Do unvax'ed kids pose a risk to new babies? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 01:16 AM - Thread Starter
 
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My sister just gave birth to a baby in another city. We were tentatively making plans to visit, when my BIL (a doctor) remembered that DS (17 months) is not vax'ed. He apparently consulted with some dr friends who concurred that the baby should not be in contact with DS. We were uninvited from our visit, and told that DS cannot meet his new cousin until the new baby is vax'ed. Well, I wasn't looking forward to taking DS on a plane anyway...

But I admit I am alarmed that they are so concerned about DS' vax status, since this isn't an issue I have heard about. Mostly you hear about the risk to the unvax'ed kids. And of course there is the argument of all the older relatives whose immunity has worn off - are they going to be tested before they are allowed near the baby? So I said if BIL has any specifics about the risks that he could send me I would appreciate it. And btw, at what age exactly does my child start becoming a risk? At 6-12 mo when he is overdue for DPT but not yet late for MMR, is he a risk for exposing a younger baby to pertussis, but not yet a risk for exposing one to measles? Hmm... And this part I like the best - my sister says they can meet after her baby is "fully vax'ed" but she didn't know exactly when that would be, because she has no idea what shots are given when, how many, etc. - just operating on a doctor's word and blind faith, of course!

I did a bit of googling but not even sure how to search on this issue - "carrier" doesn't give you much. Any help pointing me in the direction of some useful arguments would be much appreciated!

Thanks,
Dee in BC
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#2 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 01:22 AM
 
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Total paranoid bs.

-Angela
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#3 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 01:31 AM
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Total paranoid bs.

-Angela
: Talk about spreading myths by doctors :
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#4 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 09:52 AM
 
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I think if your DS is healthy, he should be able to visit. MY main fear of people being unvax'ed is pertussis, since I know a family whose baby died from pertussis. (They believe she caught it from an older man on the bus, who had a hacking cough - but there's no way to know for sure.)
Since pertussis would be very obvious in your DS,(since kids get the "whoop" in whooping cough, and adults don't usually) I wouldn't be worried at all. Its sad that this doctor BIL doesn't know enough about medicine to realize that.

Maybe remind him that if the baby is breastfed he's already immune? And if he isn't breastfed, remind him how much more dangerous formula is than not being vax'ed.
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#5 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 09:56 AM
 
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Let's also not forget that people who are vaccinated often carry diseases around, passing them on to others!

I would stop discussing your vax status with them -- sounds like they hold that info over your head.
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#6 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 10:33 AM
 
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I would think that if they are so concerned, they should prevent any and all people from seeing their new baby. Vaccinated people carry disease causing microbes on their persons the same way unvaccinated people do. The only difference, in theory, is that the vaccinated person won't get the disease. They can still sure as hell pass it along though.

The only difference between a vaccinated person and an unvaccinated person is their own personal ability to become ill. If their doctor told them to avoid unvax'ed children, he obviously knows next to nothing about the immune system.

That's just whacko.

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#7 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 11:33 AM
 
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Originally Posted by crunchy~mamax3 View Post
I think if your DS is healthy, he should be able to visit. MY main fear of people being unvax'ed is pertussis, since I know a family whose baby died from pertussis. (They believe she caught it from an older man on the bus, who had a hacking cough - but there's no way to know for sure.)
Since pertussis would be very obvious in your DS,(since kids get the "whoop" in whooping cough, and adults don't usually) I wouldn't be worried at all. Its sad that this doctor BIL doesn't know enough about medicine to realize that.

Maybe remind him that if the baby is breastfed he's already immune? And if he isn't breastfed, remind him how much more dangerous formula is than not being vax'ed.
The pertussis vaccine does NOT prevent transmission of pertussis....

-Angela
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#8 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 11:46 AM
 
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I just bumped up my "I did it for Sophia" thread.

Ask your BIL how old he was when he received his last dose of DTP - I guarantee you that it was before seven years of age.

If anyone is putting his newborn at risk - it's him and his wife . . . and don't forget grandma and grandpa.
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#9 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 11:50 AM
 
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Yeah, the pertussis vax mediates symptoms, it doesn't prevent the transmission of the disease. Two totally different things. Fully vaccinated children and adults still catch and spread pertussis, they just don't get the severe symptoms. The pertussis vaccine does not work to cause immunity to the bacteria in most people. It even makes some people more susceptible to infection than they were before being vaccinated. It does make you somewhat immune to the toxins, though, and since it's the toxins that cause all of the pertussis symptoms, it can prevent severe disease, but NOT infection.

