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Vaccines (for Humans)

Discussion in 'IMO: In My Opinion' started by Willowy, Mar 5, 2019.

  1. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    More Facebook frustration, lol. A Facebook friend I didn't think would be anti-vax has been posting a bunch of anti-vax stuff. She doesn't think vaccines should be required in any context and says that parents should not be criticized for choosing not to vaccinate their kids.

    I can't start an argument with her but I thought it would be an interesting discussion here. I'll say what I think after a few other responses.
     

  2. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    Absent a specific reason why someone shouldn't be vaccinated, everyone should be vaccinated against infectious disease. People forget how terrible smallpox, polio, and other diseases were in the past. Helen Keller ended up blind and deaf from infection with Scarlet Fever, a disease readily preventable today with vaccination.

    The sole exception should be for people who have compromised immune systems; if everyone else who can gets vaccinated, "herd immunity" will help them.

    Hmm, @Willowy, maybe I should do one of my infamous polls?
     

  3. denice

    denice Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    The Amish community close to where I live was one of the communities that had a measles outbreak. They weren't one of the 'anti-vaxers' types the way we think of it. The Amish are generally an insular community and two siblings had bad reactions to the vaccines. Word got around and people quit getting vaccinated. Some Amish do travel by modern means and a member of the community came back from the Philippines where measles is still a problem and brought it back. By this point most of the community had not been vaccinated and it went through the community like wildfire. It was tough on the public health people because most people in the community didn't have phones and it is a spread out rural community. They learned their lesson and people in the community are now vaccinated.

    I don't know why people want to go back to the bad old days. I remember having mumps, chickenpox and rubella. None of those are horrible for kids but rubella can cause major birth defects in an unborn child. I also knew a couple that adopted their children because he had mumps after puberty and was sterile. People who have children at the age for routine vaccines now have no personal memories of what all this was like. For the vast majority of people the benefits of vaccinations far outweigh the risks. Vaccines made smallpox a distant memory and polio very rare. Rabies used to be and is still in some countries a big killer. It is rare now for someone to die from rabies, usually from being bitten by a small bat and not knowing they were bitten, and that is from a vaccine.
     
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  4. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Eh, polls aren't very useful unless the person explains why they said it.

    I think everyone who is medically able should be fully vaccinated. But I'm uncomfortable with it being required by the government, because I can't think of a non-draconian way to enforce that. One's body should be inviolate.

    I do think full vaccination should be required for children to go to public school (if they are medically able to be vaccinated). I DO NOT think any exceptions besides medical should be accepted. If they're that religiously/philosophically opposed they can pay for a private school or homeschool (not that I think that's best for the kids).

    And I'm not against individual companies requiring vaccination of their employees and/or customers for whatever reason. If you aren't allowed in because you aren't vaccinated, that's your choice.

    I don't think parents own their children (like Rand Paul said :/). They are humans with rights of their own, but parents do have to make decisions for them for a few years at least. I think older teenagers (after age 14-16 or so) ought to be able to make their own medical decisions.

    I think most anti-vax decisions are made because of misinformation and a poor understanding of risk and statistics.
    Erm, no. Scarlet Fever is caused by strep. My nephew got it a few years ago. Antibiotics clear it right up, but it's not preventable with a vaccine. And we don't really know what Helen Keller had, as the doctors of the time just described it as "an acute congestion of the stomach and brain", which could be anything really.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019
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  5. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Kind of the same thing happened in the Somali community in the Twin Cities area. The autism rate is extremely high among the children of Somali immigrants (they don't know why at this point; it may have something to do with inadequate vitamin D levels).

    At first the Somali immigrants vaccinated their kids like the doctors recommended (modern medicine, yay!). But the anti-vax people started a strong campaign in the community to convince them that vaccines caused the high rate of autism. So at this point very few Somali immigrant children are vaccinated (and autism rates have not dropped, surprise surprise). And now, of course, the anti-immigrant crowd are blaming them for the epidemic, even though the anti-immigrant crowd are probably the same anti-vaxxers that convinced them not to vaccinate in the first place. Ugh.
     
    Last edited: Mar 5, 2019

  6. ArchyCat

    ArchyCat TCS Member Super Cat

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    I am pro vaccine. I am old enough to remember the polio epidemics in the late 40s and early 50s. Polio infections seemed to be seasonal. Our family would eat lunch together on Saturdays. On the noontime radios news programs, the announcer would give the weekly new polio cases in each major US city. It was like listening to the casualty count for a war.

