Freaked out by pertussis - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 36 Old 02-18-2009, 09:33 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I need some input from you guys. How do you feel about the DTaP vaccine? I really don't want to get Lucia vaccinated for anything until she's 2 or later. But pertussis is a reality in my community. And DS is in kindergarten and DH works with teenagers so I'm sure we come into contact with many germs... We do EBF and limit her contact with the outside world, but she does have to go with me to pick up DS in the afternoon, and the grocery store, etc.

I know you guys are in the same boat since your little ones are around 2 months now. I'm thinking of getting the vaccine with DH to limit her potential exposure. Do you have any other advice? What are you doing to protect against pertussis?

Thanks everyone. I don't mean to open a can of worms, but I'm curious what you're thinking.

NICOLE | Natural livin', co-sleepin', mostly vegan, work at home mama to N (7) and L (2)
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#2 of 36 Old 02-18-2009, 11:05 PM
 
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Hi Nicole,

I am thinking the same thing, actually. My dad caught pertussis when my nephew was this age. It was scary. I think we're going to do it as well. We selectively vaccinate, and the dtap is the only one we do this early. For us, its the best thing.

HTH & good luck!
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#3 of 36 Old 02-19-2009, 11:52 PM
 
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One of my daughters had pertussis as a newborn (she caught it from me - apparently my shot wore off). It was scary- she was having horrible coughing fits for a month, had daily ped appointments for the first week to check her oxygen levels, and I barely slept, spending most of the night holding her upright so she could breathe easier. Still, a big part of the fright came from the fact that the doctors knew absolutely nothing about pertussis (most had never seen it - this was four years ago, it seems more common now). I am not getting the DTaP shot for Annika in the near future. I know I, my mother, her father, and all her sisters, are immune to it (naturally immune, now), so she isn't going to catch it from us, and she's not likely to catch it from anyone else at this point.
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#4 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 08:53 AM
 
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My DS is unvaxed but this LO will be in a larger darcare and DTaP is the only shot I both want and don't want! WC this young sounds scary. Thanks to MDC I've got lots of great info. I'm still on the fence with the vaccine because it isn't that effective on the first and second dose. And by the time my LO hits 6 months of age, it's just 70% with the third dose and her chances of complications (or death) decrease significantly. Most of the infant deaths occur in the first month of life, so luckily we are all out of the woods on that one. But I hear there is a high probability that without the vaccine she'll get WC by age 4 (if I rememeber correctly).

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she's not likely to catch it from anyone else at this point.
It depends. Especially if it is going around in your area.
The DTaP does NOT protect against transmission! People can have either the germs or a mild case of WC (which looks like a cold). Many, many people probably get a mild WC but either don't go to the Dr. or the Dr. doesn't diagnose it as WC (why would he/she, it's almost "eradicated").

*sigh* what to do!
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#5 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 11:07 AM
 
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I don't know but I can say I'm a bit freaked out too! DS1 has had a cold for a week now and been coughing a lot, so who knows what it actually is. I'm sick too, although better now and not really coughing so much. But DS2 is now coughing and it sounds so horrible, poor little guy. I think I may take DS1 in and have him cultured to make sure it's NOT WC. That would be my worst nightmare.

So I guess part of me is mad that I never got DS1 fully vaxed for this, but then there is a part of me that thinks it wouldn't have mattered anyway. Of course, all my worrying could be for naught and I hope that's what it is...

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#6 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 03:56 PM
 
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years ago, my dd had a very bad reaction to the DTaP shot. it resulted in an autoimmune illness that she will likely be dealing with for the rest of her life (she has remissions and flare-ups).

needless to say, i am far more afraid of ds having a similar reaction than i am of having him treated for pertussis.

so, no, we're not vaxing. that said, i'm being ultra-careful in terms of hygiene and exposure to other kids.
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#7 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 05:45 PM
 
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Originally Posted by chic2chic View Post
years ago, my dd had a very bad reaction to the DTaP shot. it resulted in an autoimmune illness that she will likely be dealing with for the rest of her life (she has remissions and flare-ups)....
I had a bad reaction when I was a child too, but that is because back then the vaccine was different. It used to have the entire pertussis germ in it - now it is acellular, hence the "a" part of the name DTaP. So the bad reactions are few and far between these days.

