what convinced you to do MMR and/or DTaP? - Mothering Forums

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Old 12-18-2007, 09:09 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I'm very hesitant about vaccinating our children (the first is coming in April)...but not knowledgeable yet to say we definitely won't do it (though it will most definitely be delayed if we do). From the reading I've done thus far, measles doesn't sound more risky than chickenpox, tetanus sounds rare (especially with good wound care)...so I'm not convinced that they should get these. What made you decide to get them?

In case it helps to know these things: There is a chance our kids will go to school (vs. homeschooling), though probably in a rural area. They'll probably all go to college someday. We likely won't travel much, and if so, in the U.S. and more developed countries. My husband and I had chickenpox, but were vaccinated with MMR, DTap, and Polio, and I received Hepatitis vaccines. So I guess I don't provide a lot of immunity for them. I will breastfeed them for as long as possible (a year at least, I hope).

I am fairly certain I don't want them to have vaccines for meningitis (we never had those, and I don't fear getting it), and definitely not chickenpox, flu, etc. Polio...I haven't really done any reading on yet. But MMR and DTaP are my current projects. Let me know your reasoning for why you chose to do them!
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Old 12-18-2007, 11:40 PM
 
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My first thoughts were to investigate the MMR/autism theory (ies). I found both the Wakefield hypothesis and the "poor excretor" (not totally an MMR theory but often connected to it) hypothesis to both be worthless.

So I got that out of the way.

Then I looked at what the risks were for my kids. In the USA, measles isn't too much of an issue anymore, but mumps outbreaks have been happening in the new england area.

I wanted my kids to be immune to rubella, no doubt about that. So I was convinced on that part of the vax quite quickly. Travel sealed the deal with measles being an issue in many places.

Many people don't mind their kids getting these diseases, more power to them. I didn't want that and I found the vax to be safe and quite effective (as in benefits outweighing risks)

For DtaP:

Pertussis is a big one I don't want my kids getting. The vax can offer them some protection as well as making a case of pertussis less severe if they do get it.

Diphtheria was another travel issue for us. It is endemic in a few places we go/will be going.

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Old 12-19-2007, 02:03 AM
 
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I could have written the above post
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Old 12-19-2007, 02:31 AM
 
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I agree. Have you checked out the Vaccine Book by Dr. Sears? I know I'm sounding all broken record here, but I do love the way he's compiled info from a ton of different sources in a way that's easy to read.
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Old 12-19-2007, 03:15 AM
 
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Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
My first thoughts were to investigate the MMR/autism theory (ies). I found both the Wakefield hypothesis and the "poor excretor" (not totally an MMR theory but often connected to it) hypothesis to both be worthless.

So I got that out of the way.

Then I looked at what the risks were for my kids. In the USA, measles isn't too much of an issue anymore, but mumps outbreaks have been happening in the new england area.

I wanted my kids to be immune to rubella, no doubt about that. So I was convinced on that part of the vax quite quickly. Travel sealed the deal with measles being an issue in many places.

Many people don't mind their kids getting these diseases, more power to them. I didn't want that and I found the vax to be safe and quite effective (as in benefits outweighing risks)

For DtaP:

Pertussis is a big one I don't want my kids getting. The vax can offer them some protection as well as making a case of pertussis less severe if they do get it.

Diphtheria was another travel issue for us. It is endemic in a few places we go/will be going.
Well said. I also wanted to add that measles outbreaks are frequent in some developed countries outside the U.S, it's not just a third world issue.
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Old 12-19-2007, 05:01 AM
 
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Measles actually is about 4 times more deadly than chickenpox. Still not terribly deadly most of the time, and 999 out of 1000 kids will make it through just fine (more or less), but it's worse than chickenpox.
The weird thing about measles is how bad outbreaks are in fully vaxed populations like the US. It hits the worst age groups and becomes even more deadly. Still not all that bad...nothing like smallpox, for example, but pretty bad, nevertheless.
Mumps and rubella I'm not worried about, although I'd like them immune by puberty.
We delay the MMR, but I'll do it sooner if measles really takes off in the US, not because I'm afraid for my own kids, but for the herd immunity thing.

