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» Hatrack River Forum » Active Forums » Books, Films, Food and Culture » Vaccinating your kids (Page 1)

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Author Topic: Vaccinating your kids
RivalOfTheRose
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What are your guys feelings on this oft-controversial subject?

What would be a good place to find some unbiased research and viewpoints?

Thanks!

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rivka
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The anti-vaccination camp is primarily made up of ignorant and/or crazy people. Vaccinations save lives, and any parents who fails to vaccinate their children puts my children (and me) at risk.
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ambyr
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There is controversy about vaccination to about the same extent that there is controversy about the Earth being round.
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Samprimary
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Anti-vax people are stupid idiots and this is not a 'lets just agree to disagree' thing because their idiocy is of a sort that actively endangers others. In case anyone here is part of the anti-vax crowd: No, I'm not going to be polite and respectful to your histrionic pseudoscience; you're putting your own and other people's children at risk because you've fallen for an idiot mentality. It must be aggressively shamed and curtailed. The end.
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SteveRogers
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For some reason, there's a misconception in discussions of vaccination regarding a link to autism, but the paper which initially supported that theory has been proven to be a load of nonsense which rightfully discredited the career and reputation of the hack who claimed its accuracy. A disgrace to the psychological sciences.

As others have said above, the benefits of vaccination so vastly outnumber any alleged negatives that it's really not much of a debate.

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Dan_Frank
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Yeah this is a subject that shouldn't be controversial.

A good place to start when looking for "unbiased" articles: Anything pro-vaccination. The WHO or Red Cross or pretty much pick-your-health-organization are great sources, but honestly, anything pro-vaccination is likely to be largely unbiased, assuming "unbiased" = "based in fact."

Seriously. Vaccinations are our friends. It freaking boggles my mind that we're seeing resurgences in this country of diseases we had on the ropes thirty years ago, and I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the anti-vax crazies.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
Yeah this is a subject that shouldn't be controversial.

A good place to start when looking for "unbiased" articles: Anything pro-vaccination. The WHO or Red Cross or pretty much pick-your-health-organization are great sources, but honestly, anything pro-vaccination is likely to be largely unbiased, assuming "unbiased" = "based in fact."

Seriously. Vaccinations are our friends. It freaking boggles my mind that we're seeing resurgences in this country of diseases we had on the ropes thirty years ago, and I put the blame squarely on the shoulders of the anti-vax crazies.

I agree with every word of this post. And when Dan Frank and I agree, it means something! [Wink]
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RivalOfTheRose
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Well, most people here seem smarter than the average bear. I had no idea it was such a non-issue. I guess the anti-vax crowd had some pretty effective propaganda for awhile. Thanks!
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Speed
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quote:
Originally posted by SteveRogers:
For some reason, there's a misconception in discussions of vaccination regarding a link to autism, but the paper which initially supported that theory has been proven to be a load of nonsense which rightfully discredited the career and reputation of the hack who claimed its accuracy. A disgrace to the psychological sciences.

You're letting it off a little easy. Plenty of things turn out to be "loads of nonsense" after further evidence comes to light, but this paper was actual fraud. There were no honest mistakes associated with that Lancet article, this guy was falsifying data to serve his purposes. He should share a cell with Kevin Trudeau in hell.

I just heard a podcast concerning the effects of anti-vaccination propaganda, and they presented a graph which shows association between reduced vaccinations and increased incidence of disease. Every time the percentage of vaccinated people in a population edges below a critical mass (which has happened a few times recently), these deadly diseases spike dramadically. It's a potent reminder of the real-world costs of pseudoscience.

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Aros
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What about faith healing and the dangers of MSG? Or artificial sweeteners?
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happymann
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Not exactly what you were asking, but as a side note, my poor daughter got the flu a few weeks ago. We vaccinate religiously annually. Just really bad luck. Poor kid was so miserable.
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lem
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quote:
He should share a cell with Kevin Trudeau in hell.
You must work for BIG-PHARMA! Kevin told me, late one night, that people like you would want to make millions off of people like when all I really need to do is buy his book for $50 and cure all diseases and aging.

Nice try Speed. I bet you were "educated" in "science" at a state propaganda university. Kevin has secrets you don't want me to know about or you will loose your job.

