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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 6:50 pm 
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beforewisdom wrote:
walk on eggs.


NOT VEGAN!

Tee hee. 8)

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 6:53 pm 
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aelle wrote:
dropscone wrote:
refinnej wrote:
...I received a reference to a clinic in London that does single vaccine jabs if we decide to go that route...
Ooh, where? I think I will want to selectively vaccinate my kid and there are some things I haven't made up my mind about yet.

It was worrying me that I was told you can't have separate measles mumps and rubella any more (especially as I am apparently not immune to rubella even though my mum says she thinks I had it when I was a kid, so I'm down to have a vaccine once I've given birth, however I've already had measles (which was actually quite fun!) so I don't want the whole MMR!)


I think you still can!
I only got immunised against measles and mumps as a child (my GP was unconvinced by how long-lasting the rubella vaccine was, so he suggested waiting to see if I'd catch it, like chicken pox) and I got vaccinated against rubella alone just a couple years ago.


In the US you can't have them split up anymore. The company only makes the combo now. I only know this because I just got the MMR on Monday. I got tested for rubella in anticipation of trying to get pregnant, and my immunity had worn off. Kinda annoyed me that I had to have two other live viruses injected into my body that I was still immune to. Oh well, in this case I felt it was worth it than to contract rubella when I'm pregnant since that can be very dangerous when pregnant.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 6:57 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:

Personally-- and I'm not a doctor, so what the hell do I know?-- I think a really good compromise on the chickenpox vaccination would be to wait until a kid is 9 or 10, and if he hasn't had chickenpox by then, then vaccinate. Chickenpox in childhood is generally no big deal, but if you haven't had it by like 4th grade, chances are you're not going to and you don't want to deal with that shiitake later in life.


I like that line of thinking. Our school has had several outbreaks in the last few years, all to kids that the shot either didn't work for them, or their immunity from it had already worn off. Having the shot postponed would be very logical to me.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 6:58 pm 
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coldandsleepy wrote:
Personally-- and I'm not a doctor, so what the hell do I know?-- I think a really good compromise on the chickenpox vaccination would be to wait until a kid is 9 or 10, and if he hasn't had chickenpox by then, then vaccinate. Chickenpox in childhood is generally no big deal, but if you haven't had it by like 4th grade, chances are you're not going to and you don't want to deal with that shiitake later in life.


My father had chicken pox as an adult. My sister and I bought had it when we were little kids, and he didn't catch it from us then, but he caught it from one of our friends several years later. Luckily it wasn't too bad, but he did have to miss about two weeks of work. (He also couldn't shave, because he had a bunch of chicken pox on his face, and trying to shave made them bleed, so he ended up growing a beard.)


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 7:45 pm 
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beforewisdom wrote:
coldandsleepy wrote:
Personally-- and I'm not a doctor, so what the hell do I know?--


[...]

People with a LOT of education, like researchers, read the research for themselves and accept that vaccinations are the best way to go.


All I was saying is that no one should take anything I say too seriously, because it's just an idea I pulled out of my asparagus that seems like a good idea at first glance. I'm not an expert in this field!

But on the subject of education levels and vaccinations, that does basically describe me.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Thu May 26, 2011 8:15 pm 
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fezza wrote:
Butternut wrote:
aelle wrote:

I believe that in Western Europe, at least when I was a kid, the assumption was that enough kids contracted chicken pox to create herd immunity and protect the adults from shingles. In the US, the herd immunity would be achieved by vaccinating.


I was researching the chicken pox vaccine recently because I never had the chicken pox as a kid and never received the vaccine as an adult. I had bloodwork done and it showed I have immunity to it. Must have had it without knowing, but anyway, I thought this article was interesting. It's a little old, but apparently the vaccine may not provide lasting immunity. Adults' lack of exposure to kids sick with the chicken pox no longer boosts immunity as it did when the herd wasn't vaccinated.

I think vaccines are important, but I do wonder if the chicken pox vaccine is necessary.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/03/health/03vaccine.html


After 14 years of ill health, losing my education, career, family prospects, marriage and many friends I wish someone had given me the chicken pox vaccine. So did my dad when he nearly died from it at 29.

Fezza presents some pretty good reasons for getting the chicken pox vaccine.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 10:48 am 
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coldandsleepy wrote:

I think you're talking about Paul Offit, as quoted in this article in Wired.


Thanks for that link. I've only read part way through, but the "overload the immune system" idea is one that I've been looking at. The claim about thousands of infections, etc. at once seems far-fetched given anecdotal evidence, but yeah.

