Flu shot heresy (Read 2152 times)


Giant Flaming Dork

    I have been doing more research as a result of this thread. Oddly, a pro-vaccine web page had an ad for an anti-vaccine one (gotta love AdSense).  


    Anyway, one of the strange things about vaccines is that in a very small percentage of people, the vaccine doesn't "take".  They get the vaccine, but for whatever reason they don't develop the immunity to the virus.  If a great majority of the population get the vaccine, these people are safe.  If the vaccination rate is less than that, these people could get infected.  


    The elementary school that my DDs go to has reached an infection rate of ~20% H1N1.  By that I mean 20% of the school population was out yesterday with very similar symptoms to the flu.  A certain percentage of them have been tested for H1N1 and all have come back positive as H1N1 flu.  I think it's only a matter of time until virtually all of the students will get it.  Hopefully they will all get better from it and no one will get seriously ill. 


    Personally, I think that the H1N1 vaccine is too little, too late in this part of the world.

    http://xkcd.com/621/


    A Saucy Wench

      Yeah, there was a big outbreak of pertussis not far from here a year or so ago.

       

       

      I'm like mamaofthree - organic, breastfed forever. I've been labled a problem patient because of arguing about Anti-B's (although not with my pediatrician oddly, she is awesome) .  I see a naturopath for some chronic issues that havent been helped by western medicine and I think acupuncture is da Bomb for pain.   And there are plenty of anti-vaccine in our circle. But not me.

       

      I will admit to having modified our kids vaccination schedule with the agreement of our pediatrician.  My son's birthday is in October so usually he can get the flu vaccine with his well-check, but because of the way the schedule works at one point that meant he was going to get 6 shots with a total of I think it was 10 or 11 vaccines all at once.  Given some of the reactions he had on previous vaccines, it just seemed like too much. Harder on me and maybe him to have to go back, but we divvied that up to 4 visits and prioritized based on risk.   I do hope we are done with DPT for awhile though, that one always gives Alex super high fevers.

       

      But we will get the flu shot, you know, if it ever gets here before we get the flu.

       

       

      Teresa-  my dad's family has similar history.  Giving birth to 8 children to raise 2.  Losing entire families to diptheria and starting over.  The "low risks of actually getting the disease" only stays low if enough people vaccinate.

       

      I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

       

      "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

        My wife and I vaccinate our kids against anything that is "bad", but delay vaccinations (or elect not to have them) in other situations.  We also elect to have the single dose variant of all vaccines (for those where there is a multi-dose option), as the single dose variants have far fewer preservatives and other added chemicals.  I realize there's no hard evidence saying that one is safer than the other, but if the difference is a few $$$ I'd rather err on the safer side.

         

        No matter what people tell you, vaccines have risks, albeit typically FAR lower than the disease.  Some people have allergic reactions (~1 in 100,000), and a TINY # of people die from these reactions.  Just this summer my family doctor was laid up for 3 weeks, and in the ER for a night, due to a reaction to a newer adult Tdap (Tetanus/diphtheria/etc) formulation (Adacel).  Over 3 months later, he is still seeing a neurologist due to nervous system complications. 

         

        FWIW, here's what we did for our kids:

        • Hib, Polio, MMR, Pneumococcal: CDC schedule 
        • Hep B, Chicken Pox: delay until they're older
        • DTaP:  Delayed until 12 months (end of breastfeeding)
        • Rotavirus, Hep A:  Skipped, state may require soon though
        • Flu:  None, but will give if a bad strain of flu pops up (but only single dose, multi-dose flu shots are the only childhood vaccines that contain a significant amount of Mercury)

        I do think it's irresponsible to not administer any vaccines to your children, but I think we've gone a little too far with vaccine schedules.  In my state, a child has to have 19 shots before allowed into kindergarten.

          Just curious, why would you delay the chicken pox vaccine?  That's not always a mild disease.  My nephews had VERY severe cases.  Our oldest son was born in 1992, before the vaccine came out.  He had a moderate case, and it was no fun at all.  By the time our second came along in 1995, the vaccine was out.  We had him and his little sister each vaccinated on their first birthday.