OP, I think your relatives are being completely ridiculous. I would ask them to explain all the inconsistencies. For instance, if your son was 11 months old and hadn't received MR, would they say you couldn't visit, since he could possibly have M, M or R? Or do M, M and R only happen in children over 12 months of age in their world? If your son was 3 months old and "fully vaccinated" for his age, that would mean he wasn't immune to anything and could potentially transmit any disease, so would they refuse your visit? Are they planning on requiring vaccination records for all visitors? Will they require that all adults receive tdap before visiting, since adults are the main ones to transmit pertussis to infants? Have they received the tdap? Are they aware that most adults vaccinated with MMR will no longer be immune by their 30's or so? So will they require all adults to receive another MMR vaccine before visiting? I would literally ask them all those questions. I personally wouldn't even care about visiting people who were so ignorant and mean, but I would ask the questions, because I refuse to let ignorant people believe that my child is a threat to their child, while at the same time completely ignoring all the other potential "threats" in the environment. It's stupid and they need a good, swift kick in the rear to wake them up. If they then insist on remaining ignorant, at least you'll have made your point. They won't think they know more than you.
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#10 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 11:52 AM
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Originally Posted by deedee0 View Post
Do unvax'ed kids pose a risk to new babies?
No, but recently vaccinated (with live vaccines) kids do.
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#11 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 11:54 AM
 
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Plummeting

It's highly doubtful those coming into contact with the baby will have had the following vaccines:

Hepatitis B
Hepatitis A
Chicken pox
Pneumococcal
Hib
Rotavirus
MMR (second dose)
Meningococcal
Tdap

And vaxers call us paranoid.
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#12 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 12:06 PM
 
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If your BIL is that paranoid did he also encourage your sister to have a home birth to avoid exposing the baby potential infections at the hospital? And has he been refusing to see any potentially infectious patients in his medical practice?
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#13 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 02:13 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
Yeah, the pertussis vax mediates symptoms, it doesn't prevent the transmission of the disease. Two totally different things. Fully vaccinated children and adults still catch and spread pertussis, they just don't get the severe symptoms. The pertussis vaccine does not work to cause immunity to the bacteria in most people. It even makes some people more susceptible to infection than they were before being vaccinated. It does make you somewhat immune to the toxins, though, and since it's the toxins that cause all of the pertussis symptoms, it can prevent severe disease, but NOT infection.

OP, I think your relatives are being completely ridiculous. I would ask them to explain all the inconsistencies. For instance, if your son was 11 months old and hadn't received MR, would they say you couldn't visit, since he could possibly have M, M or R? Or do M, M and R only happen in children over 12 months of age in their world? If your son was 3 months old and "fully vaccinated" for his age, that would mean he wasn't immune to anything and could potentially transmit any disease, so would they refuse your visit? Are they planning on requiring vaccination records for all visitors? Will they require that all adults receive tdap before visiting, since adults are the main ones to transmit pertussis to infants? Have they received the tdap? Are they aware that most adults vaccinated with MMR will no longer be immune by their 30's or so? So will they require all adults to receive another MMR vaccine before visiting? I would literally ask them all those questions. I personally wouldn't even care about visiting people who were so ignorant and mean, but I would ask the questions, because I refuse to let ignorant people believe that my child is a threat to their child, while at the same time completely ignoring all the other potential "threats" in the environment. It's stupid and they need a good, swift kick in the rear to wake them up. If they then insist on remaining ignorant, at least you'll have made your point. They won't think they know more than you.
:

I'd probably not be so polite about it... Sounds like BIL is trying to take out his 'non vaxing' patient frustrations on you....

I'd be more worried about recently vax'd children visiting, and for goodness sake, hand washing and watching for obviously sick guests coming close to baby should help prevent most issues...vax'd or not.

Unfortunately they are family, and so I guess you need to be civil and keep it friendly...

Good luck on that one, and gees, it'd be a cold day in a very warm place before I'd go visit...
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#14 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 08:23 PM
 
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i'm sorry you won't get to meet the newest member of your family since thier parent's are so uninformed and ignorant.

you've gotten several great rhetorical questiosn, but i don't think they'll make a difference to people like them.

l, <>< wife to my sweetie, proud mama to 3 cubs, 2 who clw & 1 that i i ep for . baby was evicted early by induction due to severe pre-e/hellp syndrome
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#15 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 09:19 PM
 
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How old is BIL?

Tell him to check his own titers. Might be time for a few boosters himself. Although I'm sure he'd have no problem with that.
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#16 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 09:38 PM
 
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That is really rude of them. : Good luck with your situation, I hope it works out.

knit.gifMama to reading.gif  and  babygirl.gif
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#17 of 46 Old 04-30-2007, 11:22 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Yulia_R View Post
No, but recently vaccinated (with live vaccines) kids do.
Exactly what I was thinking!
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#18 of 46 Old 05-01-2007, 12:04 AM
 
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He is a doctor, what did you expect?