[/end channeling my neighbor]

Ewweee that tasted gross. I need to scrub my brain. Is it just me or does Trudeau remind anyone else of Santorum?

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SteveRogers
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Speed: Well, I was trying to maintain a civil tone for the sake of being generally respectful. Though, I agree with what you're saying; I've never personally felt the need to express hostility when I might risk offending the sensibilities of the person who originally asked about the issue. [Smile]
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Speed
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Right on, Steve. I didn't mean it to sound like I was refuting what you were saying. I thought your post was right on, I just wanted to add a little, in case anyone started to have sympathy with Wakefield. Is my venom showing? [Smile]

I get your point on tone, though. I hope it's clear that all my distaste is directed at the con artists behind the misinformation, and not toward the parents who are trying to do their best for their children.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by RivalOfTheRose:
Well, most people here seem smarter than the average bear. I had no idea it was such a non-issue. I guess the anti-vax crowd had some pretty effective propaganda for awhile. Thanks!

I think the confounding variable is we are identifying autism a lot more than we have in the past. And if you follow the fear, it all traces back to a single doctor who was clearly trying to profit by saying autism was caused by vaccinations without any evidence.

He tapped into the fear, got followers, and now it's been a mess trying to sort all those hysterical people out.

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CaySedai
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I think the only reason not to vaccinate would be if your child had some allergy to something in the vaccination.

I had a co-worker years ago who caught whooping cough from someone else at work, right after she returned from maternity leave, and her baby caught it from her. The baby ended up in the hospital with thousands of dollars in bills for the family before it was all done. I think the person who was the original carrier didn't grow up in the U.S., though, so maybe that's reason enough the he wasn't vaccinated. But it's definitely reason enough to vaccinate kids - to avoid catching stuff from unvaccinated people.

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Dan_Frank
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quote:
Originally posted by Aros:
What about faith healing and the dangers of MSG? Or artificial sweeteners?

Heh.
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Lyrhawn
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I think this is an easy issue to scare people with because autism rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and people need something easy to blame, and they need something easy to do to thwart it.
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Speed
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quote:
Originally posted by lem:
Is it just me or does Trudeau remind anyone else of Santorum?

Aaagh! [Eek!] If Santorum wasn't already ruined for me, he would be now.
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scifibum
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think this is an easy issue to scare people with because autism rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and people need something easy to blame, and they need something easy to do to thwart it.

Since "autism rates" depend on how many people get diagnosed, and not so much on how many people actually have an autism-spectrum disorder, I'm not sure if it's fair to say that autism rates have skyrocketed.

Autism diagnoses have gone up, though.

On the radio this morning I heard a psychologist mentioning some things that seem to increase risk. One of them was premature birth. So as we get better at saving premature babies from dying, we might see a higher incidence of autism-spectrum disorders (which would contribute to the higher rate of diagnosis).

However, he also mentioned that over-diagnosis seems to be a problem, and a lot of the numbers people react to (or the anecdotes they hear) don't distinguish much between different ranges on the spectrum.

I'm glad that I'm hearing less lately from the anti-vaccination crowd. I hope the misinformation is starting to lose its steam.

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Liz B
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Oh thank goodness. I saw the OP last night and figured Hatrack would handle it.

Woo is really seductive. I thought about separating the MMR for my son because--I don't know? I was on a long maternity leave and didn't have enough to think about? Anyway, it was too much work and I'm pretty lazy. Then I got off of all the breastfeeding forums and started reading science blogs. And yeah. Science ftw.

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theCrowsWife
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quote:
Originally posted by CaySedai:
I had a co-worker years ago who caught whooping cough from someone else at work, right after she returned from maternity leave, and her baby caught it from her. The baby ended up in the hospital with thousands of dollars in bills for the family before it was all done. I think the person who was the original carrier didn't grow up in the U.S., though, so maybe that's reason enough the he wasn't vaccinated. But it's definitely reason enough to vaccinate kids - to avoid catching stuff from unvaccinated people.

Whooping cough causes problems because it's turned out that vaccinations given in childhood lose effectiveness as those children grow up. However, until just a few years ago (I believe), there wasn't a vaccination approved for adults, so the adult population is more susceptible than it should be. I'm not sure if the adult booster is available to all yet, but I got it when my youngest was born (a year and a half ago) and my husband got it from the military as part of their standard set.

