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How do you sift out the "truth"?

post #1 of 35
Thread Starter 
I'm having a hard time here--I do believe that vaccines have value. My boys were born extremely prematurely, and thus far have been fully vaxed. We made this decision because many of these nasties, were they to contract them, would be devastating to them in their compromised state. They both have histories of lung issues.

We're coming up on MMR, and I'm nervous. I've asked my doc time and time again about thimerosal, and he reassures me repeatedly there is no thimerosal in the vaxes they use, not even trace amounts. He's a DO, and I like him and trust him...but...but...

I don't want this to turn into a slugfest about thimerosal. I don't want non-vaxers to tell me I put poison in my child. How do you decide who is telling the truth when both sides use fear to advance their agendas?
post #2 of 35
The pro/anti propaganda really turned me off too. I ended up doing most of my research on sites like the CDC site and VAERS. Hard numbers. I weighed each vaccine- ingredients, reactions etc. against each disease- numbers of cases, treatments, chance of death etc.

FWIW the MMR never had thermerisol in it

-Angela
post #3 of 35
Betsy - I totally hear you. We also vax. And I've done enough reading by now that there are things I hear from both sides that make me roll my eyes. There is so much oversimplification either way, and it can be hard to work out what sources are trustworthy.

Your doc is correct about the MMR, there is no thimerasol in it and never was. On the other hand, those are live viruses, and there is good reason they are not done until a year. First of all, if you want to stay "on time" with shots, why not at least wait till your preemies are one year old by adjusted age - in other words, if they were born two months early, you'd wait till they are 14 months. But you know, there's not a lot of measles, mumps, or rubella chasing around NY. So there's not likely to be much harm in delaying further. The CDC site should be able to tell you what the incidence of those diseases was in the last year.

We are definitely getting the MMR at some point, but delaying at least until 18 months, possibly later. I'm working on getting an info packet together for DH. Feel free to PM me if you want to discuss further...
post #4 of 35
I feel your pain. My twins have suffered with major lung problems since birth. I've decided to hold off on the MMR until they are 3 to give me more time to research and make a decision. My firstborn had his mmr at 2 years but I think that's too early for my twins. They have been getting vaxes since 4 months although at a pace that's comfortable with me. I also don't do vaxes during the months we get the rsv shot. Please feel free to pm me if you want to discuss this further.
post #5 of 35
Quote:
I've asked my doc time and time again about thimerosal, and he reassures me repeatedly there is no thimerosal in the vaxes they use, not even trace amounts. He's a DO, and I like him and trust him...but...but...
That's an easy one. Get each vaccine insert and look it up online for yourself. You don't need to trust someone else to tell you this. It isn't about choosing sides. It's a matter of fact, that is easily verified. Here is a link to a chart that has the amount of thimerosal (including those with "trace" amounts) in most US vaccines:
http://www.vaccinesafety.edu/thi-table.htm The vaccines with an asterisk next to them contain trace amounts. For those, thimerosal is used in the manufacturing process then filtered out afterwards. It is impossible to filter it all out, though, hence the trace amounts.

