In Finland all children have the possibility to get vaccinated, free of charge. These vaccinations are offered and given during routine check-ups at neuvola visits. All vaccinations are optional, but in Finland only 1-4 children out of 1000 aren’t given any vaccinations as per the guardians’ wishes. So the vaccine rate is quite high here.
When Paxlet was a few weeks old, Mr Siili and I received some information in the mail about participating in a vaccine study, to which we agreed to participate. This study will replace the series of vaccinations that are given in the neuvola visits. Paxlet will get all of the vaccines he would normally get, but he’ll get them via this study instead. This study will have two groups for the vaccinations: one group will get the same thing as you would from neuvola (commercial vaccines) and the other group will get the test vaccines (deemed to give as good as protection against diseases as the neuvola vaccines), plus both groups will get Hep B, which is not routinely given to children in Finland in the course of the routine vaccination series.
The diseases being vaccinated for are whooping cough (hinkuyskää), diphtheria (kurkkumätä), tetanus (jäykkäkouristus), polio, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) and Hepatitis B. In addition, the babies in this study will also get a vaccine for the Rotavirus, which they would normally get at neuvola. Although through the study the vaccination that will be given has a wider range of protection. So, over the course of the next 11 months, Paxlet will get these vaccinations.
At the first visit, they (the people running the study) explained what would happen during this study and that we could stop participating whenever we wanted, if we chose so. They checked Paxlet over and took some blood, which he hated as they prevented him from moving his arm when he wanted to move it. (How dare they take away his freedom of movement!) We also received a thermometer, thermometer protection slips, a bag (cool!) and a booklet to record Paxlet’s reactions, if any, to the vaccinations.
In the booklet to follow his reactions, we were to follow his main potential reactions for 5 days. The things we were to observe were his temperature, any possible change in sleep, eating or temperament along with how the injection area looks (swelling, pain, lumps). And if Paxlet gets sick or something changes within 14 days of when the vaccination(s) was given, we need to write that down too.
This time around, Paxlet was given a shot in each thigh, which he didn’t appreciate, thank you very much. He was a bit fussy the first day and had soreness in both thighs for a couple of days. He might have puked a bit more than normal, but I didn’t really think so. He did get a lump from one of the injections and we’re following that to see when it goes away. Thankfully our baby boy wasn’t too affected by it all and life was pretty much back to normal quite soon.
We go back for our next vaccination(s) in December when he’s around 3,5 months old.