--Mel

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by theCrowsWife:
I'm not sure if the adult booster is available to all yet

Yes. As of about 12-18 months ago, IIRC.
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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think this is an easy issue to scare people with because autism rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and people need something easy to blame, and they need something easy to do to thwart it.

Since "autism rates" depend on how many people get diagnosed, and not so much on how many people actually have an autism-spectrum disorder, I'm not sure if it's fair to say that autism rates have skyrocketed.

Autism diagnoses have gone up, though.

On the radio this morning I heard a psychologist mentioning some things that seem to increase risk. One of them was premature birth. So as we get better at saving premature babies from dying, we might see a higher incidence of autism-spectrum disorders (which would contribute to the higher rate of diagnosis).

However, he also mentioned that over-diagnosis seems to be a problem, and a lot of the numbers people react to (or the anecdotes they hear) don't distinguish much between different ranges on the spectrum.

I'm glad that I'm hearing less lately from the anti-vaccination crowd. I hope the misinformation is starting to lose its steam.

I should clarify. I was referring to the constant deluge of news reports we get all the time that autism rates are rising. There was just one two days ago that cases are something like 1 in 88 now.

Premature births have also been on a steady rise for years, not just our ability to keep them alive, but actual premature births.

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Synesthesia
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I got diagnosed with Asperger's last year.
I do not believe vaccines contribute to it. The thing is, all medicines have a risk, but these diseases have KILLED people. At one time children would die of things like measles. Vaccines are useful and save lives.

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BlackBlade
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quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think this is an easy issue to scare people with because autism rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and people need something easy to blame, and they need something easy to do to thwart it.

Since "autism rates" depend on how many people get diagnosed, and not so much on how many people actually have an autism-spectrum disorder, I'm not sure if it's fair to say that autism rates have skyrocketed.

Autism diagnoses have gone up, though.

On the radio this morning I heard a psychologist mentioning some things that seem to increase risk. One of them was premature birth. So as we get better at saving premature babies from dying, we might see a higher incidence of autism-spectrum disorders (which would contribute to the higher rate of diagnosis).

However, he also mentioned that over-diagnosis seems to be a problem, and a lot of the numbers people react to (or the anecdotes they hear) don't distinguish much between different ranges on the spectrum.

I'm glad that I'm hearing less lately from the anti-vaccination crowd. I hope the misinformation is starting to lose its steam.

I should clarify. I was referring to the constant deluge of news reports we get all the time that autism rates are rising.
Ammunition for my main man Lyrhawn.
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scholarette
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Honestly, there are risks in vaccine. They are lower and generally less "bad" than the disease, but they exist. In an ideal for my child world, every other child would be vaccinated and with 99.999% vaccination rate, herd immunity would protect my child and I would get to take zero risk. However, that is not possible and so we immunize. One person cheats, great reward for that person. Everyone cheats, village dies. Complicating this, there are some people for whom immunizations don't work (my father in law has been immunized repeatedly for hep A and it just won't take) or the risk for complication is higher (a variety of diseases) or they are too young or immunity has worn off with age. So, if we had a 100% immunization rate, we still wouldn't have 100% immunity. So, as a society, we need to keep the herd immunity protection for the cases were vaccinations don't work. Which all leads to the idea that those who don't vaccinate should be driven from society in order to protect society as a whole. They are "cheating" and it cannot be allowed. I know this is discussed in game theory but I don't remember what the proper name is- I seem to recall something about a hunter who is lazy and that is ok, but when everyone is lazy that leads to village starving.
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Kwea
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I wrote a post about this past night, and it got lost. So I refreshed, and found that Hatrack had already taken care of it for me.

GO TEAM HATRACK!

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Lyrhawn
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quote:
Originally posted by BlackBlade:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
quote:
Originally posted by scifibum:
quote:
Originally posted by Lyrhawn:
I think this is an easy issue to scare people with because autism rates have skyrocketed in recent years, and people need something easy to blame, and they need something easy to do to thwart it.

Since "autism rates" depend on how many people get diagnosed, and not so much on how many people actually have an autism-spectrum disorder, I'm not sure if it's fair to say that autism rates have skyrocketed.

Autism diagnoses have gone up, though.

On the radio this morning I heard a psychologist mentioning some things that seem to increase risk. One of them was premature birth. So as we get better at saving premature babies from dying, we might see a higher incidence of autism-spectrum disorders (which would contribute to the higher rate of diagnosis).

