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Vaccines in impoverished areas

post #1 of 27
Thread Starter 

I'm an anthropology major.  When I had my son 2.5 years ago, I opted not to have him vaccinated.  I wouldn't change that decision--we live in a sanitary home, he's still nursing occasionally, and doesn't go to an overcrowded daycare.  He also has access to nutritious foods (getting him to EAT them..well... we're working on that...)

 

However, I recently had a conversation with my environmental anthropology professor that has brought some unsettled doubts to the forefront of my mind.  My personal belief is that it's more important to help people in places like Haiti or Brazil improve their living standards--access to clean water, sanitation, healthy food, etc.  But it seems that it's more urgent to vaccinate the children if they're going to make it.  Because everyone is so malnourished, they have very little immune system to fight off diseases that don't scare me.  Kids can actually die of measles, or cholera, or whatever else is floating around. If my son got the measles, I'd tuck him into bed and use natural remedies or take him to the doctor if those didn't work.  If a little toddler in the poor parts of Brazil gets the measles, he pretty much dies. The lucky ones make it, but there's not a whole lot of luck going around.

 

So my question is, since it seems obvious that vaccines are saving lives in areas where people have no infrastructure to support healthy immune systems, shouldn't we be supporting that?  It takes a lot longer to change an entire system than it does to stick people with needles.  I still think the system change is much more important and effective, but it won't save the life of an undernourished man, woman, or child.  They may not live long enough to even see change.  The same goes for the hungry poor right here in the U.S.  Food deserts are causing malnutrition in many people--some may look obese, but their bodies are hungry for actual nutrition to which they have no access.

 

I'm very torn on this issue.  I could use some insight or advice as I follow this career path.

post #2 of 27

Ok, here's my thoughts and there is a BIG OLD IF in there.  If vaccines worked as they are supposed to and how most people think they do (look it's some kill germs in some saline solution) sure, vaccinate to save lives especially the children.  But if vaccines are filled with more toxins and garbage and they don't have good nutrition to help them their bodies clean themselves of these things, and if they are causing auto-immune disorders, SIDS, reactions and all the other things we feel or think they may be doing, and there is no medical support or therapy for those who are injured.  Are we really helping? 

 

 


Edited by shiningpearl - 1/30/12 at 9:04pm
post #3 of 27

I live in Brazil. According to WHO there were 68 reported cases of measles in 2010 and 0 in the 4 years prior. Brazil does have high vax numbers though. There is a free public health system here, children get vaxes for free. 

 

I hate that the govt. buys a ton of vaccines but cant prioritize getting clean water to the population, good sewage systems, regulate building and residential issues. Brazilians pay the most? taxes in the world (if not the most it is pretty high...) but there is a real problem with lack of infrastructure. We were/are hoping it would be improving the worldcup and olympics coming... but unfortuantely corruption is a real issue here.

 

The vax campaigns are intense here - especially the oral polio campaigns they do. I went to a public health post a few years ago during the time of H1N1 - they were constantly showing commercials on tv about free h1n1 vax for some of the population. I forget the ages, but there were people at the post crying and hysterical because their child or grandma was a few months off the age limit. The commercials had them terrified.

 

Dengue is a serious issue here. I guess there is an effort to create a vaccine for that.

 

In general, I think Brazilians eat better than Americans, but that is also worsening... 

post #4 of 27

Interesting thread here.

 

With more and more studies linking vaccines to autoimmune disorders, and with the fact that US pharmaceutical companies export versions of vaccines that are considered too problematic for the US to use (such as the oral polio vaccine, which at this point is recognized as causing all known cases of polio in Africa), I agree with ShiningPearl:  are vaccines really helping?

 

Some questions to ponder:

 

Why do US vaccine manufacturers continue to manufacture and export thimerosal-preserved pediatric vaccines?

Why have several US states (such as IL, WI, and WA) quietly enacted legislation reversing their ban on administering thimerosal-preserved pediatric vaccines, if the FDA and CDC recommend thimerosal-free vaccines for children?

 

If a child (or an adult, for that matter) develops a vaccine-induced autoimmune disorder in a less-developed nation, what are their chances of accessing appropriate medical care for that autoimmune disorder? (And remember, in the US, getting an autoimmune disorder such as celiac disease correctly diagnosed takes an average of 11 years, according to a 2006 University of Chicago study.)

 

How was the "free" H1N1 vaccine in Brazil funded? Did the government pay the manufacturer for those vaccines, or did the vaccine company donate them?  If they were donated, was there then a marketing blitz to buy further vaccines?

