Sunday, June 11, 2006

Vaccination Dilemma

I’m nervous about the vaccinations Orlando is supposed to receive at his two month wellness visit. On Tuesday he’s supposed to get a bunch of shots -- DTaP, Hib, Polio (IPV) and Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine. I was disturbed that the brochures handed out to me by the pediatrician had a phone number and website for the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program, just in case Orlando is one of the unlucky ones that gets permanently hosed by the shots. It’s great to have that info upfront, but it makes it seem like the incidence of mishaps may be increasing.

I was vaccinated for just about everything. I was vaccinated as a child, vaccinated again for college despite showing evidence that I’d gotten all my shots, then vaccinated yet AGAIN when I entered the Army, ‘cause they don’t care what you say.

Despite the amount of drugs injected in me (smallpox and Anthrax shots too, by the way), I’m obviously not dead. And, naturally, I don’t want to be the asshole whose child gets sick from a totally preventable disease like Mumps. Still, I’m very concerned about the growing anecdotal evidence that the rising rate of children diagnosed with autism (it’s now 1 in 166) may be linked to the vaccines that are being given to American children. This link is refuted on the CDC’s site, of course.

I must say that after reading what the CDC had to say on the subject my hesitancy about vaccinating is mostly gone...

Anyway, if there’s anyone out there reading my blog that vaccinated their child on a different schedule than the one recommended by the CDC, or had their pediatrician “un bundle” the vaccines, please leave a comment on my blog and tell me about the experience.


Robin said...

Hello from Michele's :)

OldOldLady Of The Hills said...

Gee, I wish I could be of some help here but I do not have any children so I have had no experience with these vaccination things...Sorry about that.

I'm here from Michele tonight and hope you get some feedback that is helpful.

Tracie said...

My husband and I have gone over and over the vaccination conversation. We started my daughter out getting her vaccinated, and then I just kept reading more and more against it that it made me nervous....mix that in with her pediatrician leaving the group and follow it with an insurance change....and we have one way behind on vaccinations daughter on our hands.

That probably isn't a helpful story, but I can sympathize with the problem....

Here via Michele (and thanks for stopping by my blog!)

Jemima said...

But the illnesses themselves can cause so many side effects, I'm sure I read you're more likely to be damaged by the illness (in the event of catching something) than the potential side effects.

But then you have a responsibility to others to not let the disease spread again.

But then again the doctors would say that, that's their agenda.

But then again again autism can be fun.

Who said parenting was easy?


lisa said...

I don't have kids so I can't help you there. With the rates going up, it could be from any other factors as well, people having kids later in life. Polutions in our air and water (I live near a GE plant, don't believe all that stuff they tell you about how much the love the enviornment in their commercials, they still haven't removed the PCBs from the Hudson yet!), could be from all the chemicals and hormones that are in our food chain too.

I've probably not made you feel better, but just incase it helps make you feel like the vaccines might not be the problem, there are many possible causes. That's all I'm saying.

Michele sent me!

Lt. Cmdr Oneida said...

Oh, I could send you an epic long email on this one. Both of my degrees are pretty heavy in epidemiology, and I've seen this debate rage for quite some time, and I have a very definite position.

Let’s start with Autism. People are freaking out because numbers are on the increase. But numbers are partly on the increase because the definition of autism has increased, cast a wider net and you'll catch more fish. 30 years ago, there was no such thing as mild autism diagnosis. When people, mainly pop scientists, decided they wanted to figure out what was causing this profound increase, they looked to what all of these kids had in common without much hard science to support their ideas. There aren't very many things that kids of all socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and geographic location share. But they do all get vaccinated b/c most schools require it. Of course on that theory, you could blame water b/c they all drink water. Many felt this was supported b/c there were low if any cases of autism in communities (usually extreme Christian communities) that didn’t vaccinate. But here’s the catch most people miss, that group of people are even more unlikely to take their children to a traditional doctor who could diagnosis something like autism. Of course it’s low, they aren’t looking for it, these people don’t even treat their diabetic children, so needless to say there is no autism recorded.

He’s your baby, and you want to do the best thing for him. I understand reactions to shots, I’m allergic to the flu vaccine. And honestly, you’ve had the most dangerous vaccination and are still here. There are reasons for the traditional grouping of vaccinations given to kids, those diseases disabled and killed many before the vaccine. And the diseases are still present, we had a outbreak of mumps in the Midwest just this spring. Rubella is still also present. You live in a major city with thousands of travelers coming through everyday carrying things like TB, mumps, rubella, and a variety of other illnesses, so you have a potential for high exposure.

