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Discussion Starter #1
<p>Here in the UK the NHS does not offer the chicken pox vaccination to children unless they are particularly vunerable to chicken pox (<a href="http://www.nhs.uk/conditions/varicella-vaccine/pages/introduction.aspx" target="_blank">NHS website explaining this</a>, <a href="http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/8557236.stm" target="_blank">BBC article about it from 2010</a>). This a bit of a debate in the UK - with many claiming it's just a money saving exercise on the behalf of the NHS not based on what's best for our children... </p>
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<p>The counter argument is that vaccinating children against chicken pox increases the risk of shingles in the elderly, so shingles vaccinations should be done first. (And it seems that might be soon to start:  <a href="http://www.nhs.uk/news/2010/02february/pages/shingles-vaccinations-old-people.aspx" target="_blank">Shingles Vaccine Proposed for NHS</a>).</p>
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<p>Anyway the vaccine question I want to research is how much effort I want to go to get my son (now 2, and has not yet had chicken pox) this vaccine so he does not have to suffer through chicken pox which I otherwise have to hope he gets as I don't want to leave him unprotected as an adult. My older daughter was born in the US and got the first part of the chicken pox vaccine as part of the normal schedule. She has not had chicken pox since we moved to the UK despite being exposed to it at nursery (confirmed cases in her class). However, she should also be due a booster soon according to the standard US schedule. I wonder what the effect on her future immunity would be if she does not get the booster. </p>
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<p>I think I can get these done privately, but that might be quite costly. Also the NHS thinks I don't need to worry about this one, but I'm not so sure. Childhood chicken pox doesn't sound so bad (except for being itchy and uncomfortable, and that either my husband or I would have to take the time off work), but then the virus can come back as an adult as shigles, which does sound potentially nasty.... </p>
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<p> Any suggestions specific to deciding about the chicken pox (varicella) vaccine? </p>
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<p> Also I haven't started thinking about this much, but we travel to China this summer. Should we be getting the <span style="font-family:Arial, Helvetica, sans-serif;font-size:12px;">Japanese Encephalisis vaccination? </span></p>
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<p> Cheers. </p>
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<p>Just out of curiosity, do you know how much it costs there?</p>
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<p>I am in Brazil and called a clinic today, it costs 150 Brazilian Reais, so that is about US$90.</p>
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<p>It is also not covered here, you need to pay out of pocket for it.</p>
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<p>What do you think about the chances of your son catching it wild in the UK? </p>
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<p>Varivax - </p>
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<p><a href="http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/v/varivax/varivax_pi.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.merck.com/product/usa/pi_circulars/v/varivax/varivax_pi.pdf</a></p>
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<p>I don't know much about Japanese Encephalitis, but here is the product info for IXIARO</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.novartisvaccines.com/downloads/diseases-products/090130_ixiaro_us_private_pi.pdf" target="_blank">http://www.novartisvaccines.com/downloads/diseases-products/090130_ixiaro_us_private_pi.pdf</a></p>
 

