Jump to content
House Price Crash Forum

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

LC1

Baby Vaccinations?

Recommended Posts

This is a controversial subject, but I am keen to avoid this becoming a pro/anti-vaccine debate.

I am in a position of having to make the decision about whether to get none, some or all of the vaccines for a 7 week old human being and I am finding this all a bit much to navigate my head around.

Before anybody jumps on me as some anti-science conspiracy theorist, let me briefly set my stall...

Whilst having no medical training myself, I work in a health research field, and have some connection to a project investigating the UK database of primary care adverse events. Vaccine reactions feature quite strongly in this database, febrile convulsions and the like. But what is most interesting is that we know that only a very small percentage of adverse events get reported from primary care, for a variety of reasons. And the most serious are often absent because these cases end up in A&E and become hospital stats, and worse, are completely untethered to any primary care intervention (such as administering a bunch of vaccines) that precipitated the event. Basically, I have it on good authority that we really don't know the extent of vaccine reactions in children, nor really how many of these are serious.

Added to this I have some understanding of both the design and implementation of medical trials and also of the clever ways in which the drug industry only ever designs trials that they know will most likely favour their product, and that they have been known to withhold data that don't give the results they want. There are no vaccine safety trials that compare vaccinated and unvaccinated children, for example.

Added to this, whilst I know quite a bit about the Wakefield case and accept that his results weren't conclusive and that he had some undeclared financial interests (he called for further research and never claimed his case series was definitive because, well, it's only a case series!), there have been a number of studies that also posit a link between vaccines and not only autism, but also ADHD, diabetes, asthma, eczema, and a whole host of other auto-immune diseases. Although a non-medic, I can see how there could be some as-yet undiscovered link to vaccines, which overstimulate very immature immune systems in a way which was never intended in nature.

Yes, I will hold up my hand and admit that I have leanings towards a naturopathic model of health and wellbeing, and I believe there is a lot to be said for allowing young bodies to accumulate immunity to these childhood diseases naturally. Sure, if you haven't had mumps by age 11, then perhaps you might consider getting a jab then, but really these diseases aren't often anything to worry about, especially if your child is well nourished and otherwise healthy.

What really gets me is that the whole system seems designed to limit choice and freedom, with all these multi-disease vaccines, so you can't just get the ones that you might think are most important, you have to get the whole shebang. Plus, what really gets my goat, and is the main point that I'm trying to make here, is that the whole discussion seems incredibly polarised, with very little of the sensible middle ground to be found anywhere, which is where I feel most at home!

For instance, the concerns of so-called 'antivaxers' are completely dismissed. Even when they might present good scientific studies which show the effect of heavy metals or formaldehyde in the bloodstream, crossing the blood/brain barrier, these are dismissed as 'a small price to pay for having vaccines that work for greater good of herd immunity' etc etc. The pro-vaccine lobby (it does feel like this, such is the vehemence with which viewpoints are communicated wherever I look for balanced discussion) almost seem to put out a blanket denial of adverse events, or almost always rebut with spurious (to my mind) arguments that these are not as bad as the diseases they are designed to prevent.

Vaccines can be very dangerous. This is a fact, as demonstrated by the huge sums that have been paid out by the 'vaccine court' in the US for vaccine-damaged children. But do you ever hear this message? Not even a little bit, vaccines are touted as almost perfect medicines (no side effects!) which is patently a misrepresentation. Many childhood diseases can be very benign, and those with strong health tend to sail through them and have stronger immune systems as a result (lifelong immunity too, which cannot be said for vaccinated kids).

Why then is there such vitriol about 'the greater good'. Why cannot there be a reasoned discussion about the pros and cons of individual vaccines, the individual diseases, the possibility of being selective, or of choosing to delay them until the child's immune system is more robust, or of spreading the shots out? The antagonism towards such viewpoints has really taken me by surprise. Herd immunity? More like herd mentality from what I can see, independent thought not allowed! :ph34r:

Has anybody else been through this minefield? Do I over-think things too much, should I just be a good citizen and do my bit for the greater good, cross my fingers and hope my child doesn't have a convulsion, die in his sleep, or develop one or a number of chronic conditions as a result of getting him fully vaccinated?!

Whether or not you feel these are valid concerns, these are the fears running through my head because, unfortunately, I cannot help but be skeptical of the 'evidence' for the long-term efficacy/safety of these vaccines.

Is it possible to have a more nuanced debate on this topic without it degenerating into pro/anti squabbling?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on your mentality.