 

The flu shot of the last two years, which remained unchanged and contains H1N1, resulted in serious problems recognized in Australia, Finland, Sweden, and France.  The US media has greatly downplayed reporting of these problems, as the version of the flu shot used in those countries was not licensed in the US.  Which version or versions were given in Brazil?

post #5 of 27

Taximom, I am struggling to find good drs. to help me with my Hashimotos and Celiac. I have enough money and health insurance and persistence to go to multiple drs in searching for help, I imagine it would be very difficult/impossible for someone who had to rely on the public health system here. It is not good and overstressed. Probably they would really need to wait until their health is at crisis levels. I was dealing this week with a dr. who refuses to help me with the health issues I'm having, I am seeing a different dr. later this week. That would not be possible for a lot of the population here.

 

The Public system provides - BCG, Heb B, DTP, Hib, Oral polio, Rotavirus, Yellow Fever (depending on area), and MMR. (as of 2010 anyway)

It does not offer Hep A, DTaP, inactivated polio, prevnar, Flu, Chickenpox, HPV, or Men C. If you want any of those you need to go to a private clinic and pay out of pocket. 

I am trying to tell my friends here to take their kids and pay for the DTaP and injected polio, a lot of people who could afford to pay use the free system anyway, the better pedis advise to pay for these vax, but free is free right?? and all vax are safe...

 

I believe the govt purchased those H1N1 vaccines, it was March/April 2010... so really the majority of the "crisis outbreak" was already over but I guess they had a lot of purchased vax they had to use up. And the proof of no further epidemic was obviously the vax they supplied... right...

 

I am not sure which flu vax are available here, but you would have to pay for them. I'm guessing different private clinics probably offer different brands.

 

I talked with another mom this week who wanted to get DTaP for her child but was having problems finding it sep. - she said all the private clinics only have Pentacel. 

 

I wonder how many polio cases are happening because of the oral polio campaigns here. The water/sewage issues are not very good. Sometimes the beaches are not safe to swim in because of sewage. I don't even know if that info is available anywhere. I got Pentacel for my daughter because I wanted DTaP and the injected polio due to the oral use here.

 

I also wonder what DTP is doing here. I have friends whose daughter had a seizure after receiving free DTP. They brought her to private drs and specialists after, who said it was not vax related. They started paying for DTaP (in penta i guess), and she had more issues. They dont believe it is vax related. I keep my mouth shut. 

 

One plus - Bfing is much more encouraged here than in the US, at least from what I have seen and experienced. 

post #6 of 27

you know, after writing out the list, I just realized kids here are getting 4-5 live virus vax (in the public system) - DTP, MMR, Rota, Polio, and Yellow Fever in some places. That's an awful lot. Even 20 years ago in US it was just 3 right?- MMR, DTP and oral polio - before rota and cp were available and before DTaP and IP replaced.

 

I guess, technically, you could get those 5 free ones here and then go to clinic to pay for chicken pox and get your kid 6 live virus vaccines huh.gif All before the age of 2...

post #7 of 27

Mormontreehugger, as a student you know  how important the source of your info is....not just the info itself.

 

You are asking random people on the Internet.  People who have an ideological agenda and no degrees in immunology or medicine.

 

 

 

It is not that hard to find WHO stats. World wide vaccination reduced childhood mortality.

 

India just celebrated a year without polio. Why? Vaccine. India does not have good sewage system and quality of water is horrible and yet, they eradicated polito.

 

Nigeria and Pakistan where levels of paranoia about vaccines are high, still have polio.

 

Lets imagine, for a second, that vaccine cause mass autoimmune disorders....it is still better to make into one;s 60 with an autoimmune disorder than die from measles at 8 months.

 

If your university had Biology department, meet with someone there who has an expertise in immunology to discuss vaccination with  them from a scientific point of view.

 

 

The only goal public health vaccination campaigns have it to reduce childhood mortality worldwide.

post #8 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

 

India just celebrated a year without polio. Why? Vaccine. India does not have good sewage system and quality of water is horrible and yet, they eradicated polito.

 

 



Vaccine-induced polio is still a problem in India.  No, polio has not been eradicated there.

post #9 of 27

I guess my point to the OP is that Brazil is not some war-ravaged, famine/natural disaster striken nation with little access to healthcare/resorces. If Brazilian politicians really cared about public health, they would try to 1. improve public health system by expanding funding and resources, 2. Purchase safer vaccines for their population - ex. DTaP and IP, 3. prioritize sanitation and living conditions. But political corruption and inefficiencies make the available money they have disappear. 

 

These are political problems.

post #10 of 27

That's a tough one. I hate to see that lesser vaccines are distributed to poor countries (thimerosal containing ones, OPV instead of IPV and such). In a perfect world, money would go to improve sanitation and nutrition. In our world, it's not gonna happen. I do believe that vaccines work to a certain extent, but I only find a handful of them useful as you can see by my signature. I do think that certain core vaccines save lives in poor countries, especially if one thinks of neonatal tetanus and what measles can do to malnourished children. 

