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Vaccinations – What a Catch 22!

October 22, 2010 · 25 comments

in Health & Fitness

First, let me say that my children have gotten all their vaccinations as recommended by their pediatrician.  I don’t even know that anyone suspected there was a link between autism and vaccinations when my kids were babies.  I am kind of glad because I wouldn’t want to make the decision on whether or not to vaccinate.  It was just sort of a given that they would get all their shots, as I figured the pediatrician must know best.  (I wasn’t used to questioning authority yet…)

Now, many people either delay or refuse vaccinations altogether, often times because of the concern about autism..  It is a very personal decision.  However, that decision is starting to have consequences, as Whooping Cough (Pertussis) is making a comeback in the U.S.  As a matter of fact, 10 infants have died from Whooping Cough in California so far this year, and almost 6,000 cases have been reported in the state since January.  California is not the only state that is seeing a rise in Pertussis, states all over the country are showing an increase.

However, it isn’t just the refusal of vaccinations that is causing the illness.  It is estimated that 50 percent of Pertussis cases are transmitted from parent/caregiver to child.  This is because the first Pertussis vaccination is not given until a baby is 2 months old.  If a parent has whooping cough, it will be very easy to transmit the disease to a newborn who has not been vaccinated yet.  Even if you or your child were already immunized against whooping cough in the past, you may not be immune anymore.  Studies have shown that immunity only lasts about  5 years.  Also, whooping cough can be harder to diagnose in teens and adults because only small children get that horrible whooping sound when they cough.  Therefore, a teen or adult may not even realize they have whooping cough, and may be transmitting the disease.

I recognize that there are risks with vaccinations, and parents have to decide what is best.  However, there is also a risk that your child may catch something really bad  if they do not get vaccinated.  It is a tough decision.  If you don’t mind immunizations, check with your doctor to see if you need a pertussis booster.  I recently needed a Tetanus shot, and the whooping cough vaccine was already combined with the Tetanus booster (the two shots combined is called the Tdap vaccine).  I know some people do not like the combined shots, but I was fine with it.

So, next time you are at the doctor, think about asking your doctor if you need the Pertussis or Tdap vaccine!

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{ 23 comments… read them below or add one }

Nicole October 22, 2010 at 8:07 am

Great public service announcement!

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 8:51 am

I know it is kind of a PSA, but I had no idea that I wasn’t protected from whooping cough anymore myself until I got my Tetanus shot. I had often wondered how long that immunity lasts from all those shots and sugar cubes I got as a kid.

Does anyone else remember having sugar cubes containing the polio vaccine?

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The Biz of Life October 22, 2010 at 8:32 am

My wife administers vaccinations in a pediatrician’s office. Needless to say, we’ve weighed the pros and cons and decided to vaccinate all of our kids because we thought the risk of side effects was lower than the risk of catching some of these diseases and illnesses.

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 8:52 am

Your poor wife- that must be one of the worst parts of the job. I remember tearing up myself when my babies got their shots. I just felt like they had no idea what they were in for, and the person they trusted most was allowing someone to give them pain!

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James Fowlkes October 22, 2010 at 10:07 am

This is quite the touchy subject in our neighborhood as some Moms choose not to vaccinate their children. Get ready for you heated comments, Kris. Thanks for the reminder about the TDAP. I just got mine again last year!

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 2:32 pm

James – It is a tough subject, and I tried not to sound judgmental one way or another. However, I really wanted to make people aware that many of us are not really immune anymore to whooping cough, and it can be a pretty nasty disease.

I welcome all comments, heated and all!

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Money Reasons October 22, 2010 at 10:55 am

Definitely a hard decision! This would be a great area for the government to spend money on instead of wasting it!

We (as a society) should be able to figure out a better way of getting this done, versus just all those shots at once!

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 2:34 pm

MR – I believe that they are looking into spreading the shots out more and not putting so many vaccines in one shot. However, as it stands now, you have to pay more if you want separate shots, of course.

I have no idea if there is a link between autism and vaccinations. However, I think it has forced the medical community to look closer at vaccines and what is best, so that is a great thing.

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Crystal @ BFS October 22, 2010 at 12:51 pm

My mom never even thought about saying no with me but she gave herself mental issues with my little sisters. I think there is a better chance of getting sick than having a bad reaction, so I think I’d be pro-shots…ask me again if I ever have kids, lol. 🙂

BTW, good idea for the parents to cover themselves as to not expose their children to the bad stuff…I loved that hubby got vaccinated this year so he may not be bringing home the flu like normal…

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 2:35 pm

BFS – When I was a kid, you just got your shots. And, I will say that is how I was with my own kids. I just did it because I was supposed to, and I am a rule follower. However, nobody talked about Thimerasol or anything even when my kids were born.

