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naimah

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<p>Hi Folks:</p>
<p> </p>
<p>A simple question here:  <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Why is it such a big deal whether we vaccinate or don't?</span></p>
<p> </p>
<p>I was looking at <a href="http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/pinkbook/downloads/appendices/g/cases&deaths.PDF" target="_blank">CDC numbers for cases of vaccine-preventable diseases</a> in recent years, they are on the order of 25,000 cases/year (mostly pertussis and varicella).  Out of those 25K cases, ~15 ended in death (feel free to check my numbers).  In a population of over 300 million, that means you have less than a 1/100,000 chance of getting a VPD, and less than 1 chance in 10 million of dying from a VPD.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I also looked at the VAERS database, <a href="http://vaers.hhs.gov/about/index" target="_blank">which claims to get around 30,000 reports per year,</a> with 13% classified as "serious" adverse events.  Not sure how many vaccinations are given per year, but there were <a href="http://www.childstats.gov/americaschildren/tables/pop1.asp" target="_blank">25 million children age 0-5 in 2011</a>.  Given that children get ~50 vaccinations from ages 0-5, lets assume they get an average of 10/year.  So there were 25*10 million vaccinations=250 million.  That means there is a 1/100,000 chance of your child having a reaction to a vaccine, and less than 1 chance in a million of having a serious reaction to a vaccine.</p>
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<p>I realize there is lots of debate about the basis for these numbers (and feel free to check my calculations, too).</p>
<p> </p>
<p>But whatever way you slice it, <em>these risks are very small.</em></p>
<p> </p>
<p>The risk of either getting a vaccine-preventable-disease <em>or</em> having an adverse reaction to a vaccine are on the range of the following:</p>
<p> </p>
<p><a href="http://www.livescience.com/3780-odds-dying.html" target="_blank">-being killed by a falling asteroid (1 in 50,000 to 1 in 200,000)</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.livescience.com/3780-odds-dying.html" target="_blank">-dying from a lightning strike (1 in 80,000)</a></p>
<p><a href="http://www.livescience.com/3780-odds-dying.html" target="_blank">-being killed by a snake bite or bee sting (1 in 100,000)</a></p>
<p> </p>
<p>We sure as heck don't go around doing a ton of research or worrying much about these events.  So why do we get so worked up about what to do about vaccines?  It might be ok to just do what you want and then not worry about it.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Just my \$0.02.</p>

katelove

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I guess one of the reasons is that, if you decide to vaccinate, you have to actively *do* something. So you have an influence on the event, whereas you can't decide, or not, to be hit by an asteroid.<br><br>
Another reason, for some people, would be the issue of herd immunity which requires high levels of vaccination.<br><br>
I have neither time nor inclination to recalculate your figures so I'm not commenting on the numbers, just a couple of issues which come to my mind when considering your question <br><br>
ETA - IMO, based on the currently available research, it is quite reasonable to go either way. I don't believe there is an extremely strong case for or against *on an individual level*. On a public health level maybe (probably??). I know not everyone agrees with that but that is where I am at the moment.

applejuice

sciencemum

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Personally I worry that if vaccination rates drop a lot then VPD rates will increase significantly.

ss834

naimah

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Hmm. To what extent is that an evidence-based concern? Have you tried to quantify the risk?<br><br>
eta: I do think any increase in VPD incidence would push parents on the fence towards vaccinating their kids. So current vaccination rates may be more stable than we think. I don't have any evidence for that either though.

sciencemum

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Measles in Wales this summer caused a lot of unnecessary suffering.

ekf25

chickabiddy

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<p>I care a whole lot less about any one person's (or five people's) decision to vaccinate than I do about misinformation, bad science, and the idea that all "science" or all studies should carry equal weight.</p>

naimah

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>chickabiddy</strong> <a href="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17525597"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
I care a whole lot less about any one person's (or five people's) decision to vaccinate than I do about misinformation, bad science, and the idea that all "science" or all studies should carry equal weight.</div>
</div>
<br>
Well yeah. People are always going to listen to bad science if it bolsters their worldview. It's the same with climate change, and probably just as intractable.