The MMR does not contain thimerosal and never has. No live virus vaccine can contain thimerosal, so the new rotavirus vax and Varivax do not contain any thimerosal. Also, to get the best results from MMR, it should be given at 15 months, not 12 months. At 12 months, efficacy is about 5% lower than at 15 months. This is a well-known fact that I don't have the time to dig up right now, but it should be easy enough for you to find the research on that, if you care to look. If you're vaccinating, this should be important to you, as there's no point in vaccinating if the vaccine doesn't work.
post #6 of 35
Are you more nervous about the MMR vaccine or the diseases it is supposed to protect against? Maybe research the diseases and the vax and see where you are more comfortable at.
post #7 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rainbow Brite
Are you more nervous about the MMR vaccine or the diseases it is supposed to protect against? Maybe research the diseases and the vax and see where you are more comfortable at.
This is what I did. It was the only way I could approach the problem from a fact-based standpoint. For us, at this time, the risk of complications from catching the diseases is less than the risk of adverse effects from the vaccines. (Did that make sense? )
post #8 of 35
Thread Starter 
Part of my fear comes from the fact that our kids don't have "normal" immune systems--something a healthy kid could fight off, like pertussis, could mean a serious setback for preemies with already compromised lungs. My one son spent nearly 2 weeks on the vent, and the other one has chronic lung disease. I am afraid of mumps, too, since it can cause sterility.
post #9 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY
Part of my fear comes from the fact that our kids don't have "normal" immune systems--something a healthy kid could fight off, like pertussis, could mean a serious setback for preemies with already compromised lungs. My one son spent nearly 2 weeks on the vent, and the other one has chronic lung disease. I am afraid of mumps, too, since it can cause sterility.
thats where me as a non vaxer and you differ......I would see that as even more reason not to vax, because their immune systems are more vulnerable to reactions.
post #10 of 35
Mumps can *only* cause sterility in sexually mature males. It is utterly impossible for mumps to cause orchitis (the testicular swelling that sometimes, rarely, leads to sterility) in pre-pubertal males. Therefore, you could delay this one until puberty, if that is your only concern. You could then test for immunity, because 1/3 of mumps infections are completely asymptomatic, so there would be a good chance they would already have had it, given that mumps is still relatively prevalent in America. It is also safer to split up the MMR, so it's not a bad idea at all.
post #11 of 35
Thread Starter 
Yeah, well, romans_mum, what can I say. They're my babies and I'm trying to do what's best for them. I don't want them to suffer a vaccine-related complication, but I don't want them to end up back in the hospital either.
post #12 of 35
Here's sort of a loose description of how I began sorting out the truth.
Take one disease at a time...let's take Mumps...now, you've researched enough to be worried about sterility...good...now you've posted that worry here, and Plummeting has said that's only a worry during and after puberty...is she right? Never just believe anything you read on a message board (I know you know this)... so fact check her.
If it turns out she's right, and you have no additional worries with Mumps, you know at the very least you can postpone that one till puberty.
(I'd also encourage you to look up the incidence of mumps induced sterility even in post pubescent males, too.)

Mumps is going to be one of the easy ones. But it'll be a good starting point for that very reason. Pertussis is really, really complicated. No one...and I mean not even the doctors and epidemiologists...know what's going on with pertussis. The CDC just admitted last year that only a small fraction of actual pertussis cases have been correctly diagnosed for decades, and it appears that vaccination has done nothing at all to prevent the spread of the disease. (But the new pertussis vax for adults is the new plan to fix that, of course.)The effectiveness of the vax is somewhere between 33% and 88%. Pertussis is unique among the VPDs in that even if you should be immune, and technically are immune, once your immune system identifies it, the bacteria has a way of hiding from your immune system and making you sick anyway.
Anyway, that's what I found after about a year of trying to figure out whether or not to vax my son for this disease that I was terrified of. Ironically, by the end, he was big enough to where it was no longer so scary anyway. So that's kind of a catch 22.
Anyway, the other side is the vax. What are the risks of the vax? Is the actual pertussis antigen dangerous? (I'm thinking not, jmo.) What about the aluminum adjuvant? What is an adjuvant? Are adjuvants necessary?

Anyway, it takes time and dedication.
On the bright side, it's all very interesting once you get a feel for it.
And if you fact check everything, you won't be misled by fear tactics from either side.
post #13 of 35
here is my method...

avoid the pro and anti vax sites
research the heck out of the individual diseases and viruses
only vax if you discover that you are realistically more afraid of the disease/virus than you are of the vax

post #14 of 35
I would say not to look at it from a pro vax anti vax perspective. Find out what you need to know about the disease and what you need to do to protect your children. What would you do if your vaccinated child still got the disease? Once you are armed with that information it should be clear as to where to go.
post #15 of 35
Definitely go on a disease by disease basis when you research. Forget all the pro and anti for sure. That just gets confusing : and you'd still be basing your decision off what OTHER people say and not what you are most comfortable with based on your concerns with the diseases and/or the correlating vaccinations.

