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Those who DO vax... help

post #1 of 34
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

I am still on the fence, leaning toward NO vaxes, but I still have lingering fears. My ds is 10 months old, no vaxes so far.

I have read everything I can get my hands on, researched all of the individual diseases and their respective vaccines. Here is what I am thinking so far.

Hep B- NO.
Prevnar-NO--my doctor does not even offer this, so I guess that tells me what he thinks of it!

DtaP-I am thinking of doing this one. Diptheria is not really one of my concerns, but it is a horrible sounding disease, nonetheless. Tetanus, I would just feel better if he were protected. We are around horse shows and dog shows... I just think it would make sense. Pertussis is scary, and although I am not sure that he would be protected by the vaccine, as the manufacturers admit it is 60-80% effective at BEST, I guess if he had some protection, I would not worry as much about taking him places. The whole church was coughing this weekend and it made me nervous.

Hib- I am on the fence. Ds is breastfed still about 90%, and I had planned NOT to do this one, but then he had his first fever a month ago, and I was scared to death wondering if it "could" be Hib. I know, not really logical, and probably the hysteria of a first time mom, but still, this vax seems like the least reactive, based on what I have read, and even if I did ONE shot, maybe I would be able to relax a bit?

IPV- this one I think I will do... just because I am the least scared of this vaccine, and even though there is no risk of Polio in the Western Hemisphere anymore, I just think it makes sense to do it. I am not worried about side effects from this one.

SO... I guess what I am wondering, is if any of you have followed a similar protocol with your kids? What do you think, is it worth doing the Hib when he is 10 months old? No daycare, no other kids around. We are breastfeeding, co-sleeping, and ds really is just at home, except for the occaisional jaunt to a friend's house. Church this weekend was a once in a while thing, we just joined, so it was "New member Sunday."

Anyway, hope to hear from some of you. This is the HARDEST part of having a baby, everything else has been so great, and so easy. I guess the things I am most worried about are personality changes, or learning disabilities as a result of vaxing. There are learning disabilities in his background, on my dh's side. Oh, and of course I worry about immediate side effects, like allergic reactions, etc.
post #2 of 34
We just went through the same thing. Initally we started out with not wanting to vax at all. But then we decided to do a few.
I was tested for Hep B during my pregnancy adn was negative so for Hep B we didn't vax.
He did get his DTaP yesterday. I couldn't sleep the night before. I was so torn up about it still but I am feeling comfortable with my decision now. Part of what helped me make a decision about this one was researching the statistics on the State Department's site. Pertussis seems to become pretty common in my area. Like you even if it didn't provide 100% protection I felt it was worth it.
We will do HIB next month - basically splitting these two up to make it easier on his little body. CDC seems to recommend them being given at the same time.
We won't do any others. Mostly what's left is just general childhood diseases and polio - which definitely doesn't seem to be a thread anymore.

Like you, DS is BF, co-sleeping, etc. but most of the kids we come in contact with aren't vax-ed either, etc.

It took me a while to come up with this plan (reading adn talking with DH) but I think now I am feeling pretty good about it.
post #3 of 34
Thread Starter 
Okay, that helps. But now I need to know how he did after the DTaP. Anything noticeable? I know I won't be able to sleep prior to, either. I think I may do the Hib on Monday, or the DTaP. I am not sure which one I think I should do first. IF we do any, I will separate them and leave at least a month between vaccines, like in Stephanie Cave's book. How did it go with the shot? Did he have a fever, cry, anything like that after?

This is just so hard, it helps to know someone who has just done it!
post #4 of 34
Hib vaccination increases the risk of pneumococcal disease, which is what Prevnar is for. Oh, and pertussis is only dangerous to infants under 6 months, so your DS is well out of the danger zone on that one. Plus, by the time he finished the series he would be 13 months at the very least, and that's if you take him in every month for another dose. By 13 months, pertussis is an annoying cough. Tetanus is something I worry about myself. If I were going to vaccinate for it, I would do a thimerosal-free DT, instead of the DTaP. You can get it in a single dose formulation and it's made by Sanofi Pasteur.
post #5 of 34
That's how we started out as well. We have horses, goats, etc. and live on a farm and my main concern was Tetanus. So I was going to get the DT (pedi office keeps it in stock as well). For Tetanus though he would have to get some kind of puncture wound to get it. I am sure we would know about him getting hurt and he could get a Tetanus shot then. So then we were back at no shots at all because frankly there haven't been any diphteria cases in our state since 1982.
There are however around 1000 cases of Pertussis annually. Of course I know that it is the Pertussis part that causes the more significant side effects but you know since the DT part was unlikely and the Pertussis was likely to occur it didn't make sense to me anymore to go for the DT. Then I might as well skip it all together, kwim?
Someone in my AP group had Whooping Cough as an adult and for her it lasted over a month and was way more than "an annoying cough". Could hardly breath or speak or eat. For six weeks that's a long time to be so sick even for an adult. It may be more life threatening to a baby under 6 months but I bet weeks and weeks of such severe coughing would be tough on even a ten year old.
So that's how we arrived from no vax, to DT, to no vax, to DTaP...

