"To the Loved Ones Who Think I'm Overprotecting My Medically Fragile Child" - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 08:38 AM - Thread Starter
 
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"To the Loved Ones Who Think I'm Overprotecting My Medically Fragile Child"

This article makes no mention of vaccines. http://themighty.com/2015/11/to-the-...mpaign=GENERAL

For all I know, (and I don't know, either way), the mother may even support forced-vax policies like California's.

But what struck me about this heart-breaking piece was how she depicted the realities of raising an immunocompromised, medically fragile child.

Quote:
For your child, it may end up being a runny nose. For our son, Von, it could land him on life support. In fact it was a cold, a simple cold, that nearly killed him at 3 months of age.
Because they're reluctant to take him out for regular social activities, I'm curious what this family will choose for the little guy's education.

Quote:
Yes, our kids miss out socially, and you might call them awkward. It’s OK if they’re awkward, as long as they’re alive. When you have to prioritize life over a social life, life is always going to win.
Parents like this woman are often used as human mascots for the cause of pushing vaccine compliance, either through persuasion or coercion.

Do you think that a classroom full of 30 or so children vaccinated for 9-12 illnesses will protect this child from rehospitalization? Is it fair or logical to use the case of the immunocompromised to encourage or coerce vaccine compliance?

The analogy I often use is that of a battlefield.

"Don't worry about sending your child to this classroom. Everyone is vaccinated for what the state requires."

"Don't worry about sending your child out into that battlefield with active combat. At least we've disabled the landmines."

And to carry the analogy further, keep in mind that just like the vaccines--namely for mumps, pertussis, influenza, and chicken pox--landmine disabling isn't always as effective as we'd like, but some protection is better than none, right?

As I said, I'm neither here nor there with this mother's views on the vaccine issue. I'm just wondering if in light of all of her daily struggles, is it fair to use parents in her situation to promote the Cause? Especially at the risk of giving everyone involved a false sense of confidence that a vaccinated classroom is somehow automatically a safe one?
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#2 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 08:40 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quick update: From her FB page, it looks like they will be homeschooling. Good for them. I'd do exactly the same.
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#3 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 09:14 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post
Quick update: From her FB page, it looks like they will be homeschooling. Good for them. I'd do exactly the same.
Except that...it's untenable.

My homeschool environments have a number of medically fragile children, children with severe allergies, children whose IEP's were persistently ignored in schools...But there are vaccine dissenters and kids with colds. I think the spirit of protecting our children may be more collaborative, but I'm not sure any actions we take that include anyone leaving the house are substantially safer.

I wish them well.
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#4 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 09:58 AM
 
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Poor baby. :/ The thing with kids who are that fragile is that while VPDs are a threat, so are colds. If I had a medically fragile child, I would definitely home school.

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#5 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 10:18 AM
 
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Do you think that a classroom full of 30 or so children vaccinated for 9-12 illnesses will protect this child from rehospitalization? Is it fair or logical to use the case of the immunocompromised to encourage or coerce vaccine compliance?
There are varying levels of immunocompromised. If someone is in school, odds are they are not SO immunocompromised that a simple cold could or would kill them. Those children, sadly, usually have to be a lot more isolated. If I had an immunocompromised child in school, I'd much rather they catch a cold than measles or chickenpox. Not all diseases are created equal and I think it's a mistake to say "well- we can't prevent everything with vaccination so why bother preventing anything?"

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#6 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 10:21 AM
 
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Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
There are varying levels of immunocompromised. If someone is in school, odds are they are not SO immunocompromised that a simple cold could or would kill them. Those children, sadly, usually have to be a lot more isolated. If I had an immunocompromised child in school, I'd much rather they catch a cold than measles or chickenpox. Not all diseases are created equal and I think it's a mistake to say "well- we can't prevent everything with vaccination so why bother preventing anything?"
That isn't actually what is being said.

What I would say is that vaccinations can provide a false sense of security (especially the pertussis vaccine), leaving people thinking that their child is protected when they are not. The best protection for a child with some immune problems is a conscious teacher, school nurse and parent body. If parents are sending sick children to school, risks go way up, even if they just have "mild" illnesses.
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#7 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 10:28 AM
 
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That isn't actually what is being said.

What I would say is that vaccinations can provide a false sense of security (especially the pertussis vaccine), leaving people thinking that their child is protected when they are not. The best protection for a child with some immune problems is a conscious teacher, school nurse and parent body. If parents are sending sick children to school, risks go way up, even if they just have "mild" illnesses.
I don't think that is true. This is something that is almost certainly discussed with a doctor and I expect that parents know that sending their child to school is not risk free with high vaccination rates - but it is safer than low/no vaccinations. A parent knows the odds of their child getting measles in an area with very high MMR uptake is going to be extremely low. That would not have been true in the 50s before the vaccine.