However, he also mentioned that over-diagnosis seems to be a problem, and a lot of the numbers people react to (or the anecdotes they hear) don't distinguish much between different ranges on the spectrum.

I'm glad that I'm hearing less lately from the anti-vaccination crowd. I hope the misinformation is starting to lose its steam.

I should clarify. I was referring to the constant deluge of news reports we get all the time that autism rates are rising.
Ammunition for my main man Lyrhawn.
And another

Though this one is a bit more measured.

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scholarette
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There is an article in Scientific American about polio vaccines around the world and the ethical problem with them. Because they use a live vaccine and include 3 variants of polio, there is an argument that they do more harm than good. Strain 2 has not been detected except for the vaccine (sometimes the weak form becomes active). It looks like they are working on phasing that one out and instead using a vaccine with just 1 and 3 but they need to set it up right. So, if you are in a third world country, we can debate whether or not you should get the live polio vaccine.
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taibreamh
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My policy is to read about all possible side effects of the vaccines. Then read about all symptoms of the diseases that these vaccines are preventing. Vaccinating my kids wins hands down. Reading about tetanus gives me nightmares. Eurgh.
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odouls268
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If this forum had a "rep" function, I would absolutely rep some of the replies in this thread.
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Lyrhawn
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And another article.

I'm starting to think that it's just CNN that's pushing it.

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Samprimary
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quote:
Originally posted by Kwea:
I wrote a post about this past night, and it got lost. So I refreshed, and found that Hatrack had already taken care of it for me.

GO TEAM HATRACK!

One thing this forum's community has (thankfully) never dabbled in is anti-vax insanity. There was that one fly-by-night poster, named spambuster or something. That's it.
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Stone_Wolf_
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My father in law decided to not get a flu shot when h1n1 first hit...God knows why, as he had a weakened immune system due to childhood cancer. He ended up in the ICU for 4 months and a stroke from a blood clot that was iv related and then passed away shortly there after of stomach cancer...not sure if that last was related to not getting vaccinated or not, but I'm sure the ICU extended stay didn't help any.
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I Used to Be a Drummer
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quote:
Originally posted by scholarette:
Honestly, there are risks in vaccine. They are lower and generally less "bad" than the disease, but they exist. In an ideal for my child world, every other child would be vaccinated and with 99.999% vaccination rate, herd immunity would protect my child and I would get to take zero risk. However, that is not possible and so we immunize. One person cheats, great reward for that person. Everyone cheats, village dies.

Excellent points. Pretty well-said, too.

The reason we actually STARTED vaccinating in the first place is because it WORKS when it's done right. It's not just a scam by big Pharma. It started well before WWII, after which Big Pharma really started having too much power/money.

I do have a lot of friends who are into alternative health. Some of them are anti-vaccine. They're wrong, IMHO, but I UNDERSTAND why they are suspicious. They don't trust Big Pharma entirely, and neither do I. Rushing drugs to market and hiding negative studies do NOT inspire trust.

Childhood vaccines have relatively little to do with Big Pharma, though. They have been around since before Big Pharma was big. They're no greed-based conspiracy.

I do like to make sure a particular vaccine is proven before I'll take it, though. I refused to allow my daughter to be vaccinated against chicken pox, back in the late 90s, and that vaccine was actually taken off the market later, due to safety issues. Smart dad is smart. ROFL

I also don't take the flu vaccine. The studies I've seen on its efficacy aren't particularly encouraging, and I'm healthy anyway. I can survive the flu.

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by I Used to Be a Drummer:
I refused to allow my daughter to be vaccinated against chicken pox, back in the late 90s, and that vaccine was actually taken off the market later, due to safety issues.

Funny. The same vaccine is still in use. And that would be the time period that all three of my kids received varicella vaccinations, so I would have had to be notified if there was a problem.

Back-patting-dad must have really long arms.

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Rakeesh
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And a peculiar memory, no less. Surely a different chicken pox vaccine is what was meant?
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I Used to Be a Drummer
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quote:
Originally posted by rivka:
Funny. The same vaccine is still in use. And that would be the time period that all three of my kids received varicella vaccinations, so I would have had to be notified if there was a problem.

Back-patting-dad must have really long arms.

