Leo’s first vaccination

Claire took Leo for his BCG. Everyone i spoke to remembers it from school – oddly they remember the tester for existing immunity – a sort of library stamp of needles – not the jab itself. Leo didn’t have that, just a jab but he screamed plenty, i’m told.
But he fed a while later, and i think Claire was more upset than he was. He has slept a lot today – might be an after effect, i don’t know. He has a tiny red bump on his arm but it doesn’t irritate him too much – the odd sting maybe when dressing.
People’s reactions to vaccinations – to the issue i mean, not rashes – is incredibly weird. It actually pisses me off – if you are of a delicate ‘immune systems need to be challenged by exposing them to killer diseases’ point of view then do stop reading now.
I don’t know why it’s so controversial. Small pain and miniscule risk = far lower risk of something horrid later. And yes, it’s something for the good of the population – stopping transmission and thus epidemics – more than the individual. It’s all very easy to say ‘i won’t have my kid done, as long as everyone else’s is, then that’s fine, it won’t get to my kid.’ Balls. Immoral position. Some things are done for the good of all, and that’s fine by me. You want to live somewhere isolated from diseases where there’s no vulnerability? Fine, go live on the northern tip of the Faroes and stop writing ill-informed letters to the Times.
It’s this odd equation that vaccinations are tested by science, and science can’t be trusted. Yes, medical science is imperfect and things go wrong – but kids die every year from accidents with kettle – and i don’t see people throwing those away when they bring the baby home. Laws of physics guide bridge design – so don’t risk crossing a bridge, the scientists might have got it wrong.
Oh, and the idea that we should follow ‘nature’s way’? OK, so switch off your central heating and go live outside. You can take your Gore-tex off as well – it isn’t natural, you know.
The 20 million who died across Europe from Influenza in 1918-9 might have liked the luxury to panic at improperly peer-reviewed research on tiny sample size tainted by conflicts of interests from the lead researcher. But they can’t because, oops, they DIED. Yes, i know MMR isn’t related to the flu, but the daft vaccine-avoiders won’t know that, will they, so my rhetorical twist is fine.

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