Just a few days after Meg was born our local public health nurse came out to visit our family to check on the health of our newborn. She took out her file and proceed to give me the 'low-down' on all the recent health recommendations as indicated by the Department of Health. Firstly she advised me on the importance of administering vitamin D to our baby. I had learned just a few days earlier (from a medical professional) that the reason for this recommendation is that, as Ireland is becoming a more 'multi-cultutal' country, a lot of darker skinned babies were showing signs of vitamin D deficiency due to our lack of sunshine. However as our government could not be seen to single out racial minority groups they ran the 'vitamin D' campaign indicating that all babies were 'at risk'.
Next we tackled contraception. Oh how worried she looked when we discussed this! Finally we got to the last topic on her list: vaccinations. If you wish to read or re-read some of the articles relating to research, that our family has done on this topic over the last year please click here or here or see the details of this book which was the backbone of our research. Here is a breakdown of the vaccination schedule as recommended by the Irish Department of Health:
Age Given To Child Recommended Vaccine
At Birth BCG (Tuberculosis)
2 Months 6 in 1 Vaccine (Diptheria, Whooping Cough
Hib, Polio and Hepatitis B) plus Pneumococcal
4 Months 6 in 1 (as indicated above) plus Meningococcal C.
6 Months 6 in 1 plus Meningococcal C and Pneumococcal.
12 Months MMR (Measles, Mumps and Rubella) plus
13 Months Meningococcal C plus Hib.
4 to 5 Years 4 in 1 (Diptheria, Tetanus, Whooping Cough and
Polio) plus MMR.
11 to 14 Years Tetanus and Diptheria.
(apologies on the layout of the above information...it was impossible to format!)
Wow! Does that seem like alot to you? Me too!
Fortunately as Irish citizens we are not obligated to administer any of the above vaccinations to our children. Thank goodness! I informed our nurse that while I understood that she had to advise us of this vaccination schedule; our family were choosing to not vaccinate our future children. Then the most un-expected thing happened...
...Our public health nurse peered at me over the top of her spectacles and said in a hushed voice "Do you know, I'm half inclined to agree with you"