    Then in the early 50s, the Sauk polio vaccine became available. I remember standing in line outside the local firehouse when the federal public health service made the vaccine available. The line went from firehouse from the door, down the drive and at least halfway around the block.

    I'll make the antivaxers a deal. Don't vaccinate yourself and your children. Your choice. But you will be responsible for all medical costs if you or your unvaccinated children catch any disease that has a vaccine. That includes the extreme effects that occasionally happen. No federal, state, local, or charity aid. It all comes out of your wallet.
     
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  7. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    But then the kids would suffer for their parents' choices. Even more than usual. Plus then they'd counter that the government would have to cover all the costs of any ill effects they believe that vaccines cause, like autism.

    Vaccines do not cause autism. That's definite. Of course, anybody can have a bad reaction to anything, so there are some bad reactions to vaccines (which happens much less often than a bad reaction to the actual illness). But autism is not a vaccine reaction.

    As for her assertion that nobody should criticize a parent for choosing not to vaccinate their kid. . .well, you don't get to choose what people criticize you for. If you're confident in your choices it won't bother you.
     

  8. di and bob

    di and bob TCS Member Top Cat

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    I agree with the above! If your child becomes paralyzed from polio, or incapcitated from any of teh other horrible diseases, it's YOUR responsibility. why turn to the government for financial help when you went against their advise in the first place.I was a school nurse for years and i know there were several children put at risk because their immune systems were low from chemo for cancer. Then some children came down with measles a disease that can quickly KILL a immunocompromised child! Thsoe mothers had been through enough, they didn't need that! I agree, home school your kids if you don't want them immunized. Children, unless they have a medical reason to not be vaccinated, should be required to be vaccinated if they attend public school. NO EXCEPTIONS!
     
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  9. donutte

    donutte Professional cat sitter extraordinaire! Top Cat

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    I am 100% pro-vaccination. These anti-vaxxers are being ridiculous. If you wanna expose yourself or your kids to these diseases, then don't ever plan on going out of the country, or on an airplane, or anything else. Someone just exposed a ton of people to measles at Midway Airport here. Yay anti-vaxxers!

    I don't remember what it was like to get a lot of the diseases that we now have vaccines for. My siblings were for many of them, however. Measles, mumps, etc. My brother went deaf in one ear as a result of having mumps. And my mom had even more of the diseases.

    I think Denice is right that people who are parents now have no recollection of what things were like, and it's possible things weren't that bad for their parents either. There's that saying "Those who forget the past are doomed to repeat it". Sadly, these people are the epitome of that.

    And just to give an idea of how ridiculous this has gotten, there was an article suggestion DOGS were getting autism from vaccines.
     
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  10. Elphaba09

    Elphaba09 TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I remember this! It was so sad! We live northeast of you (it says you are in Columbus) and on the edge of a couple Amish and Mennonite communities in a small village. I know that there is one family who lives within the village limits, and I always see them at stores or set up outside of certain stores. I also see a lot of them at Akron Children's when I take my daughter to her specialists.

    Having said that, I get pretty ticked off about the whole anti-vax movement. I have a nephew with a primary auto-immune deficiency who could die from a cold, let alone from the measles or mumps, so it hits home with us.

    I also have a nephew with Aspergers, which is on the autism spectrum. I find it I find it disturbing that people are more concerned about the false connection between autism and vaccines than they are the diseases stopped by the vaccines. Seriously. They find the fictional risk of autism a scarier consequence than the diseases and their complications, including, but not limited to, death?

    How many anti-vaxxers who claim they do not want to make such choices for their child do any of the following?
    1) Raise their child in a specific religion
    2) Peirce their child's ears
    3) Circumcise their boys
    4) Raise their child with any political/socioeconomic/gender/sex/racial bias

    Parents have to make choices for their children. That is part of parenting. Sure, we do not own our children, but we are responsible for them. Regardless of what anti-vaxxers claim, they are making a choice to make their child vulnerable to horrific diseases based on a false claim.
     

  11. furmonster mom

    furmonster mom TCS Member Top Cat

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    When it comes to vaccines, I take a fairly moderate approach.
    I think the "bulk" vaccine is problematic, and would rather do one at a time. That way, if there is a reaction, you can deal with it respectively.

    I'm also cautious about over vaccinating. I sometimes feel like "boosters" are not always necessary. I'd rather do titer testing than just blindly follow along with some predetermined schedule. Also, I am one of those folks who do not go out for the yearly flu shot.

