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Risks of DTP etc vaccines

(10 Posts)
TheHouseofMirth Sun 01-Nov-09 21:40:45

I'm clear in my mind about our reasons for not giving either DSs MMR but I'm wavering over DTP for DS2. Gave them to DS1 because I was in that new/first-time mum fog and didn't think to question it but totally unsure what to do with DS2. He's 8 months now & have postponed so far. Have his 8 month check on Wednesday, HV is not pushing it too much but I feel after all this time I need to make a clear decision either way. I feel this is much less clear cut than MMR and am having trouble finding impartial info about risks and benefits. Could someone kindly point me in the right direction?

WobblyPig Sun 01-Nov-09 22:13:59

Why are you anti-immunisations - not meaning to be confrontational , but hard to advise wihtou understanding your concerns.

weblette Sun 01-Nov-09 22:22:37

I'd certainly say that from my personal POV the risk of my very outdoorsy dcs developing tetanus far far outweighed the risk of taking the vaccine. I've just had a booster myself.

LeonieBooCreepy Sun 01-Nov-09 22:23:28

Message withdrawn

TheHouseofMirth Mon 02-Nov-09 12:02:09

LBC I have no problem telling HV we won't be vaccinating if that's what I decide, my problem is that at the moment I don't feel I've reached a decision, instead I'm just putting it off!

WobblyPig I think my stance is that I am sceptical about the fact we have the benefits of vaccinating pushed on us without being given balanced information about risks so that we can make a considered and informed decision about something so major. Also that the schedule of immunistion may not be right for babies (which is why I've at least delayed) Both these aspects bother me a lot and makes me feel (rightly or wrongly) that parents are not being given the full picture and are in some way being manipulated.

As far as MMR is concerned I think there are still a lot of unanswered questions about its safety (and this is borne out by events in USA) and I feel the potential risk of the vaccine outweighs the potential risks of my children contracting these diseases. I know measles can kill but generally reported deaths are amongst children with pre-existing health issues. Mumps is generally not too serious and I'd prefer my sons to get it in childhood than run the risk of not being immune to it in their teenage/adult years (I gather immunity from MMR can wear off but obviously one won't know if/when). I may consider vaccinating them against it when they are older if they haven't had the disease. Rubella is trickier I know. I feel it would be better to vaccinate all girls of child-bearing age but I do appreciate some women cannot be immunised.

I hope that helps explain where I am coming from. I know this is an emotive subject and I don't want to have an argument here about the rights and wrongs of my decision, I'm just after some clear info.

As far as DTP etc is concerned I'm less aware of the risks but am very keen to make an informed decision one way or the other. When I was little one of my teachers nearly died from Tetanus, I know of adults who were badly disabled by Polio and I am aware that although it has almost been eradicated there has been a Diptheria epidemic in Russia and as where we live in London there is a Russian community I am aware that there is the (rare) chance we could come into contact with it. I am less clear about the meningitis jabs as these weren't available when DS1 was a baby. I am aware they only protects against certain strains and I hope as an extended breast feeder that ear infections should not be a problem for us (DS1 who is 4 has never had one).

So there we have the case for. I'm just not very clear if there are any serious risks. I understand the Thiomersal's been removed but that there is controversy about the aluminium. I know there is evidence to suggest that by delaying by 2 months the risk of developing asthma can be greatly reduced. Is there an optimum time for vaccinating which balances this kind of risk with the risk of leaving children unprotected?

Please help!

LeonieBooCreepy Mon 02-Nov-09 16:40:23

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LeonieBooCreepy Mon 02-Nov-09 16:40:58

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peanutbutterkid Mon 02-Nov-09 17:10:21

I think that you are asking for more definite answers than exist, OP. Good luck in finding info that helps you make a confident decision.

FWIW, I believe that the US version of MMR was different from UK version, in several respects, so not strictly comparable.

stuffitllllama Mon 02-Nov-09 17:22:48

I think your position is ok, actually. I was like you, I became concerned only after my children had had some vax.

They all had their DPT (before 5-in-1) but with the second and third it was delayed by a few months. Now, I wouldn't do it at all, but that's easy to say after the fact.

The others, I just delayed -- until one day I thought -- that's it, not going to happen. I didn't tell the surgery. I would be recommended on every visit, for whatever reason, and say ok I'll make an appointment, thank you very much, and just walk out past the receptionist without doing it. I didn't want to have the argument, which I always felt was rather pointless.

It's ok to delay, I think, rather than decide. I can imagine that you are thinking, oh my gosh, winter coming up, lots of bugs, couldn't forgive myself and so on. And to be honest if you are going to do it, every month that you delay is a benefit.

TheHouseofMirth Fri 06-Nov-09 17:57:07

Thanks for your advice.

I decided to do them but wait a few months when he's eating a bit more and we'll be a bit more aware of any possible food allergies. The HV was actually supportive and helpful and said I might as well delay until he's over a year and then we can knock a few jabs off the schedule. She did try half-heartedly to sell MMR to me but listened and is OK with my decision on that too.

I'm glad I was upfront with her. I know many other HV are not as willing to listen and respect parents' decisions but I can't help thinking it's a good thing to be open and discuss it with them so they understand you've thought about it and actually made a considered decision.

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