Nine-month-old Samuel Clemente is doing better but “hurt to the max” from last week’s shots. Yet his parents, also anaesthetists, have decided to go ahead with the immunisation despite being faced with doing more the usual head scratching the next morning.
“In Sweden there are very strict rules when it comes to vaccinating babies but there are some where it’s not like that” Professor Bregje Clemente, a specialist in anaesthesia, told The Local.
“The number one reason is for the parents’ own safety. If we have to dose the parents separately there are many more reasons to not do it”.
While under Swedish law parents are required to consent to any inoculations – regardless of whether they want to – the law only requires them to give consent to shots which are directed against child killers.
Doctors and nurses are very polite and will ask parents to give a voluntary injection, according to the father, who cannot risk giving his son a shot he cannot swallow.
And yet the fact remains that parents who choose not to do shots, are doing so out of self-interest.
In the UK only children under nine need consent for any vaccine – although under the 2011 “no jab, no pay” law the bill for vaccinating children under the age of 11 was more than doubled for the second year in a row to £83 million in 2016.
Half of the mothers surveyed – 57 per cent – said that they have decided against immunisation simply because it is an invasive procedure which they would prefer for children to have life-saving injections without the extra “distraction”.
Even the Ministry of Health has gotten in on the action.
“Mothers often don’t want to have to get up in the middle of the night if their child gets sick as well as being frightened about what might happen later – not to mention suffering from a bit of pain” [BBC] The point of the selfless policy is to leave the decision to the person who actually cares for the child.
But some parents are more welcoming of the shots and end up in contentious relationships with their children after having taken them for vaccines.
Bregje Clemente found that.