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Discussion Starter #3
<p>I have yet to find any information about cost, although obviously if we decide to do it I will find out!</p>
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<p>I did find out that it is offered free on the NHS if you've still not had chicken pox by age 12, so at least that removes worries about adult chicken pox...</p>
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<p>Since most of the children in the UK have it I expect the chances of my son getting it are quite high. We had one scare already (of course the day before a flight to visit family in the US which we would have had to cancel if it really had been chicken pox). He goes to nursery full time, so I've always assumed it's just a matter of time...</p>
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<p>Oh and I looked into Japanese <span style="background-color:rgb(250,250,250);font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;line-height:normal;">Encephalitis more and it turns out it's only really relevant if you're spending a long time in the country and/or will be in very rural areas with a lot of mosquitos.... So we have a week in Beijing and a week in Hong Kong - so probably not needed. I'll have to look into it more. </span></p>
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<p>How long are you staying in the UK? </p>
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<p>Do you expect to return to the US eventually?</p>
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<p>Can you check for titres with chicken pox (wrt booster).</p>
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<p>disclosure:  I do not vaccinate  (not up for debate here, just thought you might want to know my biases <img alt="winky.gif" id="user_yui_3_4_1_2_1329146639973_164" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/winky.gif">)  </p>
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<p>If I were staying in the UK and my children had no health issues, I would let my youngest get chicken pox and allow my older daughter (who had the vaccine) and son to have their immunity "boosted" by regular exposure to chicken pox.</p>
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<p>If I were planning to return to the USA the decision would be trickier.  </p>
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<p>If your son lands in N. America without ever having had chicken pox or a vaccine, he should be fine.  It is unlikely he will catch CP here, due to its decline.  No CP equals no shingles worries.</p>
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<p>If your daughter lands here I would consider checking for titres.  I might give her a booster, to keep her immunity boosted - thus decreasing the likelihood of shingles.  In my case I would defer that decision to adulthood (she can decide if she is worried about shingles then) but most people disagree with me on that, lol.  </p>
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<p>here are some articles:</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1158655/Why-giving-children-chicken-pox-jab-YOU-shingles.html" target="_blank">http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-1158655/Why-giving-children-chicken-pox-jab-YOU-shingles.html</a></p>
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<p><a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/03/health/03vaccine.html?pagewanted=1" target="_blank">http://www.nytimes.com/2005/02/03/health/03vaccine.html?pagewanted=1</a></p>
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<p>good luck - it is a messy ball of yearn to unwind.</p>
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<p>Varicella vaccine is a live vaccine, so there is a chance that a vaccinated child will still get shingles; there seems to be debate about how big a risk it is, but it has been documented in vaccinated individuals.<br><br>
I read somewhere that more than 60% of people who have no known history of varicella are in fact 'immune' when they are tested and that up to 5% of varicella infections are asymptomatic so that means basically you get them but because you don't get spots, you never knew you had them.</p>
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<p>Based on what I know, personally, I wouldn't go near the varicella vaccine with a barge pole even if our kids hadn't already had them.  Both our boys have had CP; one had 4 previous known exposures before he finally got them at 4, one got them at 1st exposure, via big brother, and spots appeared when he was 11 weeks old.  On the flip side my FIL, as far as we know, has never had CP and he's in his 70's now and been around DS1 when he has been exposed previously.</p>
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Discussion Starter #6
<p>kathymuggle - thanks for the thoughtful response (and disclosing your possible bias! ;) ). I hadn't thought about the impact of returning to the states. For our family that is unclear due to job issues, but definitely not out of the water. However in that case I am sure I would ask for the recommended vaccination/booster for them at their first check-up at the Doctor. I think I would also worry about my status - as I'd be more likely to develop shingles in the US as I understand it (I had CP as a child, more than once my mother claims, and so without regular exposure as a booster that is a risk for me). But as I understand it I can get a booster shot in the USA? </p>
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<p>While we stay here in the UK, I'm still unsure. I see there is a risk of getting CP from the vaccine - but that it is usually milder than "wild" CP, and since I have to hope my son gets one or the other, the former does seem better. Still debating with myself, and jealous of you guys in the US/Canada where it is already offered as a routine childhood vaccination. </p>
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<p>mumtoboys - any idea where I can find the background for that 60% statistic you quote? How I would love for him to become immune with no symptoms! </p>
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<p>We're waiting right now to see if my kids will get chicken pox from kids who got it from someone who got it by being vaccinated. I think the vaccine is probably one of the least effective ones.  My older child can't have it because she's very allergic to beef and it's made with gelatin.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #8
<p>Hmm well seems like my son has been exposed in recent weeks and has not been sick, so maybe we're lucky. Makes me wonder if he might have been exposed while breastfeeding. So that's a point for the "not going to the trouble of searching out a vaccine in the UK" decision.</p>
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<p>However, then there is also this slightly horrifying story of a <a href="http://shotofprevention.com/2012/04/12/chickenpox-outbreak-in-florida-exposes-importance-of-varicella-vaccine/" target="_blank">child who dies from Chicken pox in 1996 in Florida</a>. It's all very confusing.</p>
 

