Friday, January 18, 2013

Infant Immunizations for Costa Rica

Dear Friends,
We just returned for Tatum's 9 month well check appointment.  Dr. Glade says she is very healthy.  One of our main priorities for the move to Costa Rica is to keep Tatum healthy and safe, obviously.  So I've really been praying that today's visit would leave us feeling positive and eager as opposed to worried and afraid.

We are so excited that Dr. Glade was completely supportive of our move!  He says "this is a wonderful thing you are doing for her and this is a great time to go!"  She is healthy and strong and the sun in Costa Rica will be far better for her than Utah's cold, cold weather!  He gave T a prescription for a malaria drug and an antibiotic to have on hand just in case.  We are now very confident knowing that we have the resources to help her if she does get sick.

Dr. Glade has been to Nosara (a town in the same immediate region that we hope to live) and knows exactly what it is like there, and he's even scoped out the pharmacies and medical facilities there.  He is coming to Costa Rica again in March... he knows what it is like and he is excited that we can have this experience and have it with our 9 month old baby.

As far as immunizations go:   The Hep A vaccine, MMR (measles, mumps and rubella)  and Chicken pox vaccines are only given at 1 year and not before.  A baby's little body is not yet ready to handle the strain and fight it off before a year.  MMR and Rubella aren't really concerns to me, considering that it is no more likely that she would contract those in Costa Rica than in Utah.  But Costa Rica is a Hep A zone.  Hep A is transferred through food/water, which luckily, we can be in complete control over.  We will give Tatum only bottled water and feed her fruits with peels (lots of bananas!) and be sure to wash any produce we give her extremely well.  Tatum will not eat any street food like we will.  Once she hits a year, we plan to find a great clinic and get her the immunizations then.  Only 3 months away!

Now I really feel great about T's medical situation. After calling the Utah Health Department and hearing comments like "People don't really travel to Costa Rica with infants" and "She is too young for immunizations, it is very dangerous..." I was left feeling a little discouraged.  I have always appreciated Dr. Glade for instilling confidence in me as a mother and warning me of concerns, but helping me to be aware and proactive in caring for Tatum.  Only 2 more weeks until we drive away from Pleasant Grove... lots to do!!!

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