Nevertheless, I am delaying all shots until DS is at least 6 months, then selectively vaxing. I fret over whether I am making the right decision - sometimes I feel like it is a gamble either way.

Marine ecologist wife to my kite-boarding soulmate and now a homeschooling SAHM to Annabelle 8/02 and Willem 12/08!
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#8 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 06:30 PM
 
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I fret over whether I am making the right decision - sometimes I feel like it is a gamble either way.
nak

We feel the same way. DD2 is autistic, indirectly due to a vaccine. (she reacted to the hep b shot, then reacted to antibiotics they gave, choked etc.Her reaction the abx was the cause of the autism, not to start a debate-its just our own case).

DDs1 & 3 didn't react to it, so we don't know what is right for ds.
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#9 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 06:42 PM
 
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Moved to vaccinations.

Being right is not always fair, but being fair is always right
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#10 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 06:46 PM
 
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I've had two kids get pertussis, and one kid who had the Dtap vax. I would definitely choose pertussis over the severe reaction my DD had to the vaccine.

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#11 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 06:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by namistenicole View Post
I need some input from you guys. How do you feel about the DTaP vaccine? I really don't want to get Lucia vaccinated for anything until she's 2 or later. But pertussis is a reality in my community. And DS is in kindergarten and DH works with teenagers so I'm sure we come into contact with many germs... We do EBF and limit her contact with the outside world, but she does have to go with me to pick up DS in the afternoon, and the grocery store, etc.

I know you guys are in the same boat since your little ones are around 2 months now. I'm thinking of getting the vaccine with DH to limit her potential exposure. Do you have any other advice? What are you doing to protect against pertussis?

Thanks everyone. I don't mean to open a can of worms, but I'm curious what you're thinking.
At this age, she still has active placental immunities as well as antibodies from breastmilk. She hasn't been eating any food, right? So her gut should be pristine and coated with breastmilk which blocks other harmful things from getting into her system.
I don't understand the fearmongering and hype.
As for my personal experience, my niece got whooping cough when she was two. My sister had to take her into the ER to get breathing treatments and they even kept her overnight. After that, my sister took her to the local GP and he suggested massive doses of vitamin C - as much as 10 grams daily for an adult and 3 grams for her daughter. It only took 2 weeks to clear up after that. My mother also caught it and immediately started with the vitamin C and was better within 2 weeks as well.
Infants present with vaccine preventable diseases at younger and younger ages because we vaccinate the parents and the parents are then unable to pass on the immunities through the placenta like we were able to do in the past. So if you were vaccinated, I suppose it's something you would have to consider.
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#12 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 09:46 PM
 
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It depends. Especially if it is going around in your area.
The DTaP does NOT protect against transmission! People can have either the germs or a mild case of WC (which looks like a cold). Many, many people probably get a mild WC but either don't go to the Dr. or the Dr. doesn't diagnose it as WC (why would he/she, it's almost "eradicated").
My whole family is immune because we all had pertussis four years ago, along with my 3rd daughter, not because of the shots (which obviously didn't do much good at all. Even my two older daughters, who had had the shot only a few years before, caught it).
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#13 of 36 Old 02-20-2009, 10:20 PM
 
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I know you guys are in the same boat since your little ones are around 2 months now. I'm thinking of getting the vaccine with DH to limit her potential exposure. Do you have any other advice? What are you doing to protect against pertussis?
I'm pretty sure that the vax doesn't protect against transmission, so even if your whole family is vaxed, that wouldn't protect dd. But, from what I've seen, even the vax doesn't really protect from WC. My pedi, who is very pro-vax, made a joke about it and said it is the least effective vax he's seen.

For us, we're just careful about germs, wash our hands (but not too obsessively, some germs help to build the immune system!), and avoid people with coughs.
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#14 of 36 Old 02-21-2009, 01:11 AM
 
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The vax does not prevent infection or transmission. The pertussis component is so reactive I would not even consider it. Pertussis is always around and you can get it again and again.

I actually had pertussis while I was pregnant with my second (my 2yo had it also); I was current on my vax (military) and so was ds.

http://www.mothering.com/discussions...ht=DTaP+scream


From the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program in the late 80's:

The neurologic signs and symptoms of encephalopathy may be temporary with complete recovery or may result in various degrees of permanent impairment.

