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Interview 25

Brief Outline: For DTaP/IPV/Hib' Followed recommendations of health professionals. For MMR' Talked to friends who were doctors. Used the Internet to search for information. Were influenced by the prime minister's response to questioning about immunisation decisions for his son.
Background: At time of interview' one daughter, aged 15 months.

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Recognise that the MMR decision is a difficult one for many parents.

Recognise that the MMR decision is a difficult one for many parents.

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They said, after they'd weighed her they said, 'She is due for her MMR'. And because I came at the end of the session the nurse was just kind of lingering around basically. And I said, 'Yes, but we're choosing to do the individual'. And then the nurse heard and she walked in and she said, she said, 'Oh, but, no, don't worry. Just the one jab, it's just quick'. 'No'. And I thought, 'I'm not going to get into this with her because I don't need to'. I said, 'No, no thanks, no we're fine'. 'But, now, look, just a, I've just got it here. Quick, come on, just come in. It'll only take a second. She'll be fine'. And I'm like, 'No, I'm really, no, we're fine'. She said, 'Oh, come on' and then she started laughing. And I thought to myself, 'It isn't just a quick thing'. And she just did not understand. It's a decision. It's not about just something quick, kind of, 'Oh, look, I've got five minutes, quick, we can get it done'. And I thought, 'That's really not the right attitude to have, and definitely not to press someone'. 

 

She used the Internet to research single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines but it left her with...

She used the Internet to research single measles, mumps and rubella vaccines but it left her with...

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But NHS Direct, okay, I'm on the phone to a government body and I'm asking them and I'm getting the same response. I'm asking, 'Well, who else can, where can I go to find alternatives?' 'Well, like I say, for the MMR you can...'. I'm like, 'You're not even answering my question'. That was incredibly irritating. You hang up the phone and you're back to square one. And all I can say is you're resorted back to finding your own information on the Internet. 

Which also, to the point which is making doctors and anything the government can supply you with, if you want something different, is redundant. And then it's a guess as to, 'Okay, well, which one am I going to take her to?' I don't know whether one is better than another, if one is just some kind of room in a basement of somewhere or whether it's actually a professional doctor's clinic. You don't go on any websites that, I did come across one site I think from memory, but I had to pay '80 to actually get information off it. And I was thinking like, 'Fair enough, fine'. And then the closing tag, just to make the parents feel guilty, 'Yes, we understand, you have to pay for this, but you can't put a price on your child's health'. And I'm thinking, 'Well, thanks for that. That's really helpful'. 

So I just kept on going to find information. And I eventually found places that could do, it but again it's finding information about those people and if they're, what the service is like. Hence why I saw Harley Street, thinking, 'Well, okay, you can have really shoddy doctors on Harley Street but, hey, on the whole they're going to be okay'. As opposed to someone suggesting, another website suggesting East Finchley, thinking, 'Well, Harley Street is a street of doctors. I think I'd better go there'. So it is difficult.

 

Chose a clinic in Harley Street to give her daughter single vaccines because she thought it would...

Chose a clinic in Harley Street to give her daughter single vaccines because she thought it would...

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And I eventually found places that, that, that could do, it but again it's finding information about those people and if they're, what the service is like. Hence why I saw Harley Street, thinking, 'Well, okay, you can have really shoddy doctors on Harley Street but, hey, on the whole they're going to be okay'. As opposed to someone suggesting, another website suggesting East Finchley, thinking, 'Well, Harley Street is a street of doctors. I think I'd better go there' [laugh]. So this, it is difficult.

It's difficult to know who to trust.

Who to trust. There's no kind of information of, of recommendations of who to go to. It really, it's really difficult.

 

Tony Blair's failure to answer questions about his own son's vaccines influenced her decision to...

Tony Blair's failure to answer questions about his own son's vaccines influenced her decision to...

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The reason we decided to go for individual is one, isn't so much from the reports so much on television about how that doctor was supposedly discredited for his decisions or for the points he'd made and all the rest of it was down to the fact, this is, might sound really silly, basically the simple question, when Tony Blair was asked, 'What's yours?' he didn't answer. That's really stupid probably but really simple at the same time. If there is nothing wrong, what is wrong with his answering it? So based on, with some other information that we read up and also speaking to friends who were doctors, or friends of friends that had doctors as friends, we've just thought, 'No. We're going to go for the individual' when we had to come to it.

 

They are comfortable with the decision they made to give their daughter single measles, mumps and...

They are comfortable with the decision they made to give their daughter single measles, mumps and...

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We're fine about it. We don't have, we feel like there's some concern taken out in the sense that we don't have to worry about any side-effects. But then again we don't know. We've just based our decision on the fact, 'Well, it's gone on for this many years and, single, and that's just the way we prefer to stay with it'. She wasn't distressed. I think we, if, we would have been, if she, after the first immunisation if she'd been really distressed then we might be thinking, 'Oh, my God, maybe we should have gone for the 3-in-1, then she doesn't have to go through this again'. But she hasn't been concerned at all about what's going on. So, no, we've been comfortable with it. She, we were told after the first immunisation also actually that she might have a reaction to it. That was a surprise. And they said, you know, 'Within seven days, you know, if she's okay, within, you know, after seven days, she'll be fine'. But again you always kind of wonder as a parent, 'Well, they say seven days but, hey, my daughter's, obviously each case is different, she could be ten days'. So, you know, for a couple of, you know, for almost two weeks you're looking at her thinking, 'Is she okay? Has she got a temperature? Is she, you know, is she swelling or anything like that'.  

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