As for the education issue, it's definitely possible for someone interested to learn about a subject in great depth. After being hospitalized with severe anemia and being told that bcp's were my only answer (due to menstrual bleeding), I learned about components of blood, hemoglobin, interaction of B12 with other vitamins, insulin resistance, estrogen-dependent tumors...all sorts of stuff reading PubMed, spending hours at the library and consulting the parents of one of my preschool kids (who were a nurse and a OB/Gyn). I talk on message boards, sure, but my decisions are just based on "well someone told me....yada yada"

coldandsleepy wrote:
Personally-- and I'm not a doctor, so what the hell do I know?-- I think a really good compromise on the chickenpox vaccination would be to wait until a kid is 9 or 10, and if he hasn't had chickenpox by then, then vaccinate. Chickenpox in childhood is generally no big deal, but if you haven't had it by like 4th grade, chances are you're not going to and you don't want to deal with that shiitake later in life.

This is my thinking (as of now) on some of the vaccines as well. Does toddler need a Hep vaccine? Not likely. But when they're ten, then maybe yeah. There seems to be much study on the harm of giving vaccines to older children (basically, that there is no extra risk), but I'm having trouble finding studies on the efficacy of delayed vaccines. That is, if I wait and give one of the vaxes to my kid at age one or two (or older), does it still work as well?

Is the rotavirus vaccine mandatory in some US states now? I don't think it's even offered here.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:05 am 
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The NIH and other similar organizations have investigated the alleged vaccine->autism link, alleged issues with thimerisol and other worries about vaccines. They found no links. Some of the vaccination around have a record of almost a half century of use.

The choice comes down to whether you trust these agencies who use the people who are most qualified to look into these matters ( research scientists ) or if you trust people who are not researchers ( or researchers at that level ).

The doctor who started the autism scare was a lone pediatrician working in a private practice without the training or facilities of an NIH level researcher ( he falsified data too ).

The reasons stated for not trusting the research scientists or the organizations they work for are

- they are trying to cover a problem up
- they are making kickbacks from the pharmaceutical industry.

The choice is to weigh those reasons against the track record of vaccines and the expertise/experience of scientists.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Fri May 27, 2011 11:23 am 
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I read a quote from an autism researcher who said that, with all the time and money that's been put into trying and failing to reproduce Wakefield's results, vaccines are one of the few things that we can say with a pretty good degree of certainty do not cause autism. And so much effort has gone into studying that that time and money have been taken away from other research in autism.

Also, as someone on the autism spectrum, I am incredibly insulted by the implication in a lot of the "I can't vaccinate my child, because she might get autism" statements that the parents seem to think that having a child die from measles would be better than having a child like me.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:07 pm 
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A little OT, but in support of the HIV discussion upthread- today's NYT Ethicist:
Vital Information?

Quote:
I am an H.I.V.-positive man who, thanks to antiretroviral therapy, has had an undetectable viral load for the past three years. I have no sexually transmitted infections. Though I always practice safe sex, I feel an obligation to disclose my status to any potential partner well before engaging in any sexual contact. My doctors disagree, citing evidence that people in my condition are sexually noninfectious. Others make a buyer-beware type of argument. Am I right, or are they? NAME WITHHELD, ENGLEWOOD CLIFFS, N.J.


I thought it was interesting (and supports annak's point) that people who know they are HIV+ and are on anti-retrovirals may be medically considered non-infectious.

The Ethicist goes on to basically say there may still be a moral obligation, because there is a lot of fear around HIV and that the author's condition may change so its better to disclose ahead of time.

But it does sound like you're safer with someone who knows they are HIV+ and are getting treatment and have a very low viral load than someone who has it without knowing and isn't getting treated.

I know a few couples where one partner is HIV+ and taking precautions and getting treated and the other is HIV-, even after many years together.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 7:11 pm 
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Larisa, thank you for sharing your experience. Having met you and only thought you were super-awesome and really smart, it would never have occurred to me that you were on the spectrum.

I think you're right that people don't realize what autism really can look like.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 8:10 pm 
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Also, as someone on the autism spectrum, I am incredibly insulted by the implication in a lot of the "I can't vaccinate my child, because she might get autism" statements that the parents seem to think that having a child die from measles would be better than having a child like me.