If you only consider your own child, and your kid is strong and healthy, then vaccinate for the more deadly dangerous stuff, for the diseases that only stand a tiny chance of being dangerous the risk of the vaccine itself is probably comparable so not worth doing IMO.

However if you wish to consider the fact that there might be another child in the same class who is more vulnerable than your child, then you vaccinate for the lot.

I had measles, chickenpox, mumps and the usual childhood diseases when I was a kid, they were mildly unpleasant. Quite glad I had a polio vaccine though, for example, and I may get a smallpox booster at some point, have a feeling we may be seeing that one again.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Is it possible to have a more nuanced debate on this topic without it degenerating into pro/anti squabbling?

Probably not. I've got two kids, both with the standard vaccine set and no issues.

Problem is, you've already dismissed the idea that vaccine-preventable diseases might be dangerous, but you are clearly very receptive to the idea of vaccines being dangerous. And it is an emotive subject, because vaccination is a proactive step whereas waiting for disease to strike is a passive one.

An excercise - which would demonstrate good faith - would be for you to look up the rate of death and long term injury resulting from the various vaccine-preventable diseases. If you are not prepared to do that, then that does put you in the wingnut box.

And as far as Natropathy goes, Nature expects you to have perhaps 8 kids (If you are female, starting at perhaps 15 years of age) and see at least half of them die from various diseases and infections in childhood. Nature is not nice.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have considered all the same things and I ended up paying privately to have individual vaccines when our son was older for the most serious diseases. I'm not anti vaccine, but pro choice. The NHS thinks a one size fits all is best. For example, German Measles is a mild illness, I had it as a child. It is only ever a problem for an unborn child inside a woman who catches the disease. In my opinion it would best to only offer it to girls when they are older and have not had German Measles.

If you would like to ask me more about what I did, you can send me a PM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I have considered all the same things and I ended up paying privately to have individual vaccines when our son was older for the most serious diseases. I'm not anti vaccine, but pro choice. The NHS thinks a one size fits all is best. For example, German Measles is a mild illness, I had it as a child. It is only ever a problem for an unborn child inside a woman who catches the disease. In my opinion it would best to only offer it to girls when they are older and have not had German Measles.

If you would like to ask me more about what I did, you can send me a PM.

OK, here's the flaw with that thinking.

We only vaccinate half the population. That pretty much guarantees that the disease will remain endemic. Now, no vaccine offers 100% protection, or has 100% take-up, so in fact there will be a population of un-protected females. The consequences are well known.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It depends on your mentality.

If you only consider your own child, and your kid is strong and healthy, then vaccinate for the more deadly dangerous stuff, for the diseases that only stand a tiny chance of being dangerous the risk of the vaccine itself is probably comparable so not worth doing IMO.

However if you wish to consider the fact that there might be another child in the same class who is more vulnerable than your child, then you vaccinate for the lot.

I had measles, chickenpox, mumps and the usual childhood diseases when I was a kid, they were mildly unpleasant. Quite glad I had a polio vaccine though, for example, and I may get a smallpox booster at some point, have a feeling we may be seeing that one again.

My lad have the usual set of vaccines with no obvious ill effects; he wouldn't have been allowed to go to kindergarten in Germany otherwise. I'd draw the line at vaccinating against a disease that was eradicated by vaccination over 30 years ago though! Actually, I'd be surprised if smallpox vaccine is still available.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Probably not. I've got two kids, both with the standard vaccine set and no issues.

Problem is, you've already dismissed the idea that vaccine-preventable diseases might be dangerous, but you are clearly very receptive to the idea of vaccines being dangerous. And it is an emotive subject, because vaccination is a proactive step whereas waiting for disease to strike is a passive one.

An excercise - which would demonstrate good faith - would be for you to look up the rate of death and long term injury resulting from the various vaccine-preventable diseases. If you are not prepared to do that, then that does put you in the wingnut box.

And as far as Natropathy goes, Nature expects you to have perhaps 8 kids (If you are female, starting at perhaps 15 years of age) and see at least half of them die from various diseases and infections in childhood. Nature is not nice.

These are good points that you make, and I did try to hold my hand up to my own prejudices in the OP....

But on your point about looking up disease incidence and morbidity/mortality rates, this is in no way a useful indicator because they will be massively skewed by the poorest countries in the developing world. In such places, I admit that vaccines are probably far less dangerous than the diseases they are aimed at because people are too weakened through malnutrition etc to properly fight these diseases, nor is there sufficient medical care to treat them. Stats from rich Western countries are going to be very low, because of widespread vaccination, proponents will claim. Or because of our excellent levels of sanitation, nutrition and healthcare (relatively speaking), skeptics might counter. I'm not sure how it would help a decision either, given that stats for vaccine injury are practically non-existent?

