Vaccinating as teenagers having not vaccinated before? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 04-19-2013, 12:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have 4 kids, 14, 13, 9 and 5. I started out vaccinating my oldest and I guess he had all the DPT ones at 2,4,6 months but when it came to MMR and they wanted me to do the meningitis at the same time I figured it was too much and didn't do any more ( I think DS2 had already had some of the early ones too by this stage). My 2 DDs never had any vaccinations.

 

So fast forward a few years and now the boys are teenagers and haven't had any of the childhood diseases and they're talking about travelling and things and I'm wondering I should vaccinate them against some things, and if so, what? Maybe tetanos? Polio? Diptheria? Typhoid? And what about the MMR? And then the girls when they get there, german measles?

 

Or should I just leave them for the moment and let them get vaccinated depending on where they travel specifically later? - We live in Switzerland, though the boys were born in the UK.

 

None of them have any health issues smile.gif


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#2 of 12 Old 04-19-2013, 12:32 PM
 
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Where are you traveling to? I think in Switzerland you have access to measles and rubella (German Measles, Roeteln) only vaccines. You also have DT only (Diphteria, Tetanus, without Pertussis/Keuchhusten/Whooping Cough).

Polio is only endemic in a handful of countries (India, Pakistan, I forget the others), and some countries still use OPV which can shed.

Thyphoid and yellow fever vaccines are only recommended for certain countries. The website of the Swiss department of state should list all countries and what to expect there.

I assume you speak German so here's the German website for all countries with warnings about what diseases to expect and what vaccines are recommended; just enter the country's name and it will pull it all up.

http://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/DE/Laenderinformationen/SicherheitshinweiseA-Z-Laenderauswahlseite_node.html

 

The CDCs view: http://wwwnc.cdc.gov/travel/


I hope that helps!

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#3 of 12 Old 04-19-2013, 12:34 PM
 
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For me it would depend on a few things and is a very personal choice.

 

I would look at exactly where they would be travelling and when and what specifically you may be concerned about travelling to that particular area. 

 

Why are they travelling? for what purpose? Vacation? School? Humanitarian work? 


If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#4 of 12 Old 04-19-2013, 01:01 PM - Thread Starter
 
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No specific travel plans, though we were thinking of travelling to Russia next year and my dh, who would have liked to vaccinate the children, had previously talked about the diptheria outbreak. However, I know my sons plan to travel (a lot, Africa, Asia, everywhere...) when they are older and I didn't know if it was worth vaccinating against anything just now.

 

I suppose it was the childhood diseases and them having missed them so far that made me think about it now. Itseems it's worth vaccinating the boys against mumps and then the girls against rubella later after testing for immunity. But they don't like the idea of vaccinations so if I was going to vaccinate now, I'd get it all done at once. Or not if that's better, but at least plan it all and discuss with them why we're doing it...

 

Thanks
 


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#5 of 12 Old 04-19-2013, 01:04 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I suppose I'd prefer not to vaccinate at all, but I don't want to be taking risks for them either. I was really happy with not vaccinating them before and it's just that I'm reviewing the situation...


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#6 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 12:29 PM
 
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Originally Posted by arcenciel View Post

I suppose I'd prefer not to vaccinate at all, but I don't want to be taking risks for them either. I was really happy with not vaccinating them before and it's just that I'm reviewing the situation...

reviewing your choices is always positive. But I want to point out that there are risks either way. You say you don't want to take risks with them now by not vaccinating, but vaccination will always be a risk, as will not vaccinating. All you can do is evaluate the risk/benefit ratio for them at any given time. 

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If the people let government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny." Thomas Jefferson.

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#7 of 12 Old 04-24-2013, 11:05 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I was just hoping for some input. There's a lot of talk about vaccinating or not when they are little, and I can hardly find anything about the decision when they are older. It seems to me that mumps is worthwhile for boys and rubella for girls. My doctor is very keen on tetanos but there doesn't seem to be much argument for that in the alternative community...
 


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#8 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 05:27 AM
 
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Have you considered something like this:  Take them to talk to a medical professional to get that mainstream/medical viewpoint for themselves, then talk to them about why you chose not to vaccinate them as children and show them the pieces of information which made you make that decision. You can then review both viewpoints together and come to a decision about moving forward.

 

I know what I would do, but you're not really asking for that, so I'll keep it to myself. :) 

 

The thing with tetanus is that while it's very rare there's nothing to do if you get it. With the vaccine you won't get it full stop. I think that's why doctors are so keen on it even given the rarity (although hard to get good numbers on that given most people are vaccinated!).


Mother of two living in UK. Daughter (2007) born in USA, son (2010) born here. I'm pro natural birth, midwife care, breastfeeding, co-sleeping, baby wearing and a keen advocate of cloth diapering. I'm a full time working research scientist (physical sciences) and I'm pro-vaccine.

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#9 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 06:06 AM
 
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Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

 

The thing with tetanus is that while it's very rare there's nothing to do if you get it. 

 

Actually, there is something that can done for tetanus, from the CDC Pink Book:

 

 

 

 

Quote:

Medical Management 

All wounds should be cleaned. Necrotic tissue and foreign 

material should be removed. If tetanic spasms are occurring, 

supportive therapy and maintenance of an adequate airway 

are critical. 

Tetanus immune globulin (TIG) is recommended for persons 

with tetanus. TIG can only help remove unbound tetanus 

toxin. It cannot affect toxin bound to nerve endings. A single 

intramuscular dose of 3,000 to 5,000 units is generally 

recommended for children and adults, with part of the 

dose infiltrated around the wound if it can be identified. 

Intravenous immune globulin (IVIG) contains tetanus anti- 

toxin and may be used if TIG is not available.

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/tetanus.pdf


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#10 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 06:39 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks, prosciencemum & Mirzam. This is gradually helping me get my head round it all, again. :-)
 


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#11 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 07:37 AM
 
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arcenciel - for the record I have two unvaxed teens, and there is no way I would have them vaccinated at this point. What they do at 18 is up to them. Seeing them grow from robust babies/children to equally strong, robust well-adjusted teens, I am not about to risk their health by vaxing them. 


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#12 of 12 Old 04-25-2013, 08:26 AM
 
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I think there is a risk of arthritis-type symptoms with teen girls and the MMR vaccine.  

 

 

"Following vaccination in children, reactions in joints are uncommon and generally of brief duration. In women, incidence rates for arthritis and arthralgia are generally higher than those seen in children (children: 0-3%; women: 12-26%),17,52,53 and the reactions tend to be more marked and of longer duration. Symptoms may persist for a matter of months or on rare occasions for years. In adolescent girls, the reactions appear to be intermediate in incidence between those seen in children and in adult women. Even in women older than 35 years, these reactions are generally well tolerated and rarely interfere with normal activities.

Nervous System"

 

http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/m/mmr_ii/mmr_ii_pi.pdf

 

I don't believe in vaccinating in case they might travel or enter a program that might require vaccination.  I believe in crossing that bridge when you come to it.  I believe teens who are willing to devote the time to researching the issue should have some say in vaccine decisions - but not until about 16 or so.


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