The vaccination I was offered for her was indeed taken off the market,, re-formulated, and brought back. I remember it. There was a big to-do about it in the news. ("Big" is relative. I was really
focused on this sort of thing back then, since I was having to make these kinds of decisions, and I took the decision-making process fairly seriously.)

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CaySedai
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Benjamin Franklin lost a son to smallpox and he became an advocate of inoculation.

As far as the whooping cough incident I related, yeah it's possible that the people involved had been vaccinated but the vaccinations had expired. However, a year or so ago, I had to get a tetanus shot and it was the whole DTP shot, not just tetanus. So if you get a tetanus booster every 10 years, as recommended, you can get the whole thing at once.

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rivka
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Yes, but that has only been true for the last couple years or so. When I had a tetanus booster ~11 years ago, it was just tetanus.
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CT
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IUTBAD, I wonder if you are thinking about the rotavirus vaccination (against a virus that causes about a week of diarrhea). That was the only US one pulled in the last decade, IIRC.

It was pulled because of concerns about a link with intussussception which, on review of the evidence, turned out to be unfounded concerns. However, new formulations were already in the works, so it was re-released in revamped form. But there wasn't really a problem with the original after all.

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I Used to Be a Drummer
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quote:
Originally posted by CT:
IUTBAD, I wonder if you are thinking about the rotavirus vaccination (against a virus that causes about a week of diarrhea). That was the only US one pulled in the last decade, IIRC.

It was pulled because of concerns about a link with intussussception which, on review of the evidence, turned out to be unfounded concerns. However, new formulations were already in the works, so it was re-released in revamped form. But there wasn't really a problem with the original after all.

No, IIRC, the time frame would have been '99 or 2000, and I specifically remember it was the chicken pox vaccine. It was reformulated and re-released. I don't remember if it was a switch from live to dead virus, or what.
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Dan_Frank
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Can't find any record of a varicella vaccine recall in 1999 or 2000.
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I Used to Be a Drummer
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Well, you weren't working in a pediatrician's office around that time, were you? I don't think Big Pharma would exactly trumpet it around. I remember it making the news, IIRC.
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Dan_Frank
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I'm probably going to regret asking this, but... you know that "Big Pharma" doesn't control the news, right?

Recalls aren't hidden from the public. Heck, that would sort of make it hard to recall anything in the first place, neh?

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rivka
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quote:
Originally posted by I Used to Be a Drummer:
Well, you weren't working in a pediatrician's office around that time, were you?

CT was, though.

And all vaccine recalls are stored in databases. Or do you think "big pharma" controls those too?

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I Used to Be a Drummer
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quote:
Originally posted by Dan_Frank:
I'm probably going to regret asking this, but... you know that "Big Pharma" doesn't control the news, right?

Recalls aren't hidden from the public. Heck, that would sort of make it hard to recall anything in the first place, neh?

You trust Big Pharma not to put quiet pressure on news outlets?

Fox. Henhouse. Guarding. Bad bad bad.

And they, of course, pay people to edit Wikipedia. You know it.

I don't trust them farther than I can throw them. They've been caught hiding negative study results many times.

They have no credibility. Remember Accutane? Fen-phen? The newer the drug, the less I trust it.

But this is all distracting from the fact that nobody here was a nurse/doctor in pediatrics at that time. I don't even entirely trust my memory on this, either, so until such a person shows up, the question has to remain open, at least for me.

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I Used to Be a Drummer
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quote:
Originally posted by CT:
IUTBAD, I wonder if you are thinking about the rotavirus vaccination (against a virus that causes about a week of diarrhea). That was the only US one pulled in the last decade, IIRC.

It was pulled because of concerns about a link with intussussception which, on review of the evidence, turned out to be unfounded concerns. However, new formulations were already in the works, so it was re-released in revamped form. But there wasn't really a problem with the original after all.

So you were, in fact, giving/prescribing vaccines to infants in the late 90s and early 2000s? Or is rivka making claims she can't substantiate? [Smile]
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rivka
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[Roll Eyes]

CT is certainly a pediatrician. I can't swear to what years, precisely, she has practiced medicine.

And to be clear, I don't think every new drug is something everyone should use. I have grave concerns about fen-phen's new cousin Qnexa, for example. But it's a big leap from that to conspiracy theories and "big pharma" boogeymen.

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