Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Vaccination Pressure

We are advocates for our children, and we must always be on guard.

Case in point: Today was dd15's annual physical. En route to the doctor's office, we discussed the likelihood that the doctor would be pushing the new HPV vaccine, which has been heavily promoted (and even mandated in places like Texas, although there is a parental opt-out provision). It's supposed to prevent cervical cancer caused by sexual contact, and it's recommended for girls and women ages 13-26 who didn't get it as children (i.e. they'll be giving it to newborn girls before we know it).

I am not completely opposed to this particular vaccine. I hope my daughters will behave themselves and remain chaste until marriage, but I also know that they could end up married to someone who can't behave himself (although I pray that won't happen.) If there's a way to protect them from cervical cancer, I'm in. HOWEVER, this vaccine is very new, it has had limited testing, and much of the medical community has embraced it despite those two very pertinent facts. That explains the alarm bells going off in my head.

Sure enough, the doctor pushed dd15 to get the vaccine, and after the physical, I was brought into the room and urged to permit the vaccination. I calmly explained my reasons listed in the previous paragraph to the doctor, repeated my objections as needed, and do you know she not only gave up, but actually admitted she has not had her own dd16 vaccinated yet? And she didn't even blush when she admitted it. She should have.

In addition, when we first arrived, the nurse said dd15 would need a DPT booster today. I said I believed she's already had one. The dr. said the same thing as the nurse, and I responded the same way. The dr. looked in the chart and said it showed dd was due for the shot. I suggested the dr. check the outside of the file folder, where they keep the vaccination chart for all four kids. Lo and behold....I was right. She had the booster two years ago. Saved myself big bucks and my daughter an extra shot she certainly did not need.

This is why we must be advocates for our kids. Don't assume medical personnel know everything. You know your children better than anyone else, and it's up to you to look out for them. Be polite but firm. It's your job.

End of sermonette. I feel better now. Thanks :)

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