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Author Topic: The Vaccine War  (Read 1269 times)

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Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

The Vaccine War
« on: April 27, 2010, 09:00:19 PM »
So, Frontline is airing a piece on the so called 'debate' over vaccination. Debate is a funny word to use for the conjunction of hard fact and baseless fearmongering, but hey, it's their show.

The website can be found HERE and the entire piece should be viewable online.

I hope it's good.

Offline Jude

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 09:24:34 PM »
Sadly, I don't think any media coverage of that issue will actually do a good job.  In the process of trying to be fair they give the anti-vaccinationists equal time and consideration despite the fact that there isn't a single shred of peer reviewed, published literature that supports their claims.  Even the Wakefield study which started all of this nonsense has been rescinded by the Lancet (I think it was the Lancet that published it anyway).

EDIT:  Yeah, okay, it was the Lancet.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 09:27:49 PM by Jude »

Offline Mendtos

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2010, 09:19:42 PM »
A cousin of mine has gone off the deep end with this sort of thing, always linking things criticizing vaccines on the networking site we're all on and while it may have to do with my pursuing a science degree in school, I hold the FDA and CDC as much more trustworthy than the alternative medicine sources she's been going to.

I haven't dug too deeply into the issue, but the immunization link seems entirely irrational. There have been so many changes in the environments of Americans over the past 20 to 30 years that it will be next to impossible to figure out what exposure resulted in what diseases. Recyclable bottles have been shown to contain endocrine disrupting compounds, modern body scanning technology exposes patients to the radiation of hundreds of x-rays, and the next new polymer may one day be shown to be the next new carcinogen. Not to mention the chemicals that have been lobbied to be protected from being designated as hazardous.

Sure the pharmaceutical industry is making a pile of money, but they're doing so preventing disease and solving health problems. 

Offline Yin

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #3 on: May 08, 2010, 09:30:46 PM »
Sadly, I don't think any media coverage of that issue will actually do a good job.  In the process of trying to be fair they give the anti-vaccinationists equal time and consideration despite the fact that there isn't a single shred of peer reviewed, published literature that supports their claims.  Even the Wakefield study which started all of this nonsense has been rescinded by the Lancet (I think it was the Lancet that published it anyway).

EDIT:  Yeah, okay, it was the Lancet.

Agreed. Journalism is a business, not a public service. News stories are like tops: they'll spin it as hard as possible to keep it up from falling over...

Offline Jude

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2010, 08:17:56 AM »
Older vaccines were not that profitable, specifically the MMR which the anti-vaccers have singled out as a supposed cause of autism.

It's entirely possible to attribute the rise in autism not to any sort of environment change or make up of the human body, but instead to better access to health care professionals to diagnose it, relaxed criteria, and more awareness of the disease.  There may be no increase in its incidence at all.

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Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2010, 09:54:03 AM »
Older vaccines were not that profitable, specifically the MMR which the anti-vaccers have singled out as a supposed cause of autism.

One of the reasons that the MMR was targeted was because there used to be (and I stress, used to be) a preservative called Thimersol in vaccines that contained, of all things, mercury.  As the parent of a young child, and the friend of a family with an autistic child, I had to do some serious thinking when it came time for vaccinations - especially since they now want you to give a crap-load of shots before the kid enters kindergarten. 

We opted to give no more than two shots per visit so that if anything weird happened, we'd have fewer suspects.

Offline Jude

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2010, 05:50:11 PM »
One of the reasons that the MMR was targeted was because there used to be (and I stress, used to be) a preservative called Thimersol in vaccines that contained, of all things, mercury.  As the parent of a young child, and the friend of a family with an autistic child, I had to do some serious thinking when it came time for vaccinations - especially since they now want you to give a crap-load of shots before the kid enters kindergarten. 

We opted to give no more than two shots per visit so that if anything weird happened, we'd have fewer suspects.
I know this, but the mercury content in Thiomersal was shown to be insignificant; there really is no link even between that version of MMR and Autism.  The supposed link has been discredited through and through and was suspect from the moment of its claiming.

Even with the removal of Thiomersal from vaccines, the people who started the controversy still refuse to drop it, just goes to show you that it was never about that particular element to begin with.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2010, 11:13:07 AM »
I do think they give to many vaccines to close together and some not absolutely necessary -Tetanus and Hepatitis B come to mind for small children even babies. And I do think they could be spread out more. BUT the benefits far outweigh the drawbacks since the only reason Polio is not in the US at serious levels is everyone is vaccinated. In India its still a serious issue in parts of the country one person gets it and comes here it becomes OUR problem.