If every person on the autism spectrum was high-functioning enough to attend graduate school, I doubt parents would worry about it. Having a low-functioning autistic child can be an incredible challenge, and parents without independent resources can find themselves waiting for 13+ years to be accepted into supportive programs and struggling with behavior/education issues. I can understand why parents would want to spare their children that experience if they could avoid it, especially since the public perception of deadly childhood diseases (such as measles) is largely that they don't happen anymore (thanks, vaccines!). So, you're weighing the risk of this new thing that sounds really scary against something that seems unlikely. Of course, the perception isn't accurate, and vaccines don't cause autism, so autism isn't a valid reason to avoid childhood vaccinations.

At least the suspected cause has moved away from "horrible mothers" ...

ETA - Of course, there have been cases where people who were previously considered low-functioning discovered a way to communicate and were discovered to be highly intelligent and able to accomplish quite a lot. Very little is understood about autism spectrum disorders, there is no such thing as a standard teaching plan (at least in MD, special ed teachers set the curriculum themselves) and every child is different. Some are able to attend classes without aid, others need an aide, others function way below grade level and are taught either to take care of themselves or expected to enter assisted living situations.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 8:29 pm 
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The measles outbreak in San Diego in 2008 was caused by an un-vaccinated child who picked up measles in Switzerland and brought it back to school. Doctors estimate that because of this one child about 839 people were exposed to one of the most contagious diseases around. 70 children had to be quarantined, including infants too young to get the vaccine. 11 children caught the disease, including 3 infants. One of the infants was hospitalized with a 106 degree fever. This parent's fear of vaccines caused all of this.
Not only can children die from measles, they can have lifetime health problems because of the measles as they can contract encephalitis or meningitis, have lifetime eye problems or heart problems. This is not a simple disease that makes a kid get a rash.

As far as whooping cough is concerned, watch the videos on this site. The mother's story is heartbreaking.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 8:38 pm 
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solipsistnation wrote:
Una wrote:
Vaccines are drugs, and like all drugs we have a right to say 'no' to them should we choose to.


Technically they're not-- they're biological preparations containing actual micro-organisms (or something like them) rather than chemical compounds. But for the sake of your argument, I will only be informatively pedantic rather than aggressively pedantic. 8)


Vaccinations carry some form of antibiotic component to prevent the culturing of unintended organisms in them, so yes, they do qualify as a drug (at least that's what my doctor told me!).

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:03 pm 
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I'm not a parent but if I end up having kids I'll get them all the standard vaccines. In the early 90's (iI guess before the mennigittis vax became standard in Canada?), in my town there was a serious mennigittis outbreak , several kids died and I came close to it ,.I spent 6 months in the hospital missing pretty much the entire 8th grade. It was by far the worst experience of my life and I would want my kid or any other kid going through something simmilar.
I had to have 2 spinal taps and have a twitch now.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 9:42 pm 
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Vantine wrote:
The measles outbreak in San Diego in 2008 was caused by an un-vaccinated child who picked up measles in Switzerland and brought it back to school. Doctors estimate that because of this one child about 839 people were exposed to one of the most contagious diseases around. 70 children had to be quarantined, including infants too young to get the vaccine. 11 children caught the disease, including 3 infants. One of the infants was hospitalized with a 106 degree fever. This parent's fear of vaccines caused all of this.
Not only can children die from measles, they can have lifetime health problems because of the measles as they can contract encephalitis or meningitis, have lifetime eye problems or heart problems. This is not a simple disease that makes a kid get a rash.

As far as whooping cough is concerned, watch the videos on this site. The mother's story is heartbreaking.

I did say that the perception that measles isn't a real threat is a false one! But I do think it's true that many Americans just don't worry about measles/other vaccine-preventable contagious diseases like they used to (they must not, if they'd rather risk the disease than the vaccine).

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sat May 28, 2011 11:38 pm 
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Una wrote:
We are a selective vaccination family in a community of families who frequently do not vaccinate at all. I know it's not a popular choice, but I just didn't see a point in vaccinating my children against things like chicken pox when they can get it naturally, stay home, itch for a bit, and then get on with life. I absolutely see a value in vaccination, it certainly benefits communities and individuals alike.

This is a discussion I don't like having with people because they often jump to extremes in defending their beliefs. For my family, I felt it better to allow them to develop some things naturally, have their titers checked for other things, and vaccinate for the things I really thought of as concerning. Vaccines are drugs, and like all drugs we have a right to say 'no' to them should we choose to.


this is pretty much exactly how i feel, except, we have decided no vaccines and are still musing over tetanus and a few others. my son is 2 and he's already had measles, so that's out of the way :)

and speaking of measles, i had the mmr when i was a child and still caught measles BADLY 5 TIMES. weeee.
my sister got the first mmr shot and reacted to it horrificly , hgh fevers and high pitched screaming for hours. a doctor advised my mum to not get her any more shots as it may very well kill her. these 2 instances have not proved very positive an opinion of vaccines.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:48 am 
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Larisa wrote:
I read a quote from an autism researcher who said that, with all the time and money that's been put into trying and failing to reproduce Wakefield's results, vaccines are one of the few things that we can say with a pretty good degree of certainty do not cause autism. And so much effort has gone into studying that that time and money have been taken away from other research in autism.

