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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 11:42 am 
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Tofu Pup Forever

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I have been following this thread for a while now but have been very hesitant to comment.
I have not vaccinated my son, now 5. Here in Spain I have been supported by all my doctors and teachers, we are in the public system. I have had more comments and questions about veganism than vaccinations! In my experience the doctors, nurses and chemists are in general very open minded to using "natural" and homeopathic medicines and often recommend natural products etc as the first choice, obviously when there is a natural option!
We all do what we think and believe is right for our children. This is different for all of us, no one is right or wrong. There is no correct way to raise a child except what our gut tells us!
My decisions were made based on what I thought was right to do and I respect each and everyone of you for doing the same, what was right for your family.
I would just like a bit more of a chat and not such a right/wrong discussion!!


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:20 pm 
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This is a discussion thread. Of course we all believe our choices are right. If we disagree, we can discuss and argue. I'm all for that. But when the arguments are bad, then it's fair game to point out that they are bad.

When doctors are recommending homoepathy you really know there's something wrong with the system. This makes me so sad :(

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:37 pm 
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solipsistnation wrote:
Okay, I'm going to over-quote somebody who sums it up pretty well:

Quote:
(Snip...)
Let's look at the scientific evidence about how disease works, spreads through a population, and how vaccines have shown to help eliminate certain deadly diseases. Science is awesome!

An interesting piece, and succinctly summing up your exasperation with non-vaxers and the vax-hesitant. I'm just going to throw this out there, though, that this kind of sledgehammering, although heartfelt, isn't necessarily going to change someone's opinion, and so it really just shuts down the conversation. I'd be interested to hear more from people who have made a different decision for themselves and their families. I don't agree with their decisions, but I have a lot to learn from their decision-making process. Could we take it as read that this article encapsulates your views, and then maybe see if the conversation might shift slightly to explore the decision making?

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:38 pm 
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Tofu Pup Forever

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That is why I said I was hesitant comment. A discussion is not an arguement, it is listening to other peoples opinions and respecting our differences. Also, I said the doctors gave options when there were options, not that they are recommending without thought or more importantly knowledge.
I guess that this thread should be renamed as there is one dominant thought and that is that vaccinations are a must. I am also sad that amongst vegan mothers free choice and respect are not more common place, with regards to this topic only!!!!
We each walk in our own shoes, no one should say what or who is right or wrong. In my opinion!


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:43 pm 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
But when the arguments are bad, then it's fair game to point out that they are bad.

I guess my point would be that this has been done repeatedly and very forcefully over many pages. I feel there is room for the thread to continue, but the areas it would be interesting to cover would perhaps not be the continued reiteration of basically the same point?

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 12:45 pm 
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No, a discussion isn't merely "respecting our differences" that's hardly engaging at all. No one should say what's right and what's wrong? Well, that's nonsense. You obviously think you are right, so you are free to express WHY you think you are right. But that doesn't mean that someone pointing out flaws in your reasoning is just being mean and "not open".

I definitely am open to discussing almost everything, the most out-there theories. But if discussion then, eg critizing them, looking at the argements closely and trying to figure out what's right, then that's no use.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:04 pm 
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Tofu Pup Forever

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It is how we give our opinion that is important. Respecting differences is the first part to having an open conversation. I have friends who vaccinate, don't vaccinate, have some vaccinations. We are all different, yesterday I was cooked lunch by a meat eating family, who prepared an all vegan meal. We then talked about the reasons why I am vegan with their teenage son. Not once was it a case of good/bad reasoning, it was personal options which were listened to and respected.
That was how I would like this thread to go, new areas and respect. I don't want to start posting on negative arguments, instead of us learning from each other!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 1:29 pm 
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There are things which communities can be pluralistic about and things which one can't really be pluralistic about and every community that has broad discussion sets those limits explicitly or implicitly. This board in general is a great example of a community that has set an outer limit on appropriate conversation (we don't enthusiastically talk about eating non-vegan food, even though there are non-vegans among us) and even if every single person in the community doesn't live their lives within that outer limit, they can respect the limit on the conversation that has been explicitly set. Likewise, we are clearly limit-setting here with respect to conversation around vaccines. You will be hard-pressed to find any kind of support for "homeopathic vaccines," for chicken pox parties for your infants, etc. Those are clearly the limits this group has set.

