Need help making my decision-- what if you DO travel overseas? - Mothering Forums
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#1 of 7 Old 07-10-2012, 10:29 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I am expecting my first next year and find that the issue of vaccinations is by far THE hardest, murkiest one to deal with.  No circ was pretty easy (even though I'm of Jewish descent).  Natural/homebirth (for me, my circumstances and MWs)-- a little more complicated, but pretty clear on the science/research there.

 

Vax?  Oy. 

 

I just am having the hardest time sorting through all of the various arguments.  Some I find easy to dismiss (on both sides), a very few, easy to accept-- but most are much more complicated.

 

One of the big ones I see come up frequently is "Well, if I lived in a developing country" or "If we traveled overseas a lot," "then I'd probably be more pro-vax." Makes sense to me, as one thing that does ring true for me is weighing the likelihood of getting/"significantly suffering from" a VPD vs. the chances of a significant vaccine reaction.

 

Well-- here's the thing.  We live in the US but plan on traveling back and forth to the Philippines a couple of times a year (DH and/or me) and hopefully taking our DC with us at LEAST once every 1-2 years, staying for 1 week-1 month, maybe even longer.

 

Anyone in a similar boat?  How did it affect your decision?  Thanks!


WAHer & Wannabe, Wife to DH banana.gif1998, Mama to Buko, Born at Home joy.gifMarch 2013

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#2 of 7 Old 07-10-2012, 11:09 AM
 
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Because I have researched vaccines and the diseases for years, I would not consider giving any vaccines for overseas travel. However, to save you some time (so you don't have to research every single vaccine and disease), you can find out which diseases are more prevalent in the Philippines. Then find out, even if they are more prevalent there than in the U.S., if they are actually common, as in, would your unvaccinated child probably get the disease? Or would it just be slightly more likely than in the U.S.?

 

I'm going to take a guess that hepatitis A, for example, is more common in the Philippines. That would actually be a good thing for your unvaccinated child. It's much better to get lifetime natural immunity to hepatitis A as a child than risk getting it as an adult when there can be complications. The CDC says that 70% of hepatitis A cases in children under 6 years are so mild that they show no symptoms at all.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/hepa.html

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#3 of 7 Old 07-10-2012, 11:25 AM
 
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Yeah, it's a very complicated issue - it might help to decide one vax at a time.

 

For overseas travel, have you looked at The Yellow Book by CDC - http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/page/yellowbook-2012-home.htm?


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#4 of 7 Old 07-10-2012, 12:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buko View Post

I am expecting my first next year and find that the issue of vaccinations is by far THE hardest, murkiest one to deal with.  No circ was pretty easy (even though I'm of Jewish descent).  Natural/homebirth (for me, my circumstances and MWs)-- a little more complicated, but pretty clear on the science/research there.

 

Vax?  Oy. 

 

I just am having the hardest time sorting through all of the various arguments.  Some I find easy to dismiss (on both sides), a very few, easy to accept-- but most are much more complicated.

 

One of the big ones I see come up frequently is "Well, if I lived in a developing country" or "If we traveled overseas a lot," "then I'd probably be more pro-vax." Makes sense to me, as one thing that does ring true for me is weighing the likelihood of getting/"significantly suffering from" a VPD vs. the chances of a significant vaccine reaction.

 

Well-- here's the thing.  We live in the US but plan on traveling back and forth to the Philippines a couple of times a year (DH and/or me) and hopefully taking our DC with us at LEAST once every 1-2 years, staying for 1 week-1 month, maybe even longer.

 

Anyone in a similar boat?  How did it affect your decision?  Thanks!

I'm from the Philippines as well and we take the kids back home once every couple or so years and stay there for a month or two at a time.

At the top of my priority list was Polio and made sure that the kids were fully vaccinated against Polio before we went home.

As for all others diseases in the vaccine list, I was ok with the possibility of the kids acquiring them in our travels. Full disclosure though- my kids were at least 15mos old when they visited the Philippines for the first time so I was able to delay the first vaccine until about 8mos of age.

 

My son is 6 and almost fully immunized now but we really did space his shots far apart.  He didn't get the shot for pneumococcal disease (we declined this) and varicella (he acquired this. Ironically in the US and not in the Philippines).

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#5 of 7 Old 07-10-2012, 12:29 PM
 
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If you're also going to be Manila-based while in the Philippines and wanting a referral for a doctor who will be understanding of your choices, let me know.

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#6 of 7 Old 07-11-2012, 09:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, all.  Kumusta, grumpybear!  Yeah, most of our family/business is in Manila, and 90% on Luzon, so that would be helpful.  I'm not sure how early in DC's life we'll take him/her home, but I can see it being <12 months.  I also kinda wonder about DH and me going to/from (we're trying to start an import business that will give us an excuse to travel to the Philippines 2-3x/year).  That is, we could be bringing things back as asymptomatic carriers of something as well.  I think our risk would be about average-- OOH, we spend a lot of time with my elderly ILs inside their central Manila home, so-- low risk.  OTOH, we also typically go out to the province and do a lot of mingling there.

 

Hrmmmm...  Lots to think about.


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#7 of 7 Old 07-11-2012, 11:36 PM
 
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Buko,

I PM'd you the contact info for the pediatrician that we see in Manila.

But yes, tough decision indeed. Had we needed to travel to the Philippines when my kids were <12mos old, I would have also seriously considered having them vaccinated against Pertussis.

 

On the other hand, I also have a friend who visited the Philippines just recently and stayed for a couple of weeks. None of her kids were vaccinated albeit her youngest was 6yrs old, but none of them really got sick with any of the vaccine preventable diseases.

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