Elizabeth is now 12 weeks old, and has had her first round of vaccinations. These should have been given at 8 weeks, but our town was flooded out at the time when she was born and this included our GP surgery.
The first round is four individual vaccines. One of these, the rotavirus vaccination, is given orally as drops, but the rest are needles. These are the 5-in-1 vaccine (diphtheria, tetanus, whooping cough, polio and Hib), Pneumococcal, and the brand new Meningitis B vaccine which Elizabeth is fortunate to be eligible for. Sadly some older children aren’t and there is pressure for it to be made more widely available.
Elizabeth wasn’t very happy about the needles, as you’d perhaps expect, although it can’t have been worse than the various blood tests that she had in her first week of life. She had jaundice when she first came out, and this require regular blood tests to keep in check. Some pre-emptive Calpol (or rather generic-brand Paracetamol Suspension for Infants – it’s the same thing) hopefully helped and she soon calmed down. Later on, she was a little feverish, but more Calpol helped and she has been fine since.
Whilst we didn’t really ‘choose’ to vaccinate Elizabeth, there is no way that we would have opted out of her vaccinations. Christine and I are both in favour of vaccinations and the protections it gives people. I always have the ‘flu jab every year, which I get free because I’m asthmatic but also because ‘flu is horrendous. Christine gets it free as well, as she is professional healthcare worker.
By ensuring that Elizabeth is vaccinated, we’re not just protecting her, but others as well; not everyone can receive vaccinations, either because they’re too young or have compromised immune systems. Herd immunity is important.
Her next round will be in a few weeks, when she’ll have the 5-in-1 and rotavirus vaccines again, along with Meningitis C. Whilst it won’t be a pleasant experience at the time, it’ll be far better than for her to contract those diseases.