I still don't know what I'm going to do about the DTaP. I've honestly read just about everything there is to read on it, and it's a toss up.
I'm not too worried about tetanus or diphtheria, but pertussis is common and it sucks. I've had a bad case of pertussis before, and it really, really sucks sometimes. Some kids (vaxed and unvaxed alike) make it though with relatively mild cases, though. But your chances of having a mild case go up if you get the vax.
I'm not cool with multiple definite exposures to the aluminum and pertussis toxins in the vax, either, though.
It takes months or years to wrap your head around what's probably going on with pertussis epidemiology and the vaccine, though.
But in a nutshell, it's a bit of a toss up, IMO.
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:42 PM
 
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I was considering the same vaxes for my dc when I was selective/delayed. In the end, I decided to delay until two years old. What ended up happening, is the diseases I was most concerned about (Hib, pertussis) were no longer as dangerous for that age. So I was able to cross them off my list. I still haven't found compelling evidence to do MMR, chicken pox or polio when my dc are infants or young children. I might consider rubella for my girls when they reach puberty, but I am skeptical of that one since I've been vaxed twice postpartum (in addition to childhood vaxes) and still not immune to rubella. I also might consider mumps for my ds if he is not immune, and I would tell them to consider the CP vax if they are not immune when they are adults.
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Old 12-19-2007, 01:51 PM
 
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Originally Posted by carriebft View Post
My first thoughts were to investigate the MMR/autism theory (ies). I found both the Wakefield hypothesis and the "poor excretor" (not totally an MMR theory but often connected to it) hypothesis to both be worthless.

So I got that out of the way.

Then I looked at what the risks were for my kids. In the USA, measles isn't too much of an issue anymore, but mumps outbreaks have been happening in the new england area.

I wanted my kids to be immune to rubella, no doubt about that. So I was convinced on that part of the vax quite quickly. Travel sealed the deal with measles being an issue in many places.

Many people don't mind their kids getting these diseases, more power to them. I didn't want that and I found the vax to be safe and quite effective (as in benefits outweighing risks)

For DtaP:

Pertussis is a big one I don't want my kids getting. The vax can offer them some protection as well as making a case of pertussis less severe if they do get it.

Diphtheria was another travel issue for us. It is endemic in a few places we go/will be going.
I really like what you said, at present dd who is only 2 has received 1 vaccination it was HIB and we decided to just wait, and research and then decide.

Well at this point I am leaning towards MMR and DTAP, like CarrieBt stated some people don't mind their kids getting these diseases but honestly that is outside my comfort zone. Also I do live in New England where there is a mumps outbreak and dd does attend daycare and it scares me.

I tend to stay away from vax discussions here but saw this thread and just had to reply as dh & I were just talking about this yesterday.

Shay

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Old 12-19-2007, 04:05 PM
 
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Shay, thanks for sharing your input. The daycare thing has never been that strong an argument to me. Unless you want to live in a cave, your child is going to be around other kids! We don't do daycare, but we DO go to playgroups with other babies, playdates, etc. And some of those kids ARE in daycare. So the germs are there. I'd rather know she is not going to get those diseases if she encounters them.
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Old 12-19-2007, 08:25 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks for the input! I have seen the Dr. Sears book at our library...the Drs. Sears are about the only doctors out there who I feel really think about what they believe.

I think we'll be undecided for awhile...but it helps to hear the point of view of people who aren't 100% anti-vaccine, but also aren't following the herd of mainstream "normal" blindly.
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Old 12-20-2007, 12:19 PM
 
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I was considering the same vaxes for my dc when I was selective/delayed. In the end, I decided to delay until two years old. What ended up happening, is the diseases I was most concerned about (Hib, pertussis) were no longer as dangerous for that age. So I was able to cross them off my list. I still haven't found compelling evidence to do MMR, chicken pox or polio when my dc are infants or young children. I might consider rubella for my girls when they reach puberty, but I am skeptical of that one since I've been vaxed twice postpartum (in addition to childhood vaxes) and still not immune to rubella. I also might consider mumps for my ds if he is not immune, and I would tell them to consider the CP vax if they are not immune when they are adults.
But you make the point that the youngest, most vulnerable babies are the ones most at risk to things like Hib and pertussis. So they are the ones who most need to be vaxed. You didn't have a problem and I'm glad, but not everyone will be that lucky... and Hib and pertussis are *dangerous* for tiny babies.
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Old 12-20-2007, 01:00 PM
 
