Close Encounters with the Vaccine Schedule

February 28, 2008 by · 15 Comments
Filed under: Parents' Pages 

baby-feet.jpgScene: A pediatrician’s office. Behind the desk is the doctor, a pleasant, middle-aged woman in a white coat. Seated in front of the desk are the expectant parents, prosperous, educated, self-confident, and, in the case of the woman, exceedingly pregnant.

Doctor: So, what questions did you have for me today?

Mother: We are concerned about the current vaccine schedule.* We know that babies should be protected from serious diseases, but the current schedule is getting…well, strange. (Pulls a scroll from her purse and starts unwinding it, reading off the schedule as she goes, and inserting comments) So, at birth, they want our baby to get a Hepatitis B vaccination. We both test negative and are not at risk for that disease.

Father: Does our baby really need that one?

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Why Jab Children to Protect Adults?

February 26, 2008 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Vaccine/Disease Analysis 

Hepatitis A

First, let’s look at the Vaccine Information Statement that doctors are required by Federal Law to present to you before vaccinating your child…

http://www.immunize.org/vis/v-hepa.pdf

We are told that some people should be routinely vaccinated with hepatitis A vaccine: (those in bold are considered at increased risk)

  • All children 1 year (12 through 23 months) of age.
  • Persons 1 year of age and older traveling to or working in countries with high or intermediate prevalence of hepatitis A…For more information see www.cdc.gov/travel
  • Children and adolescents through 18 years of age who live in states or communities where routine vaccination has been implemented because of high disease incidence.
  • Men who have sex with men, persons who use street drugs, persons with chronic liver disease, persons with clotting disorders, persons who work with HAV-infected primates or who work with HAV in research laboratories.

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Secondary Transmission: The short and sweet about live virus vaccine shedding.

February 24, 2008 by · 26 Comments
Filed under: Parents' Pages, Vaccine/Disease Analysis 

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A child gets vaccinated and is from that moment on protected from the vaccine virus, correct? We all realize that vaccines are not 100% failproof, but is that the only concern?

If it only were that simple. The fact is that once a child is injected with a live virus vaccine (and let’s assume that this child is immune as a result of it) there are still other things to consider which most parents do not know about and most pediatricians fail to warn about – which is vaccine shedding!

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Finding a Supportive Practitioner

February 18, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Parents' Pages 

telephone-girl.jpgIf you’ve decided not to vaccinate on the CDC recommended schedule by avoiding vaccines entirely, stopping them once you’ve started or by pursuing a selective/delayed schedule, it can be difficult to find a medical provider who is supportive. Below are some suggestions for finding a provider who supports your decisions for your family. Please note that vaccinations are not necessarily a part of the agenda for many of these organizations/sites, but these groups tend to draw people who have made alternative choices and will bolster your chances of finding like-minded parents. Read more

Pertussis: Yo-Yo Stats

February 14, 2008 by · 15 Comments
Filed under: CDC Watch 

yo-yo.jpgPrevious CDC articles: Stupid , Measles

Pertussis, popularly known as Whooping Cough, is an illness that ranges from mild to very dangerous. The levels of incidence seem to be a bit of a mystery. One department of the CDC claims that the vaccine is doing a great job of protecting us from death-dealing outbreaks of pertussis while another department of the same organization claims that pertussis is endemic in the United States. Follow me down the bureaucratic rabbit hole, as we try to discover the truth about The Cough!

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Sisyphus and the Conjugate Vaccines – II

February 11, 2008 by · 2 Comments
Filed under: Vaccine/Disease Analysis 

Part one can be found here.

Wipe out some s. pneumo with Prevnar, and more s. pneumo fills in the gap, along with some staph.

The great and shining hope with this situation all along has been an idealistic vision that perhaps the bacteria that filled in the gap would be much milder, or ideally, that nothing would fill in the gap at all. It was hoped that we could just eliminate those bacteria, and horrible diseases like bacterial meningitis would fade into distant memory, along the lines of what supposedly happened with invasive Hib disease, the ultimate conjugate vaccine success story.
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Navigating The Road Less Traveled

February 9, 2008 by · 4 Comments
Filed under: Parents' Pages 

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You have decided to not vaccinate on the CDC’s immunization schedule. What comes next? Some parents choose not to vaccinate at all. Others choose to delay vaccines and/or selectively vaccinate their children. Of course parents have more questions once the decision is made. Can my child go to school? What about daycare? Our doctor just fired us for not vaccinating. What do I do now? How do I get my family to understand my choice?