I don't think it's fair to say hey die at 8 months or have lifelong autoimmune disorders. That's cruel either way. The right path would be to invest properly into sanitation and nutrition AND proper vaccines (e.g Dengue is nothing you wanna mess with; and children should not get thimerosal laced vaccines or mandatory schedules - if the kids reacted, wriggle room should be allowed - I am thinking of mandatory OPV at gunpoint vaccines in Africa - I do not believe in mandatory vaccination for anyone, and my EU homecountry agrees on that).

post #11 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

 

 levels of paranoia about vaccines are high, still have polio.

So people who don't vaccinate are paranoid?

 

 

Also, in 3rd world countries, do you believe a person with an autoimmune disorder will live to age 60?

post #12 of 27


In a third world country...  average life span in Angola is 38...  And Autoimmune disease do not necessarily shorten your life by much. 

Quote:
Originally Posted by BeckyBird View Post

So people who don't vaccinate are paranoid?

 

 

Also, in 3rd world countries, do you believe a person with an autoimmune disorder will live to age 60?



 

post #13 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

 

India just celebrated a year without polio. Why? Vaccine. India does not have good sewage system and quality of water is horrible and yet, they eradicated polito.

 

 

 

 

 


http://truth11.com/2012/01/20/polio-vaccines-now-the-1-cause-of-polio-paralysis/

 

 

"...an estimated 100-180 Indian children are diagnosed with vaccine-associated polio paralysis (VAPP) each year. In fact, the clinical presentation of the disease, including paralysis, caused by VAPP is indistinguishable from that caused by wild polioviruses, making the PGEI’s pronouncements all the more suspect.

According to the Polio Global Eradication Initiative’s own statistics2 there were 42 cases of wild-type polio (WPV) reported in India in 2010, indicating that vaccine-induced cases of polio paralysis (100-180 annually) outnumber wild-type cases by a factor of 3-4... should not the real-world effects of immunization, both good and bad, be included in PGEI’s measurement of success? For the dozens of Indian children who develop vaccine-induced paralysis every year, the PGEI’s recent declaration of India as nearing “polio free” status, is not only disingenuous, but could be considered an attempt to minimize their obvious liability in having transformed polio from a natural disease vector into a man-made (iatrogenic) one."

post #14 of 27

I have been thinking about this thread non-stop. I think we have to recognize there is a whole scale of grey between best possible living conditions developed country and worst of the worst "3rd world country." Vax policies on both ends of the scale influence the middle.

There is a lot of poverty in Brazil, that is true, and living conditions/infrastructure can be really bad in some places.

 

I was thinking, should the upper and middle class parents here be allowed to go to the public health posts and get the free DTP and OP? They are using a resource they could be paying for... and what they would be paying for would be safer for their children (DTaP and IP). But then again they pay taxes so shouldn't they be able to take advantage of the available public system? Health insurance does not cover vaccines here. What if it did... what vax would they want to pay for?

 

What if more parents, who could afford, were encouraged to buy those better vaxes.... save some money for the public system. by doing so it would have to pointed out that DTP and OP have some problems. then what happens when lower-class finds out their kids are getting the lesser-option...? what if IF lower class parents knew about the vax differences, they would save money to opt for the better vaxes... shouldnt they have that option? What if they decided not to vaccinate? Can poor and/or illiterate people be allowed to make informed consent? lots of herd issues...

 

ETA: sorry, guess I went off on a tangent... just so many issues/questions on this topic. I dont have any answers, just was thinking up questions.


Edited by slmommy - 1/31/12 at 12:11pm
post #15 of 27
Thread Starter 

I just want to say that I asked this group because I value their opinions and judgement.  I also value their own efforts to research this issue.  This is not my only source of information, and it adds a valid element to any equation.

 

Thanks for the replies so far.  I do agree that pretty much any poverty issue is a political one, no matter what country you inhabit.  That said, vaccines are still easier to distribute than political change.  Also, without a long term study, I would have a hard time believing that more people are injured by vaccines than are 'helped'.  I still fervently believe that they should NOT be a long-term solution, but until we can accomplish effective solutions maybe they could be the lesser of the two evils? 

post #16 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by mormontreehugger View Post

I just want to say that I asked this group because I value their opinions and judgement.  I also value their own efforts to research this issue.  This is not my only source of information, and it adds a valid element to any equation.

