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Fri Feb 6, 2015, 08:33 PM

We got a letter from the government telling us our daughter should be vaccinated-we refused

Last edited Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:35 PM - Edit history (1)

The fast moving outbreak of vaccine hysteria has swept the nation. The debate has been disappointing, as most debates about controversial public policies are in the USA. When to vaccinate or not is a much more complicated issue than the partisans on each side will consider. I will give you my conclusion up-front. People should have the right to decide for themselves and their dependents if and when to vaccinate.

The story is this; Back in the mid-90s, I live in Sweden, where my daughter was born, to me (an American) and a native Swede. We received a letter from the public health authorities tell us our daughter should be vaccinated against Tuberculosis. TB vaccination is not standard for children in Sweden, but because one of her parents was an ‘immigrant’ we were called in for this vaccination.
The TB vaccine is not benign, it leaves a permeant scar. My other concern was that we were planning to move to the USA and I remembered having skin tests for TB in school every year when I was a child. If you have been vaccinated you will hit positive on a skin test. The risk for my daughter of contracting TB was very small and most strains of TB can be easily and effectively treated. The nurse who we had to talk to was not happy that we were refusing the vaccine, but relented in the face of our opposition.

I am not anti-vaccine, my daughter received all of the other ‘regular’ childhood vaccines and when she was a pre-teen she was vaccinated against HPV, a new, less universal, vaccine. But I still think I made the right decision about the TB vaccine, even though some of my concern was based on wrong information- I don’t think that TB skin tests are still done routinely in US schools.
All vaccines carry a risk of serious, possibly fatal, complications. The odds against a serious adverse reaction is very small. But everyone should be able to take their own chances. I will buy a Powerball lottery ticket today. The odds of my daughter (or myself) dying from a sudden adverse reaction to a vaccine is roughly 300 times greater than me winning Powerball. For me, the minuscule odds are worth $2, but for someone else, miniscule odds might not be worth risking their life.

Vaccinations and the sometimes less than scientific public policy about vaccinations is not universally positive. I am not talking about the fears surrounding autism and MMR. Let’s first look at Polio. Church Bells rang on April 12th 1955 when it was announced that a safe an effective vaccine had been developed for Polio. It is not possible for those of us who grew-up after 1955 to fully understand the joy people felt at conquering this horrible disease. The original Salk vaccine, or inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV) was soon superseded by the Sabin Oral polio vaccine (OPV), an attenuated vaccine. The OPV vaccine is more effective and much easier to administer and was widely used. Between 1962 and 1965 about 100 million Americans (roughly 56% of the population at that time) received the Sabin vaccine. The problem is that OPV, can in rare cases, cause vaccine-associated paralytic poliomyelitis (VAPP), basically, give you devastating polio. -1 case per 750,000 vaccine recipients. As of January 1, 2000, OPV was no longer recommended for routine immunization in the United States.

Rare cases of VAPP was not the only problem on the way to defeating Polio in the US. Early on in the mass vaccination campaign, defective vaccine from Cutter Biologicals caused 153 cases of paralysis and 11 deaths. Much later, it was discovered that from 1955 to 1963 a proportion of vaccine was contaminated with SV40 virus. It has been estimated that 10–30 million Americans may have received a dose of vaccine contaminated with SV40, but adverse health effects of the virus are not conclusive.

Equal disturbing is that public policy is not always dictated by firm science. The 1976 swine flu debacle was driven more by President Ford's re-election campaign than by sound public health policy. As a 13 year old middle school student, I convinced my parents to let me op-out of that mass vaccination program. The 1976 swine flu vaccine is thought to have possibly caused Guillain–Barré syndrome for 1 in 105,000 individuals. The dangers of the flu epidemic were greatly over estimated. A/New Jersey/1976 (H1N1) was detected only from January 19 to February 9 and did not spread beyond Fort Dix. Mass vaccination did not begin in the US until October 1st. 48,161,019 Americans, or just over 22% of the population, were vaccinated. Dick Cheney, who was Ford’s chief of staff at the time was a key driver behind the miss-guided policy. After 9-11, Cheney also advocated for mass vaccination against smallpox out of fear the pox would be used as a terrorist weapon. While it would have been foolish to vaccinate the whole population against smallpox in the absence of any credible threat, I was vaccinated against smallpox as a child, just one jab in the millions the wiped out the disease. I still have the scar.