Also, as someone on the autism spectrum, I am incredibly insulted by the implication in a lot of the "I can't vaccinate my child, because she might get autism" statements that the parents seem to think that having a child die from measles would be better than having a child like me.

Just wanted to second what Danger's said. I think the perception of measles being eradicated is what the main issue is here. Of course no one wants their child to be ill. It's just that hardly anyone knows someone under say 40, who's had the measles whereas most everyone knows someone who's autistic. One of my exes worked for awhile in a very impoverished area where vax rates were pretty hit and miss. Even there, it took them several consultations to determine that a child's rash was indeed the measles. It was a very eye opening moment for the interns there I think.

@Glenn Beck..are you sure it was the measles you had 5 times? It's really extremely rare for someone to get it more than once, both because of lack of exposure and because the disease generally provides you with immunity after contracting it the first time.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 6:37 am 
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that was me, and i'm pretty sure it was measles, my grandfather was the doctor, we didn't have to get appointments or anything when we were sick as kids. it's also thanks to him we discovered i had lead poisoning, the gp at the local hospital diagnosed me with a broken arm!!! i would have been in plaster for weeks and upon removal, my arm still would have appeared "broken" in the xray lol. (lead had collected in my wrist, and as an xray can't "see" through lead, it appeared to be broken)

ETA: AARRGHHH! i'm GLENN BECK NOW!!!!!! noooooooooooooo


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 7:39 am 
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Larisa wrote:

My father had chicken pox as an adult. My sister and I bought had it when we were little kids, and he didn't catch it from us then, but he caught it from one of our friends several years later. Luckily it wasn't too bad, but he did have to miss about two weeks of work. (He also couldn't shave, because he had a bunch of chicken pox on his face, and trying to shave made them bleed, so he ended up growing a beard.)


My dad was 29 and it went down his throat, he was very ill. I had it as a child and was ok but then came in contact with a child who had it when I was 24, I took shingles (the two cross over). It was one of the bigger contributing factors of me developing ME. I've had it 14 years and, without trying to be overly dramatic/sob story, it is a horrendous disease. I had to drop out of my degree and haven't been even able to work part time or have children. I have overwhelming fatigue on a daily basis, even on my better days it will creep in at some stage of the day, it is not like any fatigue a healthy person has experienced. My heart muscle gets too exhausted to pump my blood at times and I'm unable to even sit upright with support. I have neurological symptoms; chronic (daily) migraine, nerve pain under the skin in my limbs (like flu skin), muscle spasms, exploding head syndrome, vivid nightmares/night time hallucinations. I get sensory overload (apparently some doctors say comparative to autism) and the decoding part of my brain malfunctions so I regularly have trouble processing information coming in, I also get aphasia. These aren't even all my symptoms and I will get different combinations of them on a daily basis.

So yeah, I wish I, or that kid, had been vaccinated against chickenpox.

Larisa wrote:
I read a quote from an autism researcher who said that, with all the time and money that's been put into trying and failing to reproduce Wakefield's results, vaccines are one of the few things that we can say with a pretty good degree of certainty do not cause autism. And so much effort has gone into studying that that time and money have been taken away from other research in autism.

Also, as someone on the autism spectrum, I am incredibly insulted by the implication in a lot of the "I can't vaccinate my child, because she might get autism" statements that the parents seem to think that having a child die from measles would be better than having a child like me.


I imagine it must be really hurtful to read those sort of comments but I don't think that it's a case of not wanting a child like you. I think parents are just frightened of doing something that might cause their child to have any difficulties in life. With autism having different severities I think people maybe get terrified by worst case senario thoughts. Saying that, I totally agree with you that some perspective is needed on just how dangerous childhood illness can be. Not just at the time but the knock on effect later in life, the risk of developing other illnesses. I'm pretty sure having chickenpox and measles as a child then shingles as an adult all contributed to my situation.

Whether parents like it or not it all does feed into protecting the wider community. Many people can not get vaccines and coming into contact with certain viruses could be catastrophic for them.