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<p>Yes, prosciencemum, it is very confusing.  <br><br>
I can't find any record in 1996 of an obituary for Josh Connelly, the child mentioned in the article.  You would think that a pro-vaccine blog would come up with something better than anecdotes.</p>
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<p>After all, correlation does not equal causation. Isn't that the pro-vaccine mantra?</p>
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<p>The death of a child is always tragic, but we don't know that Josh Connelly died of the chicken pox.  Indeed, since there is no obituary, we don't even know that a child named Josh Connelly died, period.</p>
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<p>But let's assume that he did, even though the "report" is actually a vaccine-marketing site (that never mentions ANY risks of vaccines) from Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, home of Paul Offit, inventor of and millionaire from the currently used Rotavirus vaccine, and member of ACIP (who decides the pediatric vaccine schedule). </p>
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<p>In the anecdote, we are told that the child had chicken pox, had an upset stomach, vomited, wheezed, and then stopped breathing.</p>
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<p>If we are to apply the same standards that the pro-vaccine crowd applies to vaccine reactions, there is absolutely no proof that this child died from chicken pox based on this anecdote. It sounds more likely that he either aspirated something while vomiting, or that he had an allergic reaction to something that he happened to ingest while recovering from chicken pox. Perhaps he was given a medication he was allergic to, perhaps he was given something to eat that he had an allergic reaction to.  We aren't told if he had any underlying genetic or autoimmune disorders, or whether he was a previously healthy child.</p>
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No, we're just told that this one single case is why millions of infants should be given a varicella vaccine.  No mention whatsoever of And we're not told that use of varicella vaccine INCREASED the incidence of shingles, which is MUCH more dangerous and painful than chickenpox, among vaccinated 10-19-year-olds.  <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19536039" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19536039</a> Indeed, shingles in 10-19-year-olds was unheard of before the introduction of the varicella vaccine.</p>
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<p><a href="http://www.nvic.org/nvic-archives/pressrelease/pressrelease9132000.aspx" target="_blank">http://www.nvic.org/nvic-archives/pressrelease/pressrelease9132000.aspx</a>:  "VAERS had received 67.5 adverse event reports per 100,000 doses of chicken pox vaccine sold between March 1995 and July 1998 for a total of 6,574 reports. 82 percent of the adverse event cases occurred in individuals who received chicken pox vaccine only. Admitting that underreporting made the figures "highly variable fractions of actual event numbers," the authors revealed that approximately 4 percent of cases (about 1 in 33,000 doses) were serious, including shock, convulsions, encephalitis, thrombocytopenia and 14 deaths. </p>
<p>The VAERS data has lead to the addition of 17 adverse events to the manufacturer's product label since the vaccine was licensed for use in 1995, including secondary bacterial infections (cellulitis), secondary transmission (infection of close contacts), transverse myelitis, Guillain Barre syndrome and herpes zoster (shingles)."</p>
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<p>Funny how that anecdotal "report" in the pro-vaccine blog doesn't mention risks of the vaccine...</p>
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An obituary is not the official record of death. Not everyone gets one. Further 1996 is right at the edge of things like local news being online. If you had run a search with a database like Lexis-Nexis, that might be more conclusive, but the web was still pretty primitive in 96, so I don't know that even that would help. The large number of people amed Josh Connolly and the infrequecy with which the obituary of one such person from 96 would be clicked by a user would mean that the obit would be many pages back in the search returns even if there is one and it is online.<br><br>
A small number of children do die of chicken pox. It's one of the reasons for the vaccination campaign.<br><br>
One reason to vaccinate is to provide protection for kids with underlying conditions. I don't really see why this kid having or not having other medical issues should make a difference. The argument being made in the article is that people should vax for cp because, in rare cases, it kills kids. That's true whether this kid had an underlying medical condition or not.<br><br>
Chicken pox can cause vomiting and wheezing. It sounds like a chicken pox death to me.<br><br><br><br>
 

