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Unvaccinated and headed to London and France

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

Three kids, all not vaxed. 8, 6 and 15 months at time of trip.

 

Has anyone from the U.S. experienced a similar trip? I had my oldest at the pediatrician's office yesterday due to his nagging cough, told her of our trip, and was urged to go and read the cdc site on vaccine-preventable diseases.

 

We are going to developed territories, so our exposure to anything particularly "bad" will be minor. But, that may just be a huge assumption. I will have NO idea whom will be on our planes, and what is going on in their systems...

 

 

So, any thoughts? I have been reading a lot. I am considering some vaccines, but really am not prepared to go whole-hog.

 

TIA!

post #2 of 12

I have a almost 3 yr old unvaxed DS. We have flown numerous times and are flying tomorrow to the DR actually.

 

If you are considering vaxing than consider it for other reasons besides a vacation - especially to The UK and france.

 I would never vax for travel reasons with the exception of going to an area where poilo was endemic. I would then consider it.

 

When is your trip? How long do you have before you go? If it is soon, and you are consdiring certian vaccines anyway, I would wait because if there is a reaction, then you will not be able to deal with it as well as you might if you were home with access to your own doctors and people you may feel comfortable with.

 

Can i ask what in particular you are worried about? I would start there.....

post #3 of 12

If you really have worries over traveling with unvaxed children to the UK and France, I think you should vaccinate your children. You say you are considering vaccinating anyway, so vaccinate for whatever reasons you have, rather than for a trip to London and France. You might want to consider timing though in case of any adverse reactions.

 

FWIW, I would never vaccinate for anything, travel or not, and have taken my unvaccinated children to the UK and Europe without giving it a second thought.

post #4 of 12

You also have no idea who sat in the chair of your doctor's waiting room before you (likely sick with something or another), no idea who used a shopping cart before you, who is in line next to you at the store, etc. You all are just fine! Be healthy, eat well, practice good hygiene, and carry on.

post #5 of 12

I might consider getting the MMR before going to the UK. I keep hearing the prevalence of measles is much higher in England than other developed countries. As for the rest, I don't *think* they'd be at any higher a risk in the UK & France than the US. 

 

Have fun! I'd love to take that trip!

post #6 of 12

London and France ... first of all I'm jealous ...lol.

Secondly, I agree with pp's that if going to the UK and France worry you, you might want to think about your reasons for not vaxing again. Even if your child were to catch something (I can't promise but I find it highly unlikely in the UK or France) the medical care there is equivalent if not superior to ours. It's not like you will be deep in the jungle somewhere with no access to medicine or doctors. 

 

post #7 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thank you for your replies. I appreciate the prior experiences.

 

Not knowing your reasons for not vaccinating is why I will say, thank you for your opinion, but I do not agree with the, "No, not ever" approach. The world and its vaccines are ever-evolving, illnesses undergo resurgence, and being on an airplane to another continent does not compare in the least to sitting at the doctor's office, using a cart, or any other analogy I have heard thus far.

 

I am not vaccinating presently for a few reasons. However, as our family ages, and while my kids now spend upwards of eight hours daily with their school peers, teachers and other adults, I am inclined to get back to reading up on current vaccination issues. My kids rarely had colds, flu, etc., until hitting the school system. Now, they get them all. They eat very well, are active and healthy, sleep adequately, and take probiotics.

 

Okay, if that helps, are there any new thoughts?

 

Thanks!

post #8 of 12

I think the diseases you are most worried about affect the answers you will/should receive. The most common diseases I see people worry about and vaccines they consider (DTaP, Pc, Hib) I would say you are equally at risk in a doctor's office or shopping cart as an international flight. The other disease that people focus on is Polio, but that isn't really one I'd worry about with your travel destinations either.

 

My children have not been to Europe, but they have traveled several times, including international tourist traps (resorts, Disneyworld, etc.). They've certainly been exposed to germs from many countries, and I'm thankful they have healthy immune systems to work through what comes their way. I guess I believe that germs are everywhere, and I don't think my kids are more likely to catch a VAD on a plane than anywhere else.

 

You'll probably get the most helpful answers for your situation if you give details about the diseases you are worried about (so you can look at statistics and required treatment), why you didn't vaccinate to this point (so you can see what's changed), and why you are considering vaccinating now (quality of health care where you are headed, there was an age you wanted to wait until your kids had reached, etc).

 

post #9 of 12

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Edited by member234098 - 6/10/12 at 8:24pm
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by dillonandmarasmom View Post

So, any thoughts? I have been reading a lot. I am considering some vaccines, but really am not prepared to go whole-hog.


'Whole-hog' might not mean getting as many vaccines as you think. An otherwise healthy child starting to vax at 6 or 8 years wouldn't usually get Prevnar or Hib, would get one dose less of DTaP and IPV, and might not need hep A.

Even starting at 15 months, that means just one dose of Hib and two fewer doses of Prevnar.

If nothing else, you might consider MMR before your trip, since many of the high profile cases of measles lately started with cases in Europe.

And if your kids get sick within 2 or 3 weeks of returning home, call your pediatrician before going to their office. They might want to take precautions in case they did develop measles or another infection while traveling.
post #11 of 12

I have lived in the UK with my unvaccinated children for 2 1/2 years   We  lived in Germany for 6 years before moving here, and also spend a lot of time in France with DH's parents. We fly back to the US every once in a while. As others have said, measles seems to be more prevalent over here than in the US, but obviously just because it is more prevalent doesn't mean that your children will automatically get it. None of my children has ever come down with a "VPD" - not even chicken pox - and I do not know anyone else whose children have had measles, pertussis, meningitis, polio etc. Only you can know what  you are comfortable with as far as risks and benefits of vaccines vs. possible illness - but the risks are not much higher here than in the US.

In any case - have a great trip!

post #12 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by AboutPediatrics View Post



Quote:
Originally Posted by dillonandmarasmom View Post

So, any thoughts? I have been reading a lot. I am considering some vaccines, but really am not prepared to go whole-hog.




'Whole-hog' might not mean getting as many vaccines as you think. An otherwise healthy child starting to vax at 6 or 8 years wouldn't usually get Prevnar or Hib, would get one dose less of DTaP and IPV, and might not need hep A.

Even starting at 15 months, that means just one dose of Hib and two fewer doses of Prevnar.

If nothing else, you might consider MMR before your trip, since many of the high profile cases of measles lately started with cases in Europe.

And if your kids get sick within 2 or 3 weeks of returning home, call your pediatrician before going to their office. They might want to take precautions in case they did develop measles or another infection while traveling.


There are a ton of vaccines to catch up a child. Eliminating a few stills leaves an insane amount of injections. And when you total up the illnesses being injected (3 with DTaP, 3 with MMR, etc), that adds up to a heck of a lot for a body to fight off.

 

 

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