           

          The other problem with chicken pox is that once you get it, you can develop shingles later in life.  DH got that in 1995 - coincidentally, he was diagnosed the same day our 9-week-old baby was admitted to the hospital with RSV.  As a result, DH could go nowhere near the hospital, because of the risk he posed to cancer patients with weak immune systems.  So I had to take care of a very sick baby by myself, while DH was at home, in great pain, trying to take care of a 2-year-old!  So a LOT of people can be affected by a decision not to vaccinate your children.

           

          Oh, there IS a vaccine for shingles - I need to ask my doctor about that.  Seriously, DH was in so much pain that he thought he was having a heart attack.  I don't want to go through that!

           

          1 in 100,000 risk of complications from a vaccine?  Not bad, compared to your risk of driving across town.


          A Saucy Wench

            We somewhat delayed chicken pox with our first.  At the time there was still some debate about whether it would actually protect from shingles etc,  and it was kind of one of those risk/reward with the 9 at once kind of schedule. (It CAN be a bad disease, it usually is not if you get it young)  It just didnt seem as important as others and we flat out didnt want that many in one day.  BUT when I got pregnant with #2 we did go ahead and vaccinate #1 to protect the newborn.

             

            That probably has fallen to the bottom of the list for ds and he is probably behind on that one.

             

            And my pediatrician on her own had suggested delaying one of the ones they usually give in the hospital until 2 months because we were in a low risk population.

             


            I have become Death, the destroyer of electronic gadgets

             

            "When I got too tired to run anymore I just pretended I wasnt tired and kept running anyway" - dd, age 7

              I just relied on our pediatrician a lot for advice - he had kids almost exactly the same ages as mine, so I asked what he did for HIS children, and then followed suit.

               

              One thing that improved a lot since I was a kid - I used to get strep throat fairly often.  The test results would take a day or two.  The suspense would kill me, because I knew if it was positive, I would have to go in for a GIGANTIC shot of penicillin in the butt! It was horrible. 

               

              noonan


                I've seen the question raised "why does the insert say that it's not for kids?" as well as zeroing in on the statement therein of "Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine should be given to a pregnant woman only if clearly needed." I know a lot of moms and one expectant mom who basically take that as a govenment warning against vaccinating themselves and their kids.

                 

                edit for late night typos

                noonan


                   

                  One thing that improved a lot since I was a kid - I used to get strep throat fairly often.  The test results would take a day or two.  The suspense would kill me, because I knew if it was positive, I would have to go in for a GIGANTIC shot of penicillin in the butt! It was horrible. 

                   

                   

                  Ha! I had the EXACT same experience. It was like Russian roulette. Would it be a week of oral meds or the largest, bluntest needle ever? Usually the needle. My pediatrician said at one point that I might contract enough strains to be practically immune before I hit high school.

                    Too funny, noonan!  Later, I wondered why they didn't take out my tonsils!  I wish they had, because as an adult, I got abscesses on my tonsils at two different times, so THEN they took out my tonsils!  No fun.

                    noonan


                      Tonsils finally came out in 10th grade. Not fun, but lots of attention from my GF.


                      A Dance with Monkeys

                        I have been doing more research as a result of this thread. Oddly, a pro-vaccine web page had an ad for an anti-vaccine one (gotta love AdSense). 

                         

                        What sources did you use?  Were they reputable, scientifically sound sources?

                         

                        Anyway, one of the strange things about vaccines is that in a very small percentage of people, the vaccine doesn't "take". 

                         

                        Yep. But if you don't take a vaccine at all, of course the vaccine won't take. That it does not work 100% of the time does not mean it never works, and among folks who skip the vaccine, it will NOT work 100% of the time.  Seat beltds don't save lives 100% of the time either.

                         

                        DTaP:  Delayed until 12 months (end of breastfeeding)

                         

                        Why delay this one? Pertussis is much more likely to kill an infant under a year of age (even in the setting of breastfeeding) than it is a kiddo who is over 12 months. This is one of the ones that is most critical to give early. Even with breastfeeding.

                         


                        Flu:  None, but will give if a bad strain of flu pops up

                         

                        A bad strain HAS popped up. It is called Influenza A, H1N1. It appears to have a relatively high mortality rate among kids, higher than the standard seasonal flu. The good news is that there is a vacine which is as safe an effective as the standard seasonal vaccine.


