Fewer shots means happier baby
Well visits at the pediatrician’s office almost never go, um, well -– at least when shots are involved. So I was encouraged recently when I learned of a new vaccine that would decrease the number of shots my daughter has to take during the first two years of her life.
Pentacel, a five-in-one combo vaccination that protects against several diseases including diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis and polio, debuted in the United States earlier this year. Although it has been on the market for more than a decade in Canada, parents south of that border are just learning about the vaccine, which reduces by seven the number of shots a child has to take.
When we arrived at the doctor’s office for my daughter’s six-month check up, her pediatrician quickly put the kibosh on Pentacel and combo-shots in general. The doc said she does not give combo vaccines because studies show an increased risk of fever following the shots. Dr. No Combo continued her explanation, trying to reassure me with various well-studied reasons why she prefers to give a single shot for each vaccine. I totally trust my daughter’s pediatrician, so there was no debate. But as she rattled on, I blocked her out and steeled myself for what was to come: thrashing, wailing and big ‘ol dime-sized tears.
There was one saving grace: My husband was along for the appointment. So, I settled into my chair and let him enjoy some father-daughter bonding time while the doctor did her needle work.
Two sticks to each thigh. Mercifully, the hubby used his body to block my sightline. By the time it was over and my daughter looked at me, he was drying away her tears. We are doing this –- every, single, one of these shots -- I tell myself, for her own good. With all the controversy surrounding immunizations these days, I pray we are right.
-- Sherri Day