Tuesday, 21 May 2013

Vaccinating our children – yes and no

Vaccinating our children – yes and no 

A new law is on the point of being passed in Australia  - that Childcare Centres will have the right to exclude  children who are not vaccinated.  The Anti-discrimination Act is likely to be modified in order to pass it.  I am against these vaccine laws.  I do not believe this sort of a parental decision is a matter for legislation.

Should we have our children vaccinated? 

 This is the question people are always being asked without the questioner stopping to define his terms. Do they mean the standard mumps, measles, polio?  Or do they mean every single vaccine that has ever been developed?

Measles, Mumps, Chicken Pox, Polio.

I am strongly in favour of making these a routine part of childhood. They are all serious illnesses – I was quite shocked when my own children had Chicken Pox to see just how sick they were.  (Before the vaccine was available.)  It can even be regard as selfish not to have your children immunised.  

All the same, it should not be compulsory, and it is not a matter for legislation.

New Vaccines against diseases that are either rare, or to which your child is most unlikely to be exposed.

 Vaccinations have been so wonderfully effective in the past, that the Medical Profession has become a little carried away. To vaccinate against one particular form of Cervical Cancer?  It is a rare thing. Make up your own mind.

To vaccinate a baby against Hepatitis?  No.  A baby is too precious to put him at any risk without good reason. In later childhood, especially if a parent suspects he is indulging in risky behaviour (or they are)  then it is probably a very good idea. But no baby properly cared for, should be at risk of Hepatitis.

The flu vaccine -  a new one every year.

I do not agree that children should have the flu vaccine. That is because with just one year to develop a new vaccine for the latest flu strain, they cannot possibly be properly tested before immunising thousands or hundreds of thousands of children. There have been very serious side-effects, including some left with permanent brain damage.

I do not agree that pregnant women should have the flu vaccine. Have they forgotten the tragedy of Thalidomide? Certainly those around them can have the vaccine in order to protect the pregnant one, but the woman herself can best protect herself by staying away from crowds, and especially, steer clear of people who are coughing and sneezing. 

Should all old people have the flu vaccine?  The medical profession recommend it. An acquaintance of my husband found himself confused and then collapsed after he had his injection.  His doctor blithely told him that it was ‘quite common.’

Like pregnant women, old people can try and protect themselves by staying away from crowds, and avoiding people who are coughing and sneezing. At least, if an old person suffers a problem because of an inadequately tested vaccine, there is not an innocent little one that is affected.

Why are so many parents refusing to vaccinate their children against serious disease?

The medical profession seem to very much resent people thinking for themselves. I am a believer in people thinking for themselves. And maybe the medical profession should consider that a factor in some parents’ reluctance to vaccinate their children is that they have become over-enthusiastic about it – too many vaccines in combination, multiplying the risk of side-effects, (usually still small)  and too many vaccines against diseases that are rare or that the child will not be exposed to.

My  own stand
 – Yes for the main vaccines – definitely.

-  No for the flu vaccine – but make up your own mind

And the others?  Think and then decide. Do not give too much weight to those who tell you a healthy diet will make your child immune from disease. It never has in the past, and it will not in the future.

From the BigPond News page,  Wednesday, May 22, 2013 » 06:32am
Vaccine laws to allow for exemptions

The New South Wales government says children who haven't had their vaccinations because of genuine medical or religious reasons won't be banned from childcare centres.

State Health Minister Jillian Skinner has flagged the new legislation in parliament to allow for special consideration in cases of medical reasons and genuine religious beliefs.

The move comes as Opposition Leader John Robertson is flagging amendments to the public health act, giving early childhood centres the right to refuse children places if they haven't had their shots.

Premier Barry O'Farrell has said he's prepared to make changes to the state's anti-discrimination laws to empower childcare centres to refuse children who haven't been vaccinated.

One more thing - how do you avoid the spread of flu?

1.  Yourself.  Stay away from crowds. Especially stay away from people who are coughing and sneezing.

2. To protect other people:  If you are the one coughing and sneezing, do not go to work, do not 'soldier on,'  and make quite sure to do your uttermost to KEEP THE GERMS TO YOURSELF!

3. Are you an employer?  Do not make an employee feel guilty about 'taking a sickie.' Regardless of what you think, nearly every 'sickie' is taken because someone is sick.  It is quite normal to have five or six days in a year in which an individual is too sick to work. And if you see one of your employees busy spreading germs and trying to do this silly  'soldier on' business, send them home. You will gain by not having five other employees with the same illness the following week, and maybe another ten the week after. Productivity is not lost because an employee stays home when he has the flu - it is lost when you're stupid enough to insist that he comes to work and spreads his disease, resulting in a lot more absentees.

A comment made much later, (May, 2018

After a penetrating injury to the foot, I thought I needed a Tetanus vaccination. It happened that I could only get it in combination with Pertussis (whooping cough.)   So that sounded okay. 
Eight days later, I started to get out of bed and found I could not.  Acute dizziness and nausea. I would have thought it was serious, maybe a stroke, only that a re-reading of the possible side-effects mentioned dizziness. 

I was two days bedridden, and felt the after-effects for months.

