am I overthinking this? first vax for teenager - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 15 Old 07-21-2014, 07:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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am I overthinking this? first vax for teenager

My dd (age 16) is unvaxed - except for 1 dose Hep B as newborn, after which we decided not to continue with any vaccinations. For years I blamed her eczema and severe food allergies on that one shot, but I've let that go... who knows.

I have changed my mind somewhat over the years, and now think she should probably have MMR and tetanus. She has moderate asthma, is on inhaled steroids, and measles could be very serious for her. (Even though I know the risk of measles in US is still very low, I worry about travel, etc.)

I still have a (probably irrational?) fear that is keeping me from just going ahead and having her get the shots. I know there is a higher risk for the arthritis side effect in teen girls, but not much other info on vaxing teens.

She had an appt. today for the first MMR and I cancelled it. Am I just overthinking this?
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#2 of 15 Old 07-21-2014, 10:19 AM
 
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If you don't have much info on vaxing teens, why not do a bit more research before vaccinating. Always better to go forward feeling confident in your knowledge.
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#3 of 15 Old 07-21-2014, 10:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
If you don't have much info on vaxing teens, why not do a bit more research before vaccinating. Always better to go forward feeling confident in your knowledge.
Yeah, I meant that I was unable to find much on vaxing teens when I researched, other than HPV related, I didn't really find anything.
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#4 of 15 Old 07-21-2014, 11:26 AM
 
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Yeah, I meant that I was unable to find much on vaxing teens when I researched, other than HPV related, I didn't really find anything.
Well, you can search VAERS. It is fairly simple to limit the search to a particular age group and to particular vaccines.

Another source is Pubmed, again you can limit it to an age range. Let me know if you want some help setting up the searches, but I'll understand if you don't want to go to these lengths!
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#5 of 15 Old 07-21-2014, 01:12 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by Deborah View Post
Well, you can search VAERS. It is fairly simple to limit the search to a particular age group and to particular vaccines.

Another source is Pubmed, again you can limit it to an age range. Let me know if you want some help setting up the searches, but I'll understand if you don't want to go to these lengths!
I will try those sources, thanks for the suggestion!
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#6 of 15 Old 07-21-2014, 02:06 PM
 
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At 16 I wouldn't worry so much about tetanus because she's old enough to understand proper wound care and if tig is necessary.
I understand your concern in wanting MMR - immunity to rubella before the childbearing years is something I would worry about as well. There have also been cases of measles popping up more frequently so that also seems like a logical concern.
Will she be heading to college in a few years? Another factor to consider if she will be living in the dorms.
Only you can consider all the risk factors - which worries you more, increased arthritis risk or measles. I understand how hard it is, I'm struggling with decisions for my 12 year old right now too.
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#7 of 15 Old 07-21-2014, 02:14 PM
 
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Just wanted to say, I'm in the same boat with my 13 and 9 year olds

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#8 of 15 Old 07-21-2014, 02:43 PM
 
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Why don't you get titres done? She may have already acquired natural immunity.
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#9 of 15 Old 07-22-2014, 07:30 PM
 
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Just wanted to add that you can also have a titre done after the first MMR (if you choose to go ahead) and you might not need the second dose.

I also wanted to say that we're also in a similar boat with other vaccines (in our case getting Td/Tdap) and any others we feel should be done before their teen years. We did the MMR last year and before that appointment, I must have cancelled and rebooked about four times. It went fine though--even with a slight existential crisis on my part as it was their first vaccine, but I've always reasoned that I'd be pragmatic in this regard and allow for changing circumstances. They are no longer little BFed toddlers at home with me all day, but kids in school F/T and in the case of my DD, in junior high in a couple of years, and that means re-evaluating our previous choices.

All the best with whatever you decide.

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#10 of 15 Old 07-22-2014, 08:08 PM
 
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Um, yes. You are overthinking things. The S/D forum should just be renamed Overthinkers Anonymous!

No advice, just commiseration. Good luck with your decision!

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#11 of 15 Old 07-24-2014, 09:16 AM
 
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At 16, I think she needs to have a large say in this.


Make sure your ducks are in a row before you discuss this with her - how common are measles, mumps, rubella (CDC pink book or MMWR are good for this)? What is their typical course? Complication rate? Any benefits to natural exposure?


How safe are the vaccines?


Good luck!

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#12 of 15 Old 07-25-2014, 10:20 AM
 
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I agree with Kathy. My views may lean towards not vaxxing, but we did start off delayed and I believe my children will be educated enough to help in making vaccine decisions at that point and once they hit 18, I'll take a step back and hope they make the best decisions they can for themselves and know that I will be there whatever that decision may be.
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#13 of 15 Old 08-28-2014, 06:39 PM
 
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I, too, lean towards open discussion and sharing of information with my older teen. Of course, she remembers some of the shots from her early years and would default to "no needles" if it were up to her. She willingly exposed herself to chicken pox twice when she was 12 because that was my cut-off for getting the wild virus. It took two exposures, (sharing sippy cups and a household) in order to contract chicken pox, and it was not comfy at all. We talked about it and she preferred doing that to getting the vaccine and then titres to make sure the vaccine was effective. (plus subsequent titres every 10 years to see if the immunity lasts)

The other thing I have done all along with my children is teach them how to care for themselves when sick. They now are aware enough that I didn't have to remind them to take Vit D3 and some daily Vit C when the school year started. They know how to care for wounds and identify signs that a wound is getting infected, they can tell when a fever is coming on, etc.
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#14 of 15 Old 09-06-2014, 07:54 AM
 
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I have also been considering MMR for my teenage daughter. I even asked the pediatrician, who has exempted her from further vaccination due to previous reactions to other vaccines, what he recommend.

He did not think she needed it, which surprised me.

He said that, first of all, since she was in part-time day care from age 3 months, he is sure she would have been exposed from all the other infants and children, who got the MMR and then shed live virus cells for the next 3 weeks. That is apparently how, in part, live virus vaccines are supposed to work.

And secondly, the MMR risks risks for post-pubertal females include a whopping 25% who get arthritis/arthralgia. It's listed on Merck's website, and on the package insert.

You know, you can always get titers done, where they check for antibodies to determine whether you are already immune--which would complete tell negate any argument for getting the vaccine.

Our ped did suggest checking titers for rubella when she's older, well before she considers pregnancy.
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#15 of 15 Old 09-24-2014, 02:29 PM
 
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You could have her get the three toxoids separately so that it's less of a hit to the immune system, and if she has a reaction you know exactly what the reaction is to.

I also agree with previous posters, why not have titers done?

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