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<p>Taximom, I understood what you were trying to say.</p>
<p>It is not about obituaries or search engines. It is about a double standard. We are not given any evidence that the boy died from CP. He probably did, but how do we know?  Now, if you tell a story about a kid who died shortly after a vaccine, well, it must have been from some other reason of course!</p>
<p>Kid dies while having CP, and the CP is to blame.</p>
<p>Kid dies after vaccine, and everything in the world EXCEPT the vaccine is to blame.</p>
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<p>We just want to be treated fairly. Vaccine reactions and deaths do occur, and it is time they are taken more seriously.</p>
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<br><br><div class="quote-container"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>BeckyBird</strong> <a href="/community/t/1344791/researching-the-chicken-pox-varicella-vaccination/0_50#post_16946905"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><p>Taximom, I understood what you were trying to say.</p>
<p>It is not about obituaries or search engines. It is about a double standard. We are not given any evidence that the boy died from CP. He probably did, but how do we know?  Now, if you tell a story about a kid who died shortly after a vaccine, well, it must have been from some other reason of course!</p>
<p>Kid dies while having CP, and the CP is to blame.</p>
<p>Kid dies after vaccine, and everything in the world EXCEPT the vaccine is to blame.</p>
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<p>We just want to be treated fairly. Vaccine reactions and deaths do occur, and it is time they are taken more seriously.</p>
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<p>Well said!<br>
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BeckyBird, you hit the nail on the head.<br><br>
Yes, there is a double standard.<br><br>
My child's reaction to vaccines was the same as thousands of other children's reactions: seizures.<br><br>
Nearly all of us were told by medical personnel, at least initially, that "vaccines don't do that.". Yet, we have learned that vaccines can and DO do that.<br><br>
Chicken pox deaths may be even more rare than vaccine reactions, yet we are not only told that chicken pox can cause death (and I am not arguing against that possibility), but we are given information that implies that it is a certainty that chicken pox will continue to cause deaths unless we vaccinate.<br><br>
What about the certainty that vaccines will continue to cause deaths, as well as seizures, brain damage, autoimmune disorders, etc?<br><br>
And we don't have to go back as far as 1996 to find evidence of vaccine-induced harm.
 

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/t/1344791/researching-the-chicken-pox-varicella-vaccination#post_16946723" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false"><span>Quote:</span>
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>stik</strong> <a href="/community/t/1344791/researching-the-chicken-pox-varicella-vaccination#post_16946723"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Chicken pox can cause vomiting and wheezing. It sounds like a chicken pox death to me.<br><br><br></div>
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Correlation does not equal causation, remember? Let's hold the pro-vaccine crowd to the same standards they decree for vaccine reactions.<br><br>
Allergic reaction can cause vomiting and wheezing; in fact, it's far more common for a child to suffer vomiting and wheezing from an allergic reaction than it is for a child to have those same symptoms caused by the chicken pox virus.<br><br>
Isn't it a strong possibility that the child was given either a food or a medication that set off an allergic response? Acyclovir has been used for chicken pox/shingles since the mid-1990's (, <a href="http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1944438" target="_blank">http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/1944438</a>), and nausea/vomiting is a listed side effect, and wheezing/breathing difficulties are a listed severe side effect.<br><br>
Reyes syndrome is another possibility that causes vomiting and wheezing; it can occur with or without aspirin cmbined with chicken pox.<br><br>
It could also be something as seemingly innocuous as the child choking on some food--say, a hot dog chunk or a grape--that caused the vomiting and wheezing; aspiration of vomit also causes wheezing.<br><br>
And if you think I'm being harsh in considering the possibility that the child's symptoms were caused by something other than chicken pox, remember this: with EVERY vaccine reaction my children had, the second comment from the medical personnel (the first being "vaccines don't do this") was "WHAT DID YOU GIVE THIS CHILD?"<br><br>
In 3 cases, I had given the child nothing; the reactions started within an hour or less. In the fourth case, I had breasted the baby, but had not eaten or drunk anything unusual, nor had I taken any medications. It was ONLY after I had been subjected to a grilling on what *I* might have done to cause the symptoms that they even considered the possibility that what they injected into my children could have caused the reactions.<br><br>
So, stik, for you to say, "sounds like a chicken pox death to me" without even considering other common causes of the same symptoms is very troubling indeed.
 

