If you and your kids are unvaxed and going to do missionary work overseas... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 12:19 AM - Thread Starter
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Before you leave, would you vax yourself and your children against whatever nasty you'd be treating?

Pick your nasty and tell me if you would/wouldn't vax for it and why. Please keep in mind that you'll be up to your elbows in whatever funk is going around. Sorry, no herd immunity here...:

Here are your choices:

Polio
Measles
mumps
rubella
Hep A
Hep B
HIb
Chicken Pox
Diptheria
Tetnus (ok, not contagious so let's say you have to walk barefoot on a bed of rusty nails)
Flu
Pertussis
Pneumococcal
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#2 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 12:36 AM
 
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I went and was glad I had vax. I am glad I don't have to choose for my kids. Good friend did missionary work in Cambodia for 10 years and had all of her kids fully vaxed. Very tough decisions to make.
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#3 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 12:41 AM
 
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I would not vaccinate against anything because vaccines do not work and give a false sense of security. Once you vaccinate the immune system is encumbered and will not be as proficient. That is my reason for not even partially or selectively vaccinating.

I would only rely on nutrition and health.

Remember Louis Pasteur's dying words: "It's not the Germ but the condition within the body".
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#4 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 01:07 AM
 
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Yeah, but depending on where you're doing missionary work, you're prob. living in really dirty & unsanitary conditions and your immune system is being hammered on all sides. I know I ended up w/hepatitis and malaria even tho I consider(ed) myself to be a strong, healthy, individual.

Guess it depends on where you're going and where you're working.
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#5 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 01:54 AM
 
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I think about this all of the time. My father's side of the family are Venezuelan and I can only see them if I go there. I wish I could be more like Gitti and have such strong assurance of my choice, but this subject worries me. I guess living in the US I feel more at ease with my decision to not vax, but traveling to another country scares me.

I know how hard it is to keep my own immune system strong and I have a good diet, but when I travel that all falls apart. Gitti, let me know what your tricks are to keeping healthy.

It is a tough decision, I hope you have strength and are able to follow your intuition. Do what you think is best and remember, what the government allows doctors to put into our bodies is far worse than one of the diseases we vaccinate against, imo.

Mother to one wild and crazy boy 12/29/2002.
Midwife, Homeschool Educator and Crafter.
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#6 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 02:52 AM
 
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Oh no! I just erased my reply! LOL Here we go again! LOL

Well personally I wouldnt......you dont need a burdened immune system while adjusting to new surroundings. It is ESPECIALLY important to be working with a FULL immune system when surrounded by unsanitary conditions. I would keep up on Vit A (in case of measles), Vit C, Selenium, etc and eat as healthy as possible, no sugar or junk. Remember too that vaccines dont necessarily even work and we dont know the long term effects of every vaccine. Having said that, if I was being sent to Nigeria or some other country with polio, I might question my stance. If you did get the polio vaccine I would make darn sure it was NOT the OPV (which is what they still use in those countries) because of the SV40 contamination and I can imagine that aggresive sv40 caused cancer would be as bad or worse than having polio.

Desiree

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#7 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 02:53 AM
 
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Also, can you look up the country's disease rate to put yourself at ease?

Desiree

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#8 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DesireeH
Also, can you look up the country's disease rate to put yourself at ease?
No need, because for the sake of this exercise, we're imagining you will be treating each illness. (Not all at once)

So if you are going to be up to your elbows in polio, what do you do? Measles, what do you do? Mumps, Rubella, etc.
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#9 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 09:49 AM
 
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And don't forget about yellow fever. What about malaria prophylaxis?

I know the last time dh went to spend a week on the Amazon, he didn't do the anti-malarial meds & he wouldn't have gotten the yf vax, although it wasn't an issue since he had gotten one against my better judgement for a previous trip.
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#10 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 11:13 AM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by amnesiac
And don't forget about yellow fever. What about malaria prophylaxis?
In my eyes, that's not applicable either. Because Malaria and Yellow fever vaxs aren't routinely shoved down our throats in the US and we still have some opportunity to avoid them.

I wanted to focus on the illnesses that we have limited rights to avoid vaccination, or are persecuted for not vaxing against. The whole "your not living up to your duty in society" garbage. Why is it that my lack of fear of the chickenpox or even polio is always chalked up as "relying on herd immunity"? I can "afford to skip them because other good citizens have done their responsibility and virtually eliminated them through vaccination."

