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herd immunity - science and philosophy of.

post #1 of 77
Thread Starter 

The title says it all.  Do you think you should vax to promote herd immunity?  

 

If so, why?  If not - why not?

 

Does this differ from vax to vax?

 

I have to go now (work and kids - dontcha ya know) but will chime in later.

 

 

post #2 of 77

Do I think of other people's health above the health of my children?  Nope sorry, it's my job to protect my children, not other people's children.  I will do other basic things though, not take them out when they are sick, wash hands often etc.

post #3 of 77

For me this is not a black and white issue. I feel that herd immunity is a factor only in some of the routine vaccinations and while I appreciate the social responsibility arguement behind it (ie some people cannot get vaxed because of medical problems therefore everyone else should to protect them) I do not think anybody should be forced to inject something into their child they feel is  dangerous just to protect others. .

post #4 of 77

 


Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

Do you think you should vax to promote herd immunity?  

 


No.  That is not my responsibility as a parent.  My primary responsibility is to care for my own children the best way I believe. 

 

I understand herd immunity is a strong argument for people who are 100% for vaccines, but it is not a fair argument.  If vaccines did not contain such harmful, toxic ingredients I can surely understand people getting upset at those who don't vaccinate.  However, this is not the case.  Vaccines have the potential to cause many types of complications in children and sometimes death.  I can't see how we are all supposed to go along with such a procedure with no questions in mind about the ill effects it can cause. I did not have a child to have procedures performed on him that I don't believe in and that I feel are harmful, whether it's for the herd or not. Everyone should have the right to choose what they feel when it comes to protecting their own children and not be pressured about medical intervention that has been known not to be safe.  If it was, there would be no complications.  There should be nothing wrong with parents wanting to take a different, more natural avenue of care rather than resorting to vaccination.

 

The schedule in the 80s, where there were vaccines for MMR and DPT is definitely more manageable than what there are vaccines for today.  I honestly don't know why people blame the non-vaxers on this issue.  They should be blaming the CDC/AAP who have since tripled the schedule, making many parents start to question the motives behind the pharmaceutical/vaccine industry. $$$$$

post #5 of 77

I think herd immunity is a crock of $***. lol

post #6 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lilbsmama View Post

I think herd immunity is a crock of $***. lol


Elaborate, please. 

 

post #7 of 77


Edited by member234098 - 6/2/12 at 12:59pm
post #8 of 77


Edited by member234098 - 6/2/12 at 1:00pm
post #9 of 77
Thread Starter 

I pretty much agree with everything upthread on the philosophy behind herd immunity.  A special yeah that to Marnica.

 

 In some instances herd immunity might be a factor in deciding whether to vaccinate or not. I would need to consider:

 

1.  The side effects or unknowns about the vaccine must be less concerning than the disease itself

2.  It must be a contagious disease

3.  The vaccine must work

 

Looking at the usual vaccines, I rule out mumps, rubella and chicken pox as having a herd immunity argument immediately.  I actually think children would be better off in general catching the disease and acquiring life long immunity.  If for some reason they have not caught it in childhood, vaxing as a teen may be appropriate 

 

Measles is a difficult one.  I would prefer it if my kids did not catch measles - it can be dangerous (although isn't usually).  I do want the mealses rate to be kept low.  If measles is available as a single vax, I might consider it.  I do not think it is, and accepting the MMR when I do not think the mumps and rubella portions are necessary grates at me.  Not everyone agrees with me.  Some really do think measles fall under the acceptable risk and place it in the same category as mumps, rubella, chicken pox.

 

DPT - 

 

Diptheria is a vax success story as far as I know,  It is not a benign disease.  It is quite uncommon - I do not know if it was common or uncommon before the vax.?  If it was common before the vax, then vaxxing for herd immunity might be usefull

 

Pertussis :  I would not vax for herd immunity for pertussis.  It does not seem to be an overly affective vax.  People still get it - although it is often milder (or so they claim!).  I assume it is still contagious. I have also heard it is underdiagnosed.

 

Tetanus is not contagious.  No herd immunity argument for it.

 

Hep B is a higher risk for some groups than others (medical workers are one).  It makes little sense to vax the masses for herd immunity for it.  HPV is somewhat sexually transmitted.  Get the vax if you want to, but once agains it is more necessary for some rather than others.  Not a herd immunity disease.  

 

HIb might have a herd immunity arguement.  It is dangerous - if the vaccine works and the numbers were high before the vaccine, herd immunity and hib might be an argument.

 

So, herd immunity might be a valid argument (measles, hib, and diptheria)  for some disease.  I think it is pretty weak applied across the board.

 

Any glaring flaws in the above?  

post #10 of 77
Thread Starter 


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miriam View Post

The only time I have had the herd theory of immunization invoked AGAINST me is to shame me and appeal to my social conscience after the dead baby and other scare tactics do not work to change my mind.