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But you make the point that the youngest, most vulnerable babies are the ones most at risk to things like Hib and pertussis. So they are the ones who most need to be vaxed. You didn't have a problem and I'm glad, but not everyone will be that lucky... and Hib and pertussis are *dangerous* for tiny babies.
I don't think anyone has ever said that Hib or pertussis weren't a concern for infants. Part of my reason for delaying, and likely never doing any, is because of my family history. The risks of vaccination were simply too high for my children. I felt confident that we would be able to manage through any illnesses, including VPDs, by staying healthy ourselves with nutrition and frequent hand washing and breastfeeding the baby. This was tested when my second child was six weeks old and caught a nasty URI. It was so bad that they tested for pertussis and RSV. It was neither, but we still spent a few days in the hospital because of her age. She had a difficult time with that illness. We sought treatment and breastfed A LOT. It couldn't have been prevented by a vaccine. VPDs aren't the only illnesses that have the potential for hospitalization.

My reasons for not choosing Hib and pertussis may not be the same as someone else. In the end, I'm glad I did not do them because of the issues with Hib and serotype conversion. Pertussis is also a complex issue, but I know how to treat the disease so I am not worried. Part of the problems with pertussis being so dangerous for young infants is because many mothers no longer have natural immunity to pertussis and are unable to pass on the immunity via breastmilk. Very young infants getting pertussis is a fairly new phenomenon, and is a result of mass vaccination for pertussis.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:24 PM
 
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Measles actually is about 4 times more deadly than chickenpox. Still not terribly deadly most of the time, and 999 out of 1000 kids will make it through just fine (more or less), but it's worse than chickenpox.
The weird thing about measles is how bad outbreaks are in fully vaxed populations like the US. It hits the worst age groups and becomes even more deadly. Still not all that bad...nothing like smallpox, for example, but pretty bad, nevertheless.
Mumps and rubella I'm not worried about, although I'd like them immune by puberty.
We delay the MMR, but I'll do it sooner if measles really takes off in the US, not because I'm afraid for my own kids, but for the herd immunity thing.

I still don't know what I'm going to do about the DTaP. I've honestly read just about everything there is to read on it, and it's a toss up.
I'm not too worried about tetanus or diphtheria, but pertussis is common and it sucks. I've had a bad case of pertussis before, and it really, really sucks sometimes. Some kids (vaxed and unvaxed alike) make it though with relatively mild cases, though. But your chances of having a mild case go up if you get the vax.
I'm not cool with multiple definite exposures to the aluminum and pertussis toxins in the vax, either, though.
It takes months or years to wrap your head around what's probably going on with pertussis epidemiology and the vaccine, though.
But in a nutshell, it's a bit of a toss up, IMO.
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Old 12-20-2007, 02:35 PM
 
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Statistically, the risks from the diseases are higher than the risks from the vaccines. I worry about the aluminum, too, but I worry more about pertussis and the others. I found that the pediarix combined vax has less aluminum overall than doing them separately. So, we did that one. The worry with aluminum is a possibly alzheimers link. Well, if you die of pertussis or something else, you won't have to worry about that. So, we do the vax and will worry about a possible aluminum link another day. Aluminum is so prevalent in our world that it is hard to avoid anyway.

I do worry about some of the unknowns with mmr but I also worry about the illnesses. So, we are going to delay that one until after age 2.

I do not feel confident I could manage a VPD. They are scary to me.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:26 PM
 
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I do not feel confident I could manage a VPD. They are scary to me.
All of them?
Are you equally scared of the non-VPDs?
A lot of the very common illness there aren't vaxes for are a lot deadlier than a lot of the VPDs.
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Old 12-20-2007, 04:32 PM
 
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I do not feel confident I could manage a VPD. They are scary to me.
I don't think you're giving yourself enough credit here. Most vpd's just involve giving a little extra tlc along with appropriate vitamins to help the body cope. Just look at all the people here who had measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, etc. and did just fine. Odds of having a serious reaction to a vpd are very rare. I'm sure the odds of being injured in a car wreck are much higher and I'd be willing to bet you don't drive around being scared. At least I don't. Read up on the diseases a bit more and I bet you'll feel more confident in treating them.

