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vaccinations/immunization
Posted: 14 February 2007 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]
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My wife is pregnant and it’s the first time for both of us.  I’ve done a little bit of research so far, but haven’t found any real reason to avoid any particular vaccinations for the baby.  I’m keeping an open mind and want to do what’s best. 

Is all this anti-vaccination stuff just media and internet hype? :?:  I just started researching via Wikipedia, etc., but so far nothing convincing me one way or the other.  I know this forum is full of critical thinkers and would appreciate any insight.

On a side note… we don’t know the sex yet, but I recently looked into the whole circumcision thing… That’s something we will definitely will not do be doing.  After coming to that conclusion, I coincedentally found the thread here about it too.  My palms could’ve ended up much harrier had I been left uncut.  raspberry

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A-Bomb

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Posted: 14 February 2007 07:42 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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vaccinations/immunization

My wife is pregnant and it’s the first time for both of us.  I’ve done a little bit of research so far, but haven’t found any real reason to avoid any particular vaccinations for the baby.  I’m keeping an open mind and want to do what’s best. 

Is all this anti-vaccination stuff just media and internet hype? :?:  I just started researching via Wikipedia, etc., but so far nothing convincing me one way or the other.  I know this forum is full of critical thinkers and would appreciate any insight.

On a side note… we don’t know the sex yet, but I recently looked into the whole circumcision thing… That’s something we will definitely will not do be doing.  After coming to that conclusion, I coincedentally found the thread here about it too.  My palms could’ve ended up much harrier had I been left uncut.  raspberry

Thanks,
A-Bomb

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Posted: 14 February 2007 07:50 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Re: vaccinations/immunization

[quote author=“A-Bomb”]Is all this anti-vaccination stuff just media and internet hype? :?:  I just started researching via Wikipedia, etc., but so far nothing convincing me one way or the other.  I know this forum is full of critical thinkers and would appreciate any insight.

Hello, A-Bomb, and welcome. I have decided to move this thread to the “Alternative Medicine” folder because of the subject matter.

Not sure exactly what “anti-vaccination” stuff you are talking about. But there has been a lot of quack medicine hype against vaccinations for immunization purposes. Much of this stuff isn’t only misleading, it is unethical and dangerous.

In general, the best resource for information on quack medicine is Quackwatch . I would suggest that when you have questions about alternative medicine or media/internet hype, that should be one of your first references.

They do have information on “Misconceptions about Immunization”. Click HERE for that.

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Posted: 15 February 2007 07:33 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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I was thinking about starting the subject in this thread to begin with, but wasn’t sure if it would apply, since the alternative is not doing anything rather than medicine.

Thank you both for your responses.  That Quakwatch site seems to be a great resource, which I’m sure I’ll continue to use in the future.  I was unaware of it until I saw it mentioned in another thread here. 

We’ll probably consult with the Dr. too.

We know several people who’ve just had babies or are pregnant and this going without vaccination/immunization seems to be a popular idea with some right now.  From what I’ve seen so far, it’s not for any good reason, as there doesn’t seem to be sufficient evidence that harm, if any, would outweigh the obvious benefits of getting the vaccinations/immunizations.

Thanks again for your help.

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Posted: 15 February 2007 09:28 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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[quote author=“A-Bomb”]I was thinking about starting the subject in this thread to begin with, but wasn’t sure if it would apply, since the alternative is not doing anything rather than medicine.

Right, I understand. As a matter of fact, however, the anti-immunization chorus tends to come from the “alternative medicine” crowd. It tends to get intermixed with a lot of worry about western science and medicine ... conspiracy theories, etc.

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Posted: 14 April 2007 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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A-bomb, I agree with Brennen’s recommenation to check out the CDC site.  Gather all the information you can, examine the data critically, and above all watch out for paranoics.  LOL

By the way, I agree with your views about circumcision. 

Occam

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Posted: 14 April 2007 11:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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[quote author=“meatball”]Want evidence ???

Yes.

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Posted: 14 April 2007 12:20 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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Well, the last article isn’t about pharma, but about GM food which is a different issue.

Re. the other articles, you are absolutely right that there have been any number of sleazy operations over the years in big pharma. IMO, for example, drugs should not be advertised. (But the worse problem is that homeopathic, herbal and other quack drugs should not be advertised or sold either).

It’s one thing to point that out and quite another to claim that “unseemly secrecy and fraud are part and parcel of BIG Pharma, supported by the FDA.”

Some fraud has occurred, some unseemly behavior; but not all secrecy is unseemly. Some is done for simple competitive reasons. And there is certainly more to the pharmaceutical companies than fraud. There is a lot of good science, life saving and life improvement as well. So “part and parcel” is too strong.

