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What Would You Do and Why?

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello, I am new to MDC and this is my first time ever to post a message on a forum! I moved to Japan to live here over a year ago (I am American, my DH is Japanese).

I recently gave birth here. DS is my first child and is now 4 months old. Here in Japan (and I believe throughout Asia as well) everyone gets the BCG vaccine. I have already received papers about getting it done for his 4 month checkup.

I was considering the non-vaccinating position. However, a Japanese acquaintance mentioned that if DS doesn't get the BCG, and gets sick, it can result in sterility. She knew of that happening to someone, from what I understand. That made my Japanese FIL encourage me to go get the vaccine.

Last month when DS was 3 months old, he got sick twice, even though he is EBF. The first was nasal congestion, slight runny nose; the second was more serious, a suddenly high fever that twice almost went to 40 degrees C (104 degrees F)! Although he is now fine, having gone through such a harrowing experience of tending a sick baby especially at such a young age made me even more unsure about not vaccinating. Now I am wavering about the BCG.

As for my own personal experience with TB, I had always tested negative for it. But then in 2001, I started working with just a handful of immigrants (the same immigrants every week) in a volunteer position and when I took the TB test again in 2003 it was positive (exposure to the germ only, but no illness). So I am wary of being in Asia with a non-vaxed baby.

Any of you have personal experiences or just any other information/opinions to share? Would any of you non-vaccinating parents change your mind wrt the BCG vaccine for your lo were you to move to Asia to live, where there is a higher chance of getting the illness?

I would love to hear from you. TIA!
post #2 of 9
My dd was born in a country that gives the BCG vax at birth as well (and it is country that I am SURE has a much highter rate of TB than Japan). No way, no how would I get this one. The ped even agreed with me (and she was generally pro-vax)! Perhaps someone will have links on this, but from what I've read about it, it is HIGHLY reactive. And, if it matters at all to you (it might not), a person who gets this vax will always test positive to TB skin tests (at least that is what I have read--perhaps someone else can clarify).

Sorry I can't offer more helpful info. Somewhere there are links on all of this, but I am sort of in a rush right now and can't dig them up. So all I can give is my opinion, which is a big no on this one.
post #3 of 9
I would never consider the BCG vax. It is very dangerous AND not very effective. Some studies actually show that you have a higher chance of getting TB if you've been vaccinated.

-Angela
post #4 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by alegna View Post
I would never consider the BCG vax. It is very dangerous AND not very effective. Some studies actually show that you have a higher chance of getting TB if you've been vaccinated.

-Angela
I would love to see some links to the studies.
post #5 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maeve View Post
I would love to see some links to the studies.
This study is interesting. Look at the last paragraph in particular.

Quote:
It seems much more likely that some of the world's BCG strains are virtually useless, some confer moderate protection, and some-perhaps only a few-are highly potent. Which is which cannot at present be told. Because BCG vaccination is the major method of tuberculosis control in all but a few highly developed nations, it is particularly tragic that the use of scarce resources to administer BCG must still be based on blind faith.
http://www.ajph.org/cgi/reprint/64/3/283

There are other ways to prevent and treat TB

http://www.expert-reviews.com/doi/pd...05?cookieSet=1
post #6 of 9
Thread Starter 
Thank you all for the responses! I really appreciate it!

So,... highly reactive, dangerous, and not effective..... sounds scary.

And yeah, it would really bug me that a person who gets the vax will always test
positive to TB skin tests.

Good to see there are studies out there, thanks for that link.... I couldn't access the other webpage though, on other ways to prevent and treat TB (cookies; but I am computer illiterate, and especially here, since a lot of the computer stuff is all in Japanese anyway!) but it's good you mention it so I am made aware there are other ways to deal with these diseases.

Thanks y'all!
post #7 of 9
Thread Starter 
Okay, being new here on MDC, I just realized there is a vaccination section and this is just a subforum (duh!!!) So I wonder if there is a way to move this post to the main vaccination forum since I was hoping to get opinions from those who vaccinate, those who do selective and/or delayed vaccinations, as well as those who choose not to vaccinate. I guess the reason why is that I keep wavering. Like now with this swine flu thing, I start to worry for my lo, should I or should I not vaccinate? How would other people decide? I know I'd worry if I was still in the U.S., but being here in a foreign country, the worries multiply for me. I know I originally asked specifically about the BCG, but I really wonder about other vacs too.
post #8 of 9
My eldest was born in Hong Kong and got the BCG as a newborn in the hospital, without my consent, although I probably would have agreed, because at the time I assumed vaccinations were beneficial. I truly regret it, but what's done is done. I also had the BCG as a young teen (I am originally from the UK and was vaccinated at boarding school along with all the other girls in my class). As a result I had years of chronic sore throats and glandular issues which didn't abate until my early twenties. I would never consider this vaccine (not that I would consider any). As a PP has stated, it is ineffective and dangerous. Also, BCG is not on the schedule in the US.
post #9 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by PeachBaby View Post
Okay, being new here on MDC, I just realized there is a vaccination section and this is just a subforum (duh!!!) So I wonder if there is a way to move this post to the main vaccination forum since I was hoping to get opinions from those who vaccinate, those who do selective and/or delayed vaccinations, as well as those who choose not to vaccinate. I guess the reason why is that I keep wavering. Like now with this swine flu thing, I start to worry for my lo, should I or should I not vaccinate? How would other people decide? I know I'd worry if I was still in the U.S., but being here in a foreign country, the worries multiply for me. I know I originally asked specifically about the BCG, but I really wonder about other vacs too.

There is no vax for the swine flu.

-Angela
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