All day yesterday I was stressed out (to the point of a panic attack at 1:30 a.m. this morning) by the Health Center at my new school via an email asking me to get three shots that were missing -- for Hepatitis A and B. I got the first round when I was younger (and have the immunization record for one dose of each) but records are missing so we can't be 100% sure that they were completed. In the email I was told that they were mandatory before the start of school which stressed me out because the semester starts in two weeks and there's no way I can a) afford to pay for the vaccines out of pocket and b) the chance of my getting a last minute appointment with my doctor is slim to none. The usual wait is a month and a half to three months before I can be seen (oh, the joys of going to a county hospital). There's also the little fact that if I were to get the two rounds of Hep B vaccines I supposedly need, I won't be able to take them one after the other and would need to wait months. Palm, meet my face.
Now, I should say that my mom has sworn that I have all my shots done. I also remember the last round of vaccines being given at 18 and have no immunization records for them either. I tried calling and going to the clinic where I would've gotten them but they were no help. That gives me two options: taking the vaccines I supposedly haven't gotten (if I truly haven't) or trying to fight the school on the requirements.
Option one is the one I am most uncomfortable with, to be honest. It's not my intense dislike of needles and vaccines, or my constant worrying over the side effects of said vaccines because I tend to have a reaction to many medications... it's the fact that one of the vaccines, Hep A, is made with tissue from aborted babies! A few years ago, a U.S. Coast Guard officer refused to get the the vaccine on moral grounds and I would to! I know a few vaccines that I've already gotten also contain cells from aborted babies but these were given when I was still too young to know any better and therefore had no objections. My love of children makes me very pro-life and knowing that a vaccine contains things I am morally against makes me think and automatically reject it. Of course the Church does not right out condemn or approve of such vaccines but I can't on good conscience allow them to give me the vaccine. I did my research on the website of the web (and found interesting information) as well as the National Catholic Bioethics Center. Of course there is an argument that it is needed to help keep everyone and myself healthy but I am in either of the "at-risk" groups for either vaccine. Enter option two.
Option two has me fighting the school, and I do have a legit fight in case they try to force me to drop my classes this semester. First, I am not a nursing student. I'm a traditional undergrad student, albeit a transfer student, and according to the requirements they asked two months ago neither vaccine (nor the TB test which I got anyway) was mandatory. Furthermore, it said the Hep B vaccine was required for those 18 or younger which I certainly am not. Hep A vaccine is listed as recommended but not required as well. So why the email saying that I HAD to get them before the semester started and that it was mandatory? Why say one thing months before the semester starts and then say "oops, nevermind, you need this too..." two weeks before we can do anything about it? As I said, my mother swears I had all my vaccines done, and I should or else how would've I gone through school without them completed? I would ask for a blood titer to show that I either have or have not the immunity to either disease but I have a feeling it's going to take an absolute miracle for me to convince them of that and/or letting them drop this requirement. Any suggestions or thoughts are more than welcomed because I'm being pulled in all directions with this.
I'm going to try to not worry about it but it's kind of hard because I'm naturally a worrywart (something I am constantly working on). Prayers are more than welcomed. I will keep y'all updated. :)
*EDIT AT 2:37 P.M. PST: Received an email from the school nurse that I can take a blood titer on campus during the start of semester for a low cost. Now fingers are crossed that I have immunity so I don't have to take the vaccines. :D Thanks for prayers!*
That's it for now. :) Hope everyone has a great weekend!
As always, thanks for reading and God Bless.