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Old 12-20-2007, 06:04 PM
 
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I don't think anyone has ever said that Hib or pertussis weren't a concern for infants. Part of my reason for delaying, and likely never doing any, is because of my family history. The risks of vaccination were simply too high for my children. I felt confident that we would be able to manage through any illnesses, including VPDs, by staying healthy ourselves with nutrition and frequent hand washing and breastfeeding the baby.
How would you manage hib or pertussis in a two month old baby?

Quote:
This was tested when my second child was six weeks old and caught a nasty URI. It was so bad that they tested for pertussis and RSV. It was neither, but we still spent a few days in the hospital because of her age. She had a difficult time with that illness. We sought treatment and breastfed A LOT. It couldn't have been prevented by a vaccine. VPDs aren't the only illnesses that have the potential for hospitalization.
I'm sorry your little one was ill... what is a URI though? I'm not familiar with that acronym.

Of course VPD's aren't the only diseases to worry about... It's kind of like saying, well you can die in a car crash anyways, why bother with a seat belt?

Quote:
My reasons for not choosing Hib and pertussis may not be the same as someone else. In the end, I'm glad I did not do them because of the issues with Hib and serotype conversion. Pertussis is also a complex issue, but I know how to treat the disease so I am not worried. Part of the problems with pertussis being so dangerous for young infants is because many mothers no longer have natural immunity to pertussis and are unable to pass on the immunity via breastmilk. Very young infants getting pertussis is a fairly new phenomenon, and is a result of mass vaccination for pertussis.
Do you have a source for this information? Thanks!
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:15 PM
 
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I'm sorry your little one was ill... what is a URI though? I'm not familiar with that acronym.
I'm just reading along, but I think she meant Upper Respiratory Infection.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:24 PM
 
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I found that the pediarix combined vax has less aluminum overall than doing them separately.
Just FYI, this is not true. Pediarix has the same aluminum content than the separate vaccines combined.

Pediarix - 850 mcg - which is made up of:

Infanrix (DTaP) - 625 mcg
EngerixB (hepB) - 250 mcg
Polio - 0

OK...well, you save 25 mcg by doing the Pediarix, I guess.

The one that has less aluminum that its separate parts is Comvax. It has 225 mcg of aluminum and if you get the shots separately (HepB and HIB) there would be 475 mcg.

This was all covered in the Dr Sears book.
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Old 12-20-2007, 06:39 PM
 
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Statistically, the risks from the diseases are higher than the risks from the vaccines.
Actually, the CDC says that you are more likely to have a reaction to the vaccine than you are to catch a VPD.

Quote:
I do not feel confident I could manage a VPD. They are scary to me.
I used to think they were scary, too. The more I learn, the more confident I am with how to deal with not just VPDs, but any illness.

ETA: PP, I will try to dig up some links. I thought it was pretty common knowledge that pertussis had shifted to younger infants. I had started this post pre-nap, came back to finish it and there were already a couple more posts.
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Old 12-20-2007, 07:20 PM
 
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Old 12-21-2007, 02:56 PM
 
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International travel sealed the decision for us. We will be travelling to countries with visa restrictions. However, we do our own schedule, and the travel will occur after that time.

We also do homeopathic aluminum detox, so that has allayed any concerns I had about the toxicity.
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Old 12-21-2007, 03:54 PM
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Part of the problems with pertussis being so dangerous for young infants is because many mothers no longer have natural immunity to pertussis and are unable to pass on the immunity via breastmilk. Very young infants getting pertussis is a fairly new phenomenon, and is a result of mass vaccination for pertussis.
This is not accurate. Pertussis has always been a problem for infants and not a recent phenomenon. Maternal antibodies do not play a significant role in pertussis infection prevention as most adults have detectable antibody titres anyhow. That is also observed in populations where DTaP uptake is very low.

