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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I remember there was a discussion of Gardasil and other vaccines recently. It seems that more and more parents (mostly middle class and above) are choosing not to vaccinate. The always interesting Liza Featherstone has a good article about it here:

http://babble.com/content/articles/features/dispatches/featherstone/shotdown/index.aspx

It's more about the social and belief side of things than the science. Which is what I thought was useful about it--getting a sense of how people feel about the role of medicine in their lives and the lives of their children.
 

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That's really interesting. I took a Medical Sociology class last semester in which we talked A LOT about infant vaccinations. My professor was pretty extreme about hating them, so I took what he said with a grain of salt.

BUT- he made a lot of good points. Had tons of good information to back up lots of his views. He also did a great job of undermining our faith in the CDC and pharmaceutical companies.

I'm not saying I'll not vaccinate my kids, but I'll sure as heck do more research before I do!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
LarrytheLabs Mom said:
That's really interesting. I took a Medical Sociology class last semester in which we talked A LOT about infant vaccinations. My professor was pretty extreme about hating them, so I took what he said with a grain of salt.
Liza has impressive anticorporate credentials. (She wrote the book, literally, about activism around Walmart.) But her point here is that people are tending NOT to vaccinate based on their beliefs about what is safest for their kids without looking at the whole ecology of vaccination. When you get pockets of unvaccinated kids, you are beginning to get things like whooping cough outbreaks. So it's certainly a complicated question, not one that she pretends (or I would pretend) to have the answer to.

Frankly, my bottom line is that I'm glad I didn't have to contend with whooping cough, rubella, measles, polio, smallpox, etc., as a kid, because I was weak and sickly and surely would not have won the survival of the fittest contest.
 

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theoconbrio said:
LarrytheLabs Mom said:
That's really interesting. I took a Medical Sociology class last semester in which we talked A LOT about infant vaccinations. My professor was pretty extreme about hating them, so I took what he said with a grain of salt.
Liza has impressive anticorporate credentials. (She wrote the book, literally, about activism around Walmart.) But her point here is that people are tending NOT to vaccinate based on their beliefs about what is safest for their kids without looking at the whole ecology of vaccination. When you get pockets of unvaccinated kids, you are beginning to get things like whooping cough outbreaks. So it's certainly a complicated question, not one that she pretends (or I would pretend) to have the answer to.
Oh I know. It's definitely a tough situation/question. There are a whooole lot of "ifs" in the equation, seems to me. I'll be interested to see what the norm is 5 or 10 years from now.
 

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Interesting article. I find the whole holistic, vaccination, alternative treatments thing really interesting.

It's getting increasingly difficult for people like us (non-medical/research people) to separate rantings from legitimate concerns. People have a way of citing just enough stuff to make a totally wrong argument look at least plausible. Unless you dabble in research or have a Ph.D it can really get confusing.

You can take a few facts here, a few facts there and spin a story that is completely false...or at least paint a picture ripe with exaggeration. The whole vaccination debate is a perfect example. Some how concerns with over-vaccination got construed as meaning there should be no vaccinations.
 

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Just to clear, I'm not implying that anyone that takes a holistic approach to medicine believes in junk science. I just think there is a wing that can really exaggerate and come up with some "great" theories on things.
 

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Jo agrees: "We intuited that it would be traumatic for him."
That made me laugh! :D

I guess I can see both sides, but if I had kids, you know I would be one of those anti-vaccine mommies. ;) I titer the dogs!

I see the point about vaccinations being pointless unless most people do them.

OTOH, why should we vaccinate against polio if it's gone?

I'm not a doctor, but my gut (I know, sounds familiar) tells me that anything that screws with your immune system should be considered very carefully, and the benefits and risks weighed before making a decision.

And I do not trust pharmaceutical companies. :mad:
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Nick said:
People have a way of citing just enough stuff to make a totally wrong argument look at least plausible. Unless you dabble in research or have a Ph.D it can really get confusing.

You can take a few facts here, a few facts there and spin a story that is completely false...or at least paint a picture ripe with exaggeration.
Agree 100%. I'm not dumb, but I don't have a science background, so I find it very, very daunting to try to figure this stuff out. Where it gets frustrating is where people take a little bit of information and then become highly attached to the story they spin around it. This is when we get into "denialism" terrain, which is one of my big hobbyhorses.

http://www.denialism.com/2007/03/what-is-denialism.html

ETA: Also agree with your caveat. I believe that Western medicine doesn't have all the answers. And I believe that the pharmaceutical lobby has way too much power. And I believe that we've missed the boat by not understanding the role of the mind and immune system better. But I don't believe that there is a conspiracy out there to keep us sick and beholden to the drug companies, nor do I believe that there is this vast epidemic of vaccine-caused illnesses out there that have never been recorded by the CDC.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
AngusFangus said:
OTOH, why should we vaccinate against polio if it's gone?
Because we live in a global world. Smallpox is supposedly gone, too. But is it? Do you want to risk it? As someone once perceptively said, in the battle of man vs. nature, nature always has the last word.
 

