Mom blog: Because I Said So! Vaccination time (again)

So I was simultaneously loading the dishwasher, making two lunches, watching the toaster for smoke and listening to a mini reporter on my mini TV talking about the importance of keeping your kiddies’ vaccinations up-to-date. She said something like, “we have the vaccinations, but they’ll only work if we all keep our shots up to date, and some people aren’t!” in a chiding, thinly veiled, passive-aggressive strident tone. I nodded my head, switching to scouring the counter with baking soda (think green!) to remove any traces of chicken (think safety!) before slicing cucumbers (think healthy!) for said lunches.

Yes, those vaccinations and those people who don’t keep them up to date, I thought. Somewhere from the haze of real estate flyers, bills and offers to do the weeding and feeding of my lawn, I remembered opening and scanning a letter from the city in many, many languages. “Get someone to read this to you” it said. Ha! I’ll read it myself and then I tossed it. I knew exactly where I tossed it (in a file labelled READ). I fished it out, and yes, it’s a reminder to get Luka caught up on vaccines OR ELSE. The OR ELSE is suspension from school. I didn’t figure that would actually happen when I received the same letter regarding Tessa’s vaccines either.

IT DID.

The notice came in the mail. I ignored it for a while, then I made the appointment. She got the shot. I showed the notice to the pediatrician, who said she didn’t see many of those (am I one of the few bad parents in town? Do people not show her the letter?). She filled in the name of the vaccine and signed her name. Tessa put the note in her backpack (this is where the flashing red lights should have lit up). Two weeks later she was in a panic that her suspension day was a couple of days away and where is that notice?!?!?! She found it, handed it in, case closed.

No way. The doctor didn’t date it. Unless the school received a dated letter in time to get it to the ministry, then no exam for Tessa. I offered to write a note to “testify” I saw the shot given, and I’d get a real letter after the fact. NO good. Tessa came home from school in tears and orders to stay 100 metres from the school the next day unless she had the letter. I had to hunt down her pediatrician in her home, at night, asking her to write a letter, sign it and fax it to the school that night. Thank heavens that doctor is a good sport.

Lesson learned:
• get the vaccines updated
• don’t store important things in a 16-year-old’s purse
• don’t underestimate what the government can do
• it is possible to create a situation where a teenager actually wants to write an exam.

I’ll have some good links for you tomorrow on the subject of vaccines, but for now, it’s back to work!

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2 Responses

  1. Perhaps a government immunization link would be useful (e.g. http://www.health.gov.on.ca/english/public/pub/immun/immunization.html)

    Also, in many U.S. communities it is becoming common to ban children from entering kindergarten until they have had chicken pox or the immunization for it.

  2. How about a system where the information on the necessary vaccinations is simply entered by the doctor into a database accessible by the school board? Since the doctor is entering this information somewhere anyway as are the school boards and various health departments, why not save everyone some work…and a few parents some headaches!

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