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Scared to & scared not to

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
My 5yo dd and 3yo ds have not been vaxed at all. Only recently have I considered tetanus really and mostly because we are such a family of such grace (not) that I started thinking after my son cracked his face open at the playground it might be a good idea for my barefoot all the time, climb on everything with no sense of consequences kids.

Nothing else really worries me too much. They've been in preschool/daycare since my 3yo was just under 18 mos with no problems. Both have had wild chicken pox a couple of years ago. I had measles as a kid and turned out just fine so that is no big deal to me.

But there are these little voices in the back of my head warring with each other over whether I should at least consider a few of vaxes. It's making me crazy. I don't trust any doctors enough to ask and feel I would get an answer I can trust. The only people I trust for this kind of info is you ladies here at MDC. This has been my go to place for years now and I just don't have faith in other resources like I do here.

It was easier when they were little and we lived in our bubble so to speak. Now there is a whole big world out there that they want to explore and I want to let them. I want to show it to them but I want to keep them safe too. I'd die a thousand deaths if something happened because we were out somewhere and one of them fell on a rusty piece of metal or whatnot and got really sick and I could have prevented it. I just don't know what to do but I know I need to explore this.

Did/does anyone else ever feel this way?
post #2 of 21
Do you do good wound care? If you had to go to an emergency room, would you have the chutzpah to insist on good wound care? For tetanus, that is the main consideration. The stuff has to get in, it has to get sort of sealed up.

I'm 60 years old and have had one tetanus shot in my life, when I was 8. Over the years I've had a lot of cuts and scrapes and gashes. I'll even admit to being sort of lackadaisical about cleaning out minor injuries. And here I am (knock on wood).

Tetanus is basically everywhere, not just on rusty nails. The rusty nail thing comes because horses are likely to carry tetanus in their innards and shed it in their poop. Horses have nails in their hooves to hold on the shoes, nails fall out, etc.
post #3 of 21
Yes....I do feel this way often. It is these times that I remind myself why I chose not to vaccinate in the first place.

My advice would be to ask yourself which vaccines you are considering and then sit down and dig up your initial research about those disease and the vaccine.

I know you have mentioned tetanus as a vaccine you are considering. I assume you would get the dt pediatric formulation which is for use in children up to 7 years old. http://www.fda.gov/downloads/Biologi.../ucm101500.pdf

read this in detail. If there are ingredients listed you are not familiar with, look them up. Read about them, what they are used for and how they react in the body. Look up the culture mediums and learn about how the vaccine is manufactured. Tetanus is so rare. I think the best defense against it is proper wound care.

Anyway I would do this for each vaccine you are considering. In the end you have to do what you feel the most comfortable doing for your kids. There are no guarantees either way. We all need to make the best choice we can with the information we have.
post #4 of 21
I feel this way a lot of times too. The way I reassure myself is to sit down and do more and more research! Sometimes the facts just aren't out there because the studies haven't been done, sadly, but all we can do is take a good hard look with an open mind at as much information as we can find, then make the best decision we can. Everyone has to make their own decisions, no matter what doctors or even MDC moms say. So work on your decision until you're as comfortable with it as you can be, then let it go.

If tetanus is the one bothering you, focus on that. I will say that my first DS got four doses of DTaP before I really started my research, and he's just fine. That's another thing that reassures me - I do believe that some options are safer than others, but the odds are that the kids will be okay no matter which one you choose. Most kids survive both vaccination and non-vaccination without serious illness.
post #5 of 21
I was just going to write a post about this. I read the vaccine pamphlet and I'm horrified by the side effects, I start reading an anti vax book in the Chiropractor's office and I'm horrified by the suggestion of measles parties. The consensus on both sides frightens me--Some kids will die from disease that may be preventable with vaccines, *shrug* that's life. Some kids get brain damage from vaxs, *shrug* we need our herd immunity. What do you do when you don't want to watch your baby tormented with the whooping cough AND you don't want your child damaged by a vaccine? My ds recieved 3 vaxs-- two dtaps and hib. I didn't like doing those few and I won't do more, but I don't feel especially good about it.