Signs and symptoms such as high-pitched and unusual screaming, persistent inconsolable crying, and bulging fontanel are compatible with an encephalopathy, but in and of themselves are not conclusive evidence of encephalopathy
. Encephalopathy usually can be documented by slow wave activity on an electroencephalogram.


Today it reads:

The following clinical features alone, or in combination, do not demonstrate an acute encephalopathy or a significant change in either mental status or level of consciousness as described above: Sleepiness, irritability (fussiness), high-pitched and unusual screaming, persistent inconsolable crying, and bulging fontanelle. Seizures in themselves are not sufficient to constitute a diagnosis of encephalopathy. In the absence of other evidence of an acute encephalopathy, seizures shall not be viewed as the first symptom or manifestation of the onset of an acute encephalopathy.

FTR, they have put a name to this adverse reaction: Crying Syndrome or Screaming Syndrome.

Now to put things into perspective -- how many parents of the of the signficiant number children who have experienced this type of reaction are told to go to the emergency room in order to do the necessary testing for encephalitis?

In just a ten year period (1991-2001), there were 10,000 reports of unusual crying and screaming syndrome. Just in this period alone. Couple that with the fact that just a tiny amount of vaccine adverse events are even reported . . .~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

This is the neurologist consensus from the early 90's :
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/entrez/q...&dopt=Citation
"it was the consensus of the neurologists attending the workshop, that these do not represent febrile convulsions, but are non-benign convulsions. The incidence of post-vaccine encephalopathy is difficult to ascertain."

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#15 of 36 Old 02-21-2009, 01:31 AM
 
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Pertussis is always around. I don't personally worry about it much.

Reactions still abound to the new DTaP

I am allergic/reactive to the Tetanus portion, so I won't even consider giving it to my kids.

-Angela
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#16 of 36 Old 02-21-2009, 05:42 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ChesapeakeBorn View Post
I had a bad reaction when I was a child too, but that is because back then the vaccine was different. It used to have the entire pertussis germ in it - now it is acellular, hence the "a" part of the name DTaP. So the bad reactions are few and far between these days.
And in 5 or 10 years then we'll be hearing "oh but the new vaccine is so much better than the older DTaP version, now it's totally safe, boy that older version wasn't safe at all, thank goodness they've changed it..."
It seems after the fact drugs and vaccines are found to NOT be safe after all. like the DTP or the more recent drugs Vioxx, Celebrex, and that drug given to pregnant women in the 70s (that left my neighbor's son with deformed arms). So yes, it's being called safe now, but I don't want to wait 20 years to confirm what I already can see is happening now, ykwim?

Anyhow, It is apparently very well known among medical professionals to cause adverse reactions- they attribute it to the Pertussis portion- acellular or not- it is a toxin and it is still causing severe reactions. Among my local moms groups I know of several moderate to severe reactions, and those are just the ones I am aware of in my fairly small local circle (On the flip side, my doctor has only had 2 pertussis cases he's even seen, and they were not as severe as the DTaP ads would lead you to believe)

Also just a couple of months ago my (then 5 mo. old) nephew nearly died after receiving the DTaP.

He had severe seizures (turned blue with purple lips, floppy rag doll, lost consciousness, father thought he was dead) that started within 2 days of his vaccination (and signs of earlier events. like staring, blueness around the lips the first day that his mom remembered in retrospect). My nephew was hospitalized for several days, his mom has to cart around an oxygen tank for him everywhere she goes in case she needs to resuscitate him, and he is on 3 different medications, including phenobarbital to keep seizures from happening. At this point he will be on this for at least a year, if not longer.

I am not saying pertussis is not a pretty illness, and from other's personal stories it obviously is not, but considering the potential risks of the vaccine, and the fact that it often does not even offer full protection until the child is older and less vulnerable anyway...well I would much rather deal with Pertussis and know what I am dealing with(and it is treatable) then the hell my sister is going through now.

So, if I were vaccinating right now I'd skip the DTaP (and MMR, but different story...) altogether.