It's true that nature is cruel, and that death is part of natural selection. The question about a weaker child in his future class does sum up the crux of the issue: how much risk is it reasonable for every child to undergo in order to protect that one weak child? It's a complex and passionate issue, understandably.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

OK, here's the flaw with that thinking.

We only vaccinate half the population. That pretty much guarantees that the disease will remain endemic. Now, no vaccine offers 100% protection, or has 100% take-up, so in fact there will be a population of un-protected females. The consequences are well known.

That is not entirely true. The incidence of diseases have decreased due to better hygiene and various other factors too. Vaccines are also becoming counter-productive for some diseases where they have worn - off. Some people are no better off than if they had no vaccination, and possibly worse. A woman who has never had German Measles who is vaccinated as a child may actually have no protection at all when she is 35, despite having been vaccinated. If women want protection they are better off being vaccinated close to the time when they expect to have children. Also, getting the actual disease offers better immunity thereafter than a vaccine, so getting the illness may be no bad thing at all, and could offer immunity later in life when a vaccine may not, unless people know about the limitations of vaccines and get re-vaccinated.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My lad have the usual set of vaccines with no obvious ill effects; he wouldn't have been allowed to go to kindergarten in Germany otherwise. I'd draw the line at vaccinating against a disease that was eradicated by vaccination over 30 years ago though! Actually, I'd be surprised if smallpox vaccine is still available.

:-)

Yes my lass has had the whole lot and is very healthy.

The smallpox thing is a bit TFH, I don't believe we'll see it again until some time after the robots can do the dishes and the cleaning.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The so called 'herd immunity' is a fallacy, it's funny that people like fluffy666 who claim to be all 'scientific' always use it as part of their argument... :rolleyes:

One of the most important things you can do for the health of your child (and for your own health!) is to make sure Vitamin D levels are always kept high, a healthy immune system is far more effective at coping with illness than an immune system damaged by vaccines.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

That is not entirely true. The incidence of diseases have decreased due to better hygiene and various other factors too.

This was my understanding too. A lot of the incidence graphs show these diseases declining long before the introduction of the relevant vaccines, and then continuing at more-or-less the same rate afterwards. Plus, sometimes the vaccine will actually cause the disease in some individuals. And ditto the life-long immunity thing: these childhood diseases are typically benign in children (with rare but devastating exceptions of course) but can be much more unpleasant when contracted as an adult, and vaccines will tend to wear off unless frequent boosters (how many adults get these?!), whereas natural immunity is much more long-lived, if not lifelong.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are good points that you make, and I did try to hold my hand up to my own prejudices in the OP....

Stats from rich Western countries are going to be very low, because of widespread vaccination, proponents will claim. Or because of our excellent levels of sanitation, nutrition and healthcare (relatively speaking), skeptics might counter. I'm not sure how it would help a decision either, given that stats for vaccine injury are practically non-existent?

You'd look at the disease effects in the unvaccinated in western countries, obviously. For example..

http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/189/Supplement_1/S4.long

From which you see - in a health, well nourished population -

Postinfectious encephalomyelitis (PIE) occurs in 13 per 1000 infected persons, usually 3–10 days after onset of rash [39, 131]. Higher rates of PIE due to measles occur in adolescents and adults than in school-aged children (table 2 [124, 132, 133]). PIE usually begins with the abrupt onset of new fever, seizures, altered mental status, and multifocal neurological signs [131, 134]. Although measles virus was found in cerebrovascular endothelial cells in a person who died during the first few days of rash [135], the virus usually is not found in the central nervous systems of persons with PIE. PIE appears to be caused by an abnormal immune response that affects myelin basic protein [61, 136]. As many as 25% of people with PIE due to measles die, and ∼33% of survivors have lifelong neurological sequelae, including severe retardation, motor impairment, blindness, and sometimes hemiparesis [39, 131].

So for this one disease you are looking at a death rate of about 1 per 1000, and a similar long-term disability rate.

I find information about side effects trivial to find online.

It's true that nature is cruel, and that death is part of natural selection. The question about a weaker child in his future class does sum up the crux of the issue: how much risk is it reasonable for every child to undergo in order to protect that one weak child? It's a complex and passionate issue, understandably.

