Survey: Younger doctors more skeptical of vaccines - Mothering Forums

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Old 10-31-2011, 11:21 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Omer and colleagues surveyed 551 doctors. They found that more recent graduates were 15% less likely to believe that vaccines are effective, compared with older graduates.

Younger doctors were also more likely to believe that immunizations do more harm than good.

 

The reason they give is the old chestnut:

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Gellin's theory: Like young parents, young doctors are not familiar with some of the infectious diseases that have been virtually wiped out by immunization programs.

 

 

I also found this quote interesting:

 

 

 

Quote:
Eight percent of doctors overall agreed that "children get more immunizations than are good for them.

 

In a second survey on firing patients for vaccine refusal researchers found an average of 21% discharged families. The highest figure of those surveyed was 38% in Iowa, with the lowest being Minnesota at 1%

 

I found this quote amusing:

 

 

 

 

Quote:
"A proportion of doctors don't feel comfortable having unimmunized patients in their practice as they perceive them to be a risk to other patients in their waiting rooms," says researcher Christopher Harrison, MD, director of the infectious disease research laboratory at Children's Mercy Hospitals and Clinics in Kansas City, Mo.

 

Saving the best for last:

 

 

 

 

Quote:

81% of the doctors, regardless of age, agreed that "vaccines are one of the safest forms of medicine ever developed," he says.

 

Is there any hope?


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Old 10-31-2011, 12:06 PM
 
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Hope for what exactly?

 

I do firmly believe that the reason for the decrease in life threatening or possibly crippling childhood diseases is because we started vaccinating children against diseases like measles and polio. I am also of the opinion that it is really, really irresponsible of parents NOT to vaccinate their children against these diseases. The reason being, that as it stands, the chance of a child here in the west of catching for example measles is rather low BECAUSE most children are vaccinated and thus the disease does not spread like wildfire. And the few cases that does crop up, every now and again, because of the vaccine not being effective or the person simply not being vaccinated to start with, can be taken care of rather efficiently because the hospitals are not filled up with people needing treatment and care for these diseases. That is my firm belief. I know many on here does not share this belief, but there it is.

 

I am also of the opinion that we do over vaccinate. And that we do have quite an unhealthy view of bacteria and viruses in general.

 

A prime example of that is the flu shot. Here in Sweden it is rather rare for a healthy child of adult to get the flu shot. The vaccine - which does have its risks - is generally just given to groups that have a lowered immune defence. Especially in years when the flu strain is deemed as being extra dangerous. I think this is a healthy approach. To vaccinate high-risk groups only when a disease is spreading unchecked.

 

I do really think vaccination for the flu and diseases like it should be denied groups that are not in the risk category. The reason being that I don't think most people really are aware of the risks involved in these vaccines. For one thing, they are usually rushed out onto the market. The moment the virus of the year makes itself known, all the medical companies hurry to develop a vaccine. A vaccine that generally is not fully tested before it is released...which during the last years have had quite horrible consequences.

 

I do not believe vaccines are without their risks. I am not that blind. But I do believe that all vaccines cannot and should not be grouped together as being bad and dangerous.

 

I really do believe in the second quote you posted, that many parents really aren't aware of the horrors of a mass breakout of for example measles. Not to talk about a disease like small pox. As I said, it is one thing for a hospital (and parents) to care for one sick child. But what happens when a whole city is infected at the same time? When hospitals fill up with sick children, and there just aren't enough resources to take care of each and everyone properly?

 

I really do think vaccines and immunisation is not a black and white story. It is grey. Vaccines and immunisation programs have done a lot of good. They keep doing a lot of good, especially in countries where healthcare service is not what it is here in the west. Where a person with a high fever can't rely on a doctor being able to bring it down...

 

Just had to post that, even if some of you will be upset with me.

 

 

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Old 10-31-2011, 12:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lovesong View Post

Hope for what exactly?

 

I do firmly believe that the reason for the decrease in life threatening or possibly crippling childhood diseases is because we started vaccinating children against diseases like measles and polio. I am also of the opinion that it is really, really irresponsible of parents NOT to vaccinate their children against these diseases. The reason being, that as it stands, the chance of a child here in the west of catching for example measles is rather low BECAUSE most children are vaccinated and thus the disease does not spread like wildfire. And the few cases that does crop up, every now and again, because of the vaccine not being effective or the person simply not being vaccinated to start with, can be taken care of rather efficiently because the hospitals are not filled up with people needing treatment and care for these diseases. That is my firm belief. I know many on here does not share this belief, but there it is.

