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Vaccinations?

post #1 of 36
Thread Starter 

I know there are threads all over the Mothering Boards for Vaccinations, but I was wondering what you all thought about them?  My 5 year old is not vaccinated, but she will be attending public school in Seattle (lots of people do not vaccinate in our area) and I am wondering if I should get her some of the vaccines to help protect baby.  Most of our issues lie in the high doses given to infants, the combinations, as well as the fact that many of the viruses (etc) are not often deadly (ie- measles, chicken pox).  BUT, things like Pertussis concern me a bit.  Basically, I'd hate for her to bring something home, whereas she stayed home with me, and breastfed, so her exposure risk was low in comparison to what this baby will have.

 

Any thoughts?

 

 

post #2 of 36

I live in a rural area outside of Tacoma.  I did a TON of research when I learned that not vaxing was an option.  I spent many years thinking that for your child to go to school, they HAD to be vaccinated- I never knew this was optional.  My son always had terrible reactions and high fevers in response to vaccines.  I was SO GLAD to learn I did not "have" to vaccinate.  With my daughter it was an easy choice- she had siezures in response to vaccines.  She is, and will always be, completely unvaccinated.  Her ped does not even push for vaccines, and agrees that he would never try to give her one again.

 

When I was weighing what I felt was important I did a lot of research into what was common in the area.  Im generally against vaxing, but I worked as a nurse and was exposed to all kinds of thing I knew I was possibly bringing home to my children.  So, the only vaccinations my son has had since is the DpT.  I want him to have a tetnus shot because we live on a farm- I think its important.  And pertussis is RAMPANT in out area.  Working in hospitals I saw so much devastation and heart ache and very sick children- I knew that for my child and because of the rate of pertussis in our area, and my constant exposure to it, plus my sons asthma, I wanted him to have that particular vaccine.  That was a personal preference that I developed based on my own research and beliefs.

 

I dont find measles or mumps to be scarier than the MMR.  I personally believe the MMR is one of the most dangerous vaccines out there, and that the effects my children would have from contracting any of those viruses are far less harmful than the potential effects of the vaccine. 

 

In fact, in King and Kitsap counties there have been reported cases of Measles in the last few weeks, and Im not terrified by that fact at all.

 

 

post #3 of 36

 My almost 8 year old was vaxed on schedule til around age 3. My 5 year old was vaxed til 4months old and nothing since then.

 

 I don't plan on giving them any vaccines or any vaccines to the new baby at all. 

post #4 of 36
Thread Starter 

Thanks Dashley, nice to hear from a fellow Washingtonian.  I agree, we were thinking about getting her both Pertussis and Tetanus, and MMR has been our biggest concern as far as the actual vaccine being a worry.  We'll talk to our Naturopath for sure, but I like hearing from others and their experiences/concerns/thoughts. 

post #5 of 36

Both of my children are 'mostly' unvaccinated.  They've both had tetanus for cuts or animal bites, but that's it.   Personally, I wouldn't (and didn't) consider vaccinating because an older child went to school. 

post #6 of 36

Our almost 3 year old is completely unvaxed.  DH is pushing to get him some before preschool in the fall, and the only one I've even thought of is DTAP.  I was completely unvaxed as a child and went to public schools and never got one of the vaccine-preventable diseases (vpd's), though I suspect I had pertussis in Middle School which was never diagnosed.  That's another story.

 

I talked to my midwife today about the fact that I was not immune to rubella, and she said if I ever knew of anyone who had it while I was not pregnant to go and try to catch it because it is such a mild disease.  She was really concerned that I work in a school, though, but I have never heard of anyone, I mean, anyone having rubella.  She also said a lot more people were choosing to not vax there kids these days, and vpd's were on the rise or were going to be on the rise.

 

I guess my biggest concern is pertussis, but my DH is also worried that he would be shamed by his family if our DS got a vpd that he was "supposed" to be vaxed for since they all don't know.

post #7 of 36

Hey, another washingtonian :) I'm right on the northern tip of lake washington. We don't vax, and I'm not worried about the older ones exposing the newbie. The pertussis vax is not effective against preventing transmission. Its a toxoid vaccine which gives you immunity to the toxin produced by the bacteria that makes you cough. You can still be infected with pertussis and spread it, but you won't necessarily know you're sick! So big kids hugging and kissing on baby.. definitely an easy way to spread it. If another family member contracted pertussis and its caught early, prophylactic abx in the rest of the family can offer some protection from catching it themselves. If a person infected with pertussis is dxed early and abx started right away, that can also prevent transmission. There are some old threads around here if you go digging about using Sodium Ascorbate to treat pertussis. It is said to greatly reduce severity and duration of the illness. 