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#8 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 10:35 AM
 
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Thing like Norovirus and enterovirus are more dangerous than colds, and fairly prevalent to.

It is not as if VAD's are the only dangerous things to circulate in a classroom.
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#9 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 11:02 AM
 
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Thing like Norovirus and enterovirus are more dangerous than colds, and fairly prevalent to.

It is not as if VAD's are the only dangerous things to circulate in a classroom.
But they are typically the most dangerous. I'd rather my immunocompromised kid get norovirus than polio, measles, diphtheria, chickenpox, etc.

I do hope we get a vaccine for norovirus soon - along with RSV.

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#10 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 11:08 AM
 
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But they are typically the most dangerous. I'd rather my immunocompromised kid get norovirus than polio, measles, diphtheria, chickenpox, etc.

I do hope we get a vaccine for norovirus soon - along with RSV.
They are not going to get polio, diphtheria or measles (this last one does have a very slightly higher prevalence rate). That is a bit of a non-starter.

The only real risk on your list is chicken pox - and I have no idea which is worse - chicken pox or norovirus/enterovirus in the immune compromised. It might depend on the person - but I would not assume Norovirus, for example, was automatically milder.
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#11 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 11:15 AM
 
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They are not going to get polio, diphtheria or measles (this last one does have a very slightly higher prevalence rate). That is a bit of a non-starter.

The only real risk on your list is chicken pox - and I have no idea which is worse - chicken pox or norovirus/enterovirus in the immune compromised. It might depend on the person - but I would not assume Norovirus, for example, was automatically milder.
Well you cannot say they will not get those diseases - no one can guarantee that with 100% certainty (a child just died in Belguim from diphtheria this morning) - but the point is your statement is only true *because* we vaccinate for them.

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#12 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 12:47 PM
 
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Well you cannot say they will not get those diseases - no one can guarantee that with 100% certainty (a child just died in Belguim from diphtheria this morning) - but the point is your statement is only true *because* we vaccinate for them.
the argument has thus far gone like this:

T: some people are only mildly or moderately immune compromised. They can be in school and can handle mild illnesses, such as colds, but cannot handle VAD.

K: Not all non-VADs that circulate are as mild as colds -example norovirus

Ok. There is no certainty your child will not get polio at school. Everyone can feel free to look up the rate of xyz in their area and decide whether they think it is a real risk.

As per your last line, it does not really speak to the point of this thread or the point we were discussing.
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#13 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 01:21 PM
 
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As per your last line, it does not really speak to the point of this thread or the point we were discussing.
Sure it does - look at the question in the OP:

Quote:
Is it fair or logical to use the case of the immunocompromised to encourage or coerce vaccine compliance?

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#14 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 01:32 PM
 
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Sure it does - look at the question in the OP:

That line was cherry-picked in my opinion. Here is the full paragraph:

"Do you think that a classroom full of 30 or so children vaccinated for 9-12 illnesses will protect this child from rehospitalization? Is it fair or logical to use the case of the immunocompromised to encourage or coerce vaccine compliance? "

...and the answer is "no".

Look at what circulates. Figure out how effective the vaccine is for items that typically circulate, if a vaccine even exists.
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#15 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 02:00 PM
 
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That line was cherry-picked in my opinion. Here is the full paragraph:

"Do you think that a classroom full of 30 or so children vaccinated for 9-12 illnesses will protect this child from rehospitalization? Is it fair or logical to use the case of the immunocompromised to encourage or coerce vaccine compliance? "

...and the answer is "no".

Look at what circulates. Figure out how effective the vaccine is for items that typically circulate, if a vaccine even exists.
I disagree it is cherry picking. Those are two separate questions - one was specifically talking about an individual child and the latter was a general question. So, yes, I think vaccines make it much much safer for immunocompromised individuals to be in school and in public in general. Thus it is indeed "logical" to encourage vaccines to benefit the immunocompromised.

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I do believe that vaccines help the immunocompromised. But nothing is 100% nothing is a magic bullet so to speak.If a child is so fragile that a common cold can jeopardize their life,I think sadly the only option is to isolate the child. I hate that that is true, but I don't see any way around it. I will say that anyone who criticizes the parent of a medically fragile child of "being overprotective" should seriously reevaluate their manner of dealing with someone who is already facing more than they should have to.
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#17 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 05:12 PM
 
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#18 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 06:07 PM - Thread Starter
 
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There are varying levels of immunocompromised.
Exactly. It's just that the great majority of the immunocompromised CAN get vaccinated.

I'd like to meet this child who is not immunocompromised enough to be adversely affected by a common cold, too immunocompromised to handle chicken pox, and unable to get any vaccines. What specific medical condition would fit the bill?

