Wednesday, August 21, 2013


Many ask about immunizations and what that process looks like for our babies here in Mexico. First of all, health care in general is very different to what we are accustomed to in the States. This is one of many areas we are still navigating through, learning as we go. However, out of necessity we have walked through the immunization process many times and feel like we understand the protocol.

In the States we schedule our "well baby visits" around a vaccination schedule. Every month to two months during the first years of our babies' lives we pack up the diaper bag and head to the pediatrician's office. There our babies' progress and growth are measured, the doctor addresses any concerns, and nervous moms are reassured. On the way out the door our babies receive their vaccinations, often with a dose of Tylenol so as not to experience any discomfort in the next few hours. Those visits are followed up by a phone call from the nurse or doctor himself, checking in to see how our babies are doing after their shots. 

At Grace Babies' Home, when we get a new baby we work with our Mexican Director, Martin Castro, to obtain the baby's Seguro Social (social security/public health ID number). With that number, we are able to take the baby to the Centro de Salud (public health center), which is located next to the general hospital. 

Once inside the Centro de Salud we poke our heads into the small room where the vaccinations take place to let them know we are there. They immediately recognize us and move us to the front of the list. On this particular day there were five newborns in front of us when we arrived.

We wait in a multipurpose waiting room in the furthest seat away from the 40 others waiting to see a doctor. This photo is only about 1/4 of the waiting room. The rest was full. We waited about a half hour before they called us in.

Once in the room the nurses work efficiently to administer the shots and record what was given. A date is given for our return.

At this visit Santiago also received a TB vaccination in his arm. This is something new for us as this particular vaccination is not given in the States and is followed by a reaction that leaves a nasty scar.

We understand that around the globe many children die of diseases that are preventable with vaccinations. While our experience is different than in the States, we are grateful that our babies do have vaccinations available to them.


Posted by Juan Strutton at 1:58 PM

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