 

I am also of the opinion that we do over vaccinate. And that we do have quite an unhealthy view of bacteria and viruses in general.

 

A prime example of that is the flu shot. Here in Sweden it is rather rare for a healthy child of adult to get the flu shot. The vaccine - which does have its risks - is generally just given to groups that have a lowered immune defence. Especially in years when the flu strain is deemed as being extra dangerous. I think this is a healthy approach. To vaccinate high-risk groups only when a disease is spreading unchecked.

 

I do really think vaccination for the flu and diseases like it should be denied groups that are not in the risk category. The reason being that I don't think most people really are aware of the risks involved in these vaccines. For one thing, they are usually rushed out onto the market. The moment the virus of the year makes itself known, all the medical companies hurry to develop a vaccine. A vaccine that generally is not fully tested before it is released...which during the last years have had quite horrible consequences.

 

I do not believe vaccines are without their risks. I am not that blind. But I do believe that all vaccines cannot and should not be grouped together as being bad and dangerous.

 

I really do believe in the second quote you posted, that many parents really aren't aware of the horrors of a mass breakout of for example measles. Not to talk about a disease like small pox. As I said, it is one thing for a hospital (and parents) to care for one sick child. But what happens when a whole city is infected at the same time? When hospitals fill up with sick children, and there just aren't enough resources to take care of each and everyone properly?

 

I really do think vaccines and immunisation is not a black and white story. It is grey. Vaccines and immunisation programs have done a lot of good. They keep doing a lot of good, especially in countries where healthcare service is not what it is here in the west. Where a person with a high fever can't rely on a doctor being able to bring it down...

 

Just had to post that, even if some of you will be upset with me.

 

 


I'm confused as to why you think it's irresponsible for a parent not to vaccinate against something like measles that carries little danger to healthy people but think it's great that only high risk groups are vaccinated for the flu where you live.

 

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Old 10-31-2011, 02:06 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lovesong View Post

Hope for what exactly?

 

 

 



I think no matter where you fall on the vaxxing spectrum,  the fact that some doctors are questioning vaccines is a good thing.  Nothing in the world of pharmaceuticals should be a sacred cow.  There are questions around vaccine safety, efficacy, schedule, etc....if doctors bring these concerns up it may be a step in the direction of building better vaccines, which is only beneficial to communities and children.  

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Old 10-31-2011, 07:08 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Lovesong View Post
 

I really do believe in the second quote you posted, that many parents really aren't aware of the horrors of a mass breakout of for example measles. Not to talk about a disease like small pox. As I said, it is one thing for a hospital (and parents) to care for one sick child. But what happens when a whole city is infected at the same time? When hospitals fill up with sick children, and there just aren't enough resources to take care of each and everyone properly?igh fever can't rely on a doctor being able to bring it down...



What horrors are those? I'm 43. I wasn't vaccinated for the measles, and I've had them. I got them as a child, so I was immune ot the "mass breakout" that happened when I was in high school. It was pretty serious, in terms of infection rates. (I can recall classes that were missing a third, or even more, of the students some days during the outbreak.) But, there was absolutely nothing going on that remotely resembled "horrors". A lot of teens were sick, and missed several days of school. I even recall a few - very few - hospitalizations. But, there was nothing going on that even came close to hospitals filling up with sick children, and not enough resources to take care of people properly.

 

I know many people who are anti-vax and/or believe in delayed and selective vaccination, who are my generation or older. I know my mom is absolutely horrified at the Canadian vax schedule for children, and I think we're still routinely administering fewer vaxes than in the US.


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Old 10-31-2011, 08:26 PM
 
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I was researching the vaccinations lately, and reading up on infectious disease, so I have some "horrors" examples fresh in my mind.

 

If the younger crowd's medical training didn't include a visit to this ward, then they won't have the same perspective:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Iron_Lung_ward-Rancho_Los_Amigos_Hospital.gif

 

 

More info here:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_pressure_ventilator

 

"On the 30th of October 2009, June Middleton of Melbourne, Australia, who had been entered in the Guinness Book of Records as the person who spent the longest time in an iron lung, died aged 83, having spent more than 60 years in her iron lung.[19]"

 

Holy... anything! Some of the stories are so shocking and sad.

 

On other forums that I read, an older poster said that all the church bells rang in his city when the polio vaccine became available.

 

 

Back to the main topic.. I'm happy that the young doctors are questioning things. It's good being skeptical, keeps the science on its toes.

 

But yeah, I think we are lucky if we have to ask "what horrors". The polio victim pictures are just awful.

