Ten days after H was born the Health Visitor came round and, upon her departure, left us with a number of leaflets. One of these leaflets was an immunisation schedule from birth up to 13 months.
The schedule starts from 8 weeks old with the first of three sets of immunisations; The second and third follow at 12 and 16 weeks respectively. All three of the immunisation sessions require babies to have two injections, one in each thigh. These immunisations are of course at the parents discretion, but are strongly recommended.
H had her 8 week immunisations last week. The nurses got me to distract her and then they injected her in each thigh. She, obviously, cried. Now many people I have spoken to found the experience with their child very upsetting and cried themselves. Of course I didn’t enjoy seeing H cry because she was in pain but, after some cuddles, within minutes she was happy again and was just sleepier throughout the day. At no point did I feel like I wanted to cry. The reason…because she is lucky to have access to these vaccines. These small moments of pain help protect her from some horrible, and potentially deadly, illnesses.
A significant number of children in the world are not so fortunate and they often live in environments where the likelihood of contracting some of these illnesses is also significantly higher than in the UK. So, anyone taking their child to be immunised needs to just remember that they are doing a good thing for their child. Whatsmore, for every child not vaccinated, the vaccine itself is undermined as the opportunity to eradicate the virus reduces.
So for all other vaccinations she has I’ll stay happy and smiling. I’ll just be there to hug H tight and make sure she knows she is safe after the very brief stinging goes away.