Yeah, sure Doc…

We had a bit of a scare last weekend. Nessa received a couple of vaccines last Friday on her 9 month checkup (Polio and DTaP). By that night, her nose had started running, and by the next day she had a fever of 103. She’d cry out in pain like something was hurting her, couldn’t sleep, didn’t really want to eat (but was super thirsty). We called the Dr. and they said “most likely a virus, give Tylenol/Motrin and give us a call if the fever goes over 105). 105??? Are you serious? I’m not waiting for 105…

By Sunday her fever was over 104. So we called again. Ms. Nurse says “Still probably a virus, but you can bring her in if you want”. Well, hell yeah. So we bring her in, and surprise, Dr says. Everything looks fine, just a virus.

Now I’d like to point out that this was her second DTaP shot, and she had the same reaction after the first shot and we were then told “a virus”. Now, I can buy that coincidence once, but not twice, especially since everything I’ve read says that it’s the 3rd, 4th and 5th shots that give the worst reactions. I’m not willing to take that risk.

So, I hope my Dr. understands when I tell her that she isn’t getting any more DTaP shots, and that she’ll be getting the rest of her shots one at a time. PERHAPS once she’s been through her other series’ without incident we may consider the DT shot (since it’s the Pertussis that’s usually the culprit with these kinds of reactions), but only when there’s no other shots involved, and with very close supervision.

It scares me how some doctors seem to refuse to admit that these shots can cause serious reactions. That actually scares me more than the potential side effects of the shots. I’m just super glad that we were already doing an extended schedule so Nessa didn’t get these shots at 2 & 4 months old (she got hers at 4 & 9 months), like the federal schedule recommends. Who knows how her little body would of reacted at that super young age…

Comments 16

  • That is REALLY scary, Mary. I'm sure the "just a virus" line is to avoid liability. It makes me furious to hear news reports that say vaccines are 100% safe, when evidence says otherwise. I've heard many stories like yours and seen permanent outcomes in children I know after routine vaccinations. We opted to skip all of them at this point รขโ‚ฌยฆ Brooke has had two tetanus shots, but that's it. Thankfully our pediatrician has been very supportive of our choice.

  • As a parent and former public health worker, I understand the reasons why many parents choose not to vaccinate. However, I cannot stress enough that when parents opt not to vaccinate completely, as opposed to delaying them as Mary has opted, it puts the rest of the population at risk. In order for vaccines to work, there has to be a minimum number of population vaccinated. Herd immunity rates for some vaccines – such as pertussis – are quite high, 92%. This means at least 92% of the population must be vaccinated in order for ALL to safe from pertussis. With a maximum of 8% of the population that can be left unvaccinated (for pertussis) and still have full herd immunity, I'd rather see the unvaccinated people being those who are immunologically compromised – such as organ donors – instead of children.While I understand that parents are concerned about the side effects of vaccinations, if they choose not to vaccinate (as opposed to delaying), they can put other children in danger of getting these diseases. Herd immunity is especially important in high population concentration areas – such as schools – where diseases can spread rapidly. (Remember how easily chicken pox would make the rounds in school in the 80's?)As a parent, Eirik has received his vaccinations not only for his own immunity, but for the immunity of other children and people as well.

  • I hear ya Beth. We think that vacs are generally a good thing, and as Kel mentioned, they are put of providing herd immunity, but believe that our country is far too aggressive in both how many and how quickly these vacs needs to be given. There's some shots that we refuse to give because we think they are unnecessary at this young age (Hep B and Varicella), and we do an extended schedule for the rest. They even get less shots that way, again something else the doctors don't tell us.I couldn't believe it when I heard they have combined the DTaP into 5 vaccines now (diptheria, tetanus, pertussis, Hep B and Polio). Most people don't even know this, because the name was not changed to reflect it. We insisted on getting the original 3 vac shot, and even that gave her a bad reaction :(I really wish we could go to the Pedi we had for Ronan when he was little, but they don't take our insurance. She was just awesome. Not only was she supportive of our choices, but she provided a list that told us what age range the shots could (not should) be given, and how long you had between shots to keep up the immunity. It made it very easy to space out the shots over years and still get the benefits.

  • @ Mary – The only vaccines that Eirik didn't receive were the seasonal flu and swine flu vaccines. I totally agree that the 5-shot Pentacil for diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, Hep B and Polio should be separated out for less side effects; Eirik also ran a fever when he got his DTaP.

  • @ Mary – The only vaccines that Eirik didn't receive were the seasonal flu and swine flu vaccines. I totally agree that the 5-shot Pentacil for diptheria, pertussis, tetanus, Hep B and Polio should be separated out for less side effects; Eirik also ran a fever when he got his DTaP.

  • I'm sorry that Nessa was sick, but a fever is the body's natural way of fighting off infections and there is no risk to her health as long as the fever is manageable by tylenol or ibuprofen. Is it a coincidence that she got these "reactions" after both DTAP vaccines? No. But it is a virus, not a reaction. Her body goes into overdrive to produce antibodies to the vaccines. In addition, she picks up a virus at the doctor's office. Clinics and doctor's offices are FULL of viruses, and babies and children pick them up like static cling. If a fever freaks you out, then you sure don't want her getting whooping cough or diptheria. These ARE deadly. Please do more research and make this important decision based on good evidence and not your gut.

  • We extended Drew's shots for other medical reasons, but I'm with you on this, Mary. I also believe that immunizations are necessary, but they don't need to load little bodies up like that. Give them a chance to build health immune systems!

  • Andrea, it wasn't (just) the fever that freaked me out, it was the difficulty breathing and cries out in pain, and the doctors refusal to admit it could be a reaction. Those symptoms are not typical of a common virus (perhaps an infection, which first made me think ear infection, but everything was clear), and there's numerous documented cases that show these as the common reaction to the pertussis vac. I also disagree with catching the virus in the office. Viruses don't show up within hours of exposure. Sure, it's possible it could've been a virus both times, but I'm not willing to take the risk of brain damage or death to my daughter on something that can't be proven one way or another. JMO

  • There you go sparking another debate, Mary ; ) Geez Louise, you're just posting about your daughter after all. So glad to hear Nessa's feeling better!!! I insisted on spacing out the vacs, too.

  • I not trying to be an ass, I'm just saying babies died of whooping cough and dyptheria commonly before vaccines, and I don't want to see that happen again. If you don't trust your doctor, you should get a new one. There are many out there who very concerned about their patients' well-being and will discuss their concerns with them.

  • No worries Andrea :)Our current doctor has been accepting of our choice to do an extended schedule so far. I guess we'll see at our next appointment how she is about keeping out the pertussis and extending out further. If she is unwilling to work with us, then we will look for another doctor.

  • @Rachael – Heh, yeah, I'm such a troublemaker ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • @Rachael – Heh, yeah, I'm such a troublemaker ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • <hands Mary her Nomex underwear> Yeah – but compared to me, you're a saint. I'm a "bad" mommy for making mine get almost all of his shots. ;9

  • @Kel, no one is a bad mommy for doing what they think is best for their babies. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • @Kel, no one is a bad mommy for doing what they think is best for their babies. ๐Ÿ™‚

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