 

When my best friend's husband was stage 4 cancer, we were told by his oncological team to keep recently vaccinated children away from him and out of the home.  If the recently vaccinated children are a health risk to a dying immuno-compromised cancer patient, why is vaccinating a plus for herd immunity?  That does not make sense.

 

I do not think you misheard.  Thanks for the input!

 

 

 

 

 

To the OP:  What are you looking for?  


This whole thing started because there has been a lot of talk lately of people vaccinating for herd immunity.  I figured we should just come out in the open and talk about herd immunity.

 

I think almost everyone who debates on vax knows that the likelihood of any child (travellers excluded) actually getting most VPD is really, really low.  So pro-vaxxers turn instead to "you must vax to keep rates low and help the immune compromised who cannot vax".

 

I do think keeping the rates low of certain diseases is in our collective best interest (assuming vaxxes do not cause more harm than the disease they are trying to prevent), however applied across the board it is a weak argument.  Not all vaxes and diseases are the same.  Nor are all people, for that matter.

 

 

 

 

 


Edited by purslaine - 7/1/11 at 12:03pm
post #11 of 77

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Edited by member234098 - 6/2/12 at 1:00pm
post #12 of 77

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Edited by member234098 - 6/2/12 at 1:01pm
post #13 of 77


Edited by member234098 - 6/2/12 at 1:01pm
post #14 of 77

To the "don't believe vaccine induced herd immunity is real" people, why do you think we don't (and haven't for a decade) have endemic measles transmission in the US?

post #15 of 77

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Edited by member234098 - 6/2/12 at 1:02pm
post #16 of 77


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miriam View Post

To mamakay:

 

This is solely my opinion based on my anecdotal experience.

 

Reporting a disease is dependent on a doctor properly diagnosing the disease and reporting it to the proper authorities.  

 

This means lab tests that an insurance company may not pay for, 

- this means paperwork that a medical office may not have manpower for, 

- and it means that a doctor has to be able to diagnose the disease in front of him.  

Most doctors in practice are too young to recall measles as a common disease. 

 

My own son and his cousin had measles before they were old enough for the vaccine.  When my sister took my niece to the doctor, an intern examined her and told my sister that my niece's fever and rash was from a "virus".  When my sister asked what the name of the disease was, the intern simply said it was a "fever with a rash caused by a virus". (OMG, this person is a physician practicing somewhere today)  Later the older doctor came in and diagnosed my niece with measles.  

 

Three years later, the same thing happened to me and my son.  No one but the older, wiser, more experienced physician knew that the rash and fever were a viral infection known as measles.  

 

Both recovered well and are healthy today.

 

There are cases of children who do get measles, mumps or rubella after getting the MMR.  How are those reported to the health department?  Don't the Amish get measles since they traditionally do not vaccinate?  The CDC claims that there were 118 reported cases of measles in the first four months of this year most of them fully vaccinated, yet there were 3000+ reactions to the MMR reported to VAERS.  Is that progress?

 

My question to you is "Where did my niece and son get the measles if measles is no longer endemic?"  I suspect they got it from a recently vaccinated child whose viral sheddings made them sick.  

 

What do you think?  And how about answering some of my questions up thread.



How do you know those kids had real measles if no medical diagnostic tests were done?

 

Also, you know prevaccine a significant number of infants died from measles every year. Measles is much worse in infants than it is in older kids and adults. So, you think there are still a lot of infants going from sick to DEAD with measles in hospitals across the country each year, but NONE of them are being properly or accurately diagnosed?


Edited by mamakay - 7/4/11 at 5:43am
post #17 of 77


 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miriam View Post

Another thing about herd immunity...

 

When one travels to another country, there are RECOMMENDED vaccines for travelers.  Why can't we rely on the herd theory to keep us healthy?  Why can't the people in the foreign country rely on the old herd theory to stay healthy?  Where is the herd theory in this dilemma?  The vaccines should help someone.

 

This too does not make sense.  It seems the only valid reason for vaccination is to get vaccinated.  No other reason.

 

 

The reason for travel vaccines is to protect the travelers themselves from disease.  A secondary reason in some cases is to protect those they might infect at home if they were infected while travelling and brought the disease home.  

 

Regarding the questions I bolded, have you looked specifically at what vaccines are recommended for people travelling to which destinations?  I'm going to assume not, since the answers are all there.  

 

Yellow fever is recommended for many tropical destinations; I got it before visiting Peru.  It is spread by mosquitoes (only specific varieties, and an infected mosquito can pass it on to its descendants.  Some primates can also carry the disease.  Thus, even if surrounded by immune humans who can't spread the disease, you can still get it, and so there is no herd immunity.  The best way to eliminate yellow fever from an area is to wipe out the mosquitoes that carry it.  Since you can't wave a magic wand and make that happen for every place you want to visit, they recommend the vaccine for protecting yourself. Vaccination can, however, slow the spread of the disease by preventing new populations of mosquitoes from being infected.  Some African countries which are free of yellow fever require travelers  from other African countries to have proof of vaccination to enter; they don't want someone coming in with it and infecting their mosquitoes.  