The main reason for it being a complex issue is because vaccines - and modern medicine generally - are so effective.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The main reason for it being a complex issue is because vaccines - and modern medicine generally - are so effective.

That is a claim that has never been scientifically proven!

Claims of effectiveness of vaccines are purely based on correlation which is completely unscientific.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This was my understanding too. A lot of the incidence graphs show these diseases declining long before the introduction of the relevant vaccines, and then continuing at more-or-less the same rate afterwards. Plus, sometimes the vaccine will actually cause the disease in some individuals. And ditto the life-long immunity thing: these childhood diseases are typically benign in children (with rare but devastating exceptions of course) but can be much more unpleasant when contracted as an adult, and vaccines will tend to wear off unless frequent boosters (how many adults get these?!), whereas natural immunity is much more long-lived, if not lifelong.

Here's the problem:

In the space of a single paragraph, you've come up with something like 5 different assertions which are all highly dubious. Have you really investigated them?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the space of a single paragraph, you've come up with something like 5 different assertions which are all highly dubious. Have you really investigated them?

That's not much of a counterargument, is it? :rolleyes:

The 5 points LC1 raised are all well known and accepted, if you know different then please provide a better counterargument than merely questioning LC1's diligence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

You'd look at the disease effects in the unvaccinated in western countries, obviously. For example..

http://jid.oxfordjournals.org/content/189/Supplement_1/S4.long

.

.

So for this one disease you are looking at a death rate of about 1 per 1000, and a similar long-term disability rate.

I find information about side effects trivial to find online.

The main reason for it being a complex issue is because vaccines - and modern medicine generally - are so effective.

I'm not sure how you get these figures from that extract? I get a rate of about 3.25 people dying from PIE out of every 1000 infected with measles. And anyway, as I said, without really knowing how many people die or have permanent injury from vaccines (you couldn't find the data because nobody is recording it or even looking for it, by and large) then it's practically meaningless anyway.

There are of course plenty of babies admitted to hospital with seizures and encephalopathic conditions, but these are of unknown aetiology - they just happen, nothing to do with all those vaccines she had a few days ago, because remember folks, correlation does not equal causality (except when disease rates continue to drop at the same time a vaccine is introduced into a population, of course).

EDIT to finish an unfinished sentence.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is a controversial subject, but I am keen to avoid this becoming a pro/anti-vaccine debate.

/snip

It's a tricky one all right. I'm not a dad. So I haven't looked into child vaccines too closely. I was asked for my opinion on flu shots by a couple of close elderly relatives, did a fair bit of reading but still felt anguish when I told them what I would do in their shoes.

Some choices are easier than others, Gardasil for instance. Assuming we're allowed to make the choice...

Journal of Law, Medicine & Ethics: Too Fast or Not Too Fast: The FDA’s Approval of Merck’s HPV Vaccine Gardasil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Here's the problem:

In the space of a single paragraph, you've come up with something like 5 different assertions which are all highly dubious. Have you really investigated them?

Just to reiterate, I was keen for this not to descend into a pro/anti debate. Those 5 claims are researched to the extent that I have found data and charts that show the incidence rates, and have been looking for the best quality information I can access on this topic, where it is possible to find testament from very highly medically qualified people who have put it on record that they also believe these statements to have foundation in fact.

And I have to agree with The Eagle, that calling my diligence into question isn't really very helpful. If you have any knowledge to the contrary then please do provide your own sources and I will gladly peruse them!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

These are good points that you make, and I did try to hold my hand up to my own prejudices in the OP....

But on your point about looking up disease incidence and morbidity/mortality rates, this is in no way a useful indicator because they will be massively skewed by the poorest countries in the developing world. In such places, I admit that vaccines are probably far less dangerous than the diseases they are aimed at because people are too weakened through malnutrition etc to properly fight these diseases, nor is there sufficient medical care to treat them. Stats from rich Western countries are going to be very low, because of widespread vaccination, proponents will claim. Or because of our excellent levels of sanitation, nutrition and healthcare (relatively speaking), skeptics might counter. I'm not sure how it would help a decision either, given that stats for vaccine injury are practically non-existent?

It's true that nature is cruel, and that death is part of natural selection. The question about a weaker child in his future class does sum up the crux of the issue: how much risk is it reasonable for every child to undergo in order to protect that one weak child? It's a complex and passionate issue, understandably.