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Old 12-21-2007, 04:54 PM
 
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where does the cdc say you are more likely to have a vax reaction than catch a disease?
http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pin...ads/safety.pdf
Today, vaccine-preventable diseases are at or near record
lows. By virtue of their absence, these diseases are no longer
reminders of the benefits of vaccination. At the same time,
approximately 15,000 cases of adverse events following
vaccination are reported in the United States each year
(these include both true adverse reactions and events that
occur coincidentally after vaccination). This number exceeds
the current reported incidence of vaccine-preventable
childhood diseases. As a result, parents and providers in the
United States are more likely to know someone who has
experienced an adverse event following immunization than
they are to know someone who has experienced a reportable
vaccine-preventable disease. Thus, the success of vaccination
has led to increased public attention on health risks

associated with vaccines.
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Old 12-21-2007, 07:09 PM
 
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Pertussis has always been a problem for infants and not a recent phenomenon.
Actually, the disease has shifted to be a greater risk to infants <3 months, which is why I said "younger infants."
http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/174/4/451
Quote:
The changing epidemiology of pertussis in Canada in the 1990s has led to the emergence of groups at higher risk of the disease: young infants, adolescents and adults. Cases admitted to hospital have shifted to infants younger than 6 months, and deaths are particularly high among infants younger than 3 months, who have few options for protection.
I really don't want to derail the OPs post and get into a debate here. There is a ton of information in the archives complete with links about pertussis (disease, vax, breastfeeding protection, epidemiology shifts, etc) for those researching further. Besides, Christmas is coming and I'm a little : and from all the planning. I still haven't gone shopping for groceries yet!
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:17 PM
 
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Actually, the disease has shifted to be a greater risk to infants <3 months, which is why I said "younger infants."
http://www.cmaj.ca/cgi/content/full/174/4/451
Figure 3 in that paper shows that the incidence of pertussis in infants has been steadily decreasing. However, the incidence in slightly older children decreased even more. This can lead to infants making up a greater percentage of reported cases even while the overall risk to infants has decreased. So when they say infants are at "higher risk", they mean relative to other age groups, not relative to an earlier time period.
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Old 12-21-2007, 09:50 PM
 
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Old 12-22-2007, 07:13 AM
 
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MMR- We got it because I don't see any point in risking it with the diseases. Although they are usually not serious, they can be. We got it on time because of lack of access to good medical care in case of complications in addition to a high risk of being exposed (we live in a poor country).

DTP- We live in the Pacific Northwest in the US, and there is pertussis all over. Weighing the risks- a couple days of fever and redness vs. weeks of coughing and vomiting- I decided we should go for it. Tetanus was also an issue as I like her playing outside and didn't want to worry every time she cut herself outside (do a search on the vaccination forum to see more about this...).

In addition I took our family history into account. No vaccine reactions in our families, ever. Our decisions might have been different if, like some women here, we had a history of severe reactions.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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Old 12-27-2007, 11:49 PM
 
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We were going to do DTaP as pertussis scares me too but after doing a lot of research, some info in the CDC pink book convinced me not to.
"Of the 10,650 children 3 months to 4 years of age with
reported pertussis during 1990–1996 and known vaccination
status, 54% were not age-appropriately vaccinated with DTaP." So, approx 50% of cases were in children fully vaccinated. With such low efficacy, we decided any benefit of the vaccine was not worth the risk.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pin...loads/pert.pdf

As for the MMR, we will probably do it at some point but not until at least 3. I met a surgeon who has autistic twins. He believes they were vaccine damaged and while not anti vax, thinks we're doing way too many way too young. He suggested waiting until they are at least 3. We talked with our very pro vax pediatrician about it and the only component he was concerned about was measles. Mumps is almost never serious in young children, rubella is so mild in children you often don't even know they have it.
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Old 12-29-2007, 01:12 AM
 
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Babies at 3 months would have only received one DTaP, so they would not have full protection. No vaccine offers 100% immunity. In the case of pertussis, even a natural case does not convey immunity. Also your quote states that those children WERE NOT appropriately vaccinated. So why would that be an argument *against* the vaccine?
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