Does anyone actually vaccinate SOLELY "for the greater good"? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 61 Old 06-10-2014, 07:00 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Does anyone actually vaccinate SOLELY "for the greater good"?

This question has been on my mind for a long time. And seeing the public health angle brought up in yet another vaccine discussion (not here, but elsewhere) has made me think of it again. The basic argument seems to be, "Even if you think vaccinations could harm your child, you should vaccinate anyway to protect those who can't be vaccinated and/or to promote herd immunity." But in every instance I've seen, people making the public health argument are also arguing that, in fact, vaccines pose no risk to your child, or that the risk of the vaccine is outweighed by the risk of the disease.

So my question is this: Have any of you vaccinated your child, believing it is NOT in your child's own best interest to be vaccinated, SOLELY for the public good? (i.e., to keep herd immunity going, to protect those who cannot be vaccinated themselves, etc.) Or do you know anyone personally who has?

Note that whether or not what the person believes about vaccine safety is objectively TRUE is not really relevant to this question. I doubt that will keep people from arguing about it, but I tried!
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#2 of 61 Old 06-10-2014, 08:23 PM
 
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The ONLY time I have ever heard this community/greater good/herd immunity argument i when the vaccine advocate finally realizes the scare tactics regarding the disease are not changing my mind about getting vaccinated.

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#3 of 61 Old 06-11-2014, 05:55 AM
 
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Computer ate my response again.

My 2 cents - and it involves speculation on my part, so if any pro-vaxxers think I got it wrong, please speak up.

Pro-vaxxers will often claim they vaccinate to protect their children, and the "greater good" is a secondary, but great, side benefit. I think this may hold true with many vaccines. It does not hold true with all of them though. I think some vaccines, if one has explored the issues rationally, are only given for the greater good. This is problematic, as there are ethical issue with asking children to accept a risk (no matter how small) for others.

Consider Polio. In 2013 there were 406 cases of polio in a handful of countries. (WHO). The last imported wild case of polio in the USA was in 1993. (CDC) Your child's chances of getting Polio in the USA are far less that 406 out of 7.7 billion. OTOH, all vaccines carry risk. IPV carries less than some AFAIK, but it still carries a 1 in a million chance of a severe life threatenning allergic reactions. The current risk analysis for a child in the USA for Polio favours not giving the vaccine. Polio is given to support global eradication efforts - i.e. the greater good.

Rubella is another one. Rubella is an incredibly mild disease in children. 50% of kids are asymptomatic, and the Mayo clinic say the fever (if it occurs) is typically under 102 and symtoms only last 2-3 days. I genuinely do not see most people being afraid of their kids getting rubella.

Rubella, OTOH, is very dangerous for fetuses - and can cause birth defects.

So, rubella is given for others - it is given to protect the unborn.

I am not anti the rubella shot - at all. I think it is a great invention for targetted populations (teen girls who have never had rubella, if rubella is endemic). I think the routine use of rubella for all infants is nutty, however…and definitely done "for the greater good". And unlike IPV, MMR, IMHO, is a one of the most reactive vaccines around.  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/...ements/mmr.pdf

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#4 of 61 Old 06-11-2014, 06:00 AM
 
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also…intruiguing…I thought this section was locked to new posts. A new format oversight, perhaps? Mods?
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#5 of 61 Old 06-11-2014, 05:02 PM
 
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Computer ate my response again.

My 2 cents - and it involves speculation on my part, so if any pro-vaxxers think I got it wrong, please speak up.

Pro-vaxxers will often claim they vaccinate to protect their children, and the "greater good" is a secondary, but great, side benefit. I think this may hold true with many vaccines. It does not hold true with all of them though. I think some vaccines, if one has explored the issues rationally, are only given for the greater good. This is problematic, as there are ethical issue with asking children to accept a risk (no matter how small) for others.

Consider Polio. In 2013 there were 406 cases of polio in a handful of countries. (WHO). The last imported wild case of polio in the USA was in 1993. (CDC) Your child's chances of getting Polio in the USA are far less that 406 out of 7.7 billion. OTOH, all vaccines carry risk. IPV carries less than some AFAIK, but it still carries a 1 in a million chance of a severe life threatenning allergic reactions. The current risk analysis for a child in the USA for Polio favours not giving the vaccine. Polio is given to support global eradication efforts - i.e. the greater good.