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Posted: 26 April 2007 02:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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As a physician, I always find this topic a bit disturbing. The evidence supporting the effectiveness of vaccines is overwhelming. People today have lost their perspective on this becuase few of us were alive 100 years ago when illnesses like measles, mumps, rubella and polio killed thousands, and crippled many more. Vaccines have changed all this. Any attempt to undermine public vaccination programs does a grave disservice to humanity.

The opposition to vaccines seems to come from two camps. The paranoid group of people who don’t like the government telling them what to do and always suspect some ulterior motive, and parents of disabled children who are justifiably desperate to find a cause, but have lost their objectivety.

The facts are that several large studies have repeatedly failed to show any link between vaccinations and childhood diseases including autism. Children who are not vaccinated are far more likely to develop childhood diseases which can have serious and even fatal outcomes.

The most upsetting thing about the “anti vaccine” movement is the hypocracy of it. These people are vocal in their opposition and criticism of vaccinations yet they enjoy the benefits of public vaccinations through the protection they recieve from “herd Immunity”. Herd immunity is the protection of non vaccinated individuals as a result of the reduction in exposure to an illness because most of the rest of the individuals in their group/society are vaccinated and therfore free of disease. If there was no herd immunity these diseases would be far more common and deaths and illness would be frequent occurences. Many of the anti vaccine individuals would most likely change their oppinion if that were the case. In reality these people are able to refuse to vaccinate their own children only because the rest of us vaccinate ours.

For anyone trying to decide whether to vaccinate their children please realize that there is NO debate within the scientific and medical community on this issue. I vaccinated all of my children without hesitation.

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Posted: 13 June 2007 02:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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I agonized over this decision for a while after having our first.  I have friends who are dead against vaccinations as contributing to asthma, allergies, etc.  so this scared me at first.  But I determined not to make a decision out of fear.  I read a lot about it and seemed to find a lot of people on both sides.  I wish I would have came across the quackwatch site when I was debating this.  What I ended up doing, was vaccinating my kids but only starting after 1 year.  I though that way,
I would have a bit of an idea of the nature and health of my child and could determine whether the vaccine affected them immediately in an adverse way.  And also give their own immune systems a chance to build up ‘on their own’.  If I were to have babies now, I would immunize them right away.  Like a previous member posted, the only reason I felt safe to make my own “experiment” in vaccinating them at one year instead of right away, is because everyone else is vaccinated and the risk was not as high for them contracting measles as a newborn as it would have been if others weren’t vaccinating.  And of course, these diseases have the most potential for harm in the youngest children.
I found it tough though to make the decision before I did my own research, because some of the anti-vaccinators that I know are really strong in their beliefs and made me feel like I was just following the crowd in vaccinating.  It was actually after being introduced to this site that I found confidence to trust the success of vaccines and identify my fear of them as being irrational and unfounded.  Thanks for bringing up the topic.  I liked reading the posts.

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Posted: 13 June 2007 03:16 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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It’s better safe than sorry.  My mother believed in vaccinating and I never got any of the illnesses that they prevented.  I vaccinated my sons and they never got any of those illnesses.  We are now all three thankful that the Chickenpox vaccine has been made available for everyone now, because their children do not have to suffer with Chicken pox like was did.  We had some very serious cases of Chicken pox- me as a teen and them as toddler and baby.  My older son was 3 almost 4 and he has never fogotten how miserable he was.  Thankfully, my younger son was a baby and got it from his brother at a young age, so he does not remember it.  Consequently we are truly immune since we had it so bad.  I didn’t get it again from them, but I would have preferred a vaccine to prevent it.

I seriously believe these people who are against vaccinations are barking up the wrong tree.  It does not cause autism.  A child has a genetic tendency to it.  My younger son has a very mild case of it, BUT I had a great uncle who had autism.  So no one can tell me that the vaccines were to blame for it.

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Posted: 13 June 2007 03:28 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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All medical interventions are a balance of risk and benefiot. Anyone who tells you there is a therapy with zero risk is selling you BS (as is usually the case with alternative medicine). And unfortunately we are a very fearful, risk averse society in which perfection is believed to be achievable and everything bad that happens is always somebody’s fault. Some risks of vaccination are real but very small, and most of the risks the anti-vaccination folks talk about are not real, or at least not even remotely proven. The diseases are less of a risk than they used to be because of vaccination, but they will return in most cases if vaccination is stopped. It’s scary to take any risk, no matter how small, with one’s child, but the best we can do is balance risks and benefits in a rational way with the best quality science we currently have, and I am convinced this analysis vfavors vaccination, which I did with my own child without any regret.