I think the decision-making process around vaccination would be an interesting conversation. But I do think that people have to be a little less sensitive around having a conversation that might challenge their views. If we all just posted our opinions on a clearly hot-button issue and expected others to not critique us in any way, it would make for a very boring conversation indeed.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 2:56 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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KateSpain wrote:
nurses and chemists are in general very open minded to using "natural" and homeopathic medicines and often recommend natural products etc as the first choice,


This is kind of weird, since homeopathy is a huge scam and at best doesn't actually cause any harm.

Is this common for the Spanish medical community, or is it just where you live? Or do they recommend "natural" products first when they know nothing is actually wrong and they just want to sell you something anyway or want you to feel like you've done something about your perceived medical issue? (If you see what I mean-- "Here, have a placebo! It won't do anything, but you'll feel better.")

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 5:04 pm 
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Nooch of Earl
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Finally hippie-blaming with some actual number-crunching to back it up (though as with all reporting of scientific journal results in popular media, the thing stated in the headline is not actually proven by the research done, but they have shown a correllation).

http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2013/09 ... m=facebook


When the whooping cough vaccine was invented in the 1940s, doctors thought they had finally licked the illness, which is especially dangerous for babies. But then it came roaring back.

In 2010, a whooping cough outbreak in California sickened 9,120 people, more than in any year since 1947. Ten infants died; babies are too young to be vaccinated.

Public health officials suspected that the increased numbers of parents who refused to vaccinate their children played a role, but they couldn't be sure.

Vaccine refusal was indeed a factor, researchers now say. They compared the location and number of whooping cough, or pertussis, cases in that outbreak with the personal belief exemptions filed by parents who chose not to vaccinate for reasons other than a child's health. (Some children with compromised immune systems aren't able to be vaccinated.)

Pertussis is very contagious, spreading quickly through a community. So the researchers had to map not only the location of outbreak clusters, but also when they appeared.

They found that people who lived in areas with high rates of personal belief exemptions were 2 1/2 times more likely to live in a place with lots of pertussis cases. "The exemptions clustered spatially and were associated with clusters of cases," Jessica Atwell, a graduate student at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and lead author on the study, told Shots. It was published online in the journal Pediatrics.

Both exemptions and clusters of pertussis cases tended to be in neighborhoods with higher levels of education and income. Statewide about 2 percent of parents file an exemption, but the number varied hugely from one community to the text. In some schools more than three-quarters of the families filed exemptions.

When the number of people vaccinated drops below 95 percent, a community loses herd immunity to highly contagious germs like pertussis, and babies and other unvaccinated people can get sick. In 2010, 91 percent of kindergarteners were up to date on their shots in California.

Vaccine refusal wasn't the only factor fueling the California outbreak. Pertussis is a cyclical disease. Protection from the current version of pertussis vaccine appears to fade more quickly than doctors originally thought, so many older children vaccinated as youngsters were no longer immune to the bacterium. And many adults had never gotten a booster.

Finally, this study couldn't tell if the parents who filed exemptions had vaccinated their children against some diseases, or which ones.

California has since launched a statewide campaign to get both children and adults vaccinated, with a booster required for attendance at middle school. But parents can still file for personal belief exemptions, and they do.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:18 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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[quote="Ruby Rose"
Quote:
(Snip...)
Let's look at the scientific evidence about how disease works, spreads through a population, and how vaccines have shown to help eliminate certain deadly diseases. Science is awesome!
[/quote]
An interesting piece, and succinctly summing up your exasperation with non-vaxers and the vax-hesitant. I'm just going to throw this out there, though, that this kind of sledgehammering, although heartfelt, isn't necessarily going to change someone's opinion, and so it really just shuts down the conversation[/quote]

Are you taking this piece you quoted as sledgehammering? Or my own old approach? (Which I am trying to tone down a bit...)

If looking at scientific evidence is sledgehammering, then I don't know what you'd think is the alternative... Here's what I see:

1. A vaccine refuser understands the science.
2. A vaccine refuser does not understand the science.

If they don't, you explain it or point them at resources so they can't. If they don't want to understand the science, then the conversation is over.

Once they understand the science, there are two possibilities:

1. They care about the importance of near-universal vaccination.
2. They do not care about the importance of near-universal vaccination.

In case 1, either they then go get their kids and/or themselves some vaccines, or, if they can't for some reason (bad reactions or whatever) they're off the hook.

In case 2, if they don't care about the importance of near-universal vaccination, then where do you go?

At this point, if they understand the science and that near-universal vaccination is a big win for public health and thus society as a whole, but STILL refuse vaccinations, what conversation can you have?

Kate in Spain, can you help here? Why did you not vaccinate your son? You've said some stuff about choosing natural remedies and things. Why do you feel that those are better than vaccinations?