As for how he is doing: slightly elevated temperature (99.1) at its highest. Otherwise okay. And the DTaP didn't have thimoseral in it either.

It's a tough decision to make because it isn't as simply as saying 'get the vax: it's 100% safe and effective' (because it isn't) but it's also misleading to say children over 6 months old don't have a problem with whooping cough and it's just an annoying cough (because in a large number of cases it isn't).

Makes you kind of envy the people that can just believe vaxes are a) great or b) evil...
post #6 of 34
HIB and pneumococcal disease. That's interesting. I will have to research this some more. I guess I have 30 days to figure that one out...
post #7 of 34
Originally Posted by KBinSATX View Post
It's a tough decision to make because it isn't as simply as saying 'get the vax: it's 100% safe and effective' (because it isn't) but it's also misleading to say children over 6 months old don't have a problem with whooping cough and it's just an annoying cough (because in a large number of cases it isn't).
It's not misleading at all, although it is misleading to say that it's serious "in a large number of cases," because that isn't true. Of course there are exceptions to every rule - I'm not denying that! What I'm saying is that the chances of a healthy, breastfed 13-month-old having complications from pertussis are very small.

A study on pertussis said all of this:

The overall impression was of a disease much less severe than suggested by textbook descriptions or parents' fears.
Grob et al looked at cases diagnosed clinically by 68 general practitioners and found a pattern similar to that in this study, observing, "The classical picture of whooping cough as typified by a moderately ill child with paroxysmal cough and characteristic whoop was not often encountered."6
Most of the adults and parents did not think that they or their children were particularly ill. They did not suspect whooping cough, and often took considerable persuading of the diagnosis. Many cases were detected while searching for the source of another patient's infection. Those identified in this way often said that they would never have considered going to a doctor since, although the cough was severe, it was infrequent.
Parents of children with the disease or in contact with it should be reassured that serious illness with complications is unlikely...

While I 100% believe that some people, even older children and adults, will suffer complications or severe illness, the fact is that the majority will not. Furthermore, there is a great deal you can do to insure that you or your child will not be in the minority. When deciding on a vaccine like the pertussis vaccine, with its attendant rate of complications, it's important to be aware of these things. You can't accurately analyze the risks of either decision by anecdote alone.
post #8 of 34
Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
Hib vaccination increases the risk of pneumococcal disease
Do you have a cite for this?
post #9 of 34
We were on the fence with the DTaP too, until I really started researching the diseases.

Diphtheria is very rare in this country and is treatable with antibiotics.

Tetanus needs a puncture wound, or it needs a parent who takes terrible care of their child and allows any open would to get filthy. Even so, if we suspect something we can always take dc to the ER for the immune globulin (TIG) - not a tetanus shot - because at that point a tetanus shot will be completely ineffective.

Pertussis, as someone said, is really only DEADLY in children under 6 months old. Infants inoculated against pertussis are still at risk for catching the disease because they aren't "immune" (if they even get immunity) until after the series is up - well past the age of risk. Also, pertussis can be managed and the cough made much less severe by Vit C treatments which annihilates the toxins. The pertussis vaccine wears off at about age 12, and as someone else said, is one of the most reactive vaccine out there.

The ONLY vaccine we are considering at all is tetanus. But we're taking our time with that one.
post #10 of 34
As someone who was reactive/allergic to tetanus, I would suggest holding off longer. I had awful reactions to DPT, DT and T. Huge swelling, fever, flu-like symptoms, could not move injected limb for days- week, high fever etc.

I think tetanus is more reactive than they let on.

post #11 of 34
I would just go with what you feel is best. My 3 kids were all fully vaxed on schedule and never had so much as a red spot by the injection site. They are all very intelligent, healthy, loving, fun, normal kids, not zombies. I have never known any one of my friends' kids who had bad reactions either.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Just remember that despite what you read in certain areas of this board, vaccine reactions are really the exception and not the rule. So don't be afraid to get the ones you really believe your child needs to be protected.
post #12 of 34
So don't be afraid to get the ones you really believe your child needs to be protected.
I think just about everyone would agree with this. We all need to do what we feel is best for our kids.

