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Selective Vaxers: Did You Opt for the Polio Vaccine?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 

Did you get the polio vaccines for your kids?  Assuming that your decision was well thought out (some people admit that they started out their parenting journey by unquestioningly getting all of the vaxes), what was the reasoning behind your decision? 

 

I will be enrolling DD in preschool in the Fall.  At the time of enrollment, she will be up-to-date on her DTaP and MMR vaccines.  I am claiming a philosophical exemption to Hep B.  Polio is the only one that I am debating.  According to the CDC catch-up schedule, she will need 4 separate doses.  So far, I haven't given her any, and I have the legal option of claiming a philosophical exemption.

 

On the one hand, polio is a disease that I take seriously.  Paralysis is nothing to monkey around with, and neither is post-polio.  And until now, I had just assumed that she'd be getting this vaccine.

 

On the other hand, I know that DD's chance of catching it, ending up in an iron lung, and spreading it is next to nil.  First, she'd have to do something to get it via fecal-to-oral contact (In this country, it won't be in the water supply).  Then another kid would have to do the same thing to get it from her.  Then it would have to develop into the extremely rare kind.  If I pressed the issue, did the math, and calculated down to the percentage point the chance of any of this happening, I doubt that I'd feel any urgency to get this vaccine. 

 

(And by the way, am I the only one getting sick of the iron lung references from the pro-vax camp?  Iron lungs sound horrific, but they are no longer in use.  Nobody who gets polio in this day and age will end up with an iron lung.  I suppose that for the fear-mongerers, a respiration tube would sound less dramatic.  eyesroll.gif  Sorry.  I digress).     

 

I'll confess that the utilitarian appeal (i.e. the herd-immunity/patriotic-duty argument) sounds somewhat compelling.  Indeed, it is the one reason that Robert Sears argues in The Vaccine Book that kids should get the vax.  (He admits that there's no quantifiable risk of your LO actually getting polio in the U.S.) 

 

On the other hand, we haven't seen any known cases of wild polio in the U.S. for over 30 years, and I don't know if my "patriotic duty" is a compelling enough reason to inject more formaldehyde into her veins.  Also, ethically speaking, I'm vegetarian and don't believe in killing animals for human use unless there is a direct, immediate, and life-threatening reason.  I don't know if the polio vax, which contains monkey kidney cells, fits that definition.

 

All of that said, I can start her four doses any day now....

 

As selective vaxers, you obviously see a value in certain vaccines.  Is the polio vaccine among them?  Please help me sort through this decision!  Thanks!

 


Edited by Turquesa - 3/28/11 at 1:44pm
post #2 of 18

I don't vaccinate at all, but if I did, I would not consider vaccinating for polio. There hasn't been a case in the U.S. for 32 years. I don't care how scary a disease is, I'm not going to worry about my kid being the first one in 32+ years to get it. But polio is actually not as scary as you think, according to page 232 of the CDC's PInk Book. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/polio.pdf

 

I can't believe Dr. Sears said getting the polio vaccine benefits others! The IPV does NOT contribute to herd immunity. It is only meant to prevent the paralytic form of polio. It does nothing to prevent transmission of the virus to others. Only OPV contributes to herd immunity, but it also can cause polio, so it was finally taken off the U.S. market in 2000.

 

Only vaccinate for polio if you feel a duty to help out Sanofi Pasteur and its shareholders.

post #3 of 18

When I was planning to be a selective vaxxer, Polio was the only one I was sure I wanted based on the safety of the vaccine.  The ingredient list has lots of people squicked (is that a word?) out, but the long-term safety of that vaccine is pretty good from everything I could find. We got the polio vax for my 3rd son at his 6mo appt. and he didn't react to it at all.  He had a fairly big reaction to the dtap, so we stopped altogether. We are now, non-vaxxers, so my youngest didn't get it.  Anyway, if we were selective, it would probably be on my list since we like to travel. 

post #4 of 18

I  think you would only need 3 doses of polio, if the 3rd dose is given after age 4. 

 

Yes, we do vax for polio.  I could have written your post (re: the statistical chance vs the fear of polio).  I do worry that we are around people who have gotten the OPV in another country, and it shedding.  We have a lot of friends who are adopting internationally and they give OPV in those countries.  I just don't want to worry about it.  I usually get 2 doses of IPV before age 4 and then the 3rd dose at 4 and I think that is considered complete.

post #5 of 18

I just wanted to put this out there.

 

The evidence that IPV prevents transmission (it's impact on herd immunity) is sketchy. Especially if you are relying on IPV for initial vaccination and boosting.

 

 

 

Quote:
 
It is concluded that IPV vaccination alone is insufficient to induce a mucosal IgA response against poliovirus. In mucosally (OPV-) primed individuals, however, booster vaccination with IPV leads to a strong mucosal IgA response.