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Old 10-31-2011, 11:54 PM
 
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We have 6 doses less than the U.S, does, Storm Bride, at least according to this study: http://het.sagepub.com/content/early/2011/05/04/0960327111407644.full.pdf+html


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Old 11-01-2011, 09:34 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Lovesong View Post

Hope for what exactly?

 

I do firmly believe that the reason for the decrease in life threatening or possibly crippling childhood diseases is because we started vaccinating children against diseases like measles and polio. I am also of the opinion that it is really, really irresponsible of parents NOT to vaccinate their children against these diseases. The reason being, that as it stands, the chance of a child here in the west of catching for example measles is rather low BECAUSE most children are vaccinated and thus the disease does not spread like wildfire. And the few cases that does crop up, every now and again, because of the vaccine not being effective or the person simply not being vaccinated to start with, can be taken care of rather efficiently because the hospitals are not filled up with people needing treatment and care for these diseases. That is my firm belief. I know many on here does not share this belief, but there it is.

 

I am also of the opinion that we do over vaccinate. And that we do have quite an unhealthy view of bacteria and viruses in general.

 

A prime example of that is the flu shot. Here in Sweden it is rather rare for a healthy child of adult to get the flu shot. The vaccine - which does have its risks - is generally just given to groups that have a lowered immune defence. Especially in years when the flu strain is deemed as being extra dangerous. I think this is a healthy approach. To vaccinate high-risk groups only when a disease is spreading unchecked.

 

I do really think vaccination for the flu and diseases like it should be denied groups that are not in the risk category. The reason being that I don't think most people really are aware of the risks involved in these vaccines. For one thing, they are usually rushed out onto the market. The moment the virus of the year makes itself known, all the medical companies hurry to develop a vaccine. A vaccine that generally is not fully tested before it is released...which during the last years have had quite horrible consequences.

 

I do not believe vaccines are without their risks. I am not that blind. But I do believe that all vaccines cannot and should not be grouped together as being bad and dangerous.

 

I really do believe in the second quote you posted, that many parents really aren't aware of the horrors of a mass breakout of for example measles. Not to talk about a disease like small pox. As I said, it is one thing for a hospital (and parents) to care for one sick child. But what happens when a whole city is infected at the same time? When hospitals fill up with sick children, and there just aren't enough resources to take care of each and everyone properly?

 

I really do think vaccines and immunisation is not a black and white story. It is grey. Vaccines and immunisation programs have done a lot of good. They keep doing a lot of good, especially in countries where healthcare service is not what it is here in the west. Where a person with a high fever can't rely on a doctor being able to bring it down...

 

Just had to post that, even if some of you will be upset with me.

 

 



When exactly were hospitals so full up of sick people that there was not enough room to treat everyone who needed treatment? Also ~ how do you explain the statistics that show that disease (measles among others) started to decline before the vaccination was introduced? How is it that we know that disease would run rampant if we did not have vaccinations? Truth is we really do not know what disease would do if we stopped vaccinating.

 

What I find interesting about your line of argument regarding vaccines is that you state that you believe the flu vax should only be given to compromised portions of the population ~ however this applies to many of the diseases we are vaxing our young babies with (if you vax...I do not). Hep B ~ only a very small portion of our society is afflicted with Hep B yet we vax newborns with this before they are even a day old. Chickenpox ~ something rather benign and never really fatal (except in extreme cases) even before the vaccine to children yet we vax them for this which shifts the danger zone to the older population ("lightbulb" ~ so that they can get a vaccine too).

 

The thing is ~ we are made to feel like these diseases were so incredibly dangerous one day many decades ago...and the truth is while there were people that became very ill and even died...the vaccinations were not the savior of disease we are all led to believe they were in those days...so many other factors were at play. I do see where it is easy to give into the fearmongering that every child born before the age of vaccinations sat in an iron lung for most of their childhood ~ that is just not the reality of those days (as much as the fearmongers would like to have us believe).

 


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Old 11-01-2011, 11:37 AM
 
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But yeah, I think we are lucky if we have to ask "what horrors". The polio victim pictures are just awful.



I'm not sure who you were replying to, but if this was addressed at me, you're completely misunderstanding me. I was saying, "what horrors?" specifically in response to the comment about measles. I've lived through two measles outbreaks, and they simply weren't anything like the impression given by Lovesong. My mom has lived through quite a few, and wouldn't describe them as "horrors", either. Are they pleasant? No. But, images of overwhelmed hospitals and nobody left to care for the sick, when talking about measles, are overkill, in a big way.

