Wednesday, May 1, 2013

My Inadvertently Unvaccinated Child

She would have been this old
when the adult dose was given...
After the BMI talk, the rest of Sadie and Mae's doctors appointment was pretty much uneventful.  Mae now has a prescription for an asthma inhaler with a baby mask (I'm going to need a bag just to carry epipens and inhalers soon...).  

There was however one major, glaring exception, that had me promising Sadie she could have whatever she wanted for dinner when we were done (a bean burrito and a pink lemonade).  

A worried nurse came in between conversations with the doctors and explained that there were some abnormalities in the girls vaccines.  "Margaret's?"  I asked, certain that that was the answer, since her last vaccine doses were late with all the cross country moving that went on last year and the near impossibility of finding a doctor.

"No, Sadie.  Did you request certain vaccines and an alternate vax schedule."  Upon hearing that the answer was "no" she began to explain.  

They were trying to figure out what had gone wrong.  In their clinic this would be considered a mistake.  A mistake of the sort that requires calls to the county health department.  

The nurse asked if Sadie had stepped on a nail or been cut by something rusty when she was a baby... upon learning the answer was no, the conversation continued...

Because this most definitely
deserves a Sadie Frown.
When Sadie was six months old she was apparently given an adult dose of the DTAP virus.  And the vaccines were half done and out of order.  Apparently she was given three doses of the correct meningitis vaccine and then on the forth dose given a different vaccine that protects against 7 strains instead of 13.  

My eyes must have been huge.  Sadie's vaccines were done right after Paul became job-less in 2008.  They were done by our family practice doctor and paid out of pocket.  It cost around $200 just for the vaccines at every appointment.  And she was given the wrong ones!  

The county health department said that the way the vaccines were done with the strange dosages and varying types, she couldn't be considered vaccinated.  And vaccines are something that we do (I'm not starting that debate here).  So I took a deep breath and signed on the dotted line.  

She had five shots yesterday because of mistakes the doctor made when she was Patrick's age.  There were many, many tears.  And there will be more tears to come, as we have to repeat this process so that she's vaccinated, which makes me a little sick just thinking about it.  

She did show Patrick her band-aids last night, although she was so furious that she refused to take a sticker from the nurse.  And since the child is a story teller I'm sure this will make a great story to re-tell her brother over and over again throughout the week (and year).  

But yeah... I couldn't even imagine something like this happening...  my poor little ballerina!


  1. Oh my goodness! Poor Sadie! (and poor mamma, I hate watching my child get shots!) I wonder if there is some way for you to get your money back that you had to spend out of pocket, that is simply horrible medical practice. I have doctors in the family and understand the absurdity of many medical malpractice suits and the high rates of insurance, but that is really really bad. You should probably at least call your old county health board. Does Paul have any lawyer friends who can offer pro bono advice?

  2. I don't know why they freaked out. Our kids vaccine records look ridiculous and messy. One of the reasons is that the government is constantly changing the type, dosage, and schedule. There is no way that a parent can reasonably keep up with all of that. Our firstborn's card looks nothing like the ones in later years. One year I was getting yelled at for refusing the oral polio (because I thought it was too risky) and two years later the government had stopped using it because it was unsafe. In addition to that, kids with allergies should be be screened before being vaccinated. Kids with known egg allergies should not receive certain shots (it says so right on the CDC website). etc. With your family's history of allergies, they should have been more concerned about that than about getting their boxes checked off. Poor poked kiddo. :(

  3. Maybe it's because I'm a nurse, but my kids have always done great with vaccines. Before Kinder, my older two had to get I think 5 plus a flu vaccine and none shed a tear - I am so fortunate! I have seen the gamut between "meh" and total panic flip-out with two nurses pinning the kids down for shots. It's awful.

    Having said that, how scary that Sadie has been unprotected all this time. With pertussis and measles making a comeback, someone really could have harmed her by not ensuring that she had the proper vaccines. I suggest printing out the current AAP schedule and keeping a copy of it for yourself to cross-check that the kids are always up-to-date. You can't be too sure, and obviously someone really could have hurt your child by their oversight!


  4. Did you think about getting a tither test to see if she had immunity before starting the shot process? As a thought, perhaps the vaccinations she was given worked. I am not sure how the adult v child dtap would be different. I would, however, contact the prior dr office and make sure that the correct record was sent (if you didn't carry the files with you).

  5. I find this so offensive! That previous doctor owes you for those wrong vaccines. You might want to report him to the authorities for possible malpractice. Obviously leaving a child vaccinated with the wrong vaccines is some sort of violation that for the public health safety ought to be reported.

  6. Yeah I would be livid... and def see about compensation. That just isn't right. Agree with the titter comment too... I know there are some diffs in some of the vaccines child vs. kids so I wouldn't assume offright that she's protected, but she could be and after having that large amount I'd be wary about doing more on top of it. But I'm more conservative on how we do ours so that prob plays into it.


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