Just to recap, from the last to the first; I am glad my daughter was not forced to be vaccinated against smallpox because of Cheney’s paranoid ‘war on terror’ manipulations. I am glad I was vaccinated, even though a have a permanent scar, as a part of the campaign that ridded the world of this disease. I am glad I opted out of the ill-conceived, politically motivated 1976 swine-flu vaccination program. I am glad I was vaccinated against Polio, even though I may have been exposed to SV40, as the disease is now virtually wipe-out in the US. I am glad we refused the TB vaccine, the call for which was based on general non-specific demographic profiling- not our actual individual circumstances.

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Reply We got a letter from the government telling us our daughter should be vaccinated-we refused (Original post)
KellyW Feb 2015 OP
Fred Sanders Feb 2015 #1
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #4
lame54 Feb 2015 #56
pnwmom Feb 2015 #40
alarimer Feb 2015 #87
pnwmom Feb 2015 #97
shenmue Feb 2015 #2
Fla Dem Feb 2015 #106
bananas Feb 2015 #3
LiberalElite Feb 2015 #5
KellyW Feb 2015 #11
pnwmom Feb 2015 #41
BubbaFett Feb 2015 #60
LiberalElite Feb 2015 #74
BubbaFett Feb 2015 #105
mzmolly Feb 2015 #94
Fla Dem Feb 2015 #107
onecaliberal Feb 2015 #6
Panich52 Feb 2015 #10
onecaliberal Feb 2015 #26
LisaL Feb 2015 #15
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #18
onecaliberal Feb 2015 #25
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #58
magical thyme Feb 2015 #69
RandySF Feb 2015 #27
mzmolly Feb 2015 #95
jeff47 Feb 2015 #7
KellyW Feb 2015 #8
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #20
eridani Feb 2015 #35
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #57
KitSileya Feb 2015 #47
KellyW Feb 2015 #99
magical thyme Feb 2015 #68
LisaL Feb 2015 #16
jeff47 Feb 2015 #80
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #17
jeff47 Feb 2015 #83
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #86
LisaL Feb 2015 #22
KellyW Feb 2015 #24
magical thyme Feb 2015 #53
jeff47 Feb 2015 #81
magical thyme Feb 2015 #88
magical thyme Feb 2015 #71
jeff47 Feb 2015 #82
magical thyme Feb 2015 #91
Downwinder Feb 2015 #9
Ilsa Feb 2015 #29
Panich52 Feb 2015 #12
KellyW Feb 2015 #19
Rosa Luxemburg Feb 2015 #13
magical thyme Feb 2015 #100
hunter Feb 2015 #14
Ino Feb 2015 #21
LisaL Feb 2015 #23
winter is coming Feb 2015 #31
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #59
Ino Feb 2015 #77
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #79
shanti Feb 2015 #90
RandySF Feb 2015 #28
Ilsa Feb 2015 #30
KellyW Feb 2015 #32
Name removed Feb 2015 #42
MattBaggins Feb 2015 #33
steve2470 Feb 2015 #34
LisaL Feb 2015 #37
KellyW Feb 2015 #39
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #65
rockodman Feb 2015 #36
uppityperson Feb 2015 #38
pnwmom Feb 2015 #43
AgingAmerican Feb 2015 #44
alp227 Feb 2015 #45
Jesus Malverde Feb 2015 #51
SunSeeker Feb 2015 #46
KellyW Feb 2015 #48
Ilsa Feb 2015 #50
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #61
KellyW Feb 2015 #67
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #84
SunSeeker Feb 2015 #76
ladyVet Feb 2015 #49
JimmydaRustler Feb 2015 #52
Katashi_itto Feb 2015 #54
shanti Feb 2015 #89
Katashi_itto Feb 2015 #98
Name removed Feb 2015 #101
WhiteTara Feb 2015 #55
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #62
WhiteTara Feb 2015 #63
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #64
WhiteTara Feb 2015 #66
KellyW Feb 2015 #72
magical thyme Feb 2015 #75
Ms. Toad Feb 2015 #78
dgibby Feb 2015 #104
Aristus Feb 2015 #70
TransitJohn Feb 2015 #73
KellyW Feb 2015 #92
alarimer Feb 2015 #85
NuclearDem Feb 2015 #93
Atman Feb 2015 #96
KellyW Feb 2015 #102
mountain grammy Feb 2015 #103
Marr Feb 2015 #108

Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 08:36 PM

1. YOU got a letter, not your children. YOU make the choice for them, it is not a WE event. UNREC.

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #1)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 08:49 PM

4. That's quite a reaction, based apparently misreading the subject line.

We got a letter from the government telling us our daughter should be vaccinated-we refused


I really don't see how a child could be her own parent (your interpretation).

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #4)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 08:40 AM

56. I bet "WE" were vaccinated

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Response to Fred Sanders (Reply #1)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:44 AM

40. Yes, it is a "we" event, involving 2 parents, who made the medical decision for their daughter. n/t

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Response to pnwmom (Reply #40)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:08 PM

87. And potentially putting lots of other people at risk.

I despise people like this. They are selfish. They are ignorant.

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Response to alarimer (Reply #87)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:56 PM

97. Did you get a TB vaccine? Did your children? Her family had no more need of the vaccine than you. nt

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 08:46 PM

2. ???

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Response to shenmue (Reply #2)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 11:02 AM

106. That was kind of my reaction too. nt

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 08:49 PM

3. k&r nt

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 08:51 PM

5. What else do you refuse -

considering "All vaccines carry a risk of serious, possibly fatal, complications." All conventional medicines have possible side effects and some of them are fatal, too.

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #5)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:11 PM

11. If you read the post, I told you what I refused

TB vaccine for my daughter, and the A/New Jersey/1976 (H1N1) for myself.

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:45 AM

41. I'm sure the poster makes considered, informed decisions on all other issues of health care,

based on her very thoughtful OP.

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 09:31 AM

60. so does waking up

 

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Response to BubbaFett (Reply #60)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 11:55 AM

74. That was my point -

Life leads to death.

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #74)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 10:46 AM

105. we weren't built to last

 

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #5)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:25 PM

94. What other medications are compulsory

and dictated, prior to illness?

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Response to LiberalElite (Reply #5)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 11:04 AM

107. Driving/riding in a car has a higher percentage of risk of death/injury, but I bet

they ride and drive.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 08:59 PM

6. You can decide for your kid all you want.

But your kid should then be isolated from society. Your decision affects kids that belong to other people, not just your own. Your so called decision could cause great bodily harm or death to other children. There are vulnerable children who cannot be vaccinate for legitimate reasons. Vaccines do not harm people, they protect people from needless senseless death from diseases those vaccines prevent.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:11 PM

10. Such an obvious conclusion, so often ignored...

Is inflated individualism & 'my kids, my decision' overpowering altruism? (Tho to me, when it cones to highly contageous diseases, it.s more common sense than altruism.)