 

I actually don't have an issue with the polio vaccine, despite the fact that it almost certainly contributed to my uncle's death by lung cancer. But, measles aren't polio. Mumps aren't polio. And, chickenpox sure aren't polio. Yes - some people experience extreme complications from those diseases...but some people experience extreme complications from the vaccines, too.


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Old 11-01-2011, 12:34 PM
 
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When exactly were hospitals so full up of sick people that there was not enough room to treat everyone who needed treatment? Also ~ how do you explain the statistics that show that disease (measles among others) started to decline before the vaccination was introduced? How is it that we know that disease would run rampant if we did not have vaccinations? Truth is we really do not know what disease would do if we stopped vaccinating.

 

What I find interesting about your line of argument regarding vaccines is that you state that you believe the flu vax should only be given to compromised portions of the population ~ however this applies to many of the diseases we are vaxing our young babies with (if you vax...I do not). Hep B ~ only a very small portion of our society is afflicted with Hep B yet we vax newborns with this before they are even a day old. Chickenpox ~ something rather benign and never really fatal (except in extreme cases) even before the vaccine to children yet we vax them for this which shifts the danger zone to the older population ("lightbulb" ~ so that they can get a vaccine too).

 

The thing is ~ we are made to feel like these diseases were so incredibly dangerous one day many decades ago...and the truth is while there were people that became very ill and even died...the vaccinations were not the savior of disease we are all led to believe they were in those days...so many other factors were at play. I do see where it is easy to give into the fearmongering that every child born before the age of vaccinations sat in an iron lung for most of their childhood ~ that is just not the reality of those days (as much as the fearmongers would like to have us believe).

 


 

For hospitals filling up...I must admit the example I come to think about at once happened a long, long, long time ago. The outbreak of the spanish flu in 1918. About 3% of the world population is estimated to have died directly or indirectly (primarily by pneumonia) from it. Many of the deaths were of healthy people.

 

I agree we cannot know that the diseases would run rampant if we did not have the vaccines against them. But take a disease like polio for example, that according to kidshealth.org had its peak breakout in 1952 in the U.S. 60,000 infected. 3,000 dead. We cannot know that polio would not naturally have disappeared or at least have become less deadly over time had the vaccine not been invented. What we can know, is that the disease has virtually disappeared from the western hemisphere following the start of vaccinating against it as has many other known very contagious diseases. We can also see that the disease does still exist in countries where the vaccine is not given and we can see what it does there. So we do know what would happen if the vaccine was not given. More people would become infected. For healthy, well nourished people...not so much of a problem. Bed rest. Good fluid intake and most people recover just fine. But consider that there are people, also here in the west, who cannot afford bed rest (some have no beds). Measles is not a disease to be taken lightly even if the effects are not that bad for most healthy people.

 

According to WHO in 1980, before mass vaccination against measles really started, around 2.6 million people died of it yearly. In 2008 164 000 people died in measles. Admittedly, 95% of these deaths happens in low-income countries. Often the people who die have other health issues to begin with and so can't handle the disease and its after effects. So, as a parent in the western hemisphere you can relax. If your healthy child (or yourself) comes down with measles, the chance of survival is very high in comparison, but is that a reason not to vaccinate against it? Not to do what you can to insure that measles become a thing of the past? If I could, measles is certainly one of the diseases I would like to rid the world of once and for all. Because it is one of these diseases where it hits the poor worst and where who you are and where you're from really matters.

 

As for certain diseases starting to disappear before the vaccine was introduced, we have to remember that the vaccine and the quest for spreading information about hygiene (especially in hospitals) happens at about the same time. In the mid 19th century we do see a dramatic revolution when it comes to hygiene because doctors (and nurses, like Florence Nightingale) were aware of what caused (causes) infections: bacteria and viruses.

 

We have to remember that many infectious diseases was spread in hospitals, and with the tools doctors used. So once hygiene became established, of course we saw a decrease in diseases like measles. Cross contamination between wards etc. started to become less common. People with different ailments were separated. Hands washed. Tools sterilised. It is very easily explained why we see a decrease in many infectious diseases before the invention of the vaccine.

 

Of course many factors have been at play, and are at play, when we are talking contagious diseases and the fatality of them. For one thing, antibiotics were invented in the beginning of the century by Fleming. In combination with sewage systems, vaccination, access to fresh food year round and of course clean water it would be very surprising if we did not live in a society where we are not really frightened by the diseases of the past.