I suppose that there are people who feel that way - they may use the limited occurances of the illnesses as their base to decline vax, but in my humble opinion, that's as much a false sense of security as relying on the vax itself.

Would you roll up your sleeves and dive in (with your children in tow) if you had to face a chickenpox outbreak? Measles? Polio?

Are we really afraid of these illnesses? If not is it because the illness doesn't scare us (maybe we come from a long line of people who never died of mumps or rubella; or we've had the chicken pox and it was no big deal), or is it because we "haven't seen it first hand", or "because we're relying on herd immunity", or could it possibly be that after researching the actual illness, it's causes, how it can be prevented and how it can be complicated we just don't fear the boogey man?

It's just a bit of "herd immunity" discussion where we look more closely at what exactly the herd fears.
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#11 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 11:18 AM
 
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Having lived overseas in remote areas, I would choose:

Polio - yes
Measles - yes, if you are not going to be near an adequate medical facility to treat measles and mumps (antibiotics for post infections, or complications that may arrise from contracting the disease)
mumps - yes
rubella - yes
Hep A - definite, the vac is so much better than the Gama Gobulen shots in the butt every 3 to 6 months (painful shots thick stuff)
Hep B - ya, if you might come into contact with blood or saliva
HIb - only for children under 2
Chicken Pox - na, unless my children were teens and had not gotten it yet
Diptheria - YES
Tetnus (ok, not contagious so let's say you have to walk barefoot on a bed of rusty nails) - YES
Flu - no
Pertussis - ya, for small children
Pneumococcal - no

If you are going to a remote area there will not be western medical facilities as we are use to having here in the US. And not all medical facilities overseas are adequate to whatever standards you hold. Then I would consider vacc myself and my children.
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#12 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 11:29 AM
 
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measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox...they don's scare me. if i am healthy and my children are healthy, then they would just be ordinary, run of the mill childhood diseases...right??? i had the measles when i was too young to be vax, and then the good doc told my mom that i still needed to be vax for it later on in life?? go figure...
i get the flu every year and surprisingly haven't died...and i NEVER get the flu vax.
as with hep a and b, i would try to be a sanitary as possible...you know, dont' share my needles with anyone, and don't drink blood and stuff. i know that it is more involved than that...try to be a CLEAN as possible. you can do...i went to nepal a few years back, and you just need to be aware and careful with whatever you eat and drink!
my question with polio is doesn't it affect people differently? aren't those with a compromise immune system likely to be hit hard? did anyone read that book...."what about immunizations?" great book. the author writes in there about polio epidemics in NC(?) during the summers. a doc noticed how polio always increased during the summrer thought it may be linked to an increase in sugary foods and drinks during the kids' break from school. he urged parents to decrease the sugar intake of thier children and the polio cased decreased also. (totally paraphrased, of course). anyway, so my child may get polio in another country, but what type of polio? paralytic? probably not. flu-like symptoms of polio? maybe.
my one concern would be proper medical care once in the foreign country. i would stock all the homeopathic/vit/supplements that i could in a bag when i travel to whatever country i'm going to.
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#13 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 11:44 AM
 
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No I wouldn't vax for any of those. I would take a crash course in homeopathy /alternative and dive in. IF there happened to be a breakout of some kind (polio , hepB , what have you ) I'd stay home.
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#14 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 11:57 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by turquoise
Polio-not sure but my gut says no since 95% are o.k.
Measles-no
mumps-no
rubella-no
Hep A-no
Hep B-Hmmm...maybe for me, but not my kids.
HIb-no
Chicken Pox-no
Diptheria-I've read this is pretty deadly, but I would need to read more.
Tetnus (ok, not contagious so let's say you have to walk barefoot on a bed of rusty nails)-no
Flu-no
Pertussis-nope, first kid is allergic, but wouldn't get it anyway.
Pneumococcal-no

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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#15 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 11:58 AM
 
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That didn't quite post right...but I think everyone understands.

Jennifer, LPN and nursing student, Doula, CPST, and VBAC mama x3 to
AJ (5/03), Evan (12/04), Ilana (11/06), Olivia (2/09), and Unity (8/2012)

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#16 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 01:09 PM
 
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I have known my fair share of children of missionaries. Mostly in northern and central Africa and a lot of South America.

I wouldn't vax for any of the things listed. I would be nervous about malaria and yellow fever, for sure, but since they don't count, forget it.

I'd also be much more frightened of things like scorpions, flying cockroaches and green mambas than the measles. But that's just me.