This is a real question, and I'm really trying to have a conversation. I know I've been hardcore about stuff, and I am honestly trying to figure it out.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Mon Sep 30, 2013 10:45 pm 
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to be fair, this thread was started, from what i recall, as a place to talk about vaccines, and not "why vaccinating is right". Or the opposite.

While I am very much pro-vax, i started out anti-vax. I was very vehement about it til the shiitake hit the fan when my kid was born and her immune system was kaput, and the infectious disease people were in the hospital room telling me that not only the chickenpox exposure but even a cold might kill my kid. Since the whatever-it-takes decision to go supervax, I have learned a lot more. my opinions changed a lot, and I'll admit that intellectually they really only changed with info I got here from you all.
But i do remember that time. I really did believe that vaccines presented a significant risk. there is a compensation fund because some children do have adverse reactions (my daughter went to school with two of them). Just on that basis alone, it scared me enough I didn't want to do it. (did I sit down and look at reaction numbers vs infection numbers? no i did not.) Added to that my own tinfoil-hat tendencies towards paranoia about government-mandated things, I thought I could really be causing my kid harm. For fork's sake, I thought feeding my kid artificial coloring was the end of the goddamn world (til I had bigger things to worry about). If my daughter hadn't been born with such profound problems, I might not have vaccinated. Was that risk a cognitive dissonance thing, like I used to have as a vegetarian "for the animals" who conveniently ignored the provenance of yummy cheese and eggs? For me, I think it probably was. Not saying that is true for anyone else, just for me.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:09 am 
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Tofu Pup Forever

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I am happy to debate vaccinations, it will take a lot to offend me, my complaint was that when someone posts who has not vaccinated the group think on this board is horror and not curiosity or even "well ok you have your views and I have mine and that is ok" Yes, I agree in a group we normally have a certain way of thinking but I am happy to stand alone if I must!! Being ridiculed does not concern me.
If you all want to hear my reasons and to see the research I have read then I will start posting the reasons which influenced me not to vaccinate.
With regards to homeopathic vaccines, never heard of them but I will read about this too!!!
Chicken pox parties are not needed we have had chickenpox as did the whole class! there is no vaccine available in Spain for this, at least not recommended.
A question to all, why does the vaccine schedule vary country to country. I see in America you have many more vaccines than here in Europe, is that because you have more risk of disease??? Is that because you have a private health system?? I would love someone who know more than me to explain the science behind this, especially as this thread has a lot of experts who know much more about science than me!
With regards to the doctors here in Spain, we have one if the best free health services in the world, hospitals are modern and doctors are well trained and supportive. A recent study at the children's hospital in barcelona, found that 25% of parents were using alternative remedies. When I mean alternative, maybe that is aloe Vera or another plant if it works. It is not about profit making, though you can buy homeopathy, bachs flowers etc etc in every chemist. Have any of you tried homeopathy? Arnica cream for bumps and bruises is amazing!! I recommend personally to all parents, Also on the placebo affect, there are vets using also. Can a dog react to a placebo, can a baby for teething or colic????
Looking forward to a good debate!!!!!!


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 1:30 am 
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Also I would love to hear from veganinberlin, Ariann and annak on their opinions on why they vaccinated their kids. I name you three as I am keen to hear your reasoning, on a personal level. What made you as mothers feel so strong about vaccinations.
With open debate we can learn and grow
Thanks


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:36 am 
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I don't have kids. But we were also talking about vaccinating ourselves. My mother was a pretty alt-crowd type of person when I was born (it got more science-based/lazy as I got older) and she was afraid of additives, plastic, etc etc. I also got alternative medicine as long as it was "not dangerous". But when it came to vaccination she simply listened to my GP. I'm sure she could have chosen otherwise if the medical field had not explained to her why it was important for her to do so.

Personally, why I'm so pro-vaccination is because I'm a philosophy student who always assumed she was super super rational, then I got caught in the whole raw-foods-or-we'll-all-die crowd and it messed up my rational thinking so much. When I got out of this mindset I promised myself to be even more critical of all kind of claims and look at facts, not anecdotes. For me now, anti-vaccination is a red flag for pseudo-science and woo. Maybe that's a stupid thing, but this is how I feel now and this is why it's sometimes difficult to be to stay calm while having the same conversations over and over again.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:37 am 
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I just wanted to make sure that anti-vaccination is not the same as "not vaccinating". I am sure that there can be people and certain vaccinations when it should be avoided. I'm talking about generally being against vaccinations.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:47 am 
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KateSpain wrote:
Also on the placebo affect, there are vets using also. Can a dog react to a placebo, can a baby for teething or colic????


