Shots for infants
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Shots for infants

Sharing from a friend- Elizabeth Gonzales.

“I just had a rather interesting experience at baby girl’s 12 month wellness visit. The nurse indicated that she was going to be getting several vaccines today and I asked her to bring me the inserts so I could review them.

The nurse brought back Vaccine Information Statements instead. Though these ended up being far better than flyers I had seen in the past, I asked again for the inserts. She did not know what I was asking for so I explained I wanted the manufacturer disclosure with the listing of ingredients and risks.

Nurse – “You mean the long paper that comes in the box?”

Me – “Yes.”

Nurse “That’s not patient information – it’s clinical information.”

Me – “What does that mean, clinical information?”

Nurse – “It is used for back office things.”

Me – “So if we get the vaccines today, you wouldn’t give them to me?”

Nurse – “Uhhh…”

Me – “I thought it was equivalent of ingredient/risk info given with any drug/medication.”

Nurse – “Not really, but I can let you see them. You’d have to give them back. Which ones do you want?”

Me – “All the ones she is scheduled to receive.”

Nurse – “There are seven of them. They are really, really long. You want all seven?”

Me – “Yes.”

Nearing the end of our visit, the doctor summarizes how healthy baby is and that the only issue is her vaccines. She understands I have asked to see the inserts but I must give them back. She proceeds to tell me how all the ingredients that are in vaccines are necessary and that nothing is going to happen. I say, “That’s a little dismissive. There are risks with all medications.”

I calmly explain that I’m discontent with health care professionals not being willing to discuss both the risks and the benefits. The doctor begins to get flustered but agrees there are risks with all medications. So i ask, “What are the risks with these?”

She replies with a bit of snark, “Well, what have you found out?:
I respond, genuinely, “No, I’m asking YOU.” I haven’t researched it as I was intending to talk about it with the doctor and read the insert.
Doctor says, “There aren’t any risks.”

I say, “You just said there are risks with all medications.”

Doctor, getting agitated – “Well there is pain and fever. That is all.”

Me – “So if I read the inserts I won’t find any other risks in there?”

Doctor- “Well, there are other small things that they have to put in there, for whatever reason.”

Me – “The reason would be because they are a valid risk.”

Doctor, now clearly losing her composure – “Yeah, but only a very, very small risk. The benefits outweigh the risks. It’s my job to keep your baby safe. So you can read the inserts, I’m going to continue to recommend vaccination and we’re going to just have to agree to disagree.”

Me – “Okay.’

Doctor – “We are just not going to agree.”

Me – “I’m not asking you to agree with me.”

Doctor is now holding back tears – “I’m not going to be able to provide care for your baby. I feel very strongly about this.”

Me – “I can see that.”

Doctor walks to the door without another word.

Me – “Is the visit over?”

Doctor – “Yes.” Leaves the room.

What on earth…

We are first time parents, coming to these doctor visits with our questions and concerns, seeking information to help us make decisions for our child. We have no position, do no preaching, do no arguing. Yet have been met with attitude, disregard and now emotional meltdown.

Since when is it not okay for a parent to expect to have an open dialogue with their child’s doctor? Why are these doctors not prepared to field questions with information and, perhaps, understanding?”
8:24 AM · Feb 5, 2024

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