To immunise or not to immunise… 

4 weeks ago now, Joseph had his first set of immunisations: The poor creature.

For the first time ever in the health centre, he screwed his little face up in delight as I stripped him bare and placed him on the scales (he had to have his weight checked first and every other time I’ve taken to him be weighed before he’s cried his heart out) so Sod’s law, this time he would have happily been weighed and on our way. Only this time we had to take him for his jabs; jabs – even the word isn’t nice, I’m letting a stranger “jab” my baby, poke him around and “jab” at his beautifully flawless, creamy white flesh, “jabbing” poison into his delicious rolls. It’s not fair. It’s not only that it’s not fair because he doesn’t even have a concept of pain, it’s also that I’m not sure I’m 100% with the whole immunisation process.. I get that it has to be done and immunisations only work as a collective unit however, I can’t be alone in worrying about the long term effects these things have on our beautiful pure babies?!
In 1954 a “wonder drug” was born in Germany that apparently cured a number of common aliments from head aches to depression and was also prescribed for women within the first three months of pregnancy as a cure for morning sickness and insomnia; that drug was Thalidomide. The effect of taking this drug during pregnancy was evident in the proceeding children whereby many were seen born with shorter limbs, malformations of the eyes, ears and deafness, defects of the heart and kidneys and malformations of the alimentary system. It’s effects were long lasting and it has been described to this day, as one of the worst manmade global disasters.

But what does all this have to do with immunisations?

Well for me, It’s a negative example (one of a few) of the trust we have in pharmaceutical companies and the way in which we believe, so whole heartedly In what were told – we believe these jabs are for the good of our children and are totally safe, just as the women did in 1952, however, how sure can we really be?

The jabs I had as a child and my mother had before me, on the whole, are well tried and tested – my mother and I are proof that long term, for us anyway (there are always slim risks) are okay. But it’s the jabs I’m giving Joseph now, that my sister didn’t have to give her child two years ago that worry me: where’s the long term, living human evidence that these are okay? The answer is, there isn’t any yet and it leads me to question, will my child be the Guinea pig – one they use in the future as evidence of why we shouldn’t have given such a jab to our babies. But of course, the stigma that has been built up over many years of not immunising our children means that inevitably we will give them the jabs – as I have done.

My sister who’s a nurse was discussing with me how the nhs offers these jabs free so that all parents feel inclined to do it but reckons that slowly but surely, they will have to be paid for – by which time immunisation will be such common place, that anyone who doesn’t want to pay for them or can’t afford to, feels so bad at not doing so, that they will feel the pressure to put these jabs before anything else. It will be seen as bad parenting not to and even if people have reservations, they won’t question doing it as we have become conditioned into thinking that we must do it.

I know I can sound conspiracal but it’s just being mindful – the doctors tell you not to drink when pregnant or eat shell fish or certain foods, yet when I turned down the flu jab (pumping a virus into my body and therefore my unborn child’s body) while pregnant, I was looked upon badly because most people “just do” – that was what I was told.

Joseph’s next set of jabs are on Thursday and of course he will be getting them, but I still always have my reservations.. I think more research is needed and often the argument is “it’s a one in a million risk” however, what if your child was that one in a million?



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