On a side note, my mum contracted German measles while pregnant with my brother and he was born profoundly deaf with mild learning difficulties, which had a pretty bad effect when other things complicated his life.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 5:52 pm 
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❀madam dahlia❀ wrote:
Una wrote:
We are a selective vaccination family in a community of families who frequently do not vaccinate at all. I know it's not a popular choice, but I just didn't see a point in vaccinating my children against things like chicken pox when they can get it naturally, stay home, itch for a bit, and then get on with life. I absolutely see a value in vaccination, it certainly benefits communities and individuals alike.

This is a discussion I don't like having with people because they often jump to extremes in defending their beliefs. For my family, I felt it better to allow them to develop some things naturally, have their titers checked for other things, and vaccinate for the things I really thought of as concerning. Vaccines are drugs, and like all drugs we have a right to say 'no' to them should we choose to.


this is pretty much exactly how i feel, except, we have decided no vaccines and are still musing over tetanus and a few others. my son is 2 and he's already had measles, so that's out of the way :)

and speaking of measles, i had the mmr when i was a child and still caught measles BADLY 5 TIMES. weeee.
my sister got the first mmr shot and reacted to it horrificly , hgh fevers and high pitched screaming for hours. a doctor advised my mum to not get her any more shots as it may very well kill her. these 2 instances have not proved very positive an opinion of vaccines.


As an adult I am totally un-vaccinated and still immune to all of the standard things (titers checked annually). I got everything, but recovered quickly and was able to gain the natural immunity to them. The only thing is that I had to have the Tetanus Immune Globulin earlier this year because I punctured my hand on some glass and it never bled. I think my experience with developing things naturally is largely why I am in favor of my children doing so as well.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 8:23 pm 
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Fezza - I work with someone who is recovering from shingles and has no feeling at all in her hands or feet. She just spent 3 months in bed. It's nothing to laugh off.

As a PSA, almost 200,000 people die worldwide from measles according to the US CDC. They are also under the impression that once you get measles once, you become immune to it. However, there are other diseases which are very similar.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sun May 29, 2011 9:57 pm 
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Okay, I just scanned all 5 pages of this at once, so forgive me if I say something stupid because I missed something...

Fezza, you just convinced me to get off my tail and get my chickenpox vax; when I was pregnant they tested and I only have partial immunity so I really need to get that. I had an appointment scheduled but somehow missed it. And now I'm a little worried because (at the suggestion of my pediatrician) I'm waiting until next year to get the kid's pox vaccination, too. I'm sure all will be fine, but if she gets into pre-K I think I'll get her back to get it before she starts.

I've kept her on the suggested schedule because I've seen no convincing evidence not to. I will say, I also got kind of sucked into the vaccination fear for a little while (but not enough to not vax!) and I'm glad to see I'm not the only one who drifted into reading mothering.com, at first believing it was in line with my philosophy, the realizing, as someone put it, (sorry, I can't remember who now) that I am much less a hippie than I previously thought.

I do know there *are* some risks with vaccinations, and like anything medical, it comes down to a cost-benefit analysis. I don't always agree their take on things, but Penn and Teller presented an interesting visual about vaccinations on bullshiitake a while back where plexiglass represented the "vaccination" protecting 100 bowling pins was compared to 100 with no glass and balls were thrown. You can google Penn and Teller + vaccinations, it should be the first video to come up. While it's a silly and exaggerated example, I think it illustrates the point well.

FootFace, I added that book to my wishlist. I was in biology around the time the Wakefield story really started falling apart, so it was interesting to hear about it from that angle.


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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Wed Jun 01, 2011 3:23 pm 
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Dr Bronners, MD
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This article just showed up:

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/critics/books/2011/05/30/110530crbo_books_specter?currentPage=all

It's an interesting, if brief, history of political and societal resistance to vaccination.

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 Post subject: Re: Can we talk about vaccinations here?
PostPosted: Sat Jun 04, 2011 6:54 am 
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Nooch of Earl
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On a more-or-less related note:

So apparently there has been an outbreak of a few measles cases in an area where a friend is living. She's moving her ~13 mo's vaccination date up a bit, and since she & family are coming through for a visit in a month, I'm thinking about having the midwives check measles titers for me, but it looks like even a negative result is regarded as a false negative if you're fully immunized (I know I am) and I'm not sure what to do anyway since I can't get the vaccine again while pregnant. I think I had rubella titers in early pregnancy that were fine, but didn't pay much attention to it.

Anyone dealing with area outbreaks? Have you had your immunity checked? Received any actionable advice based on the results?


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