kathymuggle

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<p>I don't overly care whether individuals vaccinate or not.  I care that they are given the tools to make an informed choice, and that their parental right to make health care decisions for their children is respected and intact.  </p>

kathymuggle

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>chickabiddy</strong> <a href="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17525597"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>

<p>I care a whole lot less about any one person's (or five people's) decision to vaccinate than I do about misinformation, bad science, and the idea that all "science" or all studies should carry equal weight.</p>
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<p>Yes, it is troubling when people decide to vaccinate based on misinformation or questionable science - but it really isn't my business.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Really, I shouldn't even presume to know whether a stranger on the internet is making a choice based on misinformation and questionable science or not.  </p>

sciencemum

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<p>But chickabiddy says she doesn't care about the decision people make - she cares about the misinformation (and presumably wants to make some effort to correct it). </p>
<p> </p>
<p>I'm with her on this.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>What the first poster started with is clearly true - the risks to an individual making either the choice to vaccinate or to not vaccinate are minisucule. It's extremely unlikely that any single person will be the 1 in a million with a serious vaccine reaction. However if you don't vaccinate, in this day and age it also extremely unlikely you'll even catch a VPD, let alone have a serious bout with complications. So as well as respecting everyone's right to make their own choices (even if I might think they are bad choices), I even agree the risk of an individual choosing not to vaccinate is very small.</p>
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<p>As I posted above, I worry about what would happen if the majority of the population made that choice (and there is evidence of increase of VPD even if vaccination rates drop below 60% - imagine if they were close to 0%). I'm not worried about me or my family particularly (we're vaccinated, and we also look after our health in other ways), but I am worried about the overall effect on the population, on the unhealthy, on those unable to be vaccinated etc. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>And I also get annoyed by misinterpretation of science and cherry picking of results to prove a point.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> Science progresses slowly, and with the weight of evidence behind it - not being swung about in the breeze by every small study funded by groups with an agenda to show vaccinations are harmful and/or that pharmaceutical companies are corrupting all other scientists working in the field.   </p>
<p> </p>
<p> Come on - I've even seen a middle school science project posted on here as if it proves some large scale harmful effect from vaccination…. and that's against almost 100 years of vaccination programs and public health which have saved millions of lives, and that while serious reactions can occur they are very very rare.</p>

dinahx

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I care about mis/dis information too, but I think it is LOCA to believe it doesn't exist on both sides. A great example is the latest viral article by VfV . . . It is filled with Anecdata & that is supposed to be somehow more valid when it is on 'the right side'? I find the idea that any tactics are fine as long as you are on the 'right' side very troubling. From either side. In the end our only allegiance should be to the truth.<br><br>
I also find the idea that IF diseases are bad, then vaccines are good, or its converse very simplistic, so much so as to be inaccurate. It is troubling how both sides seek to invalidate the legit arguments of the other instead of accepting the more complex 'both/and' situation . . .

naimah

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My whole point is that making an informed choice is a total waste of time. Either way, it's most likely that nothing is going to happen to anyone's kid. You Just flip a coin or go with your gut.<br><br>
And don't stress about the whole pro vs anti debate. It's quite likely that the whole thing is made up by drug companies. The pro side establishes the need for vaccines, and the anti side creates public demand for "safer" vaccines (ie new drugs that are patent protected and therefore profitable rather than generics). Even the anti vax researchers have been found to be on drug industry payrolls. The huge health gains from vaccines were made by the original researchers. Look at Jonas Salk. He didn't even bother to patent the polio vaccine--just did his best to make it cheaply available and he saved millions of children.

