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International Travel as a Non-Vaxxer

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 

We are looking into the possibility of adopting, not right away but sometime, and I am wondering about what issues might come up with travel and not vaxxing. The countries we would be looking at would be China, Bulgaria, and maybe Ukraine. As far as I know they have no vax requirements for us to travel but what diseases might we come into contact in those areas? I know HepB is a big one but I understand that transmission rate would be very low without direct contact with contaminated blood. Is that correct?

 

What can we do to help prevent transmission of disease?

 

Would you travel with children in those areas? Age-specific possibilities? We have children that would be in their teens all the way down to toddlers.

 

Also, do any of those countries vaccinate for smallpox? Thanks,

post #2 of 12

i know this wont be that helpful, but we travel to Czech republic, and other parts of developed Europe with our 2.5 yr old whos not vax'd.  before we leave we all take TIMS an immune booster available in most health food stores (genestra is the brand i believe) and we take it when we go too, my naturopath recommended it. i have extensive conversations with my ND about vaccinating and traveling. He has clinics in africa as well.

other than that we dont do much! i havent travelled to those countries but any country that is highly developed i would not see as being a problem traveling to or worry about 'catching' anything.

we have health insurance as well that covers us for when we travel so that if anything were to happen, we wouldnt be stuck,.

 

i;d recommend seeing an experienced and knowledgeable naturopath to discuss your questions as well.

hope this helped somewhat.. :)

meg

post #3 of 12

I do not know how accurate it is, but this is a fun map to play with about which diseases are where:

 

http://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/#map

post #4 of 12

China - HepB, measles, polio for the reason that they use OPV.

 

Eastern Europe - generally all over Europe measles. I think the CDC or the State Department list ongoing "outbreaks" in those countries. Could you travel there without your kids when you adopt?

 

I haven't been with the kids to either country, but we have went to Germany a lot. Measles is around there, but I knew my home state had zero cases in years, and I just keep an eye on the local health department website, which is easy since I speak that language. We are considering visiting my sister in Shanghai next year. We are select-delayers and I consider IPV (we did DtaP, not finished yet in DS and no vaccines in DD so far) for the shedding and maybe the single measles one in Europe before the trip. No HepB - it won't be a concern as we will stay in the "golden cage" my sister lives in (basically a "ghetto" for all Westerners) and do some sight-seeing.

post #5 of 12

I live in China, in a bigger city and I have a four month old baby who was born here.  I am from the US.  China vacs are "mandatory" and free so everyone gets them.  The ones I have a problem with are OPV, BCG Japanese B Encephelitis (sp?) and a few other menengitis ones.  They don't have rotovirus vac, or Hib unless they are given under a different name.  

 

Here is a resource:

http://www.havingababyinchina.com/reference/vaccine-schedule-china/

 

There are international clinics with imported vacs from Korea, US, and the UK.

 

I have not given my 4 month old any vaccines and we will be living here a long time.  At birth they usually give Hep B and BCG (TB vac), but I gave birth at a private hospital and they did not give DD any vacs according to my requests.  I have a friend also from the US who has a 9 year old and a 4 year old.  The 9 year old came here when she was 3 and the 4 year old was born here.  Neither child has vacs.  I have another friend who also has a 1 year old born here and her DD has no vacs.

 

The problem comes to when the child enters school.  To enter a Chinese preschool or elementary school, the child must be up to date on their vaccines and there is no such thing as written consent or exception for religious beliefs.  The international school where my friend's older children go probably allows for such exceptions.  

 

I am still up in the air about whether we will get vacs.  I will NOT get hep b or TB as I myself don't even have these vacs.  I will NOT get the Japanese B Encephilitus either.  The only ones I am considering are Polio (from an international clinic which has IPV option) and maybe DTaP, but from all my research, I am still undecided.  I'm leaning toward Polio bc there is still wild polio here...but then I read research that less than 1% of people who even get Polio will have permanent muscle problems...so I am still waiting and I'm not scared of my child getting any of these diseases.  We aren't around animals or in the countryside and even if we were, I'm not worried.

 

The Chinese schedule is "better" than the US in that children don't get 5 shots at one time, but at most 2 vacs at a time.  I went to the international clinic to talk to a doctor about vacs, but being that he was an American trained dr, the moment he heard I hadn't vac'd yet, he jumped down my throat.  Which made me research even more and feel even MORE certain that I would be delaying and possibly not getting any.  Hope that helps!

post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 

Thanks. That is all useful.

 

The children could stay home. We would like to take them, but certainly wouldn't if it would put them at significant risk. $ would also be a factor in that decision and it may be only the older children or none in that case as well.

 

Does anyone know about the smallpox issue? That is my biggest concern as I have several girls with eczema which means they can not be in close contact with anyone recently vaxxed. Another group I am on, some seemed to think their children from Ukraine had been vaxxed against it, but others were saying no it was just TB (both leave a scar???)

post #7 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post

Thanks. That is all useful.

 

The children could stay home. We would like to take them, but certainly wouldn't if it would put them at significant risk. $ would also be a factor in that decision and it may be only the older children or none in that case as well.

 

Does anyone know about the smallpox issue? That is my biggest concern as I have several girls with eczema which means they can not be in close contact with anyone recently vaxxed. Another group I am on, some seemed to think their children from Ukraine had been vaxxed against it, but others were saying no it was just TB (both leave a scar???)

 

The WHO recommended that all countries stop routine vaccination with the smallpox vax in 1980. As far as I know, only certain military people still receive this vaccine. I wouldn't give that issue a second thought. As far as other vaccines - Im more of a no vax person in general so I would be inclined to leave my kids home rather than take them and vax them with something just for a trip. 

post #8 of 12

Yes, smallpox is discontinued, only military deploying to the sandbox receive it. TB (BCG) does not leave a scar. I got that as a baby and it's an injection, not a cut like the smallpox one. From what I gather it's not terribly effective against current strains anyways. My sister wasn't even offered BCG for her kids in Shanghai. She goes to an international clinic too (they import EU vaccines apparently; Hib must be available as my sister gave her daughter Pentacel).

post #9 of 12
I've seen babies who had the TB vac (bcg) and they do have a scar that is like the small pox vac on the shoulder. My husband has one as well.
post #10 of 12

That's odd. Literally everybody was vaccinated with BCG at birth in my home country. None of us have scars. Maybe they use something else now? It was the Soviet BCG version.

post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by nia82 View Post

That's odd. Literally everybody was vaccinated with BCG at birth in my home country. None of us have scars. Maybe they use something else now? It was the Soviet BCG version.

My dad has a scar form the BCG. He is from the UK and in his 70's

post #12 of 12

Totally OT, but I vaguely remember the Soviet supply was different and they didn't want to share with the "West". I remember distinctly though that the Soviet version was more effective.

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