Yes, animals and babies are subject to the placebo (and nocebo) effect as well. The placebo effect is not just carried by the signification of the treatment, but also by the signification of the relationship between patient and care provider - and animals and infants definitely have a relationship with their caregivers and health care providers. That's why people experience a stronger placebo effect if the placebo is administered by someone in a lab coat, by a man, after a formal visit to the hospital, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 2:57 am 
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When I read how much stronger a placebo is when you get it as a shot compared to when you get it as a pill I was shocked!

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 3:46 am 
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KateSpain wrote:
[snip] It is not about profit making, though you can buy homeopathy, bachs flowers etc etc in every chemist. [snip]


Actually, most "alternative therapies" are owned by the same big pharmaceutical companies, who are profit driven. It's a business (and a very profitable one at that) like any other.

Links below to a couple of articles by a medical doctor and epidemiologist, Ben Goldacre, who is highly qualified to talk about these issues! He also has some great and informative stuff about the placebo and nocebo effects.

http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfre ... srath.aids
http://www.badscience.net/2009/04/matth ... s-chapter/
http://www.badscience.net/2008/11/hot-foul-air/
http://www.badscience.net/2008/03/all-b ... -medicine/
http://www.badscience.net/2009/11/all-b ... bo-effect/

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:50 am 
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KateSpain wrote:
With regards to homeopathic vaccines, never heard of them but I will read about this too!!!


Don't bother. They are lies.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 9:53 am 
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VeganinBerlin wrote:
When I read how much stronger a placebo is when you get it as a shot compared to when you get it as a pill I was shocked!


Well, sure! Everybody knows that shots are more effective than oral medication, right?

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:11 am 
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Re country to country variations: When I looked into the Dutch vaccination schedule it was basically the same vaccines as the US CDC recommends, though the schedule is different. Granted, it takes a little figuring out (rubella is called something like "red dog" over there, which took me a minute!).

Here's an English list: http://www.rivm.nl/Onderwerpen/R/Rijksv ... _Programme

And yep--no chicken pox (varicella) on the list. It's a fairly recently developed vaccine, first widely administered in Japan, and looking over the timeline of when different vaccines were introduced in the Netherlands it looks like they're just slower in general at introducing things. I don't see Hep A on there either, but it looks like they've only added Hep B to the general schedule recently, and while we got Hep A and it's on the CDC schedule, I think it's still considered one of those ones that is not *universally* administered. I'd have to look to see whether I even have the Hep A vax myself. We like to travel, though, an we buy frozen fruit from Costco, so I feel better with her having it.


As far as why I personally vaccinate my daughter, it's because I don't want her to have any of those diseases. That pretty much is sufficient reason for me. Despite having various family members with various immune issues, we don't really see any of them enough for that to be a driving factor: nope, just my daughter not getting polio is enough motivation for me!


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:13 am 
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solipsistnation wrote:
VeganinBerlin wrote:
When I read how much stronger a placebo is when you get it as a shot compared to when you get it as a pill I was shocked!


Well, sure! Everybody knows that shots are more effective than oral medication, right?

When I was really desperate wrt my health I decided to try out acupuncture (even having read the studies) figuring, hell, I'd even take some placebo right now. During the treatment I asked the woman about how acupuncture works and I swear to god even she didn't believe it. The placebo effect was nowhere to be found that day. Though some of those needles do hurt like hell.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:39 am 
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I used to get acupuncture, thought I didn't believe in it and I liked it. It didn't solve any acutual health issues, it was just relaxing and warming like a good massage.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Tue Oct 01, 2013 10:48 am 
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annak wrote:
I don't see Hep A on there either, but it looks like they've only added Hep B to the general schedule recently, and while we got Hep A and it's on the CDC schedule, I think it's still considered one of those ones that is not *universally* administered. I'd have to look to see whether I even have the Hep A vax myself. We like to travel, though, an we buy frozen fruit from Costco, so I feel better with her having it.


In the UK, I only got a Hep A vaccination for the first time this year, which was because I was travelling to a high-risk area (Brazil) and travelling in a way which is considered high-risk for contracting infectious disease (couchsurfing and staying with local people rather than hotels/hostels) for a significant period of time (2 months).

My understanding is that the NHS only recommends vaccinating for Hep A in the UK and Europe if you have a high risk of catching it, whether through occupation, lifestyle or travel, as it is still fairly uncommon over here.

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