 

Wow, we should go hang out in some crowded places ;) Maybe we can get exposed to one of those king county measles cases!! lol

post #8 of 36

We don't vaccinate. Once dd1 is old enough to get JUST the tetanus by itself (I think they had to be 7? She'll be six this month I need to re-check that), she'll get that one just because we do have animals, and are outdoors a lot playing in different areas. I suspect she had pertussis at 16 months...a few days fever and a cough that stayed for a few months. It just never got severe enough that she was gasping/turning blue (was also still primarily breastfed and I've read it's less severe in children who are breastfeeding while infected), so doctor's just said it was a cold and wouldn't test for it.

 

Since I've had my titers drawn and am immune, I am taking the kids to a pox party on Friday. :)

post #9 of 36

We didn't do much vax research prior to dd's birth and simply decided to decline a few of the obviously unnecessary ones (chicken pox, rota, etc.) and delay the others, spread them out.  So she got 2 rounds of DTaP and IPV and one HiB.  Just before her second dose of HiB I had this gut feeling that we shouldn't do it and started doing more research and decided against doing any more.  We didn't vax ds at all.  Then his toenail got ripped off by a door and the ER doctor scared us into the tetanus.  I did ask for the monovax, though, and checked the insert to confirm.  He's only 17 months and the doctor said it was fine to give him, so I'm not sure what the 7 year old stipulation is/was?  I hope I wasn't duped while I was vulnerable with my bleeding screaming child.  Ugh.

 

Anyway, I'm with most of you and believe that the majority of these diseases are relatively harmless- not at all worth the risk of the vax- and natural immunity is so much better.  But I'm not against certain vaxes when they're older  (like IPV for example), especially if they plan to travel to more risky countries.

 

I personally would not worry too much about older siblings bringing stuff home to a nursing newborn and would hold off on vaxing an older child until their tweens or so.

post #10 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by LiLStar View Post

 

Wow, we should go hang out in some crowded places ;) Maybe we can get exposed to one of those king county measles cases!! lol



I promise to share if we catch it!  Haha.  But I have to say, Ive been trying to get my kids chickenpox and haven't found it successfully in over 8 years!  You would think THAT one would be easier to find...with the amount of shopping cart handles and shoes my kids chew on they are natural immunity professionals :P

 

Breastfeeding provides immunity to most things mom has been exposed to, or lessens the severity of whatever it is that's contracted.  One reason why extended breastfeeding can be encouraged in children who aren't vaccinated. 

post #11 of 36

My DD got a Tetanus only shot when she was about 18mo..  She got bit by a cat and my pedi didn't tell me anything about an age restriction. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by justamama View Post

We don't vaccinate. Once dd1 is old enough to get JUST the tetanus by itself (I think they had to be 7? She'll be six this month I need to re-check that), she'll get that one just because we do have animals, and are outdoors a lot playing in different areas. I suspect she had pertussis at 16 months...a few days fever and a cough that stayed for a few months. It just never got severe enough that she was gasping/turning blue (was also still primarily breastfed and I've read it's less severe in children who are breastfeeding while infected), so doctor's just said it was a cold and wouldn't test for it.

 

Since I've had my titers drawn and am immune, I am taking the kids to a pox party on Friday. :)



 

post #12 of 36

 

All of my kids are unvaxed.  They are 9, 6 and 21 months.  So far we have not seen any negatives.  My almost 10 year old may have had pertussis when she was about 3. She had classic symptoms for a couple of weeks, but we didn't test for it. Like Lilstar said, we did the sodium ascorbate treatment that I found on the vaccination forum, and the duration was greatly reduced. 

 

Maybe tetanus should make me afraid but... I'm not.  I guess I worry so much more about side effects from vaccines! Tetanus is in soil and dust and animals.  Despite there being tetanus-causing bacteria on nearly everything, it's rare to get the disease. From what I have read, lots of times tetanus spores are on whatever gives you the cut and may be present in the wound, but unless conditions are just right (it needs an anaerobic environment, so almost always a puncture wound that doesn't bleed) then they won't set up shop and grow. Even the puncture wounds we've had usually bleed, like when a dog bit my son in the neck... and we irrigate them well of course.  I have had big splinters that didn't bleed though, so those are possible sources.  My last booster was maybe 13 years ago?  I don't plan to get another one.

