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Interview 38

Brief Outline: For DTaP/IPV/Hib' Followed the recommendations of the health professionals. MMR decisions' Talked to their health visitor and a paediatrician and searched for information using the Internet, talked to friends in the USA, read articles in the media but it was talking to a health professional at Great Ormond Street that helped her to make her decision for both her children.
Background: At time of interview' married, two children, aged 5 years (daughter), aged 19 months (son). Parent's occupation' Mother- Housewife, Father- Business Advisor. Ethnic background' White-British.

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She trusted a specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children.

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There was a period of time that I think I felt quite strongly that we wouldn't go down the route of the MMR and I think after having read various articles in the papers, probably nothing based on fact but just the articles I'd read in the papers, were enough to make me think I don't want, I don't feel happy about this so I don't think we're going to go ahead and do this.

And to be honest I think everything changed when I then phoned up Great Ormond Street and spoke to someone on the front desk and said what my concerns were and is there a paediatrician or somebody there that I could speak to who might have some comments based on facts, that, who could talk to me. And they, that's when I was directed through to the lady there who helped. And I think that was the big turning point for me in that we had a long conversation on the telephone I think then a week later I phoned her back and we had another long conversation and I also had her email address. So every time something just popped into my mind I was emailing her and she was emailing back and also our friends next door, their one of their god-parents is a paediatrician in Ireland and she was saying that his comment was very much that I would go ahead and have, I would, you know, their little girl has the MMR.

So, I think it was having heard that comment from her and then also the fact that this other lady was giving all of this, what seemed like very grounded advice based in, on fact. 

 

Information given to her from a health professional was very important in helping her to decide...

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And then our little boy was born and I had the same reservations but again went straight back to this lady at Great Ormond Street. She reiterated everything she'd said before and also I was interested in finding out if there was any more data, has anything happened because there's 3 ' years difference between the two. And she was just able to tell me exactly what the, the current sort of comment was on it and stuff and, and also it wasn't just her giving me the facts, she was also talking to me as a mother as well. She's got children of her own and she was talking to me from that perspective. So I kind of felt, unlike with our local doctor who I, you know, other people were commenting, 'Oh they will just give you the party line,' I felt as if she was telling me exactly what all the facts were as well as the fact she was a mother and she was also being honest with me about how she felt about it.

But I think I really needed to hear the way that this lady spoke, it was very much a case of, you know, her comments seemed to be along the lines of that, you could give one child a ham sandwich and they'll be perfectly fine, you can another child a ham sandwich and they might have reaction to that. So there's always going to be this possibility that a small percentage of children might have a reaction, but like they might do to anything you might cook for them or something. But, that over-ridingly it's safe.

And she was, you know, very sort of from a sort of top overview telling me about the information that's coming from the States and various other countries and how many countries are actually using the MMR and how many years they've been using the MMR and that, you know, there is not a link, that, you know, and I think I needed to hear someone in her position saying, 'There is not a link between the MMR and autism.' And, so I think that's, like I say, and I think it was having that initial conversation where she said that, that really kind of tipped me over to think, 'Yeah, OK, I think we're going to go with doing this.'

 

It helped her to make a decision when the health professional talked to her from one mother to...

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And she was just able to tell me exactly what the current sort of comment was on it and stuff and also it wasn't just her giving me the facts, she was also talking to me as a mother as well. She's got children of her own and she was talking to me from that perspective. So I kind of felt, unlike with our local doctor who other people were commenting, 'Oh they will just give you the party line,' I felt as if she was telling me exactly what all the facts were as well as the fact she was a mother and she was also being honest with me about how she felt about it.

 

Learning that MMR had been used in other countries for many years eased her concerns about there...

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And she was, you know, very sort of... from a sort of top overview telling me about the information that's coming from the States and various other countries and how many countries are actually using the MMR and how many years they've been using the MMR and that, you know, there is not a link, that, you know, and I think I needed to hear someone in her position saying, 'There is not a link between the MMR and autism.' And, so I think that's, like I say, and I think it was having that initial conversation where she said that, that really kind of tipped me over to think, 'Yeah, OK, I think we're going to go with doing this.'

 

Her daughter was very irritable after her MMR vaccine but she returned to normal after twelve to...

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But then we talked about it again and then made that decision that yes I think that we are going to do it. But saying that, still had total reservations right up until the day that she had it and hoping, you know, that we had made the right decision and, and for about 12-14 days she was really not the same little girl in that she was very, you know, she'd always been very smiley, very happy and suddenly she was very irritable all the time. And in fact I think about 10 days into it I phoned the health visitor again and said, 'I've got some real concerns, you know.' And sort of really thought, 'Oh, perhaps she has now got autism or something.' And the health visitor said, 'Look, give it another couple of days. If you're still unsure about it give me a call and I'll come back out and see you.' And it was almost in those couple of days that as if like, you know, I click my fingers and she'd gone back to the same little girl. But it wasn't anything major that she, you know, she wasn't unwell in any way, she was just a lot more as if she was unwell basically. It was just that she was down in the dumps and very, like I say, always very moany, very kind of. 

So really, and then like as, the next months went on I was still kind of looking at her and thinking, 'Oh, is, is she OK with this? Has she been affected?' And then as the months went by and then you thought, 'Oh, it's fine, everything's OK.' 

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