Shortly after the birth of each of my babies, my health visitor popped round to introduce herself. It was during this visit that I was told all about when my child would be due for their vaccinations and what they would protect my baby against. She also gave me some leaflets that outlined both the pros and cons of each of the vaccinations, so that I could make an informed choice about whether to vaccinate my child or not, and my baby’s health record. This record is used for tracking the babies weight and for keeping records of vaccinations and developmental checks.
Getting Your Baby Vaccinated
Your doctor’s surgery send you out an appointment letter for vaccinations several weeks in advance. These appointments are usually with the health visitor who will discuss the vaccination and any side effects with you, administer the vaccination, check on the general health of your baby and give you advice about care of your baby in the 24 hours following a vaccination.
A baby’s first vaccinations take pace at two months and three different vaccinations are administered. The first is a five-in-one vaccination that protects against tetanus, whooping cough, diphtheria, polio and haemophilus influenza (Hib). The other two vaccinations are the pneumococcal and rotavirus vaccines. At three months the five-in-one and rotavirus vaccinations are repeated along with a vaccination meningitis C. At four months the final dose of the five-in-one vaccination is given along with a repeat vaccination for pneumococcal.
A baby does not need a vaccination then until they reach their first birthday when they will have boosters for Hib and Meningitis C. They will also have the final dose of the pneumococcal vaccine and a measles, mumps and rubella vaccination (MMR). At two and three years children are invited for an annual flue vaccination. The final vaccinations are given at 3 years and 4 months, or around that time. These are the second MMR and a four-in-one vaccination for polio, diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough.
Choosing to Consent to Vaccinations
I read through all of the information given to me by the health visitor about potential side effects associated with each of the vaccinations. Generally, these included a raised red lump in the area of the vaccination, irritability, fever and feeling generally unwell. I also read about the suspected link between the MMR vaccine and the development of autism. The potential side effects of the vaccinations seemed trivial when compared to the severity of the illnesses they would protect my baby against. When I looked into research about the link between vaccinations and autism I discovered that there has been no scientific evidence to prove this, only the opinions of individuals. The doctor who made this claim has since been struck off as a doctor and scientific studies into the claims his paper made found no link. I decided that the benefits of the vaccinations far outweigh any potential risks and consented to the vaccination of my baby. I’d encourage everyone to vaccinate their new born baby.