 

Typhoid is another that may be recommended for some areas.  It is spread primarily by contaminated water or food.  We don't generally vaccinate for it here because our sanitary systems and water treatment keep typhoid from being a problem.  Someone travelling to an area where typhoid was endemic due to poor sanitary systems would be at risk for it while there though, so the vaccine may be recommended to them.  If they did catch typhoid just before coming home and came down with it once at home, they would be extremely unlikely to start off a mass epidemic or anything since they wouldn't be contaminating our water or anything, but they could infect a family member or someone else close to them if they, say, made that person a meal shortly after using the washroom where perhaps they weren't quite as thorough in washing their hands as well as they should have.  The typhoid vaccine is only 50-75% effective in preventing typhoid, so while it decreases the chance that the traveler will get typhoid, I don't think it could be used to create herd immunity.  Cholera is a similar story, though I don't think they typically recommend the vaccine to travelers.  

 

The measles vaccine is effective enough to be used to achieve herd immunity, but many countries have too low a vaccination rate to maintain herd immunity.  This includes some European countries.  

 

So basically, to sum up an answer your questions, because the disease is spread by non-humans and so herd immunity doesn't apply, because the particular vaccine is not effective enough to create herd immunity, and/or because vaccination rates at the destination are too low to achieve herd immunity.  

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by miriam View Post

There are cases of children who do get measles, mumps or rubella after getting the MMR.  How are those reported to the health department?  Don't the Amish get measles since they traditionally do not vaccinate?  The CDC claims that there were 118 reported cases of measles in the first four months of this year most of them fully vaccinated, yet there were 3000+ reactions to the MMR reported to VAERS.  Is that progress?

 

 

Regarding the bold, that is not correct.  105 of the 118 (which is  89%) cases were in people who were completely unvaccinated for measles.  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6020a7.htm?s_cid=mm6020a7_w

 

Vaccination rates among the Amish may be lower than in the rest of the population, but they do vaccinate.

 

105 cases of measles in people who were not vaccinated.  Another 13 in people who were not protected by their vaccines but wouldn't have been exposed, at least not at this time, if the disease hadn't been brought back to the US by an unvaxed traveler and spread largely by other unvaxed people.   But the number you should really be considering is how many cases of measles and complications thereof did vaccination prevent? 

 

We can only estimate, of course.  But France - which has a lower rate of Vaccination than the US, not enough to maintain herd immunity -can give us something to go by.  How do their thousands of measles cases, a few hundred cases of severe pneumonia from measles, 14 cases of encephalitis, and 6 deaths so far this year compare to 3000 reports of reactions to VAERS, most of which were minor, and many of which were likely not caused by the vaccine? 

 

Quote:

Originally Posted by miriam View Post

My question to you is "Where did my niece and son get the measles if measles is no longer endemic?"  I suspect they got it from a recently vaccinated child whose viral sheddings made them sick.  

 

I'll second what Mamakay said.  Unless they were confirmed by testing, can you be absolutely sure that the first doctor wasn't right and it was some other virus with a rash such as roseola?  

 

And assuming it was measles, there are no known cases of anyone actually catching measles from a shedding child.  It could happen, in theory at least, but how unlikely that it would happen both to your niece and son a few years apart?   Your signature says that your children are grown.  Measles wasn't declared eradicated from America until 2000.  While it has been quite rare since vaccination, it was still around, and there were occasional outbreaks. 

 

None of that really answered the question you said you were answering though.  You say that "Most doctors in practice are too young to recall measles as a common disease."  So why isn't measles a common disease any more, if it isn't due to herd immunity?  

 

 

post #18 of 77

Great response, Pers.

 

I've been thinking about responding to this thread, but there's so much going on in it that I didn't think I had time to address it all.  I will say, though, that I believe that herd immunity protects us from some diseases, I think vaccines are an important part of creating herd immunity, and creating herd immunity is one reason I vaccinate (secondary to my desire to protect my child, which is the primary reason).  Oh, and I don't think that having a disease necessarily provides lifelong immunity, so I do disagree that having a disease is preferable to getting vaccinated for herd immunity purposes. 

post #19 of 77
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by no5no5 View Post

  Oh, and I don't think that having a disease necessarily provides lifelong immunity, so I do disagree that having a disease is preferable to getting vaccinated for herd immunity purposes. 



Is it better, though, and perhaps differs from disease to disease?

 

I suppose to really argue it  one would have to look up what percentage of the population is immune and how long they are immune for with both vax and disease acquired immunity

 

My suspicion is disease confers better immunity in general- but I would have to look it up.  If anyone has stats handy I would love to look at them.


Edited by purslaine - 7/4/11 at 10:38am
post #20 of 77
 

Edited by member234098 - 6/2/12 at 1:04pm
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