I notified the doctor, who said that he would pass it on to the authorities.  There never was a follow-up. They would never have known if I had died from that damned injection. 

The vaccine's brand name is Boostrix, and it is a combination of Tetanus, Pertussis and Diptheria.  (Why Diptheria?  No-one gets Diptheria these days.)
This is a common vaccine recommended for everyone, especially including pregnant women and children.  This experience has made me far more dubious about the benefits of vaccinations than I ever have been.  And giving it to pregnant women!  I wish that the medical profession would not give any medication to pregnant women without extremely good reason.


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  1. Oh what a knotty issue. I can only speak personally of course. First of all yes, vaccination has been a wonderful thing in many cases - smallpox for example. HOWEVER, I have an uncle who was vaccine damaged as a child, almost lost his life and was left changed, a life long sufferer of epilepsy and, although he has led a full and valuable life, never really accomplished what he may have done had the school taken notice of his father's wish and not vaccinated him. With this in mind I had to decide about my own children. With my first child I was encouraged!! to toe the line and so she had the basic children's vaccines. My son had the first and was very ill and so when I took him back I told the doctor "I'm not sure what to do." His response "Well, I haven't got all day - make your mind up." My son didn't have the vaccine and did get mumps and measles which tore me apart but he recovered and he is a wonderful adult. The flue vaccine - my hubby has asthma and so every year they nag at him to have it and the one time that he had it he was so ill that he might just as well have had flu - you can see where this is going. I totally agree, if you have flu stay at home, look after yourself and be kind to your work mates and the general public. Vaccines make millions of pounds for the pharmaceutical companies and unfortunately that is a driving force. Vaccination - yes in some cases, for all children, all old people, all pregnant women - no thank you

  2. In the U.S., there is legislation about vaccinations. Daycare centers can exclude children for not having been vaccinated, but there's a specific list of vaccinations, not every single one. I'm a bit nervous about brand new vaccines. There was one vaccine that was given to my son, but when I asked about it six years later when my daughter was born, I was told it was no longer available because of problems it caused. So, yes. I'm a bit cautious. CDC policy favors putting the needs of the public as a whole ahead of the individual, but I think each family has to be comfortable with the decision they make for their own health.

  3. Thank you Diane and Tricia for your informative and valuable comments. Marj.

  4. Tricia, I'm wondering what that vaccine was that was withdrawn from sale? It does rather indicate that drugs can be rushed to market more quickly than prudent.

  5. I've been reading through your blog posts and enjoying your practical, down-to-earth view of various subjects. The article about the football players and racism was particularly good.

    When my kids were little we got them vaccinated as infants and small children. Both of them developed ear infections that were hard to control or stop. My son had already had a lot of health issues, so I thought it was more of the same, but with my daughter--the change from before the vaccines to after, particularly with her 3 yr. old shots, was profound. She had been a very healthy happy baby, and now, she was non-stop holy terror on a rampage, and as we eventually found out, in severe pain from the ear infections.

    It took us years to find a way to successfully begin to address the damage this did to her health.

    Around the time we finally found someone who could help us with her health concerns, I also learned about some of the ingredients in vaccines that seriously concerned me. Formaldehyde and mercury are bad for grownups, even in trace amounts, and for children whose immune systems are still developing, they can cause truly severe reactions.

    I also learned that some vaccines were being grown in aborted fetal (duplo tissue). This was a huge problem for me as a Christian. I felt that by having my children vaccinated, I was culpable in the deaths of these precious children, whose lives had been so brutally thrown away.

    Anyway, this is one of the big reasons why I am very careful now, and tell our health practitioners that we will not have my daughter vaccinated further.

  6. Vaccines being grown in aborted fetal tissue - I don't think that would be only a concern for Christians. It sounds revolting. Some of the anti-vaccination sources are not to be trusted, of course. I wonder - hope - that that particular part is wrong.

    The law I referred to was passed. I do not think it is right. Parents should have the say on these issues, not the medical fraternity, who so often seem to be drug-happy, and not the government.

  7. I think you're being misled over the use of aborted foetal cells in vaccine production. Flu virus used to be produced in chicken eggs, which was slow and bad for people allergic to eggs, so they now grow the virus in cell culture, using canine kidney cells. This is just to produce the virus - the animal cells aren't in the vaccine
    I used to do virus culture when I worked at the lab. Viruses need cells to grow in and some of the most useful cell lines were originally derived from cancers. It was hard work keeping the cells going and stopping them getting contaminated with bacteria, then we'd stick the samples into the system, watch our cells slowly die and try to work out what virus was killing them. Sometimes that was obvious - herpes makes cells round up and look like bunches of grapes, and polio just explodes them. One of the cell lines we used came from human amnion - we'd get our maternity unit to collect the membranes from around a baby delivered by C-section, then we'd separate the amnion and process it to make our cell cultures, not from aborted foetuses but from the by-products of successful deliveries.
    You might guess that as an ex-microbiologist I'm pro-vaccination. We didn't have vaccines against measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox when I was a child, so I got most of them and can remember how miserable they were. To keep herd immunity up we need to vaccinate >90% of kids (95% for measles) so we can't afford to let too many people slip through the net.