Same for other diseases these are not ,save for smallpox, dead as a threat outside the US and other advanced nations with good vaccination programs.

So my view is maybe spread the shots out a few years, make some optional if they are not for immediate contagious diseases but good ideas and make sure the Herd Immunity stays suitably strong.

On a personal note what parent WANTS a child to get Chicken Pox or something that one woman was in my opinion a bad mother.

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Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2010, 11:38:05 AM »
On a personal note what parent WANTS a child to get Chicken Pox or something that one woman was in my opinion a bad mother.

On that point (and yes, we gave her that vaccine), the immunity conferred by having chicken pox is life-long.  I had it - my sister gave it to me over Christmas break (The brat couldn't wait a little longer so I could miss school!).  It's not fun, but it's not the end of the world.  I had socks put on my hands to keep me from scratching, and oatmeal baths nightly.

The immunity conferred by the vaccine (according to the poking around I did at the time) lasts 10 years.  Now, chicken pox contracted as a child is one thing, but when it's contracted as an adult, it can have far more serious and life-threatening consequences. 

So, the kids getting the vaccine when they are 4-5 might become susceptible when they are 14-15, when the symptoms and after-effects (not to mention the possibility of scarring, which is easier to control in a smaller child) are more severe should they catch it after the immunity fades.  The children who got it naturally will become immune for life.  Something to think about before stating that 'the woman who wanted her kid to catch it is a bad mother.'

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2010, 12:40:48 PM »
Chicken Pox can have serious complications children have died. Why risk that at all when you have a working vaccine.

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Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2010, 12:53:03 PM »
http://chickenpox.emedtv.com/chickenpox/adult-chickenpox-p2.html

Quote
Chickenpox complications are more likely to occur in adults than in children. Despite the fact that adults account for only 5 percent of chickenpox cases per year, they account for a disproportionate number of deaths (55 percent) and hospitalizations (33 percent) compared to children.
 
Most complications of adult chickenpox are caused by an infection from bacteria. These bacteria can cause chickenpox complications that include:
 

    * Skin or soft tissue infections
    * Pneumonia (usually more severe in adults, as well as children over 13 years old)
    * Bone infections (osteomyelitis)
    * Joint infections (septic arthritis)
    * Toxic shock syndrome.
       

Other serious adult chickenpox complications directly related to the chickenpox virus can include:
 

    * Infection of the brain (encephalitis)
    * Bleeding problems
    * Cerebellar ataxia.


Compared to children:  http://www.drpaul.com/illnesses/chickenpox.html

Quote
What are the complications of chickenpox?

Fortunately most children do not suffer any serious consequences from chickenpox infections. From a cost-to-society point of view, chicken pox can be expensive and inconvenient. Children miss school, parents have to miss work, causing inconvenience and a loss of productivity all around. However, approximately 1 in 2000 children may develop more serious complications, which account for 1900 children a year requiring hospitalization. These complications include:

*Pneumonia
*Bacterial infection of the rash, and rarely "flesh eating disease"
*Brain inflammation or encephalitis
*Death (very rare)

Note the 'very rare' incidences regarding child-contracted varicella, compared to the fact that the 5% of total cases that are adult cases accounting for 55% of the deaths.

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2010, 06:20:37 PM »
Or you can get a shot every ten years and immunize against it over an average adult lifetime that would be seven shots, that are not overly expensive. Shouldn't adults keep up courses of treatment when its an issue you could get sick barring medical reasons not to.

For example flu shots dangerously raises my blood sugar for up to two weeks so I don't get those. I do update other shots as needed.

Offline Serephino

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #12 on: May 10, 2010, 09:10:16 PM »
Yeah, but having to get yet another shot every 10 years?  These things have formaldehyde in them for crying out loud.  Can't remember where I read that, but I don't doubt it.  After all, you are basically injecting a weakened virus into a person. 

I can understand vaccinating for the really dangerous stuff, but flu and chicken pox?  Kids who have compromised immune systems may need it, but normal healthy children get it all the time.  I had it, and it sucked, but I survived.  My whole kindergarten class got it, and were all back in class within a week.  And now I'm good for life, which is probably a good thing since I don't have insurance and wouldn't be able to go back for a booster shot anyway. 

Some people have bad reactions to vaccines.  I did.  I didn't know this until I had to get a physical my Freshman year, but there's a series of 3 shots you're supposed to get, MMR I think, and my medical records showed I only had 1 of them.  My mom explained that after the first one when I was a baby I had a seizure.  My parents decided not to give me the other 2 because they didn't want to risk it.  Does that make them bad parents?

