Until quite recently, I always took what was said by my doctor and anyone in the medical world as law. They go through a lot of schooling and are pretty damn smart, so we should just blindly follow, right? It sure is the easy way! Unfortunately, once you begin to question anything and do some research, you are just led down this path of unending skepticism wherein there is no right answer. One leg of research ends with no simple conclusion but rather a whole new set of questions. And how often are they retracting one recommendation after realizing it's not so good, and giving a new recommendation. Ugh. It does seem like ignorance really is bliss...
Take the issue of vaccination for example. I grew up getting all the standard shots in the standard time frame. I certainly never questioned it. I never heard my mom or dad question it. Vaccines help us not get these horrible diseases, and not spread horrible diseases, and other than the pain of the needle and perhaps a sore arm for a day or two, what's the harm, right?? But now that it's my own itty bitty baby subjected to these vaccines (and many more than we were subjected to as kids), I find myself in a fog as I go through article after article questioning the the side effects (sometimes even death) of vaccines, the safety or lack thereof of certain ingredients, correlation with or causation of autism, and the efficacy which is not 100% after all. So what's a parent to do?
If you decide not to vaccinate your child, and your child ends up getting one of those horrible diseases and dies, not only will you mourn that child for the rest of your life but wouldn't you also be racked with guilt that you could have prevented the death with a simple shot? Or perhaps your child handles the disease find but passes it along to your neighbor's infant who has no protection against it yet. Sure, these outcomes are all very very rare, but my mind always goes to the worst case scenario. I'm not sure which is lower risk, getting sick from a disease you're not vaccinated from or having a serious side effect from the vaccine, but in the end I decided to go ahead and have little Kenzo vaccinated as recommended. We are however on a non-standard schedule which spreads the shots out so he never has more than 2-3 vaccines in a single visit. This means more trips to the doctor (and more co-pays - damn the man!!), but hopefully his little body is better able to process them.
On a side note, one reason I'm glad we got out of Japan before having our baby is because of the BCG vaccine that is mandatory over there. This thing is WICKED!! Take a look at the photo on the left, I mean, ouch!! It causes permanent scarring, and from what I've read does not give a lifelong protection against tuberculosis. My husband says he is proud of his scar, and calls it his Japanese tattoo. My friends from UK and other various countries all have a scar or two from certain vaccines. So I guess I should be thankful none of the shots on the US roster are scarring??
3/12/2013 07:03:13 am
3/12/2013 12:24:06 pm
Hey Maggie, so glad you're enjoying my posts!! Maybe relevant soon?? I sure hope so!
3/12/2013 12:48:56 pm
Just so you are aware none of the vaccines in Japan are required. They are all encouraged but not required. We opted out of BCG for my kids and have added some from the US plan that are not part of the plan in Japan (mumps and chicken pox for example).
3/12/2013 03:22:16 pm
Thank you for your input! I didn't know they weren't required, and I can't imagine many going against the grain (the whole "nail that stands out gets pounded down" thing and all). Do you know if the percentage of 100% vaccinated children is higher in Japan or the US? Did you feel pressure to get BCG for your kids? It's surprising about mumps not being given; my husband had to get that before we could finalize his green card application!
3/13/2013 01:31:16 pm
I don't know statstics and imagine they would be hard to collect as the US and Japan have different ideas as to what 100% vaccinated would mean.
3/13/2013 03:02:22 pm
We vaccinated my first son completely and on schedule. He has allergies, asthma, and eczema. We waited until my 2nd child's immune system was more developed at 6 months of age before we began a delayed schedule with her. She has no allergies or asthma, and has very mild eczema occasionally. There were other major differences between how my two children were raised, but I do believe vaccines are partially to blame and are one factor in all the increases in childhood illnesses today.
3/13/2013 03:50:32 pm
Thanks for your reply, Jennifer! It's always good to hear different viewpoints. Now that Kenzo won't be going to daycare, I think I will look into delaying the rest of his vaccines to start from 6 months (he's only had 3 so far, not toooo bad). Will go into his 3-month checkup informed and ready to discuss with his doc!
3/30/2013 05:06:35 pm
Interesting post! I was- well, still am- scared of the BCG vaccine! But my father (born and raised in Chicago) had the BCG vaccine and still has a slight scar from it. He said it was quite common to get it back in his day. But the States have done away with it since then. Some docs say it isn't as efficient if it's done on the bum, but I dunno how true that is. Needless to say, we will vaccinated Shore using both schedules- US and Japan. I don't mind paying "extra" for MMR or Chickenpox vax here, esp. since I don't want my child to "suffer through" the diseases like most moms here.
11/19/2020 02:12:10 am
The vaccination debate, I am very happy and getting the useful thoughts and preparing for more research questions always. I am getting here impressive programs for more assignment reviews.
Leave a Reply.
About Me ^_^
I'm a NYC metro area mom blogger living in NJ with my Japanese husband & our 3 kids (twins plus 1). This blog is chock full of product reviews, family travel guides, and giveaways galore! It's also home to Bay Ridge Families, and several guides focused on kid-friendly activities and guides to South Brooklyn, Hudson Valley, and New Jersey, as well as family-friendly destinations beyond the NYC area (check the menu bar!)