You’re sure to encounter some or even all of these issues, but when it comes to not vaccinating your child on schedule, knowledge is power. Here are some pointers to help you navigate the school system, the medical system, and, toughest of all, extended family.
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Mandatory Flu Shots for Toddlers Attending Daycare in New Jersey: WHERE is the Science?

February 5, 2008 by · Comments Off on Mandatory Flu Shots for Toddlers Attending Daycare in New Jersey: WHERE is the Science?
Filed under: News 

flu-vaccine.jpgThe Public Health Council voted to require New Jersey children attending preschool or licensed day care to get annual flu shots, and to get three additional vaccines for youngsters starting Sept. 1, 2008.

This was justified, not by reference to scientific research, but with this statement:

“The amendments to the rules governing immunizations will have a direct impact on reducing illnesses, hospitalizations and deaths in one of New Jersey’s most vulnerable populations – our children,” said Commissioner Jacobs. “Vaccinations have proven to be one of the most effective and safe forms of disease prevention.”

However, a Cochrane systematic review found that:

In children under two, the efficacy of inactivated vaccine was similar to placebo.

and:

That no safety comparisons could be carried out emphasizes the need for standardisation of methods and presentation of vaccine safety data in future studies. It was surprising to find only one study of inactivated vaccine in children under two years, given recent recommendations to vaccinate healthy children from six months old in the USA and Canada. If immunisation in children is to be recommended as public–health policy, large–scale studies assessing important outcomes and directly comparing vaccine types are urgently required.

How can a vaccine that has no effect on babies and toddlers reduce illness, hospitalisations, and deaths in little ones? Compulsory placebos? This is not evidence-based medicine.
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Rotavirus: Death by Diarrhea?

February 4, 2008 by · 22 Comments
Filed under: Vaccine/Disease Analysis 

Rotavirus is reported to be the leading cause of diarrhea among children, causing upwards of 55,000 hospitalizations per year in the US. Symptoms consist of vomiting and diarrhea, usually lasting between 3-8 days. Subsequent bouts of rotavirus are usually milder.

When this vaccine made its debute in 1998, I’ll admit to some skepticism. I laughed and said,“Really? Now it’s death by diarrhea!” When the first Rotavirus vaccine (RotaShield) was recalled in 1999, for causing intussusception, I felt justified in my stance. Especially when I found out that intussusception caused by this vaccine is a “compensable injury” and is paid for out of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program. (1) (Intussusception is a serious and potentially life-threatening condition that occurs when the intestine gets blocked or twisted. One portion of the intestine telescopes into a nearby portion, causing the intestinal obstruction. The most common site is where the small intestine joins the large intestine.)

In 2006, a new rotavirus vaccine (RotaTeq) was approved by the FDA. My family doctor and most of those around me were all strongly recommending the new vaccine, so I turned my attention towards some research.
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Measles: The Grim Reality

February 2, 2008 by · 32 Comments
Filed under: CDC Watch 

measles-vaccine-van.jpg

(Part I of this series: Parents: Does the CDC Think We are Stupid?)

What does the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) have to say to parents about measles?

Before measles immunization was available, nearly everyone in the U.S. got measles. An average of 450 measles-associated deaths were reported each year between 1953 and 1963.

Was measles a major health problem between 1953 and 1963? Were parents begging for a vaccine? Terrified that their child would die or be permanently damaged by a dangerous disease? Well, no. Some here could give their answer to that question, but better still, ask your parents, and grand-parents what they thought about measles.  Find out who in your family was “at risk” of serious complications or death.

The big question, when you see a death rate, is how many deaths occur in relation to the total number of cases? The reported cases, with something like measles, are always going to be much lower than the total cases, and reported cases will generally be more severe, more likely to be hospitalized, and more likely to have a bad outcome.  I had measles when I was eight, but my parents didn’t report my case of measles, I never saw a doctor and no one in my family (including two younger siblings) caught it from me. Here, from the CDC Pink Book, is the complete story:
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