Rubella is another one. Rubella is an incredibly mild disease in children. 50% of kids are asymptomatic, and the Mayo clinic say the fever (if it occurs) is typically under 102 and symtoms only last 2-3 days. I genuinely do not see most people being afraid of their kids getting rubella.

Rubella, OTOH, is very dangerous for fetuses - and can cause birth defects.

So, rubella is given for others - it is given to protect the unborn.

I am not anti the rubella shot - at all. I think it is a great invention for targetted populations (teen girls who have never had rubella, if rubella is endemic). I think the routine use of rubella for all infants is nutty, however…and definitely done "for the greater good". And unlike IPV, MMR, IMHO, is a one of the most reactive vaccines around.  http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/...ements/mmr.pdf
We saw what happened in Japan recently when they only targeted females for the rubella vaccine. A predictable outbreak in 2013 with thousands of cases of rubella, and many cases of congenital rubella syndrome. It's predictable because only targeting females isn't going to work as well because, as NVers always like to point out, vaccines aren't 100% effective. The best way to keep rubella at bay is to prevent the disease from spreading and getting a foothold in the first place. That's not going to happen if roughly 50 percent of the population has no immunity to this contagious disease.

"About 15 000 cases of rubella and 43 cases of congenital rubella syndrome were reported to the National Epidemiological Surveillance of Infectious Diseases between Oct 15, 2012, and March 2, 2014, as a result of the 2012—13 rubella outbreak in Japan.1 This resurgence of rubella has mainly affected adult men aged 35—51 years—who had not received routine rubella vaccine during their childhood when only school girls were vaccinated, and men and women aged 24—34 years—whose vaccine coverage rates were relatively low.

The lessons learnt from this outbreak can be of value for other countries."

Bolding mine. The lesson is valuable indeed.

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#6 of 61 Old 06-11-2014, 05:57 PM
 
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I will read up on the Japan issue.

That said, it does not change my point - people vaccinate for rubella for others.
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#7 of 61 Old 06-12-2014, 11:55 AM
 
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I will read up on the Japan issue.

That said, it does not change my point - people vaccinate for rubella for others.
You got me. I don't want my children to pass on a preventable disease that could result in a woman losing her baby or giving birth to a child with permanent birth defects, oftentimes fatal ones.

Is that supposed to be a bad thing? That I care about other people and their children? That I want to instill that same compassion of others onto my own children?

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#8 of 61 Old 06-12-2014, 12:58 PM
 
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You got me. I don't want my children to pass on a preventable disease that could result in a woman losing her baby or giving birth to a child with permanent birth defects, oftentimes fatal ones.

Is that supposed to be a bad thing? That I care about other people and their children? That I want to instill that same compassion of others onto my own children?
I distinctly remember numerous pro-vaxxers saying they vaccinate to protect their children first, and that community benefits are a secondary (albeit desired) benefit. I have simply called BS and used rubella and polio as examples. Polio and rubella are primarily given for perceived community benefit.

As per whether it is a bad thing or not: I think it is unethical to give a child a drug (with its risks) that they do not need because it may help others. It is not your body and thus not your call. The child can decide for themselves whether they want to accept the risks once they are of age.
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#9 of 61 Old 06-12-2014, 01:06 PM
 
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Y

Is that supposed to be a bad thing? That I care about other people and their children? That I want to instill that same compassion of others onto my own children?
Are you saying those who don't vaccinate lack the morals you claim to have? You comments flies in the face of us who choose to exercise our legal rights and equates us as lacking compassion for others.
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#10 of 61 Old 06-12-2014, 01:31 PM
 
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This is problematic, as there are ethical issue with asking children to accept a risk (no matter how small) for others.
I think that's just silly. Life is risky.

Was it unethical when my husband and I drove across state for 6 hours on Christmas eve with a 7 month old? He was significantly more likely to be injured or killed doing that than getting the MMR. He was too young to care or ever remember the trip. It was not for his benefit at all. Truthfully, he would have been happier staying home. He gets sick of the carseat after about an hour and always sleeps terribly when we travel. We went for the sake of my MIL who gets sad and lonely around the holidays since my husband's father is dead. So, we went. So she could see her son and grandchild and my husband could see his mom.