I am sorry for the newborn. I bet he'll get plenty of his free samples.
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#19 of 46 Old 05-01-2007, 04:18 AM
 
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Sick people pose a risk to new babies. Any child, vaccinated or not vaccinated, may be carrying an illness.

However, if your child is healthy, there is absolutely no reason they should be afraid, and vaccination is not a cure, it's a preventative measure. So there's no reason your child should be a danger to the baby.

By the way- where I live, responsible parents do not let their pre-vaccinated children play with other children who may have been exposed to the most severe childhood diseases. If there is an outbreak, it is common to keep a small baby at home away from all people who have not had the disease or been vaccinated. I don't think it's hysteria or some kind of psychosis- just common sense.

It's not that the stay-at-home-parent gets to stay home with the kids. The kids get to stay home with a parent. Lucky Mom to DD1 (4 y) and DD2 (18 mo), Wife to Mercenary Dad
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#20 of 46 Old 05-01-2007, 10:05 AM
 
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He is a doctor, what did you expect?

I am sorry for the newborn. I bet he'll get plenty of his free samples.
I'd personally have expected better of a doctor. Any person has the capacity to be an idiot, but he did go through med school. You'd think some basic immunology would have sunk in somewhere

Mama to Thing 1 and Thing 2.
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#21 of 46 Old 05-01-2007, 07:00 PM
 
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Aren't some VPDs more dangerous in infants than in older children? For example, measles and pertussis?

I know there was a long, long thread a while back about immunity passed on to babies during pg and bf but I can't find it. I am thinking that infants are sadly lacking this immunity now because us moms have not gotten the diseases and can't pass it on. If we had never started vaxing in the first place, wouldn't infants be much safer?

So if infants are at risk of VPDs, aren't vaxes to blame?
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#22 of 46 Old 05-01-2007, 10:21 PM
 
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Yes, vaxes and also changing lifestyles. It was easier to catch stuff when people lived crowded together.

Jessica Mitford lost her first child to measles. She grew up in an aristocratic, eccentric, English family. None of the kids had had measles. She married a left-wing guy and he got her to go and live in a slum (solidarity with the lower classes). Measles was going around, she and the baby both caught it, the baby died. The majority of the poor kids in the slum survived just fine.
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#23 of 46 Old 05-01-2007, 10:38 PM
 
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By the way- where I live, responsible parents do not let their pre-vaccinated children play with other children who may have been exposed to the most severe childhood diseases. If there is an outbreak, it is common to keep a small baby at home away from all people who have not had the disease or been vaccinated. I don't think it's hysteria or some kind of psychosis- just common sense.

That's interesting to know and I'm always glad to hear about other cultures, but I think we need to keep our issues separate here. We aren't talking about avoiding a child who's been exposed to "the most severe childhood diseases" (definition of which would be subjective anyway). We're talking about a perfectly healthy child who hasn't been exposed to any serious childhood diseases that anyone is aware of and is living in a highly vaccinated society where severe vaccine preventable childhood diseases are exceedingly rare. I doubt many people here would recommend purposely exposing unvaccinated (or vaccinated, for that matter) infants to someone who may very likely be contagious with a serious disease. No one here is accusing anyone who avoids illness of being hysterical or psychotic. Let's not confuse the issue of avoiding perfectly healthy children with the completely separate issue of avoiding children who are very likely to be infected with a transmissible disease.

I don't believe you were intending to confuse the issues, but when you throw in a story that is so utterly unrelated to the one being discussed in a way that makes it seem as though it has anything at all to do with the topic at hand, it certainly does confuse things - at least for those who aren't familiar with the issue and quite aware of the HUGE difference between what you're describing and what is actually being discussed in the rest of this thread.
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#24 of 46 Old 05-01-2007, 10:51 PM
 
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That is a good point Plummeting, and leads to another potential side-effect of vaxing: carelessness about avoiding actually dangerous situations. I wonder sometimes if people's confidence in the effectiveness of vaccinations undermines the common sense of protecting babies from potential exposure to actual illness. Has anyone here had a doctor say: there are a lot of cases of pertussis around right now, so I'd keep your baby out of crowds until they are a couple of months old, don't let anyone who is coughing handle the baby, etc., rather than just telling parents to vax, vax, vax. I mean the vax doesn't really protect babies all that well, so some practical information on what pertussis is, how it can be caught, and exactly what steps can be taken to protect babies might save some lives...but I don't think that info gets handed out.
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#25 of 46 Old 05-02-2007, 02:50 AM
 
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"We aren't talking about avoiding a child who's been exposed to "the most severe childhood diseases""

Well actually, we don't know that, since the OP has not discussed the situation in which she is living, or what her children have been exposed to. I also live in a highly vaccinated society. By "severe" I meant the typical MMR + chicken pox diseases. If- and I'm not saying this is the case, but IF- the OP's children go to a daycare where most of the children are not vaccinated, there is a good chance that one of these days, there may be an outbreak of one of the childhood diseases. No biggie- after all, as is frequently mentioned here on these boards- didn't we all have chicken pox as children? However I think it's that sort of thing that the parents are worried about.

