Tuesday, 13 November 2012
I have just finished reading The Vaccine Book (Sears, 2007), just in time for McKenna's scheduled 12-month vaccinations. In NL, babies get vaccinations at 2, 4, 6, 12, and 18 months, and once before they start school. So far, M has gotten vaccinated for tetanus, diphtheria, whooping cough, as well as pneumococcal disease. I didn't consider any of these to be controversial - all are serious diseases, with major consequences for young babies. However, we're now coming up on some of the "less important" vaccines, as far as I'm concerned: The MMR vaccine, the flu vaccine, and the chickenpox vaccine.
As a researcher myself, I can appreciate the drudgery of going through piles and piles of reports, papers, and meta-analyses. I can appreciate the difficulty in trying to make a boring topic into something worth reading. And as a mother, I appreciate what Dr. Sears has done in this book - he explains each and every disease, components of the vaccine, risks and benefits, as well as arguments both for and against having your child vaccinated against each disease. Overall, he seems to come across as being pro-vaccine, but is able to play devil's advocate and explain why some parents might choose not to vaccinate against certain diseases, or at all.