Was it unethical for me to drive my son to the grocery store to grab some detergent the other day? I could have easily waited until my husband was home to go, or asked him to pick some up on his way home from work. I did it because I selfishly didn't want to have to wait until 6pm to start laundry. The trip certainly didn't benefit my son in any way, and again he could have been injured in a car accident, got hit in the parking lot, etc.

So, I'm not buying the argument that asking your child to accept any level of risk "no matter how small" for others is unethical.

As far as Polio, I have to disagree. Maybe if you live in a tiny town hundreds of miles from an international airport and homeschool and never travel or have any family members or friends that travel come to visit the argument would be more valid. I think that's on the extreme side of reality, though. We are traveling internationally later this summer. We live in a city with millions of people and about 15 minutes away from one of the biggest international airports in the country. My mom lives in florida, and we always make it a point to go to Disney World/ Universal Studios when we go. Those are some of the biggest attractions in the US for international travelers. As long as people from countries with polio outbreaks continue to travel internationally, it's a risk. So I do primarily vaccinate my son for Polio for his benefit.

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#11 of 61 Old 06-12-2014, 03:18 PM
 
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I think that's just silly. Life is risky.

Was it unethical when my husband and I drove across state for 6 hours on Christmas eve with a 7 month old? He was significantly more likely to be injured or killed doing that than getting the MMR. He was too young to care or ever remember the trip. It was not for his benefit at all. Truthfully, he would have been happier staying home. He gets sick of the carseat after about an hour and always sleeps terribly when we travel. We went for the sake of my MIL who gets sad and lonely around the holidays since my husband's father is dead. My husband is an only child as well. So, we went. So she could see her son and grandchild and my husband could see his mom.

We all undertake risks. We take them because we personally get something out of them - milk from a grocery store, visiting family, etc. When the risk-benefit ratio tips and the risk is too high - we do not do it. Your son got to see his grandparent; your son got clean clothes.

What is the benefit to Polio vaccination for him? He gets to contribute to eradication efforts before he is old enough to decide whether he even wants to contribute?? I diagree it is for his protection. To recap the stats:

400 cases /7 .7 billion
-almost all are located in 6 or 7 countries
-there has not been a case of imported polio in the USA in 21 years
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#12 of 61 Old 06-12-2014, 03:33 PM
 
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Are you saying those who don't vaccinate lack the morals you claim to have? ….
Well, I claimed the choice to vaccinate your children for others is unethical…so Tea and I are both pretty evil.

Tea probably thinks I am selfish/lack compassion…and I think it is unethical to make people (children who are too young to consent) risk their safety for others. I also think parents should put their kids first in terms of health and safety.

Now maybe neither charge is true. In a dualistic world, though, if the charges are true - I prefer to be selfish person who puts the safety of my kids first over a non-selfish person who does not put the safety of their children first.
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We all undertake risks. We take them because we personally get something out of them - milk from a grocery store, visiting family, etc. When the risk-benefit ratio tips and the risk is too high - we do not do it. Your son got to see his grandparent; your son got clean clothes.

What is the benefit to Polio vaccination for him? He gets to contribute to eradication efforts before he is old enough to decide whether he even wants to contribute?? I diagree it is for his protection. To recap the stats:

400 cases /7 .7 billion
-almost all are located in 6 or 7 countries
-there has not been a case of imported polio in the USA in 21 years
I don't think you are understanding the story.

It wasn't a matter of him getting clean clothes or not, he would have had clean clothes either way. I "unethically" put him at risk by driving to the store with him because I selfishly don't like doing laundry at night. He could have avoided the small risk of getting in an accident if I had chosen to wait until my husband got home to go alone, or by asking my husband to pick it up on the way back from work.

And again, he was too young to care or know or remember who his grandmother was. We went for the benefit of my husband and MIL.

The risk of him getting paralysis for Polio is low, but not zero. Out of the hundreds of millions of doses of the Polio vaccine how many cases of paralysis can you find? How many deaths? His risk of dying from the vaccine is not even as high as 1 in a million. IIRC, there hasn't been a single death causally linked to the vaccine ever. So once again, he is getting a direct benefit from being vaccinated against polio, immunity to a disease that is not yet eradicated that is "just a plane ride away".

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Well, I claimed the choice to vaccinate your children for others is unethical…so Tea and I are both pretty evil.

Tea probably thinks I am selfish/lack compassion…and I think it is unethical to make people (children who are too young to consent) risk their safety for others. I also think parents should put their kids first in terms of health and safety.

