Ann, the whole chicken pox vaccine thing is so frustrating to me. I too read that the main reason it was created was so that parents could take less time off of work. There are, of course, very serious reactions to chicken pox, but they are very rare, and occur when bacteria gets into the pocks. As with any other disease or vaccine, it's not risk free, of course. But compared with many other diseases, the risk of complications is very low. One thing I found slightly amusing when the chicken pox vaccine first came out was that now they would have to create a shingles vaccine ($$$ of course), and experts were guessing we might start seeing cases of shingles in much younger populations due to the chicken pox vaccine. Whether that has happened or not, or whether it will be a few years before we start seeing that I don't know. I know there is now a shingles vaccine available. But even those of us who got chicken pox naturally are at risk for developing shingles as we get older. Whether or not the immunity is lasting is a really good question. I would guess we really don't have enough data on that to really answer that at this point, but I would be curious as to what my pediatrician thinks. I do know that getting chicken pox as an adult can be very serious though!
Veg, in regards to your question, no, I do not have children. But I was a vaccinated baby who got meningitis at 13 months old that almost died anyway...even with the vaccine, and have had lifelong problems associated with them. I agree with Ann...I work in a hospital, and nearly all the doctors I know do NOT vaccinate their children. And as far as it being required in schools? Yes, it's required for public schools, but if you choose not to vaccinate, all you have to do is file a request, and there, that's it. Your unvaccinated child can now attend public school. It's just a few pages of paperwork in most states, and in others, some require an interview with the family, but federal law states that no child can be denied a public education, so they have to allow your child in school.
We fully vax'd our older two because at the time I was not informed enough to think there was any other way... so sad... any way they are both fine for the most part, but I often wonder if their multiple allergies/sensitivities are somehow related to the vacs.
With our little one who is now three, we have selectively vax'd. We opted against things like chicken pox, because we would like her to have full immunity (our oldest had breakthrough cp in second grade) and some of the scarier vaccines too. But when the desease is truly horrible, like polio and tetanus for example, we have chosen to get the shots. We have also spread them out more because we feel it is unwise to overwhelm such a little body/immune system with so much stuff all at once. Our pediatrician has been very nice and understanding about it though she does rib me good naturedly once in a while. I don't really care if she thinks we are silly or that I am just wimpy and don't like my baby to cry, as long as she works with us and continues to give good care to our kids.
Though we are going more and more the naturopathic route in health care, too. It does worry me that one day something horrible will surface with one of our kids and we will find out it has something to do with their vac's, but living in an international society (we are in a big city with lots of immigrants and international travelers) there are some things that you can't avoid just by saying, 'it isn't common in the U.S. anymore' because you don't know who you are near or where they have been or what pathogens they are carrying.
With regard to thimerosol, our pediatrician told us it is not in any of the shots they administer except for the flu shot (which we do not get). Most of the vaccines are more stable now and do not need the additives like they used to.
I never get flu shots. Usually, taking echinacea and vitamin c if I'm around sick people is enough to keep me from getting ill. My mom has MS so she pretty much NEEDS to get the flu shot, because one bad flu could cripple or kill her.
I'm with French Momma, I wouldn't skip polio or tetnus shots. The risk of the vaccination is far outweighed by the risk of the illness, IMO.
I really wanted to get the HPV vaccine, but I was "too old" when it came out so they wouldn't give it to me - even though I hadn't been sexually active yet. Weird, huh? Maybe that's a good thing, though I'm the rare female who would be fine with infertility, because I never want children.
I have a question for you ladies. I am a student and I do clinicals at very sites around my town. The hospital is one of them. This year, they are starting to make EVERYONE who works at the hospital, including students doing clinicals, get a flu shot. Otherwise, we have to wear full contact gear, like we wear in surgery, ALL the time. People who are more experienced and smarter than I am have tried fighting this regulation and have failed. I am pretty resigned to getting one, especially after I found out I probably wouldn't be able to hold my sister's babies when they are born without one. So....are there flu vaccinations without thimerosal AND mercury in them? And how would I find out where to get one?
The chicken pox vaccine is probably also so that people who do not get it in childhood do not get it as adults, as it can have bad effects including infertility. As for the HPV vaccine, it covers the most common forms of HPV and the ones most likely to cause cervical cancer and genital warts. It is a sexually transmitted disease, and looking at the kids today, I think I would have my daughter get it if I had a daughter. The link between autism and vaccines has been disproven. The lab that did those studies was making up data and about a month ago the connection was diproved. Not that I think mercury is a great thing for kids or anyone. However, I do know that a lot of diseases are now rebounding and kids are dying because of it--whooping cough, etc. Because these diseases have been largely eradicated due to vaccines in our country, parents do not know the early signs and allow it to get too far. If you choose to not vaccinate your child you should educate yourself on these symptoms. These diseases are not completely gone but instead are just waiting for a susceptible person to wreak havoc.
There is a lot of evidence that is coming out showing a genetic link to autism. It was thought too that vaccines caused it because autism usually has an onset around 2 years old which happens to be when a lot of vaccines are given to children. Children without vaccines are still getting autism.
My concern about Vax's wasn't even the autism as I didn't know anything about it back then... I was more disgusted by the ingredients, how they came about, and the amount of chemicals being put in to an 8 pound baby's body.. I took those reasons to make myself decide which we would get and which we wouldn't.
As he grew, the side effects, the fevers, full body rashes and even seizure, ...of the ones we did choose, scared me enough to take another look at those also... when boosters came around, I made some more choices.
It wasn't till he was even older that i really learned about the Autism connection in children. And thankfully didn't go down that road with my own. BUT as for the Chicken Pox Vax. It was still new when mine was little and my doctor wouldn't even give them until they were more tested. I wouldn't have gotten it anyway.. as it does cause shingles in smaller children, and wears off quickly. In fact they now recommend several boosters just to get them through Middle school. Once they are an adult they are on their own regarding that disease... only now they can get shingles and pox when it is most dangerous. That is only my opinion, but the chicken pox went around in our town, and all the kids that got it were vax'd. I also know of at least 3 children locally that had shingles before the age of 4... this is so sad to me!
As for the Flu shot, i used to get them long before I knew about Vax's and long before I was a parent. I'm allergic to penecillin and never had an issue... Then my last one, I had an allergic reaction, doc said it was the eggs. So I stopped getting them... thankfully for that reason.. now many years later, I know much much more... And wouldn't get one anyway.
Also it was on the Gov. and School websites that I saw they required the chicken pox vax due to the amount of time and work that people missed from the disease. No where did it list the reason for the vax was because of the health of the children. I know those articles have since changed, but that was the standard discussion back then.
And I wasn't willing to give a vax to ward off the possibility of me missing work.
You know, I'm still not ANTI-VAX... I just think it is Too Much, and Too Soon... and most unnecessary... The ingredients too dangerous...
If you look at some of them and think about if you would put them in your morning smoothie, then decide if it is something you would put directly in to your blood stream... let alone a tiny child that is trying to build its immunity... not to mention, they are one size fits all.
A 10 pound baby will be given the same quantiy of vax as a 4 pound baby... Just soooo much to think about... this debate is the one parental decision, that I would physically lose sleep over...