Vaccinations: Hospital and 2 Month Old

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If there's one topic that can rile up a room full of parents (just one? lol) it's vaccinations.  Personally, DH and I talked back and forth about it.

DH's cousin had an adverse reaction to a vaccination at a young age which resulted in seizures.  The hospital treated the seizure with another shot and now his cousin is in her 20s with the mental age of a 5 year old.  We still don't know if the problem stemmed from the vaccination or the anti-seizure medication.

Our neighbor, like many mothers of Autistic children, pinpoints the moment her son started exhibiting signs of Autism to his vaccines.  She says she can't say one way or another if it's truly the vaccine or that so many vaccines are administered at one time.

But in Southern California, babies have died from Pertussis and I would never forgive myself if BB contracted a disease that killed him when I could have protected him against it with vaccines.

So after much research, online and through books like The Vaccine Book: Making the Right Decision for Your Child (Sears Parenting Library), we decided on a delayed schedule. I felt it reduced the risk of vaccinations by spreading them out.  The trade off is BB being unprotected from some diseases a month later than the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) recommends.  BB isn't in daycare, nor does he come into contact with many people, so I'm not that worried about the month delay.  I'm more worried about BB having an allergic reaction to one of the vaccines and being so loaded up with various vaccines that the doctor's wouldn't be able to treat his allergic reaction with the least amount of risk.

With the option to delay and reducing risk, why would you not delay?  Some parents hate to see their children in pain and deal with the aftermath of a vaccinated child. They tend to feel under the weather and fussy. After all, it's easier to see your child stick with a needle once every two months than every month right? And some parents don't have the time or resources to add an extra doctor's appointment.  It's not that easy to take time off and some insurance coverage makes those appointments very costly.

The AAP recommends the following vaccinations:

At Birth
Hepatitis B (HepB). Hepatitis can result in loss of appetite, diarrhea, vomiting, tiredness, jaundice and pain throughout the body.  Chronic infections may occur resulting in liver damage in the form of cirrhosis or cancer and may result in death.

2 months
Hepatitis B (HepB)

Rotavirus (RV). Rotavirus causes diarrhea, vomiting and fever often resulting in dehydration.

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP). Diptheria causes a covering on the back of the throat leading to breathing problems, paralysis, heart failure and even death. Tetanus can cause lockjaw and deal in 2 out of 10 cases. Pertussis causes coughing and can lead to pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death.

Haemophilius Influenzae type b (Hib). Haemophilius Influenzae is a leading cause of bacterial meningitis which can cause deafness or brain damage.  The bacteria can also cause pneumonia, swelling of the throat obstructing breathing and blood infections.

Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13). Streptococcus pneumoniae can cause blood infections, pneumonia and meningitis. Meningitis can lead to many problems including deafness and brain damage.

Inactivated Polio Virus (IPV). Polio when it still existed in the US killed and paralyzed.  Now it only exists in a few countries.

Dr. Sears recommends the following delayed schedule, adding a 3 month appointment between the industry standard 2 month and 4 month checkup appointments:

At Birth
None

2 months
Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP)
Rotavirus (RV)

3 months
Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13)
Haemophilius Influenzae type b (Hib)

Dr. Sears also doesn't believe in combination shots and doesn't believe newborns for the first two months of life need to be vaccinated for HepB since it is sexually transmitted.  He also delays the Polio vaccine until 9 months because Polio hasn't been found in the United States for over 30 years.

Potential reactions to the vaccines:
Hepatitis B (HepB).  Commonly results in soreness at the administration spot and fever.  In extremely rare cases (less than 1 in 1 million), people will adverse reactions have died.

Rotavirus (RV). Commonly results in irritability, mild diarrhea or vomiting.  In rare cases, the oral vaccination may result in bowel blockages that must be treated in the hospital.

Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (DTaP).  Commonly results in fever, redness/swelling/tenderness/soreness at the injection site, fussiness, tiredness and vomiting.  More rare but serious problems may include seizure, nonstop crying, high fever, coma, lowered consciousness or permanent brain damage.

Haemophilius Influenzae type b (Hib).  Commonly results in redness, warmth and swelling at the injection site and fever.  Allergic reactions may include difficulty breathing, wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, elevated heart rate and dizziness requiring immediate medical attention.

Pneumococcal Conjugate (PCV13). Commonly results in drowsiness, loss of appetite, redness and swelling at the injection site, mild fever and fussiness.  More serious side effects are extremely rare.

Inactivated Polio Virus (IPV). Commonly results in a sore spot where the shot is administered. Virtually no reported side effects.

My Experience:
I had the HepB administered at the hospital because I didn't want the off chance of some kind of hospital contamination effecting the baby.  I was a neurotic mess at the hospital.

That being said, I was unaware that many doctors only offer the combination Pediarix shot which has the DTap, HepB and Polio vaccine in one.  If I had known, I would have asked that they split it since the market does carry those vaccines separately.  Most pediatricians administer Pediarix so that the baby is only given one shot to deliver all three instead of three shots.  So, during BB's 2 month appointment, I was only given the option to split a total of 4 vaccine sets.

I had them give the Pediarix to make sure BB was protected from Whooping Cough/Pertussis, because of the epidemic, first and the Rotavirus, because rotavirus diarrhea is not uncommon and can be deadly in infants. It's also orally administered.

PCV13 and Hib can wait a month.

BB fell asleep for 30 minutes after the doctor's appointment and then he woke up with an elevated temperature, obviously didn't feel well and nursed nonstop for comfort the first day.  The second day he was much better getting fussy only in the evening as usual.  He didn't seem to feel any pain at the point of injection even when the area was touched.



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