Quote:
So if you are going to be up to your elbows in polio, what do you do? Measles, what do you do? Mumps, Rubella, etc.
I'd try to have as many things with vitamin A and C and B and D as possible. If I couldn't take them with me, I'd be scouring the village, and underbrush all around me for whatever there was to work with.

I would be boiling every drop of water I drank and probably bathed in. I would not be drinking straight from the rivers or lakes, but if I had to, I'd tell myself, well, you know what's going to happen.

Can all my kids just be over 6? All the MK's I knew said that if you made it to age six, you were probably going to make it.
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#17 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 01:57 PM
 
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Well, while you might be exposed to potential pathogens environmentally IMO anti-malarials are relevant. You should take into consideration whether you're going to be taking an anti-malarial because it will effect the way you handle those other illnesses.
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#18 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 02:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazydaisy
anyway, so my child may get polio in another country, but what type of polio? paralytic? probably not. flu-like symptoms of polio? maybe.
Having personally known two polio victims, I would absolutely vax for polio in this hypothetical situation (i.e. massive polio exposure for you and your child). saying "paralytic ... probably not" is waaaaayyyy to big of a risk for me to force upon my child. (yeah, I know there is a risk of forcing a vax on my child too, but again, seeing what paralytic polio does to a person's life would be enough of a motivator for me in that situation).
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#19 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 03:11 PM
 
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I really don't know. I wouldn't do missonary work in countries like that until my kids were older, these diseases in a country with inadequate water and medical supplies are probably best treated without problems in a child over the age of 3.

Since I know the only reason there is still polio in other countries is because of dirty water and poor nutrition it would depend on what water and food was available to my kids and myself whether or not I would go for that vax.
Diptheria, maybe -it is deadly and I know medical care in remote areas is poor.
Chicken pox- nope
flu- nope
hep a and B maybe because I would be dealing with blood and sick people and HepA causes diarreah which can cause dehydration and if the water is poor that's the last thing I want to deal with.
pertussis and pnuemoccoal- no
mmr-probably not
hib-only for the baby
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#20 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 03:44 PM
 
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it would depend on what water and food was available
and what supplies I'd be allowed to bring along & what my sleeping conditions would be.
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#21 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 03:50 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilesoflaundry
I really don't know. I wouldn't do missonary work in countries like that until my kids were older
Excellent point! That's what the TRAPP FAMILY did. The whole Family went when the kids were grown up. Actually they went after the father died. I don't know what made me think of them?
Someone mentioned the 'Sound of Music' the other day....


Quote:
Diptheria, maybe -it is deadly and I know medical care in remote areas is poor.
hep a and B maybe because I would be dealing with blood and sick people and HepA causes diarreah which can cause dehydration and if the water is poor that's the last thing I want to deal with.
hib-only for the baby
Oh NOOOO

Then the immune system would be totally botched up and I would not trust the child to survive.



That would scare the 'bageebas':ignore out of me.
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#22 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 04:06 PM
 
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Somewhat unrelated to vax, but related to missionary work and health.

Family friend did extensive missionary work in very remote Africa. She was pregnant and had 3 of her 4 babies over there. She and her husband are both brilliant incredible scholars. And good missionaries, too.
She didn't get good nutrition, ate too many canned foods, and her children are weak physically and dim mentally. The nutrition, even with her best efforts, was terribly lacking. The locals were fine, but if the family ate a local diet, they got really sick. Their health was impacted by something way more
important than sicknesses or vaxes.
Anyway, to the OP:
Polio - yes (not oral)
Measles - yes
mumps - no
rubella - for me as a potentially pregnant woman (if no titers present)
Hep A - nope
Hep B - nope
HIb - nope
Chicken Pox - yes, if no immunity by 12
Diptheria - yes, potentially no, based on location
Tetnus (ok, not contagious so let's say you have to walk barefoot on a bed of rusty nails) - no
Flu - no
Pertussis - no
Pneumococcal - no

I'd rather have that helicopter evacuation service up-to-date than load everyone up with vaxes.

