Vaccinations seem to be a tricky subject. I honestly debated not even writing about this, simply because I don’t want to jump into a landmine of comments on a controversial subject. But, in the end, I decided to share. But, I’ll start by saying we are pro-vaccinations/immunizations, and I’ll also add this isn’t intended to initiate a debate on if one should vaccinate their child or not. This is simply our decision and how we chose to handle it.
As I said, we are pro-vaccinations so for us there was no debate on vaccinations – if Baby MPB was healthy enough to get them, he would get them. However, until he is old enough to get his vaccinations, we have made a simple rule
No matter who you are, if you don’t have your flu shot, you are not welcome to visit until Baby MPB turns 6 months old and can get his own vaccination.
It turns out nearly everyone in our families gets their flu shot. Except, of course one set of grandparents. And this set of grandparents lives far enough away that when they visit they will be staying in our house for an extended period of time. Needless to say, it did not go over well when we told them our rule. They paraphrased highlights of the conversation included:
- I’ve never had my flu shot before and I’m always healthy. We gave them a little education on how seniors and babies are at the highest risk of dying from the flu. If they are willing to risk their health, that’s their choice. But we are not okay with them risking our son’s life.
- It doesn’t matter because we’ve already seen our other grandchild multiple times without having the flu shot. It was fun having to explain to them that we know the level of prenatal care that our niece received was second to none, and we know that Baby MPB may not have had the same level of care given the different circumstances of the pregnancies. The differences are as simple as access to healthy food during pregnancy and adequate medical care. And, it turns out, they never told the other sibling this fact, so this news was also not well received by them either.
- Your sibling doesn’t care that we’ve seen their baby without having shots, so you shouldn’t either. In response to that, we said, we are not them make our own decisions on how to raise our son. We are doing what we believe is best, just like you did with your kids. Period.
- It’s too expensive to get the flu shot. Seriously, it’s like 5 dollars. You can afford it. Heck, we’ll pay for it.
- I don’t like needles. Do you like sick children more? It’s 2 seconds, you can handle it.
- How will you know if we get them, we’ll just say we did and you’ll never know. Ummm….this is 100% unacceptable and if you are even going to think about doing that, then don’t bother visiting at all.
In the end, we called a pharmacy near their house and booked them appointments. We gave the pharmacy our visa number to charge us for the shot. This would also ensure we knew they got it because we’d get the bill.
In the end, they got it. But rather then just saying, yup, we got our shots, they decided to keep telling us that they wouldn’t get it. They seemed to think they were funny, and somehow we’d see the humor in this. Needless to say, we didn’t and still don’t. For us, there simply is no humor in risking our child’s health and well being.
Maybe we are being over-protective parents. But you know what, I’d rather be an over-protective parent then to have a sick infant. Their bodies are so vulnerable at this age and I really feel that the least we can do is try to keep him healthy until his immune system is more developed.
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