I have some personal shit going on at the moment, which can’t be solved but can only be summed up to conclude that “you made your bed bitch so god-damn well lie in it.” There are times in life when we are very thankful for the decisions that we took and there are times when we think “shit, what did I go and do that for”. I am having one of those shit moments.
So to detract my mind from rubbish that can’t be solved, I am immersing myself into the parental dilemma that is the MMR vaccine. A very understanding nurse recommended that I visit the Green book website on the NHS site to understand exactly what potential side effects exist with each element of the MMR vaccine. I read each chapter on Measles, Mumps and Rubella and was convinced by the scientific data and the effectiveness of the immunisation in controlling the diseases since the 50’s, with cases registering a sharp decline since the 80s and 90s.
Yes there can be side effects, the worse being febrile convulsions and conditions that can effect the brain. However the Green book points out that these conditions are more likely to occur with the wild virus. So what do you do? Take a gamble and choose not to immunise in the hope that your child doesn’t get measles or mumps and doesn’t get seriously ill with it. Or do you go ahead with MMR and hope that there are no side effects other than a mild fever and have faith that the allegations of a link with autism are scientifically unproven.
I read all the info on Wakefield’s Lancet article on the MMR and autism link, which has subsequently been discredited by the GMC and The Lancet as unsupported and even misleading. As a result of his scientific investigations, he was struck off the medical register for professional misconduct. Reports by a Sunday Times journalist refer to information obtained under FOI that seem to show Wakefield assessing the potential for significant financial gain in finding alternatives to the MMR vaccine for worried parents.
I try to avoid all the links to Daily Mail stories in my google search as I just don’t trust Mail journalists and I know that they seriously inflate and distort information for headlines. I then found a private clinic who offer the single vaccine and have a separate tab on their website entitled ‘autism’, which has links to stories such as the Daily Mail to fuel the fear.
My main concern is to get Mumps protection for my baby boy as Mumps, as well as being particularly unpleasant, can lead to sterility. However, there is not currently a way of obtaining a single vaccine in the UK – even privately.
So now I am in a quandary. My head says that the MMR is safe according to all the scientific research but my heart is questioning ‘what if’. However the same could be said if I leave him unprotected and he gets the wild virus. The very kind nurse who understood my dilemma, rather than tut-tutting me, understood my concerns and mentioned that there is the option of leaving it slightly later, once all the key developmental milestones are out of the way and then vaccinating then. So at present that is the conclusion I have settled for – but then how long do you leave it? Until primary school – but he could still develop problems then that hinder his learning – aaaarrrgh my head is in a spin! Would welcome other bloggers thoughts/ opinions/ advice.
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Thanks for reading.