So I Had A Vaccine Reaction

When Lovebug was very small, Hot Guy had to bring him in for a vaccine while I was at work. When I got home, I was regaled with the story of how traumatic it had been for him, for Lovebug and for Ironflower. Apparently Ironflower was really mad at the doctor for hurting her brother. And Lovebug was mad. And there was much screaming. It's possible that toddler Ironflower hit the doctor.

And my first question was, "Did he get all the vaccines he needed, though?"

That's how pro-vaccine I am.

So when my GI doctor said he wanted to put me on Humira and that I would need to get a flu vaccine and Hepatitis A & B vaccines, I was all over it. I'd already had my flu shot for the year (I've gotten a flu shot every year since 1994, when a bunch of med students were giving them to seniors at the community center where I was teaching preschool and had leftovers for staff members. Those of us that got it avoided a horrible flu that went around the center.) but I figured I'd get the HepA&B vaccine the next time I was at the primary care office.

There are actually 3 shots until you are fully vaccinated against Hep A & B, fyi. The first 2 are a month apart, the next one is 5 months later.

I've recently learned that my insurance won't pay for Humira at this time (and, at $5000 a month, I kinda don't blame them for wanting me to try some other meds first), but since I had already started the Hep vaccines last month, I got my second dose Friday because otherwise I'd have to start all over again when I finally get the Humira.

And I realized that last month's reaction was real, because I had the exact same reaction this time - nauseous, dizzy, exhausted and just generally terrible. Last month I thought it might be stress or that I might be coming down with a virus, because I haven't ever had a vaccine reaction. But this time, at the suggestion of my wise husband, I took an hour long nap after I had the reaction.

And then I was fine.

I would like to say that after having this reaction, or that time Zoe almost fainted after her first HPV vaccination, made me more sympathetic to people who are against vaccines.

But it didn't.

Don't get me wrong, I get where they're coming from. Doctors can be assholes, the medical establishment can sometimes be wrong, it sucks to listen to your baby scream his head off because you're letting someone stick it with a needle full of chemicals you can't pronounce. 

But the science doesn't care how much it sucks to know your consent to a vaccine made your kid faint; the science wants to eliminate cervical cancer. 

I had an anti-vaxxer tell me that cervical cancer is easily curable. First of all, tell that to the 4000 women who died from it  in 2016. Second of all, I'd rather my kid faint than have to go through cancer treatment someday. Curing any kind of cancer is not fun like curing scurvy. 

People die from the flu. They die from measles. They die from cervical cancer. 

They don't die from vaccines. Really, they don't. No matter what you read on Facebook. No matter that you heard your neighbor's cousin's daughter died from the HPV vaccine.  No matter that there is a reporting system and a compensation system (which literally pays out 1 time per million doses of vaccine given. You can read all about how these safety guidelines are regularly exploited by anti-vax proponents here). And don't get me started on VAERS - the Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System - which should be a good thing, but since anyone can report to it, also includes vaccine 'deaths' that are from car accidents within a month of a person getting the vaccine.

In summation, get vaccinated. Get your kids vaccinated. But maybe leave some time for a nap after.

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