I'm also wondering what parent of an immunocompromised children is afraid of chicken pox but NOT of Fifths Disease or strep throat?




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#19 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 06:15 PM
 
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Exactly. It's just that the great majority of the immunocompromised CAN get vaccinated.

I'd like to meet this child who is not immunocompromised enough to be adversely affected by a common cold, too immunocompromised to handle chicken pox, and unable to get any vaccines. What specific medical condition would fit the bill?

I'm also wondering what parent of an immunocompromised children is afraid of chicken pox but NOT of Fifths Disease or strep throat?
What I keep seeing as the problem is that in order to sell the idea that the mildly or moderately immune-compromised children could be protected by vaccines, the mandate pushers have to claim that high vaccination rates are more protective than they are in reality and that the vaccine related illnesses are the most dangerous illnesses. Which sets up false expectations in parents whose children have such health problems.

So parents are either going to take risks they shouldn't take in allowing their child to go to school when it will not actually be safe, or else being pretty darn angry: "you told me that if I yelled and screamed for the mandatory vaccine bill my kid could go to school, but now he not only can't go to school, but before he can go back (if he improves some more) he has to be massively vaccinated because the treatment destroyed all the immunity from the vaccines he got as a baby and I'm not sure it is safe for him to have all those vaccines in such a short time given all his medical problems, but the doctor is scared to write an exemption for more than two of the required vaccines!"

There could end up being quite the backlash, as parents realize they've been sold a bill of slightly over-age fish.
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#20 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 06:39 PM
 
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This article makes 3 points:

1. In Oregon, only 10 of the 67 reportable diseases have vaccines.

2. Live vaccines shed, and shedding vaccine can harm the immune compromised.

3. There are so many more people in a school that kids - think teachers, admin, custodial, etc. None of them have to be vaccinated. Some place adult estimates in the school at 10-20%.
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#21 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 06:43 PM
 
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This article makes 3 points:

1. In Oregon, only 10 of the 67 reportable diseases have vaccines.

2. Live vaccines shed, and shedding vaccine can harm the immune compromised.

3. There are so many more people in a school that kids - think teachers, admin, custodial, etc. None of them have to be vaccinated. Some place adult estimates in the school at 10-20%.
Some states are considering laws to require every adult who enters a school to be up-to-date, too.

Besides, grown-ups always wash their hands. They always use proper sneeze and cough etiquette. They never come to work sick. Anything else?
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#22 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 06:56 PM - Thread Starter
 
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This article makes 3 points:

1. In Oregon, only 10 of the 67 reportable diseases have vaccines.
To be fair, you have to squint your eyes a bit to see that some of those reportable diseases are STDs. But I guess if states are starting to require Gardasil, we may as well place other STDs on the same playing field . . .

What really gets me is how most of the immunocompromised end up vaccinated, anyway.
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#23 of 30 Old 03-18-2016, 07:27 PM
 
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Heres the line of reasoning I dont like.

Vaccine makers and the cdc want people to increase uptake for the sake of an immunocompromised child without even acknowledging that vaccines are not 100% effective.Their persuasive wording, makes the lay reader assume that theyre 100%. That is coercion through fear.Not cool or informed consent.

So some ped convinced a parent to vaccinate to protect the immunocompromised. So that parent feels safe now and that they did the right thing to protect other kids. When in reality, a severely immunocompromised child can die from the very naturally occuring bacteria on another kids hands, the different fungi in soil, your cats litter box i mean the very sense of the word is someone who simply cannot fight off infections regardless of their virulence. So the parent who vaxd their kid to protect others, now has a seriously inflated sense of safety and doing the right thing.

If an immunocompromised child dies of a vpd, the witch hunt will begin for finding the unvaccinated who 'obviously' spread it.They wont look for a vaccinated kid who didnt mount a response to their vaccines.

If the immunicompromised child dies of a non vpd, then its chalked up as a tragedy that there was no prevention for.

Point of all that, no parent should be coerced through fear into a medical procedure for the sake of other people. If I had an immunocompromised child, id do everything i could to protect them but blaming other people for carrying germs that could harm my child....we dont live in a sterile environment and another persons hygeine regiment or vaccine schedule is none of my business. Thats the beauty of a free country.
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#24 of 30 Old 03-20-2016, 01:30 AM
 
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Just to point out that even if an immunocompromised child is able to be vaccinated, the vaccine is not 100% and so their risk of catching a Vpd will still increase if more of it is circulating (which is much more likely if there are more non vaccinated people around them).