I just get the feeling that the only way to feel good about this is to convince yourself that it won't happen to you. My kid's immune system will pass a disease crisis with flying colors and it will only be some other less robust kid that will succumb to complications. My kid won't be the one to get a seizure from this mmr shot, some other less robust/genetically predisposed kid will. These are our children we're talking about, survival of the fittest shouldn't be a comfort. My ds has had health issues so the "it will never happen to me" thing doesn't work for me.

Maybe my problem is that I agree with germ theory and believe that vaccines do work at preventing disease for a certain percent of people. They just also happen to have harmful ingredients that damage our children and bombard their immune systems. It leaves me with no comfortable place to stand.

Last month my ds had to go under anesthesia and I was pretty shaken about it. The nurse told me it was more risky for me to drive him to the hospital that to put him under. Mentally it made sense to me but I didn't feel any better. This is how I feel about not vaxing-- I think it's the right thing but I still feel squeamish.
post #6 of 21
Seems like you need to study up more on the childhood illnesses and gain a bit more confidence in your ability to nurse your kids through them.

All of that stuff you are talking about looks at things from a population level--and of course, like any other mother, you are looking at things from the point of view of the healthy survival of your own children.

So work your way through as much info as you can about caring for your children in case they do get ill, do your best to avoid illnesses, use vaccines if you find one you think is better than risking the disease and don't forget to breathe.

These are hard choices.
post #7 of 21
Time to re-read! Make a list of vaccines your considering or diseases you're concerned about and research the diseases and vaccines.

good luck!

post #8 of 21
But that's the problem... not all these diseases vaxed for are simply little childhood diseases that can be nursed through. Nursing my daughter when she got colds and such, never improved her outcome -- it always took her just as long to get over them as everyone else -- what makes me think nursing her through measles would be any different. Besides, she's four now and stopped nursing about 9 months ago, so there's no nursing through to do.

I do believe that people with healthy immunity do fare better when encountering germies, but I don't think that means they will breeze right through anything they get. I do believe in herd immunity.

I'm torn, too. I do think that vaxes are not completely safe for sure, and are full of yucky junk. I'm really torn about measles for example: Yeah, most people do not die from measles -- however, that disease can be a real nasty and can have lifelong consequences -- I personally know of several of who lost some hearing with that one and said it was the worst thing they ever went through. It's the one I'm battling with giving DD now. DH has done extensive research on the MMR and believes it to be safe, and even did research about the autism connection and overgrowth in the gut (that doc has been proven to be a fraud apparently) and read both sides well and still believes it to be safe. He is usually a very fair and impartial guy when doing research and doesn't go in with an opinion one way or the other, so his research is usually pretty solid. BUT, I can't get over the anecdotal connection, and am still torn about what to do. And if I wanted to give her just the measles vax, I'm not even sure if you can still get the monovalent measles, because the fraud doc held the patent, so I'm not even sure if it's still available.

Anyway, these are sticky, yucky decisions that aren't cut and dry no matter how much research you do. Some of the diseases vaxed against are really unnecessary money makers for the pharma companies and do pose unnecessary risks. BUT, some of the diseases are big nasties, and even though they are rare now (I DO believe due to vaccines) still make my head spin when I think of DD getting them or of them coming back because of not vaxing. So, I hate having to make the decisions about them. More research does not make me feel more confident in not vaxing for certain things. So, to the OP, I feel ya!
post #9 of 21
Some of the information you've got about the "fraud" doctor as you call him is very far off target. I think you need to do some more research before you make up your minds. For example, Andrew Wakefield definitely didn't hold a patent on THE single measles vaccine. Merck did. They decided to quit making singles.

I'm at work and don't have time to run around getting links and stuff, sorry!
post #10 of 21
Wanted to add that there are several things you can do to make measles easier.

1) make sure the kid moves his/her bowels. I wouldn't normally recommend laxatives, but this is one exception where milk of magnesia or a good herbal laxative is a good idea.