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Here is an interesting excerpt of my notes from last semester. Take it how you will:


"Another characteristic of the Amish is that they under-utilize their medical doctors. They usually only go to the doctor for acute needs, and tend not to be vaccinated. Interestingly, there are only about two hundred cases of autism for every one hundred thousand Amish people. There are no cases of autism in Amish children who did not receive vaccines.

Diseases, such as measles, that crop up in the population are usually mild. This usually occurs among those who are vaccinated, and at a young age, if at all."
 

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AngusFangus said:
Jo agrees: "We intuited that it would be traumatic for him."
That made me laugh! :D

I guess I can see both sides, but if I had kids, you know I would be one of those anti-vaccine mommies. ;) I titer the dogs!

I see the point about vaccinations being pointless unless most people do them.

OTOH, why should we vaccinate against polio if it's gone?

I'm not a doctor, but my gut (I know, sounds familiar) tells me that anything that screws with your immune system should be considered very carefully, and the benefits and risks weighed before making a decision.

And I do not trust pharmaceutical companies. :mad:
Connie - Polio is not gone and is rampant in Africa and Asia. Do you know there are 36,000 deaths each year in the US from influenza - adults and children. Do you know that measles can kill and does? The reason you think polio is gone is because those at the CDC, state and local health departments worked hard to raise vaccination rates, not only for polio but for all childhood diseases.

Whom would you like to make the medicines you take either daily or occasionally if not the pharma companies? WalMart? Exxon? Sherwin Williams? Pharma does make a lot of money but they spend alot in research as well. People would be in pretty bad shape without the drugs that we have today.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
LarrytheLabs Mom said:
"Another characteristic of the Amish is that they under-utilize their medical doctors. They usually only go to the doctor for acute needs, and tend not to be vaccinated. Interestingly, there are only about two hundred cases of autism for every one hundred thousand Amish people. There are no cases of autism in Amish children who did not receive vaccines.

Diseases, such as measles, that crop up in the population are usually mild. This usually occurs among those who are vaccinated, and at a young age, if at all."
Is this true? What's the evidence? First of all, the Amish are genetically homogeneous and highly isolated, so if you wanted to use them as an example of anything, it would be how their genetics predispose them to fewer incidences of autism. I would think that the vaccination thing would be *at best* a secondary correlation.

Also note that the Amish do not live in cities where diseases are most likely to spread quickly, and they don't travel to far-flung places where they can pick up exotic diseases. So needless to say I find the "Amish anomaly" hypothesis to be pretty weak.
 

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LarrytheLabs Mom said:
Here is an interesting excerpt of my notes from last semester. Take it how you will:


"Another characteristic of the Amish is that they under-utilize their medical doctors. They usually only go to the doctor for acute needs, and tend not to be vaccinated. Interestingly, there are only about two hundred cases of autism for every one hundred thousand Amish people. There are no cases of autism in Amish children who did not receive vaccines.

Diseases, such as measles, that crop up in the population are usually mild. This usually occurs among those who are vaccinated, and at a young age, if at all."
Nonsense. Measles occurs in those who are not vaccinated or are undervaccinated and it is a very serious disease. FYI, with outbreaks, the Amish are happy to get their kids vaccinated. Also, you are trying to prove the negative about autism and vaccines. Autism has no connection to vaccines - a common mistake uninformed people make all the time.
 

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She mentions vaccinating newborns- We don't do that here in Canada. :) My dd was born in the US and got all her vaccines the night she was born. They did it without asking me. My son was born in Canada and didn't get his first needle until he was over 2months old.

We're one of those families that delays vaccines and also I do them one at a time now. My dd had a terrible reaction to her 4-6yr booster. IT was delayed, as well, but she still had the reaction. We're just more cautious now, that's all. And they only get the required ones. No elective ones. But my good friend, otoh, vaccinates her sons to the max. As soon as a new vaccine comes out, her boys have it. So who knows who is actually doing it right. lol
 

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theoconbrio said:
Is this true? What's the evidence? First of all, the Amish are genetically homogeneous and highly isolated, so if you wanted to use them as an example of anything, it would be how their genetics predispose them to fewer incidences of autism. I would think that the vaccination thing would be *at best* a secondary correlation.