Now maybe neither charge is true. In a dualistic world, though, if the charges are true - I prefer to be selfish person who puts the safety of my kids first over a non-selfish person who does not put the safety of their children first.

I don't feel it's selfish one bit! I know in the end if you have a problem "society" does not take care of your child, there is no great compassion, it's fake and you are on your own to take care of your injuries child. No matter how it get spun, society makes claims, reality is much different.

I DO feel making remarks and claiming to be "above" others in the moral department (That I care about other people and their children? That I want to instill that same compassion of others onto my own children?) when you vaccinate for the "greater good" is simply offensive to those parents who don't. I don't see IMO you are instilling any compassion in a child that is not even old enough to con set to a medical procedure, you as a parent are assuming this, not a two month old child- that is simply silly. 2 months or 4 years old, the parent is making the choice and stating otherwise is laughable.
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I don't think you are understanding the story.

immunity to a disease that is not yet eradicated that is "just a plane ride away".
back to that, AGAIN?

the US doesn't require ANY vaccines for entry!
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I don't feel it's selfish one bit! I know in the end if you have a problem "society" does not take care of your child, there is no great compassion, it's fake and you are on your own to take care of your injuries child. No matter how it get spun, society makes claims, reality is much different.

.
This is a very valid point. I think this is reality for a good number of people. Even if you are lucky enought to have great community and financial support, parenting a special needs child is exhausting and overwhelming…and all the money and "support" in the world does not always change the prognosis.
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You got me. I don't want my children to pass on a preventable disease that could result in a woman losing her baby or giving birth to a child with permanent birth defects, oftentimes fatal ones.

Is that supposed to be a bad thing? That I care about other people and their children? That I want to instill that same compassion of others onto my own children?
Why not instill that same compassion to children who are completely healthy and no longer shortly after vaxes?

Why not instill that same compassion for the parents of those children?

Why not instill that same compassion for parents who get kicked out for doctors' office for asking question about vaxes?

Why not instill that same compassion for kids who are excluded from playdates because they're not fully vaxed on schedule?

True compassion does - not - discriminate.

Pro rights (vaxes).
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So, in conclusion of the thread thus far, no, no one here has vaccinated their child solely for the public good. Either they vaccinated, but felt it was, at a minimum, not against their child's best interest, or they did not vaccinate. Yes?

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#19 of 61 Old 06-12-2014, 09:01 PM
 
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Post 7 seems to be saying tea vaxxed her son for rubella for the "public good."

There is a battle of two wolves inside us.  One is good and the other is evil.  The wolf that wins is the one you feed.

 

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#20 of 61 Old 06-12-2014, 09:14 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Post 7 seems to be saying tea vaxxed her son for rubella for the "public good."
Hmm...maybe. Per my question, that only counts if she feels that it was against his personal best interests to be vaccinated. Only @teacozy can clarify if that is the case.
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#21 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 04:13 AM
 
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Hmm...maybe. Per my question, that only counts if she feels that it was against his personal best interests to be vaccinated. Only @teacozy can clarify if that is the case.
Thanks for clarifying.

I had been focusing on vaccinating "only for greater good" which is different than "against personal best interest".
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#22 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 06:09 AM
 
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Of course I do not think it is against his personal best interest to be vaccinated against rubella

I also disagree with the notion that boys/men don't benefit from there being extremely low rates of rubella circulating, something that can only be achieved if most people vaccinate.

They benefit from that while in utero, since not every pregnant woman is going to have immunity, and they benefit from it when they have their own child. Of course not every man is going to have children, but most do, and once again not every woman is going to have immunity to rubella. We would expect 1-5 of every 100 pregnant women to have no immunity even if 100% were vaccinated.

Anyway, this is all moot (at least here in the US) where rubella is given as a combo shot. Not getting rubella would also mean not getting the vaccine for measles and mumps, which is obviously not something I would do.

“The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” ~ Neil deGrasse Tyson
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#23 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 06:41 AM
 
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I vaccinate against some diseases to protect my child and others to protect other people, so I do it for both reasons. Granted, there are a couple of vaccines my child didn't get (rotavirus and chickenpox), but the others are split. I prefer to have her vaccinated against meningitis, for example, for her own safety (the safety of others is secondary), but I would have her vaccinated against rubella even if it wasn't part of the MMR shot to protect others. Yes, there's a small risk of a bad reaction to the vaccine, but there's a larger risk she could pass rubella to a pregnant woman and permanently harm or kill the fetus.