2) no fever reducers. Fever is the child's body fighting the illness and you don't want to hand the guns to the other side.

3) rest and quiet.

4) Vitamin A and Vitamin D.
post #11 of 21
As far as I'm concerned Wakefield IS a fraud. I'm not saying there isn't a connection between vaccines and learning disabilities, etc. I am saying I don't think Wakefield found that connection, if there is. And, I think the use of dental amalgams is as much a suspect of being an issue (as well as all the crap we tend to eat, environmental contamination, etc) as the vaccines.

I have spend 30 minutes looking and cannot find who owns the patent on the monovalent measles. I kept finding that Wakefield filed for a patent in 1997, but nothing that said he got it. I could find nothing that said Merck owned the patent, only that they manufactured the vax. Manufacturing does not necessarily mean owning. So, I could have been wrong about Wakefield owning the patent; I don't know. Coulda been a misread on my part saying that he had "filed" a patent.

I am one of the parents who are more afraid of measles than I am of the vax. I have had too many people tell me what hell it was having it, and some have partial hearing loss because of it. The things mentioned above as being helpful for measles may very well be true and are probably true no matter what illness one is facing, but measles can be quite nasty, and I'd rather her not get it at all. Maybe that's just "me of little faith" and a matter of not enough "research" into the matter to convince me not to worry.
post #12 of 21
fwiw I just had my 2 year old vaxed with diptheria/tetanus along with immuneglobulin after a puncture wound that really shed light on the risks of tetanus. I don't really regret my decision to keep her vax free up to this point except for the tetanus which I wish i started before she started really running around outside a lot barefoot. I decided I was more afraid of the disease than of the vax based on the science I read.

Here is my .02 on the issue at large (not that its really all that helpful)

From what I can tell, there is some very good research that shows vaccines to be safe and effective.

There is some less good research and anecdotal evidence that suggests vaccines may pose greater risks than the cdc and docs will acknowledge and that vaccines may be ineffective.

There is a lack of good research with long-term epidemiological studies to assess the relationship of vaccination with other diseases like diabetes, asthma, ASD, and the like.

So what's a mom to do? You can find horror stories on both sides anecdotally - enough to scare the bejeesus out of you. In the end though, I guess you have to read about the vaccines and the diseases and decide for yourself on a single disease/vaccine basis.

I for one believe vaccines are effective for the most part but may pose other risks that have not yet been proven.

I'm more worried about protecting my kid from tetanus which is hard to avoid through other measures (though not likely to catch) and which is really nasty if you get it than I am about the chicken pox say - which has very low rates of complications.

I'm also (perhaps naively) less concered about my children suffering side effects from the vax as they get older and have more established neurological and immune systems.

Sometimes I really wish I didn't feel the need to try to educate myself - in this case, it has left me with nothing but skepticism and confusion with a touch of anger at both sides.
post #13 of 21
Originally Posted by berkeleyp View Post

Sometimes I really wish I didn't feel the need to try to educate myself - in this case, it has left me with nothing but skepticism and confusion with a touch of anger at both sides.
Very well said, this is exactly how I feel. I am more confused and skeptical of both sides of the fight than I ever was before I knew any of this. My daughter will be 2 in Oct and we have delayed any more vaccinations for her until she hits 2 years for her immune system to develop. Now we are trying to figure out what to give her, when, which diseases we find most threatening, which shots are the least reactive...

I am also scared and scared not to Oceanjones...
post #14 of 21
These are the only vax's my dd has gotten and why she got them:

HIB- not about to mess w/ any form of menengitis
PC- again, not messing w/ menengitis
Dtap- I got it more for the tetanus part of it, and it was suggested by my Dr.

My Dr is crunchy, so I asked his advice on the shots she was due for to see what he said. He said that since the HIB vax came out, there has been a huge decline in HIB.
As far as tetanus, he said its a good vax to have because you just never know what can happen on a playground, beach, etc..