Also note that the Amish do not live in cities where diseases are most likely to spread quickly, and they don't travel to far-flung places where they can pick up exotic diseases. So needless to say I find the "Amish anomaly" hypothesis to be pretty weak.
And these are exactly the issues and questions he did NOT address!


Mirabella said:
Nonsense. Measles occurs in those who are not vaccinated or are undervaccinated and it is a very serious disease. FYI, with outbreaks, the Amish are happy to get their kids vaccinated. Also, you are trying to prove the negative about autism and vaccines. Autism has no connection to vaccines - a common mistake uninformed people make all the time.
Hang on- I'M not proving anything. I don't have the knowledge to even pretend to do that. I'm only quoting lecture notes given to me in a class last semester to demonstrate another view of the argument.

As I said above, I'm not sure how much of it I believe. But I'm not trying to prove anything. Just pointing out ideas for discussion. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Mirabella said:
Whom would you like to make the medicines you take either daily or occasionally if not the pharma companies? WalMart? Exxon? Sherwin Williams? Pharma does make a lot of money but they spend alot in research as well. People would be in pretty bad shape without the drugs that we have today.
Well, yes, but their lousy reputation is well deserved, so you cannot blame ordinary consumers for distrusting them. If ever there was an industry that deserved all the regulation it gets, and then some, it is Big Pharma. Industry lobbyists love to throw out the "oh, our drugs have to be ridiculously expensive because we do so much R&D," but as in all politicial statements, that's taking a grain of truth and blowing it out of proportion. Marcia Angell at Harvard Med School (former editor of the NEJM) has written about this very persuasively in a series of articles for the NY Review of Books over the past three years or so. See for example http://www.nybooks.com/articles/17244
 

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Both of my kids were vaccinated. They didn't get their first shots until after 2 months. If I can prevent them from getting sick, I will do everything I can to do it. Brandon was also a preemie, with apnea and bradycardia, so his immune system wasn't the greatest. He also got synagis monthly to prevent him from getting RSV. I know for a fact that our pedi has saved both of our children's lives, so I take his advice to heart. If he recommends a vax, I'll do it. He doesn't get carried away though - like both the boys are extremely healthy, so when flu vaccines were at a shortage, he didn't recommend them getting flu shots since they almost never get sick. He could have given them, taken the money from the insurance company, but he didn't. He recommends holistic methods when appropriate (he tries to do this because he doesn't want kids to become immune to antibiotics), but sometimes, meds are needed too. :)
 

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gailatmsu said:
Both of my kids were vaccinated. They didn't get their first shots until after 2 months. If I can prevent them from getting sick, I will do everything I can to do it. Brandon was also a preemie, with apnea and bradycardia, so his immune system wasn't the greatest. He also got synagis monthly to prevent him from getting RSV. I know for a fact that our pedi has saved both of our children's lives, so I take his advice to heart. If he recommends a vax, I'll do it. He doesn't get carried away though - like both the boys are extremely healthy, so when flu vaccines were at a shortage, he didn't recommend them getting flu shots since they almost never get sick. He could have given them, taken the money from the insurance company, but he didn't. He recommends holistic methods when appropriate (he tries to do this because he doesn't want kids to become immune to antibiotics), but sometimes, meds are needed too. :)

You're very lucky to have such a great, trustworthy pediatrician. I bet that's a huge relief to you and your husband!
 

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LarrytheLabs Mom said:
gailatmsu said:
Both of my kids were vaccinated. They didn't get their first shots until after 2 months. If I can prevent them from getting sick, I will do everything I can to do it. Brandon was also a preemie, with apnea and bradycardia, so his immune system wasn't the greatest. He also got synagis monthly to prevent him from getting RSV. I know for a fact that our pedi has saved both of our children's lives, so I take his advice to heart. If he recommends a vax, I'll do it. He doesn't get carried away though - like both the boys are extremely healthy, so when flu vaccines were at a shortage, he didn't recommend them getting flu shots since they almost never get sick. He could have given them, taken the money from the insurance company, but he didn't. He recommends holistic methods when appropriate (he tries to do this because he doesn't want kids to become immune to antibiotics), but sometimes, meds are needed too. :)

You're very lucky to have such a great, trustworthy pediatrician. I bet that's a huge relief to you and your husband!

I know. We absolutely love him! I wish we could have him for our regular doctor too! lol
 
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