With premies especially, if you decide to selectively or fully vax, I would personally split ALL of them up. There's no reason to load their systems up with more than one at a time. But do your own research on that as well

Don't vaccinate them until you are comfortable doing so. Don't vaccinate based on fear and don't NOT vaccinate based on fear either. Make your decision because it's the right decision for you - because you've done the research and are comfortable with it.

You might also want to dig up some old medical textbooks... I work at a rummage sale once a year in the books section and I noticed this year that whether a childhood disease was considered dangerous or not in any given book (and I checked 20-30 old books) depended mostly on whether or not there was a vaccine for it... the diseases that had no vaccine were always considered "mild" whereas the diseases with a correlating vaccine were considered "deadly" and "very serious" and "thank goodness there's a vaccine!" It was fascinating and really made me think. It was quite 1984-ish

love and peace.
post #16 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyNY
I don't want this to turn into a slugfest about thimerosal. I don't want non-vaxers to tell me I put poison in my child. How do you decide who is telling the truth when both sides use fear to advance their agendas?
I draw the line at the credentials of the person making the claim. If you trust your do, then trust him. He has a lot of knowledge in the area. If you have doubts, ask him for more reading. He will know of places to go and books to read. The rhetoric used in the antivax arguments turns me off tremendously. So, I look for sources I consider to be reliable. Doctors, people who have done research, those in the healthcare business who have training. I trust my naturopath, I like Dr. Stephani Cave's book, I trust in the research that is being done.

Life is not without risks. There are risks associated with vaxing and not vaxing. I think there is a greater risk of not vaxing with the MMR than vaxing with it. But, talk to your healthcare provider about your fears and don't do anything until you are comfortable with it.
post #17 of 35
Quote:
Originally Posted by grace474
here is my method...

avoid the pro and anti vax sites
research the heck out of the individual diseases and viruses
only vax if you discover that you are realistically more afraid of the disease/virus than you are of the vax

Yep.
I agree with mamakay as well. If you "hear" something here, go and check it out to find out if it's true or false.
If your dr tells you something, do the same.
Like Plummeting said, you can look up the vaxes your dc have received and find out for sure if there's any mercury in them.

It takes a lot of work, but I am so glad I stuck with it and kept reading.
post #18 of 35
Edited and re-opened...

Dar
post #19 of 35
I know this is a hard choice, I myself really struggled with the MMR, because of the relation to autism, I am a therpist and before I had DD1 I worked full time at a psychiatric hospital and we had a unit that worked with children with autism... the mom in me was terrified... what if my child ended up like theses children because of the shot... I would never forgive myself...

But I did my research and talked with my ped., we delayed the MMR and DD had at 20 months... I probably would have delayed it further but we had alot of Katrina hurricane victims and there was an outbreak of measles in our area and I just didnt want to take the chance...

I also talked with the medical director of the hosptial where I work who specializes in autism... to sum up what he said, all his children had the vaccine and for the most part they are safe, however he has patients in his practice whose moms swear that it was the vaccine that spurred the autism, and he said honestly looking at the individual cases he doesnt doubt that it was the vaccine...

But remember that are alot of things to look at, this is just my belief but I dont think autism stems from just one thing I think there are a variety of things that can cause autism, heridity ,envirn., etc.

As I mentioned before because of the outbreak I went ahead and vaxed but I also felt that it would be safe for my little one because I never ate fish or seafood while I was pregnant and very little while I breastfed (mercury in fish), and there was nobody in recent generations in my family that had autism. So I made my choice and I know not everyone will agree how I came about making my choice... I just wanted to give you somethings to think about.

I have a 6 month old now and honeslty I may wait until shes 2 to for the MMR... but we will see!

Good Luck on making your decision in your heart I think YOU will know what is best for YOUR children!

post #20 of 35
One more thing... another thing my ped mentioned was giving the shots in a singular dose rather then all together... you know just the measles, then just mumps, etc.,she just mentioned that sometimes it is hard to get the indiv. doses... but something you might want to ask you ped and get his opinion.
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