 

Thanks for the replies so far.  I do agree that pretty much any poverty issue is a political one, no matter what country you inhabit.  That said, vaccines are still easier to distribute than political change.  Also, without a long term study, I would have a hard time believing that more people are injured by vaccines than are 'helped'.  I still fervently believe that they should NOT be a long-term solution, but until we can accomplish effective solutions maybe they could be the lesser of the two evils? 



I don't think more people are harmed by vaccines than "helped."  But it's Russian Roulette--are you willing to risk YOUR child's health?  How do we determine how many injured people are too many?

Were you aware that in the US, 1297 cases of vaccine-induced brain damage have been admitted and compensated by the US government?  And that's a tiny graction of the number of cases reported, which is said to be a tiny fraction of the number of cases that happen.

 

1-10 % of severe vaccine reactions get reported in the US, because VAERS, the reporting system, is entirely voluntary.

 

Of those, very, very few even attempt to go to court, because the vaccine manufacturers have been granted liability protection by the government.  You have to sue the GOVERNMENT, and hire a lawyer willing to go up against a GOVERNMENT lawyer and GOVERNMENT-paid experts who try to prove you wrong.  The people who have been through it, even those who win, all report that they felt like they were the ones on trial, that the GOVERNMENT lawyers tried to destroy them in every possible way.

 

Families of victims, who are already using all their time and $ to care for a severely injured child, rarely have the resources to go through with this.

 

EDIT:  apparently, I was mistaken on one issue--lawyers for the petitioners are paid from the VCIP. See posts below.


Edited by Taximom5 - 1/31/12 at 6:04pm
post #17 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Taximom5 View Post



I don't think more people are harmed by vaccines than "helped."  But it's Russian Roulette--are you willing to risk YOUR child's health?  How do we determine how many injured people are too many?

Were you aware that in the US, 1297 cases of vaccine-induced brain damage have been admitted and compensated by the US government?  And that's a tiny graction of the number of cases reported, which is said to be a tiny fraction of the number of cases that happen.

 

1-10 % of severe vaccine reactions get reported in the US, because VAERS, the reporting system, is entirely voluntary.

 

Of those, very, very few even attempt to go to court, because the vaccine manufacturers have been granted liability protection by the government.  You have to sue the GOVERNMENT, and hire a lawyer willing to go up against a GOVERNMENT lawyer and GOVERNMENT-paid experts who try to prove you wrong.  The people who have been through it, even those who win, all report that they felt like they were the ones on trial, that the GOVERNMENT lawyers tried to destroy them in every possible way.

 

Families of victims, who are already using all their time and $ to care for a severely injured child, rarely have the resources to go through with this.

 

 


Just to be clear, when someone takes a case to the vaccine court, they are not "suing" the US government.  They are a petitioner for compensation.  All lawyer fees are paid, whether the case wins or not (that would NOT be the case in civil court, where you have to pay a lawyer upfront or on contingency).  A family does NOT need to lay out their own money to present a case to the vaccine court.

 

Lawyers can actually do quite well.  Clifford Shoemaker was compensated over half a million dollars between 2006 and 2008 from the VICP.  He brought 22 cases to trial, 17 of them were without merit.  He was compensated for ALL cases brought.  Complete info here:  http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/149/

 

post #18 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by WildKingdom View Post


Just to be clear, when someone takes a case to the vaccine court, they are not "suing" the US government.  They are a petitioner for compensation.  All lawyer fees are paid, whether the case wins or not (that would NOT be the case in civil court, where you have to pay a lawyer upfront or on contingency).  A family does NOT need to lay out their own money to present a case to the vaccine court.

 

Lawyers can actually do quite well.  Clifford Shoemaker was compensated over half a million dollars between 2006 and 2008 from the VICP.  He brought 22 cases to trial, 17 of them were without merit.  He was compensated for ALL cases brought.  Complete info here:  http://neurodiversity.com/weblog/article/149/

 


Thank you, WildKingdom--I did not realize that attorneys were compensated FROM the VICP.

 

This certainly confuses the issue.  On the one hand, it negates my argument that families need to pay the attorney.  I'll go back and edit my original post.


On the other hand, it calls into question other issues.  Might attorneys for the petitioners  do less than a stellar job, as their compensation does not depend on whether or not they present a strong case?  In fact, my first question is whether this could constitute some kind of conflict of interest.

 

post #19 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alenushka View Post

Mormontreehugger, as a student you know  how important the source of your info is....not just the info itself.

 

You are asking random people on the Internet.  


You know…I think she knows that eyesroll.gif

 

post #20 of 27
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post


You know…I think she knows that eyesroll.gif

 



And, as an anthropology student, she probably DOES understand the importance of anecdotal evidence.  Cultural anthropology would not exist without personal reports.  That doesn't make it irrelevant.

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