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Response to Panich52 (Reply #10)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:32 PM

26. Agree. It's not a decision that affects only the individual or family.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:46 PM

15. TB vaccine is not given in US as a standard vaccine.

You'd have to isolate everybody from society if your basis was absence of a TB vaccine.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:50 PM

18. And when was your (and your kids if you have them) last TB vaccination?

Almost certainly never. So perhaps you should take your advice and isolate yourself and them from society.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #18)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:30 PM

25. Spare me your baseless assumption. Enjoy the dust bin.

Maybe you can share some hideous disease with the others there.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 09:26 AM

58. And your last TB vaccination was when? n/t

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #25)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 11:13 AM

69. TB is not a recommended or widely used evaccination in the US for good reasons

 

1. its efficacy rate is relatively poor, worse the further south you go
2. it interferes with the skin test results
3. the infection rate is extremely low in the US

The strategy in the US is to aggressively identify and treat active and latent infections, vaccinate only very high risk people, and monitor moderate risk people (eg health care workers in lower risk fields) with annual skin test.

http://www.democraticunderground.com/10026192616

I work in health care and am not vaccinated; we don't vaccinate in the hospital system where I work even though we are very far north. We skin test annually and the results are on our records.

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #6)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:38 PM

27. +1

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Response to onecaliberal (Reply #6)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:34 PM

95. "But your kid should then be isolated from society..." So should adults whose vaccines are no longer

Last edited Sat Feb 7, 2015, 02:47 PM - Edit history (1)

effective, by that logic.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 09:04 PM

7. Yes, the positive test would cause HUGE problems

because you couldn't do something like present records of her vaccination against TB.

When you decide to not get a vaccination, you are not deciding just for yourself. You are deciding for everyone else too.

Why do you get to decide to increase my child's risk of dying, yet you "have the right to decide for (your)elves and (your) dependents"?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 09:54 PM

8. Your comment prompted me to look at my own Swedish vaccination card

And even though I read Swedish, I can't make out some of the entries, they are hand written. I am disappointed in most of the respondents, who apparently didn’t bother to read the post. Which sort of proves my point, that a reasonable conversation about the subject is not possible. Are you vaccinated against TB? If you live in America, unless you are a health professional or a prison guard, probably not. Swedish children are not routinely vaccinated against TB, nor are American children, so I don’t see how refusing a TB vaccine for my daughter increases their risk.

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Response to KellyW (Reply #8)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:52 PM

20. +1

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Response to KellyW (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:06 AM

35. I got a TB vaccination when applying to be a substitute teacher in CA, circa 1971 n/t

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Response to eridani (Reply #35)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 09:24 AM

57. I suspected it was testing for TB, rather than a vaccination.

I've been a teacher - in roughly the same era. No vaccination required, but testing was required - which involves either a collection of small needles (tine or Mantoux test) or a single needle (Mantoux (bubble) text). If those turned out positive, a lung x-ray was required. But no vaccination.

Requirements from that long ago are not online, but everything I can find about California teaching refers to vaccinations (the normal range) and TB tests (not vaccinations) - which is consistent with the requirement in Ohio in the same era. TB was not a vaccination - just a test.

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Response to KellyW (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 02:55 AM

47. So why not ask for an English version of her card?

I got one because I travel between Norway and the US regularly, and also have switched off living both places. As a teacher, I need to show my vaccinations are current. Luckily, Norwegian exchange students also need to show many host countries they have gotten their vaccines, (the US demanded I show TB immunity in 1999, when I did part of my Master's degree in Oregon, for example) so they offer a translated version of the card. I cannot imagine that Swedish authorities don't do the same.


And as for TB, that was almost eradicated in the Scandinavian countries, but immigrants from the Middle East and Russia is bringing it back. We are not quite at the stage where we reintroduce mandatory vaccines for all, but everyone who will have extensive contact with immigrants (such as children whose family are immigrants, or social workers, employees in the correctional system, teachers of introductory language classes etc) are asked to get the vaccine.

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Response to KitSileya (Reply #47)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 03:39 PM

99. The card is in Swedish, French and English and printed with the WHO logo

I am looking at my card, not my daughters. But the entries are hand written in Swedish, medical professionals world-wide are known for their legible handwriting. I can read one of them that says "Polio B" or maybe "Polio 13" I have no idea if that was OPV or IPV, it does say 5 år in the entry, which I would guess means that it was good for 5 years. I have vaccinations that were done in America recorded on the same card. Looking back on it, I am surprised that I was not given a Polio boaster before I went to work in Pakistan. I received Hep B and A, but nothing else before going off to work in Islamabad.