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Posted: 17 June 2007 08:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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I totally understand that vaccines are clearly not the direct cause of autism, otherwise everyone would be autistic.  But, I don’t understand how the research done by Robert F. Kennedy can be entirely discounted.  For instance, he claims that autism didn’t hardly exist before the introduction of thimerosal in the 1930s(?), that the rates of autism have increased exponentially with the spread of thimerosal, that autism virtually was non-existent in China before thimerosal was introduced in the nineties when it coincided with an autism epidemic, and that the main ingredient in thimerosal is mercury (a toxin that one would NEVER purposefully give a baby).  Is it not odd that autism is affecting more and more children as time goes on?  The autism rates are skyrocketing, and before Rain Man most people hadn’t even heard of the syndrome.

I read all of this in Rolling Stone, which I guess is an appeal to rock n roll authority.  But, it seemed like everything in Kennedy’s article could be easily fact-checked.  It’s not as if we are talking about the National Enquirer or something tabloid scandalous.

Can scientists be trusted with non-biased results on the topic of vaccines?  Afterall, if they were to show evidence of damage from vaccines, it would create world-wide panic and people would stop immunizing their children.  It kind of makes sense that there would be a cover-up in this situation (not to be too conspiratorial).  In any case, why was thimerosal take out of vaccines if it wasn’t harmful?

Also, is it not true that our children are being subjected to more vaccines than ever.  I’ve vaccinated my daughter, but I absolutely refused for her to receive these cocktail vaccinations, and I didn’t let the doctors pump her full of vaccines right after birth.  Amazingly, she didn’t get whooping cough in that first month.

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Posted: 17 June 2007 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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Kennedy is a bit mistaken if he thinks vaccines started around the 1930s.  The smallpox vaccine was around before that.

From http://dermatology.about.com/cs/smallpox/a/smallpoxhx.htm :

English physician, Edward Jenner, that milkmaids who developed cowpox, a less serious disease, did not develop the deadly smallpox. In 1796, Jenner took the fluid from a cowpox pustule on a dairymaid’s hand and inoculated an 8-year-old boy. Six weeks later, he exposed the boy to smallpox, and the boy did not develop any symptoms. Jenner coined the term “vaccine” from the word “vaca” which means “cow” in Latin. His work was initially criticized, but soon was rapidly accepted and adopted. By 1800 about 100,000 people had been vaccinated worldwide.

Kennedy maybe mistaking the difference between mild autism and severe autism.  Mild autism was quite often undiagnosed and the person was thought to be backwards, odd, different, and other like words.  Severe autism was Dx more often than not, while mild autism, such as Aspergers went untreated.  Even though there was an idea about mild autism in the past, which was discovered by Asperger and sometimes foo-fooed, we are just now recognizing it more often than in the past.

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Posted: 17 June 2007 09:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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Ticktock,

Remeber the old saw-correlation does not equal cause/effect. The likely reason rates of vaccination and autism are correlated is that both have independantly increased at the same time. A lot of research has gone into this, and the reality is no cause/effect relationship has been found between vaccination and autism. HERE is a site summarizing the references disproving this hypothesis.

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Posted: 17 June 2007 09:53 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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mckenzievmd - 17 June 2007 09:05 AM

Ticktock,

Remeber the old saw-correlation does not equal cause/effect. The likely reason rates of vaccination and autism are correlated is that both have independantly increased at the same time. A lot of research has gone into this, and the reality is no cause/effect relationship has been found between vaccination and autism. HERE is a site summarizing the references disproving this hypothesis.

I thought that too, until I read about the rates of autism in china mushrooming out of nowhere right when our old stockpiles of thimerosal were shipped over there.  Either the Chinese statistics were a lie, and with China I can see that as the case, or there is something fishy going on.  It’s suspect.

I think Kennedy was referring specifically to thimerosal, an additive that is used to preserve the vaccine, as being the introduction that coincided with autism and not to the actual vaccines as being the cause.  He also pointed to an experiment with amish children, who are not immunized and have nearly zero rates of autism.  One of the amish kids in the test did develop autism… and it turns out that he was immunized at birth and then was later adopted by the amish.

I’ll check out the link you provided.  Thanks.

ETA.  I still didn’t find anything in the link that refuted the facts in Kennedy’s article.  I still think that there could be some kind of link in certain children who are predisposed to autism, and that the mercury triggers it.  That would eliminate the panic of a direct connection between vaccines and autism, but it would validate the concerns raised by the odd statistics presented by Kennedy.

I found the myth about taking multiple immunizations interesting.  It didn’t really address that side effects and possible damage would be impossible to trace with the cocktail vaccines.  I think it’s important, since I know of at least one child whose nervous system instantly degenerated after an immunity shot.  I know it’s probably cause-effect fallacy, but people are going to look for the obvious connection when their child goes brain dead right after a shot.  You can tell that the story really made me suspicious.

[ Edited: 17 June 2007 10:33 AM by ticktock ]
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