"No one here is accusing anyone who avoids illness of being hysterical or psychotic."

Well, that's good to hear. I mean I didn't think that was the case, either, but it's good to have it reaffirmed.

"Let's not confuse the issue of avoiding perfectly healthy children with the completely separate issue of avoiding children who are very likely to be infected with a transmissible disease."

Again, I would emphasize that first of all, the OP did not mention anything about her situation in that regard, and second of all, I think there is a very important question that comes up, which is, given that most vaccines are not 100% effective, and that many vaccines do not prevent transmission, and that many diseases are asymptomatic, how do we really know what we've been exposed to?

I am sorry if I confused anyone, but I think it's relevant to discuss general safety of infants.

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#26 of 46 Old 05-02-2007, 06:50 AM
 
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My response would be," See you in 2 years then!"

The infant is more at risk from the uncontrolled exposure that will occur during shopping trips and mommy/baby groups.Consider it a blessing that the trip was canceled,because if the infant gets sicks they will not be able to blame your child.
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#27 of 46 Old 05-04-2007, 03:25 AM - Thread Starter
 
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OP here - sorry, I was gone for a few days - thanks so much for all the great responses!

Quote:
Originally Posted by mattemma04 View Post
My response would be," See you in 2 years then!"

The infant is more at risk from the uncontrolled exposure that will occur during shopping trips and mommy/baby groups.Consider it a blessing that the trip was canceled,because if the infant gets sicks they will not be able to blame your child.
Yes, this was exactly the reason I responded the way I did (i.e. calmly). Also, didn't want to further upset my sister who was clearly having a difficult time calling me to tell me I was uninvited at the insistence of her a$$hole husband, when she was facing a planned c-section within days due to pg complications and breech prez (much to BIL's delight - he's a surgeon). Loved the homebirth comment - I'm sure you would have appreciated the lovely debate I had with him when he tried to talk me out of having a homebirth (e.g. my baby will arrive blue and nearly dead at the hospital ER doorstep) and defending c-section and hospitals as very safe... and you would love to hear how he was on the phone with my mother while I was in labor telling her that I *must* be taken to hospital because it had been 36 hours since my water had broken, and she eventually had to hang up on him... But I digress!

Good points about his and my sister's immunity - my understanding too that bf will not protect the baby if she has no natural immunity to pass on, e.g. for measles, if she was vaxed for it. In fact, I know she was tested for rubella while pg and had only borderline protection.

And yes, we are talking about a healthy child, not in daycare, although this is a cosmopolitan city with a lot of international travelers passing through, and DS certainly does get some exposure in playgroups, etc., but mostly to vaxed kids. And I can't fully recollect my pertussis research, but I believe it is contagious before you get the whoop?

I now have no plans to visit, but the issue will also arise if they come here to visit, which is likely, since both families live here. My mother will be heartbroken if she cannot have Sunday dinner with the whole family together, so I do feel the need to at least raise some key points for BIL to chew on in a nonconfrontational way. There is a further intimitation factor in that he actually completed extra studies in epidemiology, although I have no idea what in specifically.

I have to say the thing that sickens me the most is one day having to explain to my son that he has been shunned from something because he is not vaxed. I'm prepared to deal with schools, etc. but I just hadn't thought about this sort of thing. I am cautious about who I discuss vax with and don't volunteer information about DS' status, but if someone asks me point-blank - like my sister, who already knew via my mother that I had at least delayed vax, or someone in my mommy group who knows I'm crunchy and respects my opinion on such matters - I'm not going to lie.

Anyway, thanks for crystallizing some of the thoughts racing around in my head - if I get any meaningful replies back from BIL, I'll be sure to share them!

Dee
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#28 of 46 Old 05-04-2007, 08:03 AM
 
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It sounds to me that they (in specifics: your BIL) don't like your decision and have now found a way to make you "pay" for it. It's silliness.
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#29 of 46 Old 06-29-2007, 12:01 AM
 
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I would agree that pertussis is something to think about. As for vaccination - the vaccine prevents the severity of the disease and it is the severity of the disease that is scary. Ask the parents if they are up to date with their own vaccines, before bringing a new baby in the house.
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#30 of 46 Old 06-29-2007, 12:06 AM
 
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If we had never started vaxing in the first place, wouldn't infants be much safer?


Well, not from smallpox or polio, to mention a few.
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