Mama to my spirited J, and L, my homebirth: baby especially DTaP, MMR (family vax injuries)
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#17 of 36 Old 02-21-2009, 04:45 PM
 
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I had a bad reaction when I was a child too, but that is because back then the vaccine was different. It used to have the entire pertussis germ in it - now it is acellular, hence the "a" part of the name DTaP. So the bad reactions are few and far between these days.
i guess my dd was one of those "few and far between" cases. but the consequences will now affect the rest of her life. which is why i don't want to take any chances with my new baby...
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#18 of 36 Old 02-21-2009, 05:27 PM
 
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So the bad reactions are few and far between these days.
Not true. Even the mainstream medical community considers the Pertussis component of the vax to be the most reactive; and they probably are not taking into consideration VAERS reports.

I posted some DTaP reaction information on another board a couple of days ago and half a dozen people posted "OMG, that's what happened to MY child". That, and the reactions I have read about here in 3 years on this board indicate to me that DTaP reactions are quite common.

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#19 of 36 Old 02-21-2009, 07:25 PM
 
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For now we're holding off. I'm not 100% certain on what we will be doing, but I can't take out what I've already put in. I've been reading a lot about the actual diseases and the vaccines. It's actually really interesting.

About DTaP specifically I've come up with this:
-Diphtheria, not common, max of 5 cases a year and sometimes none at all, 10% fatality rate, treatable.
-Tetanus, not common for young babies, 50-100 cases a year in the u.s., most cases in teens and adults, 1 case in kids under 5 per year, 15% fatality rate, treatable, highly unlikely if wounds are washed and treated accordingly.
-Pertussis, natural disease usually results in immunity, common, serious cases in infants under 6 months, 1% fatality rate, most deaths occur in infants under 2 months, after 6 months fatalities are rare, treatable, infants may need to be hospitalized for oxygen deprivation during coughing fits.

So, the disease you're most concerned about is the one with the lowest fatality rate.

The ingredients I don't like at all! Aluminum, Formaldehyde and Mercury. Yuck. There is also a fairly high chance of side effects 15% for common reactions. Rare side effects include: heart inflammation, diabetes, bleeding disorders, skin infections, Guillian-Barre syndrome, brain & nerve damage.


I forgot to add that we are planning on BFing for at least a year and my husband watches the kids during the day. I watch them at night if he's working. My 2 1/2 year old daughter goes to the nursery every other Sunday at church, but I plan on keeping DS out of the nursery for a while yet (probably a year).

S-d D which made them three. M grew lonely, and now there's baby D.
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#20 of 36 Old 02-21-2009, 08:44 PM
 
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My dh had active pertussis when my oldest was born. She never showed even the slightest sign of being sick. There are absolutely no guarantees, of course, but that definitely reinforced for me that exposure does not have to equal illness.

Kash, homeschooling mommy to Gillian (8/5/00) and Jacob (3/23/05)
and Brigid Eleanor (11/20/08)
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#21 of 36 Old 02-21-2009, 10:00 PM
 
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I would not like my infant to get sick pertussis. However, I will NOT get DTaP for these reasons:

1. P is showing to be fairly ineffective yet reactive
2. She'll be ebf and not in daycare
3. I am very against combo shots
4. I believe in natural immune support over artificial

Alicia, wife to an loving and faithful DH, and mama to three fantastic though nutty children (cs, then a fast HBAC, then a fast VBAC!!). Planning a third VBAC, again at home, in February 2016.
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#22 of 36 Old 02-22-2009, 02:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I would not like my infant to get sick pertussis. However, I will NOT get DTaP for these reasons:

1. P is showing to be fairly ineffective yet reactive
2. She'll be ebf and not in daycare
3. I am very against combo shots
4. I believe in natural immune support over artificial
Can you tell me what this means?

NICOLE | Natural livin', co-sleepin', mostly vegan, work at home mama to N (7) and L (2)
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#23 of 36 Old 02-22-2009, 04:16 PM
 
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ok, so which is it... people in this thread are saying they got pertussis so have natural immunity and some are saying you can get it over and over again.
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#24 of 36 Old 02-22-2009, 04:22 PM
 
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ok, so which is it... people in this thread are saying they got pertussis so have natural immunity and some are saying you can get it over and over again.
Both.

Having pertussis affords some level of immunity- but it doesn't last. Neither having pertussis nor the pertussis vaccine, provide lasting or full immunity to pertussis.