I think we should ideally change the vaccination recommendations if we are really trying to protect public health. For example, women who have not had a rubella shot or the disease should be encouraged to get vaccinated against it before TTC.

Or whooping cough. We vaccinate infants against whooping cough because it is extremely life threatening to infants under 6 months. However, the vaccine (IMO) is too risk in a developing immune system but has been shown to be safe and effective in people over the age of 3, and whooping cough is almost universally spread by older children, seniors, and healthcare workers. If we recommended vaccinating children against whooping cough at 3-5 years of age and vaccinated seniors and healthcare workers against it every 5 years, there would be no need to vax newborns because it wouldn't be circulating in the population.

I have become much more aware of the public health arguments now that several of my friends have immuno-compromised children. A cold could kill the most fragile of these children, so we are very careful to wash our hands before we go and when we get there and don't go around them if anyone has anything that could be the least bit contagious.

As far as the risk of the vaccines vs. the disease go, life IS a risk, and no one gets out alive. You make the best decision you can, pay your money and place your bet, and hope you don't roll snake eyes.
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#24 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 06:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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As far as the risk of the vaccines vs. the disease go, life IS a risk, and no one gets out alive. You make the best decision you can, pay your money and place your bet, and hope you don't roll snake eyes.
My thoughts exactly.
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#25 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 07:01 AM
 
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As far as the risk of the vaccines vs. the disease go, life IS a risk, and no one gets out alive. You make the best decision you can, pay your money and place your bet, and hope you don't roll snake eyes.
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My thoughts exactly.
Except what's best might be different for everyone.
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Pro rights (vaxes).
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#26 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 07:37 AM
 
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I don't think there is a standalone mumps vaccine. So a mom could be getting the rubella vaccine to get the mumps vaccine for her kid. Hence, there is not practical ethical issue with getting the rubella vaccine for your kid, it need not be viewed as only for the good of others.
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#27 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 08:48 AM
 
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I vaccinate myself for the greater good. I always keep my tdp up to date and get the flu shot every year to protect others. At my age, it is likely that I would come out of whooping cough and the flu just fine. But, I might spread those to others who don't.

I vaccinate my kids for both reasons - themselves and others.
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#28 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 09:15 AM
 
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I vaccinate myself for the greater good. I always keep my tdp up to date and get the flu shot every year to protect others. At my age, it is likely that I would come out of whooping cough and the flu just fine. But, I might spread those to others who don't.

I vaccinate my kids for both reasons - themselves and others.
How often do you get the TdaP?
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#29 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 10:03 AM
 
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Or whooping cough. We vaccinate infants against whooping cough because it is extremely life threatening to infants under 6 months. However, the vaccine (IMO) is too risk in a developing immune system but has been shown to be safe and effective in people over the age of 3, and whooping cough is almost universally spread by older children, seniors, and healthcare workers. If we recommended vaccinating children against whooping cough at 3-5 years of age and vaccinated seniors and healthcare workers against it every 5 years, there would be no need to vax newborns because it wouldn't be circulating in the population.

I have become much more aware of the public health arguments now that several of my friends have immuno-compromised children. A cold could kill the most fragile of these children, so we are very careful to wash our hands before we go and when we get there and don't go around them if anyone has anything that could be the least bit contagious.
The current pertussis vaccine will not stop pertussis from circulating no matter how many people are vaxed. It doesn't prevent carriage or transmission of pertussis.

If anyone can find an article showing that pertussis cannot be carried by a vaccinated person, I'd love to see it.

Here is an example of the evidence on levels of vaccination and pertussis. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/16081896

This study is from the period when they were using the older, supposedly more effective vaccine:
Quote:
Despite the introduction of mass vaccination against pertussis in Finland in 1952, pertussis has remained an endemic disease with regular epidemics
.

The Finns seem to be fairly vaccine compliant.
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#30 of 61 Old 06-13-2014, 10:40 AM
 
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It's not really a yes no question. There are many vaccinations with different risk/benefit balances so there's no one answer.

In the case of flu vaccine I personally think it has limited use individually but I do get it most years as I know I could help reduce the circulation of flu, and I'm convinced it's very safe.
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