 

As for me not believing in vaccinating against the flu, it depends on the nature of the flu virus. We can vaccinate against one certain strand of it, but usually within a year a new strand is upon us that requires a new vaccine. With measles we have a chance to wipe it out for good which is a chance I think we should take if possible. With the flu? The problem is how quick it changes and how quick it spreads. Even if we vaccinated everyone in the western hemisphere against this year's virus, it would be bound to survive in the eastern hemisphere, change and attack us again next year when it comes around again. Brand new. Requiring new vaccinations. Therefore I really think it pointless to vaccinate all against the flu at this point in time.

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Old 11-01-2011, 01:05 PM
 
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Sorry for the misunderstanding, StormBride.

 

I guess what I meant to say was that in desperate times, people sought desperate measures. Now that the young doctors are not in that situation, they can re-evaluate. It's a good thing.

 

 

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Old 11-02-2011, 12:19 PM
 
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Sorry for the misunderstanding, StormBride.

 

I guess what I meant to say was that in desperate times, people sought desperate measures. Now that the young doctors are not in that situation, they can re-evaluate. It's a good thing.

 

 



It is. I shudder imagining where we would be had doctor's not throughout the ages. :)

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Old 11-02-2011, 12:27 PM
 
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It is. I shudder imagining where we would be had doctor's not throughout the ages. :)



I won't deny that doctors have done a lot of good, in a lot of places. But, it's a mixed bag.

 

Where would the children born with birth defects caused by thalidomide be, without doctors?
Where would the women who died at a 100% rate in some early hospital birth wards (will have to dig out the reference for this, but it did happen, in Europe...think it was England), because the doctors didn't know that tending to an infected corpse and then going to a woman in childbed, without washing one's hands, was a really bad idea, have been without doctors?

Where would the thousands of people who die due to medication (and other) errors be without doctors?

 

I'm not actually slamming doctors, although I don't like them (in general) very much. But, the existence of doctors isn't an unmixed blessing, and I actually see our cultural level of respect (even reverence, in some cases) for doctors as a genuine threat to the well-being of their patients.


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Old 11-02-2011, 01:52 PM
 
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how do you explain the statistics that show that disease (measles among others) started to decline before the vaccination was introduced? How is it that we know that disease would run rampant if we did not have vaccinations? Truth is we really do not know what disease would do if we stopped vaccinating.

 


Measles deaths declined greatly prior to vaccination due to better living conditions, less malnutrition, and better availability and quality of medical care.  Measles cases cycled rather wildly up and down from year to year, but there was no overall decline before vaccination.  Anyone born prior to 1957 is considered to have had measles and so be immune to it because they lived through several large epidemics before the vaccine was put into use in 1963, at which time a child born in 1956 would have been seven years old.  

 

What other explanation is there for why a disease that has plagued us for thousands of years and is still very common in areas where vaccination rates are low and spreads quite quickly through pockets of low vaccination went from being something everyone got as a normal part of childhood to pretty much gone so quickly?  What huge improvement in living standards or whatever happened right in 1963 that could explain this if it wasn't the vaccine?

 

The vast majority of people who get measles will survive it, and many of them won't even have that bad a time of it.  But the death rate in the US for what cases there have been in the past couple decades has been about 1 or 2 deaths per thousand cases.  France has had even better statistics with only 6 deaths for 14,000 cases this year.  

 

If measles were to become a normal part of childhood in the United Sates, some kids would die of it, but the death rate would not be close to the horrific rates of the past of of developing countries, probably less than a thousand kids in the US per year.  But death is not the only complication; about 1 out of every 1000 cases would result in encephalitis, which would leave some with permanent brain damage.  A much more common complication is pneumonia which can take a while to recover from and can sometimes result in permanent lung damage.  Some kids would also be left blind. 

 

Measles is not some horrific disease that we need to quail in fear of, and I've never seen anyone try to paint it as such.  However, neither is it a completely benign disease that we should just accept as a childhood rite of passage.  Measles may not be that bad, but it is still bad enough to be worth trying to prevent, and the MMR is very good at preventing it. 

 

 

 

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Old 11-03-2011, 02:18 PM
 
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It's interesting to see that article, as it so much differs from my personal experience, oddly enough. I guess I just met a different kind of group of doctors. The younger ones I met were very, well rabidly pro-vaccine (e.g. telling me if I don't vaccinate against chickenpox or the flu my child will die from those very dangerous serious deadly diseases) while the older ones were much more relaxed (e.g. it was said it's good to catch mumps, rubella, chickenpox naturally, they don't feel that many of the newer vaccines have been tested enough nor are for diseases that they felt it was necessary to vaccinate against). I'm fully aware that this is anecdotal, I wonder what happened to the younger peds I met (though I feel it has to do with them being military peds, hence officers, hence less accepting of "non-compliance" and frustration that they just can't order me).

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