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First Gen American October 22, 2010 at 2:31 pm

Those mom’s who think they are doing the right thing by not vaccinating are ruining our herd immunity. I’m pretty darn sure the risk of death from these virus’s making a comeback far outweighs the risk of associated with the vaccine. How many lives need to be lost before this idiocy stops?

As a mother of a child with immune issues, I know more than my fair share about vaccinations. Let’s not go back to the dark ages people.

Plus, if you look at the data, there is no conclusive evidence that ties autism to vaccines. It’s just a theory and I haven’t seen any hard facts that link the two to each other.

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 3:04 pm

First Gen – I think a lot of people feel the same way you do. I know too as the parent of a low-immune system child that I used to be terrified of what all the kids might be carrying that didn’t get immunized. My son got his immunizations, but they didn’t ‘take’ as well as they did with typical kids, so he was always more at risk. (As was probably the case with your son too.)

I certainly hope the medical community can get a better understanding of Autism for a million different reasons. It would be wonderful if Autism could be cured, or at least managed a bit easier. If in the process of studying autism they find a link to vaccinations, hopefully they can fix the problem and save a lot of children.

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc October 22, 2010 at 3:22 pm

I personally think that the prospect of us not vaccinating is quite scary indeed. While I appreciate that it is a personal choice, I also feel that kids who are not vaccinated can put other people at risk unfairly.

The post was kind of like a PSA, but a good one!!!!

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 3:45 pm

Hey Shawn- I didn’t want to write a post that would provoke people and cause them to miss the message, so I kept my own feelings out of it. I am all for vaccines, but if one of my kids had been born with Autism, I am not so sure what my feeling would be. Could be a connection, could be coincidence, nobody knows for sure. However, I would love if everyone was protected from these diseases, and I am guessing this outbreak of whooping cough will be just the tip of the ice berg as more and more people refuses to vaccinate their children.

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc October 22, 2010 at 4:22 pm

Oh, I didn’t think that you were against vaccination at all. I was just stating my stance. I can certainly appreciate how the situation could change if your child or the child of someone you know is develops Autism that could be attributable to the vaccines. Even the chance that something you did could have caused it would just be devastating.

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 4:33 pm

Shawn – I didn’t think you were saying anything about my position, I was just making a general statement in regards to it being somewhat of a PSA. 🙂

Thanks for coming back by. By the way, I am having the hardest time commenting on your site for some reason. I must have issues that nobody else does!

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc October 22, 2010 at 4:36 pm

I’m so sorry. I’ll have to look into this immediately!!!

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 4:40 pm

Shawn, I have had issues in the past. Sometimes the icons all land on top of each other and it is hard to know what to click. Then sometimes intense debate tries to log me in for hours. Ok, I just tried something new. I went to intensedebate.com and logged in. I then hopped over to your site and it let me enter my comment. Again, it may just be that I am doing something wrong. I don’t want you to spend a lot of time on it.

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Roshawn @ Watson Inc October 22, 2010 at 4:58 pm

Thanks for letting me know. I stay logged on to intense debate and have never experienced the overlapping icon issue. I do have one computer that I can never comment from, and I don’t really know why (I assumed it was that computer’s settings but who really knows). I’ll be on the lookout for more complaints and see what I can find out with after doing some searches this weekend. Several people complained about my using the native Blogger commenting that I switched back in May, so I was hoping Intense Debate would be an upgrade 🙂

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Cognoramus October 22, 2010 at 5:04 pm

Kris, we’re often so concerned about taking care of our kids directly that we forget about some of the indirect things we need to be doing (like maintaining our immunity). I think First Gen pretty much summed it up. The vaccinations have proven benefits and there evidence for their risks is pretty dubious.

Thanks for a great write-up to put things in perspective!

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 9:31 pm

Thank you Cog! I think the medical community needs to do a better job of getting the word out that some people may need booster shots. I had no idea until I went to the doctor for my Tetanus shot.

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Nicole October 22, 2010 at 7:11 pm

Btw, I haven’t gotten re:pertussed, but I was finally at a place where the flu shot was being offered (Yay the grocery store!) and I got one. (DH and DC got theirs a month ago at the on-campus clinic, but I was in meetings and class all day that day.) As a pleasant surprise they gave me a gift (cloth grocery) bag full of hand sanitizer, wipes, and tissue. Very nice. 🙂

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Kris October 22, 2010 at 9:32 pm

Good job Nicole! I want a cloth bag full of sanitizer and such! I will be getting my shots this weekend!

Stay Healthy!

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