But honestly, everything in life carries a risk of death, even water (hyponatremia).

Michelle Pessoa said...

I can't justify not vaccinating him, despite my concerns. I'd never forgive myself if he got one of the diseases that the vaccinations are supposed to prevent. Hopefully he won't be one of the unlucky ones with an adverse reaction.

Did they ever find out what was behind the outbreak of mumps in the Midwest? Were the people who got it not vaccinated? Were they vaccinated with a defective or weak batch of medicine? Was it a new strain of mumps?

ribbiticus said...

i still say go for the vaccination. at least, you arm him with the latest disease prevention available. praying for his continued good health should also help ease your worries.

michele says hi! ;)

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

I will not add much except to say that the odd of getting really sick from lack of Vaccines is much higher than any problems associated with getting shots. I know that are a loud and vocal group that is positive that the MMR causes Autism, but studies out of Europe showed no statistical difference in the rate of both groups.

We ran the normal routine on both our boys, without a problem.

Also the Lt. Cmdr ran down one of the better arguments I have seen in a while. A big thumbs up from me.

TLG said...

My chiropractor, whom I'm friends with, isn't vaccinating her infant. We've had a few very long discussions about it, and I have to agree, should we have one, I probably wouldn't vaccinate. I've seen statistics involving brain damage from feavers directly related to vaccination, and statistics involving increased risk for autism before this that already had me on the fence about it. Especially when you look at it this way... all that stuff they vaccinate against are serious illnesses but they're WAY more treatable NOW than they were before. My sister got Pertussis/whooping cough (sp?)even after being vaccinated, so it seems to me the potential for harm may outweigh the potential for good. That being said, I know my chiropractor is not like the neglegant parents who just don't vaccinate (the real people the CDC are after with their little campeigns)... if the child starts displaying symptoms that arn't controlable with her herbal remedies (I swear by 'em, for real), I KNOW she'll take the child to a doctor. She isn't one of those "alternative medicine only" people; little Dominic was born in a hospital and everything :)
However... if I were someone that traveled the world... beyond just getting the shots that're required to go to certain countries, I might consider vaccinating against the REALLY severe stuff, since the risk of exposure would go up.
There're no sure-fire answers, even though the government would like to make us think there are... everybody has to weigh the risks and the benefits for themselves, and sure... people can make the wrong choice. Pretty much all you can do is your best, and just accept that you made your best decision, should it come out wrong.

Lt. Cmdr Oneida said...

Well, I replied to your question, Michelle, but blogger said something impolite and booted me before it posted, how rude.

They think it came from a woman who had traveled to a country in central America then came back and shared with everyone, how nice. And most people aren't current on the vaccines, which is why it did so well.

And chiropractors are well known not to like vaccinations, I was wondering if one would comment or be mentioned here. A part of my brain screams and rants every time I hear someone say that all these diseases are treatable now. You can't cure a virus, you can vaccinate for it, or wait for it to run its course. While you can treat the symptoms, unlike bacterial infections, you can't kill viruses. So while you medicate the crap out of your kid while they’re sick, there isn’t a thing you can do about the virus. And for all those ‘it’s natural, therefore it’s good and can’t harm you’ people, here’s a thought, arsenic is natural element, as is lead, chlorine and uranium, but would you go and give them to your kid? And honestly, pertussis is not fatal in adults. But it has been and still is fatal in infants and toddlers. Why any sane person with common sense would assume since an adult can handle it a baby could too is beyond me. Traditionally, those that fall ill and die of most illnesses are the very young, elderly, and immunocompromised, not healthy adults.

No, there are no sure fire answers, and everything in life comes with a risk. But like AOC pointed out, the risks associated with not vaccinating are much higher. Parents in developing countries will stand in line for days just to get their child vaccinated, and it’s not b/c they have nothing better to do. It’s b/c they, unlike most Americans, have seen what these diseases can do to an unprotected child.

A Army Of (Cl)One said...

I would also like to point out that the risk of problems from Vaccines is much less than many other things we expose our children to during their lives.

We have a pool, so my child has a 17 time more likely chance of drowning that someone with out. Your child has a 1 in 1,200 chance every time you get in a car of being hurt in an accident, the risk of dieing while riding a bike is 60 times greater than a vaccine.

The main difference is we (the collective we) feel that because we are in control of the Pool, Car or Bike that the risk is somehow more acceptable. This is due to the media hyping problems that are out of our control and most of us being very bad at comparative statistics.

*Rant turned off now* :)

Michelle Pessoa said...

I can honestly say I'm more worried about car accidents than vaccinations. It's scary driving in New York.