Its overwhelmingly down to vaccination. Sanitation levels in Africa and parts of Asia are appalling despite this Polio has virtually been eradicated other than where Eagle and his Boko Haram mates wield some influence <_<

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'm not sure how you get these figures from that extract? I get a rate of about 3.25 people dying from PIE out of every 1000 infected with measles. And anyway, as I said, without really knowing how many people die or have permanent injury from vaccines (you couldn't find the data because nobody is recording it or even looking for it, by and large) then it's practically meaningless anyway.

There are of course plenty of babies admitted to hospital with seizures and encephalopathic conditions, but these are of unknown aetiology - they just happen, nothing to do with all those vaccines she had a few days ago, because remember folks, correlation does not equal causality (except when disease rates continue to drop at the same time a vaccine is introduced into a population, of course).

EDIT to finish an unfinished sentence.

I regard this as going off the deep end.

Google 'MMR Side effects', carefully hidden at #1 rank is:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/mmr-side-effects.aspx

Which includes seizures as a side effect at about 1 in 1000, and ITP at 1 in 24000.

or google 'pertussis vaccine side effects', and hidden all the way down at #2 is:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm

OK it''s a US site, but it lists more vaccines than I knew existed..

You'll note that they have side effect rates down to 1 in 40,000 - lower rates are perhaps understandable hard to quantify.

When you go on about vaccine injury not being looked for, then I'm sorry to say but you are wrong and people are lying to you.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Its overwhelmingly down to vaccination. Sanitation levels in Africa and parts of Asia are appalling despite this Polio has virtually been eradicated other than where Eagle and his Boko Haram mates wield some influence <_<

I realise with each successive post of mine, I am unable to prevent my own prejudices from coming to the fore!

I do accept that vaccines probably work, for the large part, for a certain (limited) duration. But are they unproblematically a good thing? I'm not so sure. It's a bit like that very informative video in the fat/sugar thread that lifts the lid on statins - controversial, but lots of highly qualified medical professionals saying that 1) they aren't as safe/effective as they claim, and 2) you're just swapping your risk of dying from heart disease/stroke to one of dying from a complication caused by the drug, so no net gain whatsoever. I am concerned that a similar phenomenon might be at play here, though very little evidence to support a view either way, of course. And therein lies the problem...

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And I have to agree with The Eagle, that calling my diligence into question isn't really very helpful. If you have any knowledge to the contrary then please do provide your own sources and I will gladly peruse them!

Umm.. you do realize that you haven't provided any sources?

But it's not your diligence I'm calling into question, it's the observation that you are coming up with one assertion after another after another - all I'd ask is that you think to yourself how you'd prove it to someone who was skeptical of your claims.

I go on the basis that of all medical interventions, vaccinations are among the most natural - they work with your immune system, unlike, for instance, antibiotics. They typically involve far fewer antigens going into your bloodstream than you might get from a skinned knee. They are heavily monitored for side effects, and they are pretty cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

When you go on about vaccine injury not being looked for, then I'm sorry to say but you are wrong and people are lying to you.

Ignoring the slightly patronising tone for a second, I will just say that these stats are based on yellow card reporting system, which is recognised to be a highly imperfect method of pharmacovigilance, and there is also very significant under-reporting from primary care. When kids are taken to A&E there is almost never any effort made to trace back and associate with any primary care intervention, such as administration of a vaccine. Those stats are therefore suspect, to my mind. But, arguably they are all we have, so thank you for linking to them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I regard this as going off the deep end.

Google 'MMR Side effects', carefully hidden at #1 rank is:

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/vaccinations/Pages/mmr-side-effects.aspx

Which includes seizures as a side effect at about 1 in 1000, and ITP at 1 in 24000.

or google 'pertussis vaccine side effects', and hidden all the way down at #2 is:

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/side-effects.htm

OK it''s a US site, but it lists more vaccines than I knew existed..

You'll note that they have side effect rates down to 1 in 40,000 - lower rates are perhaps understandable hard to quantify.

When you go on about vaccine injury not being looked for, then I'm sorry to say but you are wrong and people are lying to you.

These figures are based on officially reported cases where doctors think the vaccine is the culprit. There are unquantifiable further cases which are not reported and are not included in any figures. So looking at these figures for side effects is a pretty meaningless exercise. Vaccine injury is not looked for, but if it is encountered to such a degree that it cannot be ignored it will be recorded.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • The Prime Minister stated that there were three Brexit options available to the UK:   203 members have voted

    1. 1. Which of the Prime Minister's options would you choose?


      • Leave with the negotiated deal
      • Remain
      • Leave with no deal

    Please sign in or register to vote in this poll. View topic


×

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.