified. They are really pushing the DTAP combo--which is 3 vaccines in one but I think that is too much. My first son got them all...and thankfully he is fine. I was clueless though---had no idea and just went with the plan.

we didn't get all these when we were kids and we turned out fine!!!

:) Lisa

Dawn B said...

oh that's great knews. Finding awesome doctors these days is like a needle in a haystack. It's great that people are re-thinking the whole situation about vaccinations. Basically and to put it simply.. which ones are critical to get and which ones are useless. Fine job momma. =)

Anonymous said...

I just started college. They didn't make us get a Hep B vaccine.

Smurfett said...

HepB is a good vaccine to have, though not necessarily at a young age.

Since Logan has such trouble w/ vaccines, I high recommend that you get The Vaccine Book by Dr Bob Sears, it lists all the vaccines, what they're made of, how likely your child will contract that disease etc. He also has a recommended alternative schedule for vaccines.

I read the book, did a bit of thinking based on how I think I'll live, travel, and the likelihood of my kid having a serious illness vs regular illness if they contract some of these diseases and went from there. I actually then ended up not following his alternative schedule. But the book was REALLY helpful in helping me decide what to do.

I'm surprised your doctor said the HIB was important as according to Dr Sears, it's really rare now since so many kids get vaccinated for it. But I guess different doctors have different ideas.

Smurfett said...

Oh yeah, so the other thing the book mentioned is that most HIB cases occur under 5, most of them under 2, and it's really rare past the age of 3.