                        Old, Slow, Happy

                           

                          Lastly, I sometimes get the feeling that many folks, like Large Richard directly admitted to doing, simply don't vaccinate for the sake of being alternative (non-mainstream?) rather than as a result of having weighed all the risks and benefits, after having familiarized themselves with all the real data, with each individual vaccine.

                           

                          I didn't realize that I sounded that contrarian.  I like to think I make informed decisions, but probably rely too much on my own thinking rather than doing the research.  I have read this whole thread with interest.  I'll consider this a part my research.  I do tend to have a resistance to conventional thinking.  I appreciate Tent's ability to question and inform.  I am rethinking my actions concerning the vaccine.  However, it may be a moot point if there is not enough vaccine to go around.  Currently, in my area, the vaccine is only available for those considered high risk.

                           

                          MTA: I think some of the contrarian attitude has to do with the "old hippy" still within me.


                          Giant Flaming Dork

                             

                            What sources did you use?  Were they reputable, scientifically sound sources?

                             

                             

                            Yep. But if you don't take a vaccine at all, of course the vaccine won't take. That it does not work 100% of the time does not mean it never works, and among folks who skip the vaccine, it will NOT work 100% of the time.  Seat beltds don't save lives 100% of the time either.

                             


                             

                             Hmm...  I guess I shouldn't be posting that late at night...

                             

                            Yes, peer reviewed journals...  DW's got her Ph.D. in Mol Bio and Genetics.  I figure if she can't determine what's safe and what's not - no one can. 

                             

                            My reason for mentioning that some vaccines don't "take" is to show that as a community, if we don't take steps to limit the amount of infection that occurs, we endanger the community at large.  Some of the people I know that don't vaccinate say that they aren't hurting anyone if they don't vaccinate.  However, they don't realize that there are ramifications outside their family that can affect others.  And in some cases, very significantly.

                             

                            My aunt didn't die from polio, but it devastated her body.  She died well before her years because of on-going complications due to surviving polio.  If the vaccine had been available back then, her life wouldn't have been complicated by a series of handicaps that limited her ability to live.  While not all vaccines we get are as necessary as that one, it shows what can happen.

                             

                            I fear that it may be true - that we are going to have to re-learn the mistakes of the past the hard way.  Many people (but children especially) could be severely impacted by irrational decisions.  It bothers me, but people do ultimately have the freedom to choose.

                             

                            Some of this does come off as scare mongering, and "do it for the children".  There are risks with everything, some are more significant than others.  Just like everything else in life, getting a vaccination isn't 100% risk free.  Not getting a vaccine isn't 100% risk free, either.

                             

                            http://xkcd.com/621/


                            Feeling the growl again

                               This is the price we all end up paying when we ignore the amazing progress that has been made in medicine over the 100 years.  I, for one, have no desire to return to the sub-50 life expectancies of the 19th century.  The good old days weren't all that good, and tomorrow's not as bad as it seems.

                               

                              People have a poor memory for history -- the immediacy effect.  Honestly I think people are really only concerned with remembering a year into the past and thinking a year into the future.    As a society (and not just the US) we become increasingly complacent as time removes us from an event/condition.  This is one reason why "history repeats itself", because we don't learn very well from it in the long term.

                               

                              This is a prime example.  Those old enough to remember iron lungs and the horror of polio would never think of skipping the vaccine, but the parents of today have no recollection or understanding.

                              "If you want to be a bad a$s, then do what a bad a$s does.  There's your pep talk for today.  Go Run." -- Slo_Hand

                               

                              noonan


                                A bad strain HAS popped up. It is called Influenza A, H1N1. It appears to have a relatively high mortality rate among kids, higher than the standard seasonal flu. The good news is that there is a vacine which is as safe an effective as the standard seasonal vaccine.

                                 

                                So what's my rejoinder to those folks who are discomfited by the insert and believe the FDA is saying it's NOT for kids and has unknown effects among pregnant women. I realize it's produced by the same methods as any other vaccine, but those same folks react to that argument as a reason for deferring any flu vaccine for their kids.