Just remember that despite what you read in certain areas of this board, vaccine reactions are really the exception and not the rule.
Can you back up that statement with any kind of study/proof/link? Or is that just your opinion based on personal experience?
post #13 of 34
I did vax, not fully though. But that still makes me a seletive vaxer. Anecdotal evidence is not good information to base a decision off of (no matter what side your on). No matter what our vax stance is, we all deserve to be reading factual information.
post #14 of 34
I followed a loose variation of Stefanie Cave's book. I didn't like the idea of vaxing on the AAP schedule, but also wasn't completely comfortable with skipping vaxes altogether. Cave's schedule was closest to what seemed to be the best choice for me.

I skipped the same ones you are - except we did MMR. I do the "main" vaxes slowly and spread out. We catch up with the main ones by kindergarten. I haven't had any problems so far (have three daughters - ages 10, 6 and 3).

It is always hard to decide. You have to do what you feel most comfortable with.
post #15 of 34
Thread Starter 
Good luck with whatever you decide. Just remember that despite what you read in certain areas of this board, vaccine reactions are really the exception and not the rule. So don't be afraid to get the ones you really believe your child needs to be protected.[/QUOTE]

Thanks so much for this, I do need to hear that. Ds' 10 month appt is tomorrow, and I am wavering on whether I will allow the Hib or not. We will start there, I think, and perhaps get the DTaP in a month or so, per Stephanie Cave's book. You are right, every other kid I know has been vaxed to the max, and they are all bright, happy and normal... some even so gifted as to be attending a private school for gifted children... reading at a 5th grade level at age 6. My mother's intuition would not allow me to vaccinate him at 2 months... but I am feeling more comfortable with allowing 1 or 2 now. My belief is that the truth does not lie with the pro-vaxers or anti-vaxers... but somewhere in between.
post #16 of 34
Statistically vaccine reactions are actually fairly common.

post #17 of 34
I am subbing so I can read more carefully later. We vaxed through 4 months, then stopped. My plan is to selectively vax beginning at 2 years. He is 14 months now so I need to resume my education on the subject.
post #18 of 34

If you do Hib, I'd wait until 15 months because you'd only need 1 dose to be considered complete and protected.
post #19 of 34
Here is a link to information on Vaccine Adverse Events (i.e., bad reactions to vaccines) collected by the Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System.

Some highlights from the above site:
From 1991 to 2001, there were a total of 128,717 adverse effects reported, and a total of 1,903,383,258 vaccines given. That means adverse effects were reported after .000067 (or .0067%, or fewer than 7 reported reactions per 100,000 vaccines given) of the vaccines given. By those numbers, adverse reactions to vaccines seem very rare.

Also, the most commonly reported adverse reactions were fever, injection site hypersensitivity, rash, swelling at the injection site, vasodilation, and pain at the injection site. Together, these make up over 70% of all vaccine reactions.

The report breaks down the information for every vaccination, too, and the rates of adverse reactions do vary significantly. Reactions to Hep B, chicken pox, or the flu vaccine accout for over a third of all reported reactions. The adverse reactions reports are also broken down by age.

According to the VAERS website:
VAERS data contains coincidental events and those truly caused by vaccines.
This means that some of the adverse effects may have had no connection at all to the vaccine - they might have happened anyway.

It is also possible that many reactions to vaccines aren't reported, because no one realizes that they are connected to the vaccine. If an adverse effect only shows up months or years later, it is unlikely that anyone will connect it to the vaccine and file a VAERS report. For example, my mother's cancer was probably triggered by x-ray treatments when she was a young child to treat an "enlarged" thymus. Later it was discovered that it was normal for the thymus to be larger in children than in adults. Over 50 years later, she developed thyroid cancer, as did a third of the people who received similar treatment. It took many years for the connection between irradiating the thymus and cancer to become clear, and it's certainly possible that similar things are happening with some or all vaccinations.

BTW, I found the links in the Pink Book, which is linked in the resources sticky - it's a good place to do research, IMO.

post #20 of 34
Originally Posted by Nora'sMama View Post
Do you have a cite for this?
Sorry, I didn't see this until now. I am looking for them. The problem is that there are two I recall off the top of my head and neither one of them are available online, AFAIK. I can't even find the titles - they're just referenced here and there. One is from Finland and I don't recall where the other is from - maybe Sweden. There was also one study that discussed how HIB vaccination had resulted in more strains of S. pneumoniae becoming resistant to treatment. They tried very hard not to say that Hib vaccination had caused an increase in pneumococcal disease, but that's the only possible way Hib vaccination could result in the bacteria becoming resistant to antibiotics: Hib vaccination = increased pnueumococcal disease = more antibiotics given for pneumococcal disease = increased resistance. It's not like vaccinating for Hib in and of itself could cause some mutation in an entirely different bacteria. (Okay, maybe it is, but I tend to believe in the more realistic explanation of things.) I know I can find that one, but I am feeling really crappy right now, so I'll try to look for that tomorrow.
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