Wednesday, February 26, 2003
Thanks Michael - sounds very similar in outline and detail to what we have in the US. Actually, here I believe they will give a newborn a hepatitis shot first thing, unless the parents firmly decline it. My knowledge of all this is sketchy, but Wendy has been doing lots of homework. Lots of new vaccines, which we never had access to when we were kids. Entirely a good thing? Maybe, maybe not. I used to think drug companies were unstoppable, but after viewing the Prevnar site, with its area for "consumers," I consumed a bit of Glenmorangie and felt immune to their viral marketing.
[later]: Jeneane emailed wondering if they do chicken pox vaccine up there. That's one Wendy and I don't quite see the point of.
Tuesday, February 25, 2003
I think Canada is broadly similar to the U.S. in the generally accepted approach to vaccinations.
Ruairi actually had his first shots last week, including the standard mix of diphtheria, whooping cough, tetanus, polio, and Hib. On the advice of our paediatrician we also opted to cough up extra for the Prevnar. Ruairi's earlier blood infection probably doesn't mean he's any more susceptible to pneumococcal bacteria than other kids, but we were still easily convinced it was a smart choice in his case.
Note: In prelicensure clinical trials, the most frequently reported adverse reactions to the cheesy marketing on the Prevnar site included fever, irritability, drowsiness, vomiting, nausea, and scepticism.
I guess we're lucky in that we were able to have pretty open, informative discussions with our family doctor and paediatrician about all of this stuff. I also found this site useful in addressing some of the myths.
Up here, you're not absolutely required to have your child immunized - no one is going to make you do something to your baby you don't want to do. But they will still strongly advocate vaccination in almost every case.
Our older kids were certainly expected to have all their shots before getting into playschool or kindergarten. Exceptions are made in cases of religious or cultural preference, of course, but you're required to produce an affidavit to cover the school's ass.
A question for you when you have a spare minute: In the US, they begin vaccinating virtually at birth, and start a fairly uniform schedule of vaccinations at the 2-month mark. There seem to be some questions about the efficacity and the potential dangers of some vaccines. The question is, how soon do they start these things in your countries, and do pediatricians discuss the down side of all this with parents? Are you allowed to decline vaccinations? Will doing so potentially prevent a kid from day care or public schools? Thanks in advance for any thoughts, info.