I do remember my dad going through cancer treatment.  His doctor wanted to give him a vaccine, for pneumonia I believe, because the cancer treatment weakened his immune system.  A few days later he came down with pneumonia.         

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2010, 09:07:51 AM »
I do think they give to many vaccines to close together and some not absolutely necessary -Tetanus and Hepatitis B come to mind for small children even babies.

Because small children don't need a working heart or liver. *staaaare*

Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #14 on: May 11, 2010, 02:28:23 PM »
Generally MMR comes in two shots. One at one year, another between the ages of three and five, depending on when the child will start school. There is generally a nice window of time to get these vaccines if you want to spread them out, like Oniya. The irresponsibility comes when you are dealing with a disease (like tetanus and Hep B) that is far too dangerous to take the risk, or when vaccinations against traditional community diseases are not given before the child's level of contact with others reaches a certain thresh-hold (e.g. entering school). To not vaccinate in these circumstances is highly irresponsible, both to your own children and those of others.

It takes very little to skew herd immunity. The latest Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report shows that there have already been 967 cases of mumps in 2010, if we keep progressing at this rate, mumps incidence in 2010 will be higher than it has been any-time in the last five years, save for the 2006 mumps outbreak. This disease used to be on the way out, it is important that we do not relax our vaccination efforts against diseases that are still very real threats.

For edification: http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm5851a6.htm

Offline RubySlippers

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #15 on: May 11, 2010, 02:31:46 PM »
Hepatitus B is mainly an STD, babies get those?

What is the odds of getting that if your a baby, same for Tetanus its rare.

As for other vaccines flu can be serious I find that prevention is better, but maybe rethinking how many vaccines are needed and which ones are not and when they are given is a better idea. For example with the worls so interconnected Polio and Whooping Cough for examples have to be vaccinated against in my view.

Offline Trieste

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Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #16 on: May 11, 2010, 02:45:29 PM »
Hepatitus B is mainly an STD, babies get those?

What is the odds of getting that if your a baby, same for Tetanus its rare.

As for other vaccines flu can be serious I find that prevention is better, but maybe rethinking how many vaccines are needed and which ones are not and when they are given is a better idea. For example with the worls so interconnected Polio and Whooping Cough for examples have to be vaccinated against in my view.

Hep B is a bloodborne illness that can be contracted the same way others can: by exposure to infected body fluids. But toddlers never get cuts, of course, or scrape their knees. They would never have a family member with Hepatitis.

They never step on rusty nails, either. ;)

Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #17 on: May 11, 2010, 02:46:44 PM »
Hepatitus B is mainly an STD, babies get those?

What is the odds of getting that if your a baby, same for Tetanus its rare.

As for other vaccines flu can be serious I find that prevention is better, but maybe rethinking how many vaccines are needed and which ones are not and when they are given is a better idea. For example with the worls so interconnected Polio and Whooping Cough for examples have to be vaccinated against in my view.

Yeah...babies never swallow things they aren't supposed to, chew on things, or get hurt. They clearly live in a magical world where they are safer than normal people as opposed to the opposite. >_< If anything an infant-toddler is at a higher risk of tetanus than an adult. [EDIT]Infants acquire Hep B[/EDIT] usually by vertical transmission from asymptomatic mothers or other close family members. This does not include the number of children who acquire it from sexual abuse, which is probably more children than I would be comfortable with. Further, a majority of children infected with Hep B have been shown to become chronic carriers themselves, particularly females. There is absolutely no reason not to protect them.

EDIT: Removed my guesswork in favour of Oniya's hard facts.
« Last Edit: May 11, 2010, 03:09:58 PM by DarklingAlice »

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Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #18 on: May 11, 2010, 02:51:44 PM »
As for the odds, according to the CDC:
Hep B (There's been an 89% drop in the 0-19 age range, thanks to the vaccinations, from 3 per 100,000 to 0.3 per 100,000.  Over the entire population, in the same period, the average incidence dropped from 8.5 per 100,000 to 2.8 per 100,000.)
Tetanus  (9% of the cases were in the 0-19 age range, including one neonate, who contracted it via the umbilical incision)

Offline DarklingAliceTopic starter

Re: The Vaccine War
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2010, 10:12:59 AM »
http://briandeer.com/mmr/lancet-summary.htm

Was just directed here this morning. It is a summary of the whole Andrew Wakefield "MMR is linked to autism" thing, tracking it through the years and detailing its debunking.