I knew the day would eventually come when Princess would have to get the measles, mumps, and rubella shot aka MMR. I've been a bit apprehensive because of the controversy surrounding this vaccine.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the vaccination, here's some background info. Studies have shown that since this vaccine was made available, MMR cases have drastically reduced. However, a health scare came about when an article featured in The Lancet claimed that the vaccine could cause autism and other developmental problems in children. The medical journal later published a retraction, stating that the link to autism was unfounded. However, I spoke with another mommy blogger who told me she refused to have her child given the shot.
Parents who decide to fore go this injection might as well stay home with their kids and home school them. This is a state mandated vaccine, so many schools and daycare centers can't allow a child who hasn't been given the shot to attend. Some doctors will even refuse to treat your kid, if you refuse the injection. The thought of Princess being turned away from her daycare and pediatrician would sadden me. Both are located just minutes from our home. It would be a big inconvenience, if she weren't allowed treatment at her doctor's office. It would be an even bigger one, if she couldn't attend daycare. She's made so many friends, and she's learned so much there. My hubby and I are extremely happy with her progress.
Despite the retraction, many parents are still against the vaccine. Some would much rather follow a holistic approach, than conventional scientific medicine. I'm not totally against either. In fact, I try to avoid giving Princess antibiotics and over-the-counter drugs, unless it's absolutely necessary. According to healthychild.com, decongestants and antihistamines suppress the body's immune system and could later lead to reinfections. Vitamin A, C, and echinacea offer a healthier alternative to treating viruses. I'm not super anal about food, however, I do the best I can with healthier options to keep away illnesses. That's why I made a commitment to breastfeed for as long as possible.
Whether you decide to skip the MMR injection or not, I think the most important thing is that you educate yourself. I've thought long and hard about the vaccine. I've done research and I've spoken with other parents. I can honestly say that I feel better about my decision. It's either keep Princess in quarantine or give her the shot. I've decided to go with the latter. I pray for no major side affects.
Were you apprehensive about your child getting the MMR vaccine? Please share your thoughts.