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I did consider alternate causes of vomiting and wheezing. I was pressed for time this morning, and I trust Paul Offit, so I didn't summarize them.<br><br>
It sucks that you felt personally attacked by the physicians who treated your children. Vax reactions are extremely rare, so it makes sense that they would investigate other causes. You wouldn't want them to misdiagnose something simple to treat in favor of assuming an extremely rare problem without a clear course of treatment.<br><br>
BeckyBird, where are you finding your stats on deaths from the varicella vaccine?
 

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<p>I did not specifically say death after the varicella vaccine.  There are too many reactions (and deaths) after vaccines in general, and these need to be studied. Vaccines need to be investigated as possible causes....again, not specifically the varicella vaccine here, but whatever vaccine was given before the reaction occurred. There is a double standard, where a person can develop complications from an illness and the illness is to blame, but when complications occur after a vaccine, the vaccine is never to blame. This should frustrate even the most enthusiastic vaccine supporter, for wouldn't you want to know what to do if your child develops a complication after a vaccine? Wouldn't you want your child to have the best of care, since your child "took one for the herd"? Don't you deserve to be treated fairly if a reaction, or worse, death, occurred? Since most vaccine supporters are aware of these <em>extremely rare</em> reactions, I would think you would want to be assured that your child would be treated fairly, and the vaccine investigated as a possible cause.</p>
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<p>Note: this is not just about the varicella vaccine, but whatever vaccine was administered prior to reaction. Had to add my disclaimer to avoid confusion.</p>
 

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<p> </p>
<p>I sincerely hope your children do not EVER have to go through the pain of a reaction. We are told that death and reactions are rare, but this is information from the CDC, an organization I do not  trust.  You try to be cute and smug here on the forums, but know that if your kids ever have a reaction, they will be treated so unfairly. If you could get out of your superior snob mentality for one millisecond, and realize that most of us who dislike vaccines are in favor of SAFER vaccines, of BETTER studies (not the bull#@$* studies available) and freedom of vaccine choice, maybe you would change your attitude toward us a little. Maybe you would not see us as the enemy, but rather a group of concerned parents who want better medical care for all. The medical system we have in the US is substandard at best.</p>
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<p>Goodnight. My husband is waiting to watch a movie with me, and I would rather spend time with him than argue with you.</p>
<p>Cheers!</p>
 

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<p>I had no idea my question would be offensive.  I was trying to get a better sense of the scope of the problem.  I was curious.  Now I'm more curious.  Have there been any deaths from vaccine reactions in the US in the past year?  What about the past decade?  </p>
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<p>What do you think would make safer vaccines and better studies?  </p>
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<p>I am also a concerned parent who wants better medical care for all.  What does "better" mean to you?</p>
 

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Discussion Starter #20
<p>Back to chicken pox mortality rates, and someone of the other threads <a href="http://www.mothering.com/community/t/1349550/vaccinations-questions-to-ask-your-doctor">Vaccination Questions to Ask Your Doctor</a> posted this link to information on deaths related to chicken pox (they describe in their what that means, including accounting for possible other causes just happening to coincide with when the person had chicken pox). </p>
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<p><a href="http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2011/07/21/peds.2010-3385.full.pdf" target="_blank">Study of Varicella Death Rates from the American Acadamy of Pediatrics</a></p>
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<p>My summary of the stats on childhood deaths in the other thread: </p>
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<p><span style="font-family:arial, helvetica, sans-serif;line-height:normal;background-color:rgb(250,250,250);">In babies (<1) it's gone from 8 deaths a year in the 1990s (pre vaccine), to zero deaths a year in 2004-2007. In fact in all children under 19 (see Table 1 in the link provided) there are now (2004-2007) basically no deaths due to chicken pox, down from 50/year in the 1990s pre vaccine. </span></p>
 
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