Also back to @teacozys point - it's kind of irrelevant that we can't prevent all bad diseases with vaccines. It's better for immunocompromised children if there are fewer diseases circulating.
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Also back to @teacozys point - it's kind of irrelevant that we can't prevent all bad diseases with vaccines. It's better for immunocompromised children if there are fewer diseases circulating.
I agree. Fewer disease circulating is good for an immunocompromised child. That being said, lots of things are likely good for the immune compromised, such as people who are actually staying home when they are sick. Some states have horrible policy around truancy that make it is very difficult to keep a sick child home from school. Moreover many people (perhaps the majority) cannot or will not take off time from work due to being hourly workers, or work-place culture. So until they work on this issue, which is far more pressing, saying "vaccinate for the immune compromised" really just looks like you are using a vulnerable group for your agenda.

Lastly, it is easy to be a tad self righteous if you think vaccine are wonderful and vaccinate on schedule. "I vaccinate for the immune-compromised!" Two wins - right? You vaccinate and this is a great bonus feature.

If you did not believe vaccine were safe you would not give them to your child to benefit the immune compromised. If vaccines were dangerous to the immune compromised (and one can argue some are - at least for a few weeks post vaccine) I doubt you would forgo them for the immune compromised.
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#26 of 30 Old 03-20-2016, 07:05 AM
 
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If my child had a condition in which they could end up in the hospital or dead if they caught a cold, public school would be the last place I would send them.
I attended an IEP meeting once where one of the teachers was so sick she could not speak. She just didn't come in for the meeting; she had been teaching that day. I worked at the school part-time for a few years and I often saw teachers that were sick. My eldest child caught fifth's disease at school. Strep and mono are said to be circulating around the junior and high schools in our community right now.

Sure not having chickenpox or measles circulating would be a bonus. But that's a moot point when a child can be in real danger from the common cold.
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#27 of 30 Old 03-20-2016, 07:17 AM
 
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Just to point out that even if an immunocompromised child is able to be vaccinated, the vaccine is not 100% and so their risk of catching a Vpd will still increase if more of it is circulating (which is much more likely if there are more non vaccinated people around them).

Also back to @teacozys point - it's kind of irrelevant that we can't prevent all bad diseases with vaccines. It's better for immunocompromised children if there are fewer diseases circulating.
This skips lightly over the problem of pertussis, which is circulating vigorously in highly vaccinated populations. In fact it is a bit hard to see how much more pertussis could be circulating with an increase in non-vaxed children. Especially given that the non-vaxed are more likely to be diagnosed.

My major concern with the "kick all the unvaxed kids out of school to keep the immune-compromised safe" is that it puts out a false picture. Slightly safer doesn't actually equal safe. Someone who is new to the problems of immune-impaired child parenting could assume that as long as there are no unvaxed children at the school, their kid won't catch any illnesses. False. False. False.
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Last edited by Deborah; 03-20-2016 at 07:18 AM. Reason: darned old their and there got screwed up
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#28 of 30 Old 03-20-2016, 10:12 AM
 
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This skips lightly over the problem of pertussis, which is circulating vigorously in highly vaccinated populations. In fact it is a bit hard to see how much more pertussis could be circulating with an increase in non-vaxed children. Especially given that the non-vaxed are more likely to be diagnosed.

My major concern with the "kick all the unvaxed kids out of school to keep the immune-compromised safe" is that it puts out a false picture. Slightly safer doesn't actually equal safe. Someone who is new to the problems of immune-impaired child parenting could assume that as long as there are no unvaxed children at the school, their kid won't catch any illnesses. False. False. False.
Vaccination is not like antibiotics.
In antibiotic use, you have someone who has an illness that can be battled with antibiotics, and you give them the appropriate antibiotic.

Vaccination is more like an athletic cup.
In athletic cup use, you evaluate a situation where someone might get injured in their personal place, and have them put on the cup.

People seem to view unvaccinated populations as needing antibiotics, when all they're selling is cups.
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#29 of 30 Old 03-20-2016, 12:53 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also back to @teacozys point - it's kind of irrelevant that we can't prevent all bad diseases with vaccines. It's better for immunocompromised children if there are fewer diseases circulating.
Returning to my analogy, if we should feel better sending immunocompromised children to school because certain diseases (allegedly) aren't circulating in a fully vaccinated classroom, should we feel better sending unarmed children into a battlefield because certain types of weapons aren't being deployed?

For the mother in the OP, every public place is a battlefield for her son.
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#30 of 30 Old 03-20-2016, 02:01 PM
 
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Returning to my analogy, if we should feel better sending immunocompromised children to school because certain diseases (allegedly) aren't circulating in a fully vaccinated classroom, should we feel better sending unarmed children into a battlefield because certain types of weapons aren't being deployed?

For the mother in the OP, every public place is a battlefield for her son.
Arms aren't what the children on the battlefield need. What they need is ARMOR. Shooting the other guy doesn't actually protect you a whole heck of a lot, especially in a mine field.

But our analogies and metaphors are undoubtedly stretched.
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