    I think there is room for reasonable solutions for both camps, but I think that there is a lot of rhetoric and misinformation being thrown around. I don't agree with not vaccinating at all, but I can appreciate some of the questions that anti-vaxers bring up. The idea of allowing the government to force medicate does not appeal to me.
     

  12. micknsnicks2mom

    micknsnicks2mom TCS Member Top Cat

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    the issue i have with those who choose not to vaccinate, is that doing that can pose serious and even in some cases fatal risks to other citizens -- who generally have no idea that they're even being exposed to, for example, measles.

    to an extent, they have the right to choose not to vaccinate. but they don't have the right to endanger other citizens.

    i was vaccinated as a child. i did contract chickenpox (i was 5 years old, so must not have been vaccinated yet), but not measles, mumps, or rubella. as an adult, i have an auto-immune disease. the last time, and the only time as an adult, i had a tetanus shot, i had an allergic reaction. i shudder to think of how my body might react to contracting the measles -- though having been vaccinated, i shouldn't need to worry about that.
     

  13. denice

    denice Advisor Staff Member Advisor

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    A young man from Ohio just testified for a Congressional committee about this. His mother is anti-vaccine. As soon as he turned 18 he got himself vaccinated. He said that his mother would only go to anti-vaccine websites for information and absolutely nowhere else.
     
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  14. micknsnicks2mom

    micknsnicks2mom TCS Member Top Cat

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    i saw a news segment with that young man, as well as a short piece of the Congressional testimony -- including some of his testimony. in the news segment, the young man said that he'd done quite a bit of research online into vaccines/vaccinations before he made his decision to get vaccinated. in his testimony, he said that at one point when he'd brought up vaccines with his mother and pointed to info about vaccines he'd found from medical sources that they are safe, his mother responded that 'that's what they want you to think'.

    that kind of sounds like something along the lines of thinking vaccines are some kind of conspiracy or such. :headshake:
     
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  15. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019

  16. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    You have touched on a central dilemma whenever anyone makes public policy about health. Hmm. Another thread coming on.

    Polls aren't perfect, but they allow people to register a preference if they want without "outing" their position on a controversial subject. I've found them to be an interesting way to gather data in this and other fora.

    Thanks for the correction about Helen Keller. Polio still sucks, and there's people still confined to iron lungs after surviving it. Refusal to vaccinate based on bogus non-science still should be a crime.



     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019

  17. NY cat man

    NY cat man TCS Member Top Cat

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    When I was a kid, the only vaccines available were for polio (Salk), and smallpox- nothing else. As a result, I got measles, rubella, and chickenpox, and those were no fun at all. I wish those vaccines had been developed, but they were years in the future, and too late for me.
     
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  18. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    If you're the age I think, they didn't have the chicken pox vaccine yet (it came out in the US in 1995). Yeah, I got chicken pox too. It honestly wasn't too bad for me, and every kid on base got it at the same time, so they canceled school and we all had a lot of fun :D. But of course everyone has a different reaction.

    We also got whooping cough. We were vaccinated but they don't vaccinate kids for it in Japan so it must have been a different strain than our vaccine had. That was BAD. You do NOT want to get that. I coughed so hard I threw up, and it lasted something like 3 months.

    My mom had rubella. She said it didn't bother her, but she had it at high school graduation so now she worries that one of the girls might have been pregnant and she was responsible for someone having birth defects :/.

    I don't think my parents got measles or mumps. The vaccines didn't come out until 1963 (measles) and 1967 (mumps) so they must have gotten lucky. I'll have to ask them.

    My parents grew up in a tropical country, so they got vaccinated for all kinds of stuff most Americans don't even think of, like yellow fever and tuberculosis and smallpox. So if we ever have a bioterrorist smallpox epidemic, they can take care of us ;).
     
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  19. Willowy

    Willowy Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    As for autism, my youngest brother is on the spectrum. Well, I think we all are, but he's the only one who has been officially diagnosed. My mom has slight anti-vax tendencies and he was not vaccinated at all until he was around 2, when the Navy forced her to have it done. He was definitely showing signs of being on the spectrum before he was vaccinated.

    It's really just a matter of bad timing---autism symptoms usually show up the strongest around 18 months, and that's when kids get a lot of vaccines too.
     
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  20. doomsdave

    doomsdave TCS Member Top Cat

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    I remember going to the skating rink in or around 1970 for the mass vaccinations against Rubella, which was reported to cause birth defects in the babies of women who got it during pregnancy.

    Hope it helped; no record that it hurt anyone.
     
    Last edited: Mar 6, 2019
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