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Not Vaccinating and Foreign Travel

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Our oldest was only partially vaccinated, and our second and third (due any day now) are/will not be vaccinated.

 

DH and I had a discussion the other night about vaccinations, travel, etc. He mentioned that he didn't want our children traveling out of the country unless they were vaccinated. I mentioned that I never intended to vaccinate them, so what are we to do? Stay in the country forever? We've always wanted to go to Paris one day and maybe do some missionary work. What do we do? Where can I go for some good resources on international travel? I know Dr. Sears has some good info on international travel, but it's been quite a while since I've read The Vaccine Book, and I came to different conclusions about regular vaccinations, I will probably do the same for international.

 

Any suggestions on where to go for research?

post #2 of 8

I would think that travelling anywhere in Europe is pretty much as safe as in North America.When you don't vaccinate you rely to some extent on others that are vaccinated, and the majority of people in Europe are vaccinated against all the major deseases like

polio, typhus, etc. So instances of these deseases are very uncommon and you are relatively safe. When you travel to countries where those deseases have not been eradicated you do take a certain amount of risk. Personally Iwould feel ok travelling ot any Western countries, but not to any thrid world countries.

 

I

 

post #3 of 8

I think instead of making blanket statements like "we can never travel outside the us without vaccines", it would be better to break down the issue and look at it a bit more logically.

 

I think you would need to look at the country you were intending on going to WHEN you intend on going. I mean travelling to paris or any other area at some point in the future is meaningless.

 

For example - If you had plans to travel to Europe when your babies were very young, I may give pause. Certain areas of Europe are experiencing a measles outbreak right now. I would not travel to those areas with a young baby. I think you need to ask yourself what diseases you feel your children would be at risk for given their age at time of travel and WHERE you were going and WHEN. Then you can look at the particulars of that area and see if there are any diseases that concern you that are endemic, or if that country or region is experiencing an outbreak. Then you can make your choices about what vaccines to give if any at the appropraite time.

 

Here is a great resource

 

http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/timeseries/tsincidencemea.htm

 

http://www.who.int/countries/en/

 

 

click on the coutry you are interested in - you then click on disease outbreaks and immunization profile.

post #4 of 8

We've had similar concerns, we're also not vaccinating but would love to go to Africa on a safari when our daughter is older. Obviously Africa is a whole different can of worms than Paris, and I would really hate to not give my daughter that amazing adventure because she isn't vaccinated. It's a big dilemma for us.

post #5 of 8


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by swisscanmom View Post

I would think that travelling anywhere in Europe is pretty much as safe as in North America.When you don't vaccinate you rely to some extent on others that are vaccinated, and the majority of people in Europe are vaccinated against all the major deseases like

polio, typhus, etc. So instances of these deseases are very uncommon and you are relatively safe. When you travel to countries where those deseases have not been eradicated you do take a certain amount of risk. Personally Iwould feel ok travelling ot any Western countries, but not to any thrid world countries.

 

I

 


Not true. I live in Switzerland (looks like we traded regions) and there are many cases of measles here and in the rest of western Europe. 

 

This is a CNN blog but it has a pretty picture with measles cases in Europe. We ended up vaxing DS after a suspected case in our canton at the rec of our normally laissez faire pediatrician. 

 

http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/04/20/who-reports-measles-outbreaks-in-european-countries/?hpt=T2

 

ETA: I was afraid to take him to the kinderspital after seeing a kid with a measles-like rash on her face when I took DD in for falling and hitting her head on a radiator. Two weeks after DS was vaxed, I had to take him in for a nasty eye infection on a holiday. 


Edited by lalaland42 - 4/28/11 at 3:11am
post #6 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by Marnica View Post

I think instead of making blanket statements like "we can never travel outside the us without vaccines", it would be better to break down the issue and look at it a bit more logically.

 

I think you would need to look at the country you were intending on going to WHEN you intend on going. I mean travelling to paris or any other area at some point in the future is meaningless.

 

For example - If you had plans to travel to Europe when your babies were very young, I may give pause. Certain areas of Europe are experiencing a measles outbreak right now. I would not travel to those areas with a young baby. I think you need to ask yourself what diseases you feel your children would be at risk for given their age at time of travel and WHERE you were going and WHEN. Then you can look at the particulars of that area and see if there are any diseases that concern you that are endemic, or if that country or region is experiencing an outbreak. Then you can make your choices about what vaccines to give if any at the appropraite time.

 

Here is a great resource

 

http://apps.who.int/immunization_monitoring/en/globalsummary/timeseries/tsincidencemea.htm

 

http://www.who.int/countries/en/

 

 

click on the coutry you are interested in - you then click on disease outbreaks and immunization profile.


I think this is sensible. You can't really throw all of Europe into one big bag and say it is all the same. There are very different attitudes depending on the region to where you want to travel. 

post #7 of 8
Quote:
Originally Posted by swisscanmom View Post

I would think that travelling anywhere in Europe is pretty much as safe as in North America.When you don't vaccinate you rely to some extent on others that are vaccinated, and the majority of people in Europe are vaccinated against all the major deseases like polio, typhus, etc. So instances of these deseases are very uncommon and you are relatively safe. When you travel to countries where those deseases have not been eradicated you do take a certain amount of risk. Personally Iwould feel ok travelling ot any Western countries, but not to any thrid world countries.

 

Don't assume you are safe from air-borne viruses (measles, mumps, rubella, chickenpox) because you see flush toilets.

 

Unvaccinated tourists from Europe or returning from Europe have imported the virus that caused the last three outbreaks of measles in the Western US (Tucson, San Diego, Utah). The Netherlands has constant small outbreaks of polio and measles, France is currently having a measles outbreak, and England has declared measles to be "endemic" (constantly present).

 

post #8 of 8

I agree with what most of the first posters said. 

 

We don't vax, and hey, look, we're in freaking PAKISTAN right now. Around here, they come to every house about 2x/year with live oral polio vax to administer. They came here, and I considered it, but only because DH is still fearful of polio. No issues so far and it's been months, and we've been to some crazy rural places ;) Paris? Not even on the radar.

 

But it goes back to my reasoning of not vaxing. We don't vax because 1. we don't believe that vaxes are safe enough or effective enough to be worth their salt, 2. We don't fear getting the illnesses, 3. We know what to look for(i.e. diagnose a VPD) and 4. We know how to treat VPDs

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