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#23 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 04:49 PM
 
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this is such an interesting question...the prob is that i don't think vaxes work, or they aren't the best thing you can do to prevent disease. just looking at it biologically, the immune system in a child would be way better off to fight off disease if not tampered with by a vax. if i would vax myself or my child to go overseas...then why not vax in the US? there is still a fear of those disease here too! maybe not as much and we do have medical help that is better, but still there are alternatives/homeopathics/TLC that can help a child thru whatever she gets. i guess some people decide not to vax based on other things, like the benefit vs. risks of vax. the thing is i just don't believe that they are 100% safe or effective...so i couldn't make the decision to inject that into my child.
it is such a scary thing not to vax, but i find it even scarier to vax. i think we are so afraid of suffering and illness...rather than looking at those things as a way for our bodies to build themselves up.
i guess i just think we shouldn't screw with nature...
- kate
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#24 of 29 Old 06-18-2004, 05:02 PM
 
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I would look into homeopathic nosodes (some controversy about these but they DO work) and/or homeopathic treatment if you do decide to vaccinate to help reduce some of the possible side effects.

Just a suggestion!

Who stole my signature!
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#25 of 29 Old 06-19-2004, 12:25 AM
 
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I know you ddn't post this one but I would do the BCG. It's the one for tuberculosis. In chile there is still A LOT of tuberculosis around, if I go there I don't know what I'll do with my ds we and dd are vaxed against it)
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#26 of 29 Old 06-19-2004, 12:47 AM
 
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Quote:
I know I ended up w/hepatitis and malaria even tho I consider(ed) myself to be a strong, healthy, individual.
In Vietnam, despite the Monday pill to prevent malaria, which gave him the "trots" (diahrrea), my DH still came home from his tour of duty with malaria. He also had tuberculosis exposure which he was also treated for. Everybody is different. Every bug is different. And sometimes, the doctors and drug companies are experimenting with the medications and/or the dosages.

Editted to answer the OP:

My BIL went to Emetria to work with the UN, and he does NOT believe in vaccinations either. However, he was REQUIRED to get a yellow fever vaccination, or he would not be allowed to go. So he got the shot because he did want to go.

ME? I simply would not go, or I would choose a more desireable location as far as diseases are concerned if I was still determined to go.

I have considered joining VISTA or the Peace Corps. I may have to revisit this

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#27 of 29 Old 06-19-2004, 04:40 AM
 
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I was just thinking about this (sort of)

we have 4 free tickets anywhere but must use them by September. My dh's grandpa just bought a house on the beach in chille.
I would like to go but ds,12 months old, is totally unvaxed. I do not think I can take him out of the US comfortably. I think we'll just go to Hawaii

Also what are you doing to boost your unvaxed babies immune systems?
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#28 of 29 Old 06-19-2004, 11:57 PM
 
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polio - yes
BCG - yes
tetanus- yes
maybe HiB
anti malarials (they are not vaccines as far as I understand) - no

We selectively vaccinate and started at 2 years old with my first, now 4.5. I took her totally unvaxed as a 13-month old to Mexico and elsewhere and she was fine. Went this year to Costa Rica for a month, again, fine (but Costa Rica is supposedly quite safe - still there were times i think we were in compromised surroundings). Next year we'll be in a India for several months with a 7-month old who will probably be vaxed for tuberculosis, but nothing else, at that age. I have to really consider the issues. I don't plan to be around seriously ill people on a regular basis there. If I were doing some such kind of work, it might be harder to decide. I also think whether the child is nursing is really crucial - like if for some reason this baby (I'm due in october) can't nurse, I will seriously reconsider the trip to India until s/he's older. Otherwise, I plan to research more about natural remedies before we go. I think parents' attitude counts for something too - I have been reasonabl, but never overly worried or overzealous about hygiene when traveling with my child, and we have been very fortunate and always stayed healthy. Generally maintaining good nutrition and exercise, being very careful with water and food, keeping shoes on, and not hanging in stuffy areas next to people who are very sick are my main areas of focus for staying healthy.
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#29 of 29 Old 06-20-2004, 12:11 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elyice
I was just thinking about this (sort of)

we have 4 free tickets anywhere but must use them by September. My dh's grandpa just bought a house on the beach in chille.
I would like to go but ds,12 months old, is totally unvaxed. I do not think I can take him out of the US comfortably. I think we'll just go to Hawaii

Also what are you doing to boost your unvaxed babies immune systems?

oh my gosh, chile? that's where we are from! GO THERE! It's gorgeous! You can take him to chile unvaxed, just don't drink any tap water (sounds creepy, I know, but you get used to it) Ofcourse we would drink it, but because we were used to the bacteria in chilean water. You would get tifus (my mom had that the first time she went to chile)

But by all means, go there! It's beautiful, PM me if you want more information. We are from Vina del Mar (central chile) right on the beach. Where did you grandpa buy a house?
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