He's not a vax pusher, so I trust him. She was due for polio yesterday, I said no, and he said fine. He's very OK w/ no vaccines, but also will guide me on which ones I am thinking of getting. He's told me which ones he finds unnecessary, like the pox, rotavirus and HPV.

He suggested MMR but at a later age, like when my dd is pre-pubescent, because he said rubella isn't something that you want to get when you are pregnant.
post #15 of 21
Wakefield's employer, the Royal Free Hospital, owned a patent on a transfer factor nutritional supplement that they thought might help very very sick people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, who had persistent measles infection in their digestive tract. Does that sound like a measles vaccine that would be a competitor to the MMR? It doesn't to me. You've been lied to, Manonash. And if that is a vaccine, I have a couple of bottles of vaccines in my refrigerator, lol. (for different viruses). By the way, nothing came of the patent because the hospital found that the transfer factor didn't work as they had hoped.

Furthermore, Wakefied's 1998 paper described a *possible* connection between the MMR and a new kind of bowel disease. There was nothing scientifically wrong or fraudulent about the paper, and the GMC and The Lancet were very careful to not say there was. The GMC got him on a minor bureaucratic technicality, because they were determined to get rid of him.

Soon after the paper was published, Wakefield was asked to participate in a press conference. In answer to a question, he stated that he personally would suggest caution with the MMR until more studies were done. He suggested that people get the single measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines, which *were* available in the U.K. at the time. The outcry started a few months later when the NHS pulled the single measles vaccine from the U.K. market in order to force people to get MMR or nothing. A lot of people chose nothing. That was totally the fault of the NHS for pulling those vaccines. By the way, that was a totally separate event than when Merck stopped manufacturing the single measles vaccine in 2008.
post #16 of 21
Originally Posted by berkeleyp View Post
From what I can tell, there is some very good research that shows vaccines to be safe and effective.
Could you post links to that research?
post #17 of 21
Originally Posted by berkeleyp

Sometimes I really wish I didn't feel the need to try to educate myself - in this case, it has left me with nothing but skepticism and confusion with a touch of anger at both sides.

I also think that was well said!The whole topic is so frustrating. My 5yr old had seizures after his mmr at 21 months. He has not had any shots since. I have a one year old who has not had any shots at all. I am thinking maybe the tetnus but still on the fence. Researching is so confusing because the subject is so black and white. I don't think that there is really a right answer. At the end of the day it is still just you and your children.
post #18 of 21
Originally Posted by mommyof2boyz View Post
Originally Posted by berkeleyp

At the end of the day it is still just you and your children.


My DD will be two in August and I stopped vax'ing her at 4months ( I believe) after Prevnar and two/three ear infections right after.

Now, I am considering doing a couple, namely Prevnar 13 and HiB. I am with my pedi mainly because he is okay with not vax'ing, but at the same time, they "would love" DD to be vax'd.

And I've read to much, both in print and online, and for the most part (although I know which diseases aren't worth vaxing against for me) I'm still lost. Like everyone else is saying- I'm scared to put my child at risk with vaccinations, and I'm scared of putting her at risk of the diseases I'm "supposed" to be vaccinating against.
post #19 of 21
Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
Some of the information you've got about the "fraud" doctor as you call him is very far off target. I think you need to do some more research before you make up your minds. For example, Andrew Wakefield definitely didn't hold a patent on THE single measles vaccine. Merck did. They decided to quit making singles.

I'm at work and don't have time to run around getting links and stuff, sorry!
Just to clarify, Wakefield did actually apply for the patent in 1997. A copy of the patent application is on the internet in full: http://briandeer.com/wakefield/vaccine-patent.htm
post #20 of 21
I also have 2 boys wax free. One is almost 5, the younger is 2,5. I've read about the outbreaks of whooping cough in California yesterday and I'm thinking about taking my kids to get them DTaP vaccines. I'm not convinced it is the right decision but I'm scared of the whooping cough. I feel like they old enough to be fine and I'll give them lots of vit C.
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