-Angela
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#25 of 36 Old 02-22-2009, 04:25 PM
 
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Both.

Having pertussis affords some level of immunity- but it doesn't last. Neither having pertussis nor the pertussis vaccine, provide lasting or full immunity to pertussis.

-Angela
Thanks for this....the full immunity thing didn't jibe with what I know of pertussis either.
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#26 of 36 Old 02-22-2009, 04:28 PM
 
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4. I believe in natural immune support over artificial

Can you tell me what this means?
I believe it's better for the body to have a trial of sickness in childhood to benefit and strengthen the immune system. Yes, one can get sick from bacteria over and over, and viruses generally provide immunity once contracted and recovered. Does that mean I'll go looking for illnesses? Not necessarily - I'd look for chicken pox and mumps, but do plan to support their immune systems with ebf, nutrition and vitamins.

Overall, with vaccines, my husband and I don't wish to artificially influence or alter our kids' immune systems - we want them to face and recover from illnesses by themselves, with support, and we believe they'll be healthier as adults. It's far too unknown and questionable what vaccines do to an immune system (though much IS known at the same time). They at least trigger a response for antibodies, but don't trigger a response for expulsion of the illness as our un-altered immune systems do. That single response seems to lead to auto-immune disorders in some people.

Hope that helps.

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#27 of 36 Old 02-22-2009, 04:35 PM
 
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I love the Mothering Article "Don't Worry Mom, I'm Just Growing!". It talks about the role childhood illness have on our future health as adults.

Wife to DH, Mom to my Intact Boys DS1: Born 02 Pain Med Free Hospital Birth, BF'ed for 9 Months, Partially Vax'd DS2: Born 06 via UC, BF'ed 3 years 10 months, and UnVax'd
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#28 of 36 Old 02-22-2009, 05:41 PM
 
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And in 5 or 10 years then we'll be hearing "oh but the new vaccine is so much better than the older DTaP version, now it's totally safe, boy that older version wasn't safe at all, thank goodness they've changed it..."
It seems after the fact drugs and vaccines are found to NOT be safe after all. like the DTP or the more recent drugs Vioxx, Celebrex, and that drug given to pregnant women in the 70s (that left my neighbor's son with deformed arms). So yes, it's being called safe now, but I don't want to wait 20 years to confirm what I already can see is happening now, ykwim?

Anyhow, It is apparently very well known among medical professionals to cause adverse reactions- they attribute it to the Pertussis portion- acellular or not- it is a toxin and it is still causing severe reactions. Among my local moms groups I know of several moderate to severe reactions, and those are just the ones I am aware of in my fairly small local circle (On the flip side, my doctor has only had 2 pertussis cases he's even seen, and they were not as severe as the DTaP ads would lead you to believe)

Also just a couple of months ago my (then 5 mo. old) nephew nearly died after receiving the DTaP.

He had severe seizures (turned blue with purple lips, floppy rag doll, lost consciousness, father thought he was dead) that started within 2 days of his vaccination (and signs of earlier events. like staring, blueness around the lips the first day that his mom remembered in retrospect). My nephew was hospitalized for several days, his mom has to cart around an oxygen tank for him everywhere she goes in case she needs to resuscitate him, and he is on 3 different medications, including phenobarbital to keep seizures from happening. At this point he will be on this for at least a year, if not longer.

I am not saying pertussis is not a pretty illness, and from other's personal stories it obviously is not, but considering the potential risks of the vaccine, and the fact that it often does not even offer full protection until the child is older and less vulnerable anyway...well I would much rather deal with Pertussis and know what I am dealing with(and it is treatable) then the hell my sister is going through now.

So, if I were vaccinating right now I'd skip the DTaP (and MMR, but different story...) altogether.
ugh, i am so sorry about what your sister is dealing with.
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#29 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 12:11 AM
 
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Pandme, me neither! *lol* But maybe I had missed something.... !
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#30 of 36 Old 02-23-2009, 02:01 AM
 
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My kids are just getting over pertussis. It hasn't been pretty, but really, not as bad as everything I've read about it. I would (did) skip the vaccine, and support the immune system through breastfeeding, good maternal nutrition, rest, and, if you get sick, plenty of vit. C.
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