An objective question on Vaccines - please be nice!

Sarah - posted on 03/29/2012 ( 8 moms have responded )

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I'm just curious for the anti-vaccine advocates. If your child contracted Polio and ended up unable to walk, or chicken pox or rubella and you were pregnant and that baby was born brain damaged because you were exposed, or meningitis and died, etc.; would you feel you still made the right decision to NOT vaccinate your child? Is it a decision you could live with if you knew that you could have prevented it? Or, do you feel uneducated or uninformed about these illnesses? Do you feel that if you rely on herd immunity for your child that that is enough protection (though herd immunity is falling)?



I ask this not out of attacking anyone at all, so please look at this question objectively. I am just curious because for me, the answer was no. I vaccinated my children because I felt the risks of the disease were greater than the risks of the illness. I just would like some insight into how people come to this decision as "the best one for their child" when the benefits of vaccines seem to far outweigh the risks. Now, I'm not saying EVERY child should be vaccinated, obviously any personal or family history of vaccine reactions they shouldn't, but that's why the rest of people should to help protect those who can't. I guess I'm just really curious the rationale behind someone's decision to not vaccinate and if these above questions they considered. Thanks all. Please keep this nice and don't attack me, I'm just curious and would love to see another side to the debate.

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Sarah - posted on 03/29/2012

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Again Chrystal, thank you for remaining polite and civil in your post and simply answering my question. As I said, I'm not looking to judge anyone, just try to understand other people's rationale for their decisions.

Chrystal - posted on 03/29/2012

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That's a valid point there are fewer non vaccinated so the percentage would be higher than the percentage of cases in the vaccinated group. But when do we say a disease has been as eradicated as possible because according the WHO since 1988 the number cases of polio have decreased 99% (1,352 people had it in 2010 out of nearly 7 billion on the planet) and currently only 3 places on the planet are considered epidemic areas. The likelihood of being one of those people that got polio was like 1 in 5 million. To me a 1 in 5 million chance of getting a disease means it's eradicated and I don't need to vaccinate for it when in just my country the likelihood of an adverse reaction to the vaccine is an as high or higher risk.

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheet...

That's true our new global society can increase the spread as with SARS spreading but it was a relatively new disease (2003 it was found I believe) so it had a way into the population because the majority were unprotected in a few decades perhaps the majority will be vaccinated and it will have the risk that polio now has and I wouldn't consider it something to vaccinate against.

I'm one that does selective vaccination. Out of the 14 diseases that they vaccinate against my kids have vaccination for 4. I see the value in vaccines I just don't see the value in so many so close together.

Sarah - posted on 03/29/2012

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But, there is a far greater percentage of the population who is vaccinated than not, so if you look at percentage of kids who weren't vaccinated who got it and compared to percentage of kids who were vaccinated who got it, I am positive the risk is higher for the non-vaccinated population. Also, the decrease you quote is directly related to immunization programs. It doesn't matter where the illness comes from, due to globalization and world travel, you are at risk no matter where you live (though many countries with lower immunization rates have higher incidence). One can simply look at SARS which originated in Asia but had a huge impact in Ontario. I also am really concerned about chicken pox in particular because many people disregard it as a mild childhood illness but don't realize that it can be deadly. Not to mention putting your child at risk for other illnesses down the road such as shingles which is extremely painful. I appreciate your feedback and that you kept it to information and not judgement on my question. Also, has anyone opted for certain vaccines over others and why?

Chrystal - posted on 03/29/2012

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"The last cases of naturally occurring paralytic polio in the United States were in 1979, when an outbreak occurred among the Amish in several Midwestern states. From 1980 through 1999, there were 162 confirmed cases of paralytic polio cases reported. Of the 162 cases, eight cases were acquired outside the United States and imported. The last imported case caused by wild poliovirus into the United States was reported in 1993. The remaining 154 cases were vaccine-associated paralytic polio (VAPP) caused by live oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV)." http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/poli...

Since 1993 there have been roughly 3,000 reports of serious side effect from the IPV polio vaccine which is more often used in the United States now. Roughly the same number where reported with the OPV type of polio vaccine since 1993. Equaling more 6,000 serious side effects with the polio vaccines.

http://wonder.cdc.gov/vaers.html (search by serious, vaccine type, and year reported)

So basically non-vaccinated people have had 8 cases of polio in about 30 years in the US and vaccinated have had 154 cases of polio and over 6,000 serious side effects. Which is a bigger risk. I think any parent if their child became ill would find a way to blame themselves no matter if it was because they didn't vaccinate or because they did and something bad happened. They do what they think is best for their child at the time like any good parent.

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