MamaMunchkin

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>naimah</strong> <a href="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17525314"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>

<p>A simple question here:  <span style="text-decoration:underline;">Why is it such a big deal whether we vaccinate or don't?</span></p>
</div>
</div>
<p> </p>
<p>School.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>Depending on where one lives (in the US), your kid's vax status might restrict the schooling options they have.</p>

95191

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>prosciencemum</strong> <a href="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17525994"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>

<p> </p>
<p>And I also get annoyed by misinterpretation of science and cherry picking of results to prove a point.</p>
<p> </p>
<p> Science progresses slowly, and with the weight of evidence behind it - not being swung about in the breeze by every small study funded by groups with an agenda to show vaccinations are harmful and/or that pharmaceutical companies are corrupting all other scientists working in the field.   </p>
<p> </p>
<p> </p>
</div>
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<p>Many of us also don't like the broads brush ASSUMPTION that if one dare to question vaccinations they must be anti-science.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>That fact is you or your fellow star gazers or real medical scientists, can not prove that the current vaccination amount given to today's children will have no adverse effect in the years to come on them. It simply has not stood the test of time, never in history have we given this many vaccinations to a single generation and seen them into adulthood.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>The amount of vaccines you were given as a child is not even comparable to what you are giving your children. </p>
<p> </p>
<p>You are constantly shoving this <em>cherry picking view point</em> down the throats of parents and it's <span style="line-height:1.5em;">insulting!</span></p>

naimah

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>serenbat</strong> <a href="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17526070"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
Many of us also don't like the broads brush ASSUMPTION that if one dare to question vaccinations they must be anti-science.<br><br>
That fact is you or your fellow star gazers or real medical scientists, can not prove that the current vaccination amount given to today's children will have no adverse effect in the years to come on them. It simply has not stood the test of time, never in history have we given this many vaccinations to a single generation and seen them into adulthood.<br><br>
The amount of vaccines you were given as a child is not even comparable to what you are giving your children. <br><br>
You are constantly shoving this <i>cherry picking view point</i> down the throats of parents and it's <span style="line-height:1.5em;">insulting!</span><br></div>
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To be fair, Serenbat, we can't prove that children who vaccinate are getting extra lifelong benefits either, other than the ones that are already known. Personally I have taken more vaccines than my child ever will.<br><br>
And I've yet to read a scientific paper about vaccines that doesn't question their effects or their efficacy.

95191

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>naimah</strong> <a href="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17526105"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br><br><br>
To be fair, Serenbat, we can't prove that children who vaccinate are getting extra lifelong benefits either, other than the ones that are already known. Personally I have taken more vaccines than my child ever will.<br><br>
And I've yet to read a scientific paper about vaccines that doesn't question their effects or their efficacy.</div>
</div>
<p>I think you are missing my point - if you are a parent today there simply is no way your <em>generation</em> has received the number and types that are currently being given. There is no long term data yet available for todays children that shows what this number of vaccines does over the long term, we have never in history given this many types or quantity to one generation.</p>

erigeron

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>chickabiddy</strong> <a href="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17525597"><img alt="View Post" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style=""></a><br>

<p>I care a whole lot less about any one person's (or five people's) decision to vaccinate than I do about misinformation, bad science, and the idea that all "science" or all studies should carry equal weight.</p>
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<p>I agree with this.</p>
<p> </p>
<p>I do agree with the OP that any one person/family's decision is unlikely to make a big difference for them under normal circumstances (i.e. family & close contacts are all relatively healthy and they don't have any unusual risk factors). And if it were a really abnormal circumstance, I think most people would reconsider--an ardent pro-vaxer would probably change their approach if a family member did have a serious reaction, and an ardent non-vaxer might, say, look into getting the rabies vax if she decided she wanted a career in bat rescue. </p>

naimah

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<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>serenbat</strong> <a href="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17526131"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/img/forum/go_quote.gif"></a><br><br>
There is no long term data yet available for todays children that shows what this number of vaccines does over the long term, we have never in history given this many types or quantity to one generation.</div>
</div>
Agreed. We don't know what the benefits will be either.<br><br>
I'm particularly interested in the impacts all these vaccines may have on life expectancy and quality towards the end of life. I can see some positive aspects, but there could be negative ones as well.

kathymuggle

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<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17526032" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false">To those who mentioned cherry picking studies as being concerning….</div>
<div class="quote-container" data-huddler-embed="/community/t/1394278/why-are-we-so-worried-about-vax-vs-non-vax#post_17526032" data-huddler-embed-placeholder="false">If your primary interest is the science behind vaccines, then I think some cherry -picking is inevitable on a <em>debate board.</em></div>