Written by Jude Lemon
“God forbid he were to be injured by one of the vaccines. Then what? That scares me.”
“I believe in the choice of the parent to make the right decision based on their knowledge of vaccines.”
This is where I can empathise with her as can we all, we all simply want what’s best for our children. You see, my 7 year old developed urticaria (hives) back in 2015, just a few days after having the flu nasal spray at school. A coincidence? Possibly. Some doctors say yes, merely a coincidence whilst others believe it is very likely what triggered it. It could have been that as she was slightly snotty when she had the vaccine, her body found it too much to deal with which is what triggered off the urticaria & not the vaccine itself.
(Yes, I have extreme Mummy Guilt for this!)
Every time my precious girl’s immune system is attacked, be it a cough, cold or chicken pox going round school, the rash kicks in, literally from head to toe, as her body tries it’s best to fight off the infection. She feels as though her hands & feet are broken. Holding a pencil is a struggle as it simply falls through her grasp. We lose our smiling happy little girl during this period, she misses days off school & all her activities that she usually loves doing. It’s truly heartbreaking watching her go through this. I wish I could take it away for her. I wish I could trade places with her. Before we found out it was urticaria, the doctors thought it was the cold sore virus being triggered. Something I would have passed to her. I cried & cried & cried when I thought I had done that to my baby girl. I’ve never felt guilt like it before.
The time has come to decide on whether we give her the flu vaccine this time round. My initial gut instinct is to say no. Of course it is. She didn’t have it last year, & the year she did have it, the urticaria kicked in so why would we bother this year? Well, as the lady in the article states, “I believe in the choice of the parent to make the right decision based on their knowledge of vaccines.”
So, I’ve been doing my research in order that I have the knowledge. The knowledge into how likely my daughter is to develop flu this year. I’ve been doing my research & using my knowledge on how bad she’s been with her urticaria following previous illnesses that have been nowhere near as bad as full blown flu. I’ve been doing my research into how many of her school friends are having the vaccine this year. I’ve been doing my research by speaking to people in the urticaria support group I’m in to gather their knowledge & experience.
If she does develop flu with her urticaria on top & I haven’t vaccinated her, I would never forgive myself for putting her through that! If she has another reaction after the flu vaccine & wasn’t going to get flu, I won’t forgive myself for putting her through that either!
The extremely hard decision I’ve made is that I’m going to vaccinate her but with the shot & not the nasal spray as I can’t risk that again.
Add to this, a twist in this situation…The doctors won’t actually immunise her as they don’t class her as ‘at risk’!?!? How can my daughter not be at additional risk when all the above happens???!!! Aaaarrgghhh! I could honestly scream!!! I’m now just hoping & praying that we can pay private & they won’t reject her because she’s ‘not at risk’.
I guess what I’m trying to say & ask other parents is, as well as raising awareness of urticaria, please do your research into the actual facts around vaccines. Don’t listen to the scaremongering. Don’t take somebody else’s word as gospel. Speak to medical professionals and make your own informed decision into what is best for your child. I know I’m asking a lot but please please think about children such as mine that in a situation where ‘herd immunity‘ is important, I wouldn’t have to make this unbelievably hard decision as to which is the lesser of two evils for my daughter as the chances of her developing flu would be much less.
Yes, I know I’m asking you to think about my child as well as your own but when I’ve previously vaccinated my eldest against MMR, against all the other childhood illnesses, when I’m vaccinating my youngest against everything too, I’m thinking about not only my child but others who are susceptible, but also others who have a lowered immune system. I would honestly hate for someone else’s child to go through what my daughter does every time she’s hit with a virus or illness. I would hate for anyone else to have to make a tough decision like I’m having to make for my daughter.
Either way I go, I’m going to be wracked with mummy guilt. There’s no win in this situation for me & my little girl.
Here is a good & simple explanation of herd immunity for anyone unfamiliar with the term.