 

http://www.jimmunol.org/content/162/8/5011.abstract

 

The full text is available for free.

 

There are interesting related articles on the route of immunization and the effects on immunity. Cutting and pasting doesn't work for me with the new format, otherwise I would have linked them.

post #6 of 18

That's a really good question. I've been considering this one as well. I'm selective, and we've done only the Hep B and DTaP (only Daptacel brand). I'm not a fan of the animal substances involved in the polio. (I myself had a strong vaccine reaction to MMR, so they all freak me out, but so do the diseases.) But, I think that when my daughter is older, we'll get it if travelling or if she chooses.

post #7 of 18

Our intention is not to vaccinate, but every family has to decide what's right for them.  One of my objections to childhood vaccinations is that the immune system does not fully develop until around age 11, meaning the vaccinations overwhelm the body's natural immune system. As adults travelling to areas where those diseases are an issue, vaccinating does not affect the body the same way.  Anyway, that's our reasoning.  However, in reference to the polio vaccine, are you aware of the link between polio and cancer?  SV40 is a simian cancer that comes from the monkey kidney cells you were concerned about from a veg point of view.  This article gives a good synopsis of the supporting research.

 

http://www.sv40foundation.org/CPV-link.html

post #8 of 18

We're in the selective and delayed camp (DD has had the full series of DTaP, HIb, and PCC) and I plan to get her the polio vax when she's older. We don't travel much, but we live in a heavily international community so we're probably at a slightly higher risk than most. That said, it is largely a civic duty thing. Polio is SO close to being gone, and I'm comfy with helping that along a bit.

post #9 of 18

Having a teenager with Asperger Syndrome (on the Autism Spectrum) and after reading The Vaccine Guide, I have decided not to do any vaxing on my baby.

post #10 of 18

We don't have much of a choice, as I live in "all or nothing" state, so I can't really say for sure.

post #11 of 18

it's one that i've gone back and forth on. at first i thought like you, there's little likelihood of my child coming into contact with this, why would i want to chance that they could get it from the vaccine?

 

but, then, well, my world-view kind of underwent a shift and i'm just not as certain that the chances of my child being exposed is so minimal. i feel the future of our society is not as certain as i'd though, and a lot of things i take for granted are part of what i would depend on to prevent polio.

 

so, my ds finished his series and i need to look into the combos for my dd.

post #12 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jugs View Post

We don't have much of a choice, as I live in "all or nothing" state, so I can't really say for sure.


We do too, so we do an exemption for school but still get the ones we want. Maybe something to consider?
 

 

post #13 of 18

New York doesn't allow for selective vaccination; you have to be opposed to all vaccinations to apply for an exemption.

post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jugs View Post

New York doesn't allow for selective vaccination; you have to be opposed to all vaccinations to apply for an exemption.


Sorta shootin' themselves in the foot, aren't they?  From a public health standpoint, they should accommodate selective vaxers.  Because if forced to choose between all or nothing, a lot of us will take nothing.

 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunflwrmoonbeam View Post

We're in the selective and delayed camp (DD has had the full series of DTaP, HIb, and PCC) and I plan to get her the polio vax when she's older. We don't travel much, but we live in a heavily international community so we're probably at a slightly higher risk than most. That said, it is largely a civic duty thing. Polio is SO close to being gone, and I'm comfy with helping that along a bit.


Honestly, this is how I'm leaning.

 

Thank you, everybody, for the feedback!  Yeesh!  Parenting is just one tough choice after another. 

 

post #15 of 18
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jugs View Post

New York doesn't allow for selective vaccination; you have to be opposed to all vaccinations to apply for an exemption.



Ah... I see. I wish we all had the freedom of choice in this matter.

 

post #16 of 18

We are selecteve/delayed vaxers. DD received her first polio shot in 2009. She'll be getting a booster at her next well check. The thing that bothers me is, I don't remember if she's had a second shot of polio or not; we may have gone ahead and just forgot to take the shot record to the appointment. She's seeing a new doctor at this check up because her previous dr. passed away. She'll have to order the records...

post #17 of 18

In response to the original comment, we opted for the polio vaccine.  We're going with a delayed and selective vaccination schedule.  I chose our son's pediatrician because she will only do a delayed schedule (and no vaccines at all if a parent so chooses).  As I understand it, she has a concern with the number of antigens in combination shots and shots administered together.  The pediatrician likes to start with the polio vaccination as a test to see whether the child will tolerate vaccination shots in general.

 

I'm comfortable with this shot because it's generally well tolerated and I hope our son will travel the world - and we all know polio isn't exactly stamped out.

 

All the best with your decision-making!  Vaccination was the ONLY subject in which my husband and I truly experienced stress and it was the biggest relief to find a pediatrician who would work with us.

post #18 of 18

Yes we opted for the Polio vaccine and was actually top priority for me being that we regularly travel to my home country where Polio is prevalent

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