My parents, when I was growing up, made the choice not to get us our shots. When I became a mother, I knew I would have to make decisions regarding vaccinations as well. As soon as my daughter was born, I began searching for information.
I feel like I was pretty rational about the decisions I made. I felt I could strike a balance between the danger of getting the vaccine and the danger of not getting the vaccine. There were some vaccines that I felt were important, and some that I felt weren't necessary and just added a chance of an adverse reaction.
The MMR (measles-mumps-rubella) was one that I felt was probably necessary. Since my children were getting it, and since they offered it to me in the hospital just after my son was born two weeks ago (and getting rubella while I'm pregnant makes me a little nervous), I decided to get the shot.
A few days ago, I had a mild fever and I felt like crap. I just thought I was sick. Then I started to break out with the worst case of hives that I have ever seen Friday night. By Saturday morning, I looked awful. I went into the local community care center (not my regular family doctor, since his office was closed).
The staff was great, the wait was short and the doctor was polite and nice. BUT he refused to admit that the hives could be a reaction to the vaccination. According to the information sheet I had received at the hospital (written by the CDC, by the way) breaking out with hives within 14 days of receiving the vaccination is considered an adverse reaction. It's a serious allergic reaction.
But the doctor only went on a spill about how he trusted vaccinations, had vaccinated all 6 of his kids, how he'd never seen an adverse reaction in 14 years of practice, how it was like Russian roulettte to not vaccinate ... yada yada ...
Yeah, he probably hadn't seen any adverse reactions if he'd closed his eyes to it like that every time. I hadn't eaten, worn, or used anything different in the last few weeks. There wasn't anything else it could be. It was well within the time frame given by the CDC, and HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN REPORTING IT TO THE CDC, LIKE THE INFORMATION SHEET INSTRUCTS.
The information sheet says that less than one out of a million doses causes an allergic reaction. But how accurate is that number? If doctors are ignoring your reactions because of their blind allegiance to herd immunity and this irrational fear that parents won't vaccinate, they probably aren't reporting all the cases. The number could be a lot larger than that.
Luckily, I knew how to report it myself, and I did. Luckily, I'd done my research and I knew what I was talking about, even if the doctor didn't.
THIS is why you can't turn your health care entirely over to a health care professional. We have to educate OURSELVES and take responsibility for our own health. We have to know what's going on.