 

It's my belief that vaccines are a cause of chronic illness and autoimmune diseases that we're seeing so much of today.  I don't want to do that to my kids...  if they want to get vaccinated when they are adults, that is up to them. 

post #13 of 36
Thread Starter 

We wanted a Tetanus vaccine ONLY because that was the only one our ND actually was concerned about.  I'm only worried about Whooping Cough, and Polio really...because those can be deadly and/or seriously debilitating in babies and young children.  It's good to know though that Pertussis can still be transmitted despite the vaccine.  Actually, I think it was the Stranger that just did an article this week, and it just has me thinking.  I am so torn between being afraid of getting the vaccines and getting the actual virus/diseases.  Most of them are completely mild, for sure, but the ones that aren't, well, it can be scary.  My mother-in-law had Polio and was lucky to have survived with no repercussions.  Would LOVE to get the Chicken Pox for my daughter (LOL) but haven't found anyone  =(

 

I just hate the parent-guilt involved in all of this, damned if you do, damned if you don't.  I'm not FOR vaccines, but also consider that I was vaccinated.  Although, when I was vaccinated it was maybe a half dozen shots versus, what, 30 by the age of 6?! 

 

It's also true that BF helps the wee-one, which is part of the reason we didn't vac DD1...thanks for the support and stories, ladies.

post #14 of 36

OP, I understand where you are coming from on the exposing the baby thing. Completely. My story:

 

I did not vax either of my girls. I decided to wait and figure out exactly how I wanted to do things. Well, now they are 6 and 9, and I'm still figuring it out! What started to bother me was stories of babies and toddlers being infected with measles and getting very sick. I read about intentionally unvaxed kids sometimes (maybe??) being the source of this. (Please don't flame me if I am way off base... of course I heard this from mainstream media outlets. I know I need to research this more, I'm just sharing what I did!) I just felt like I would hate for my dds to infect anyone else because of my choices.  Around this same time, I realized that we had still never known anyone to get chicken pox. I didn't think my girls were likely to catch it naturally. So, after talking a lot with their *very* natural family positive pediatrician, I did decide to vax them for MMR and chicken pox. My 9 yr old got those when she was 8, and my 6 yr old will get them soon. I also got them pertussis two years ago. Their father was very worried as there had been an outbreak. 

 

So, those were my personal decisions. I'm okay with them. :) I feel good about waiting until they were much older to do anything. I don't think they will have any other vaxes. And I will definitely not vax this baby, either. 

post #15 of 36
Thread Starter 

Part of the difficulty is that in some non-vaccinating information the articles will use the same type of scare tactics that the medical community does and all I end up with is a feeling of fear and worry.  It's frustrating.  I obviously want my child(ren) protected from something potentially deadly and also want to protect them from potential harm from something meant to help.  I also do not want to spread something inadvertently (even chicken pox) to someone whose child's immune system can not handle it.  It's rare, but so is the possibility of a bad response from a vaccine (so I've read).  Both are few and far between (to varying degrees, and depending on where you are reading from) and I would hate to be a "few" on either spectrum.  I understand why people are passionate about it, because it deals with the potential health and well being of their children.  Of course it matters.  But, what to do? 

 

I'm SO glad that this thread did not get all judge-y.  As parents we all try to make the best decisions for our offspring, and we have enough guilt of our own without people shoving stuff in our faces about the choices we have made, or will potentially make.  You all rock! thumb.gif

post #16 of 36
Quote:
Originally Posted by dashley111 View Post

I promise to share if we catch it!  Haha.  But I have to say, Ive been trying to get my kids chickenpox and haven't found it successfully in over 8 years!

I read this BLOG where a mom had her chicken pox infected kid where a t-shirt around for a bit and then sealed it in a ziplock bag and mailed it to her sister.  The sister put the shirt on each of her kids and all contracted the illness in turn.  Interesting!
 

 

post #17 of 36

My daughter will remain unvaccinated until I feel it is safe to do so, and even then very selectively, if at all.

post #18 of 36

We do not vax.

post #19 of 36

Weeelll....I didn't to a TON of research....but I did read a lot online and I read the Dr. Sears The Vaccine Book.  I thought that was a really easy read.  It actually made me a little more comfortable with the vaccines I did get for DS.  He didn't get anything until 6 mos...but I had other worries about him that prevented me from vaxing at that point.  From 6 mos - 1 all he had was DTAP.  Then a few weeks after her turned 1 he got the MMR, which he did fine with.  At 15 mos, he'll get PC and HIB (Dr. says that's all he'll need for those two at that point).  Then, we'll think about the ones he missed.  Oh and we missed the boat for Rota, but I saw some sketchy news right around when he would have gotten it and I decided against it.  I actually think he already had rotavirus at around 8 mos but I"m not sure.  It certainly seemed like it from the experience!  

 

ETA, I think I will do the same ones with DS2 but start earlier.

post #20 of 36

We do not vaccinate at all...

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