Worse than an Injection

On this cold and cloudy day, we took Robert for another vaccination. I knew that it was going to be oral drops rather than an injection, and I thought this would be another dose of a Polio vaccine.

The Well Baby Clinic was quiet today, and nurse B remarked that she usually only vaccination cases show up on cold days like this one. This time there was a little girl who was in for her second dose of the hexa-injection. I remembered her from a few weeks back when she showed up with both her mom and dad. She was then a very small newborn, due to the fact that she was five weeks premature.
Today Robert weighed in at 5460 g, and measured 60.5cm in height which is a great improvement from last month, and leads me to hope again that he will take after his dad’s family when it comes to height. His head circumference measured 38.5cm. Nurse B then gave the oral drops in a prepacked syringe. Strangely enough, infants usually find it very difficult to swallow any liquid injected into their mouths, as they only know how to suck/suckle. Robert got the hang of it after a little bit, and only a few drops of the liquid were spat out. The nurse warned me that the side effects for this vaccine were stomach cramps, gas, and irritability.
Once home though Robert also became very lethargic and slept most of the time. He seemed to have very little energy and was hardly able to pick up his weight when held upright. This worried me somewhat especially because I was under the assumption that he’d had polio drops. Later in the evening he had bad gas, some cramps and was generally indisposed. We also went through three shirt changes, one of them during the night. Robert would normally spit up (or burp up) some milk after each feeding. This time, however, he vomited up quite a lot, and ended up soiling his outfits and my shirts several times.
Robert’s general condition improved slowly, and he was completely over these symptoms two days later. But I was so worried about this nasty vaccination that I looked up its trade name on the internet, and only then I found out that it wasn’t polio drops, but immunization against the Rotavirus, which causes a particularly vicious diarrhoea. The malady itself lasts also for a few days, and is dangerous to little babies under the age of two years, because it drains and dehydrates them. I could not help thinking though that the vaccination must be nearly as bad as the illness. It surely is much worse than the injection we had two weeks ago.

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