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Response to KellyW (Reply #8)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 11:07 AM

68. most health professionals are not vaccinated either, unless they work in high risk fields

 

We do the skin test annually in the hospital system where I work.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:47 PM

16. Your child was not given a TB vaccine.

So another child not having a TB vaccine is not going to increase your child's risk of drying.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #16)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:57 PM

80. The argument made in the OP applies to all vaccines, not specifically TB

The OP's claim is parents should decide for all vaccines, and no one else should have any influence.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:49 PM

17. And when did your children have their TB vaccinations? n/t

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #17)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:59 PM

83. OP's argument is about all vaccines, not only TB. (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #83)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:08 PM

86. So which vaccination did the OP NOT have, that you or your child did, that

increased your "child's risk of dying"?

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #7)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:54 PM

22. Those records would not be very helpful.

TB vaccine isn't very efficient.
Someone vaccinated against TB therefore could very well have TB.
Which is why this vaccine isn't a standard vaccine in US.
Most likely you didn't have it either.
So you should be isolating yourself from that society ASAP.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #22)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:22 PM

24. It is true that TB vaccine is not very effective when given to adults.

It is much more effective at providing life-long immunity when given to children. My daughter was about a year old when we received the letter. She is 18 years old now. Her parents obviously had to make the choice for her when she was 1 year old. If my daughter suddenly decided to go do volunteer work at Mother Theresa's Kalighat Home for the Dying Destitutes in Calcutta, then I would say that we made the wrong decision for her-it would have been much better for her to have received the TB vaccine when she was 1 year old. I don’t see her doing that. The point that I have been trying to make is the position of many that vaccines are always good and safe and there is never any reason to refuse them is as unreasonable as those who refuse all vaccines under any circumstances. There is a risk-benefit calculation that must be done. I am not willing to take those decisions completely out of the hands of individuals and give them exclusively to the government (which does not always make these decisions based on the current science).

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 08:12 AM

53. the tb vaccine has a very, very poor rate of effectiveness.

 

Your record of vaccination would *not* ensure that you do not have tb.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #53)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:57 PM

81. It still would excuse a positive test. (nt)

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #81)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:08 PM

88. excuse the positive test from what?

 

Or are you suggesting that it's ok to walk around potentially spreading TB because your positive skin test was irrelevent because you had a potentially ineffective vaccine?

http://www.democraticunderground.com/?com=view_post&forum=1002&pid=6192660

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #7)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 11:26 AM

71. actually, no you couldn't present vaccination records to assume a false positive

 

because the vaccine has an efficacy rate that ranges from 0 to 80%.

In the US, because the infection rate is so low, instead of having the general population depend on an unreliable vaccine, we rely on a skin test that is very reliable in unvaccinated patients.

For vaccinated patients, or former TB patients, there are x-rays, acid-fast stains, and difficult to grow cultures, plus a new blood test that are combined to rule out TB. These are more expensive, more invasive, and in the case of cultures, much more time consuming and require more advanced equipment and training than administering the skin test.

We had a former TB patient where I work, who was admitted with an uri. They had recovered from TB decades earlier. Before we could take them off TB precautions (reverse pressure room and tb masks) they had to have 3 consecutive negative acid-fast stains of sputum samples.

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Response to magical thyme (Reply #71)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:58 PM

82. Yes, you really can. I'm absolutely sure you can do so

because of the members of my family who got a TB vaccine, and thus come up positive for the skin test.

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Response to jeff47 (Reply #82)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:12 PM

91. your vaccination records excuse you from what?

 

because the reason the CDC does not make a general recommendation for vaccination is the US is precisely because the vaccine is unreliable and interferes with the screening test.

So somebody who is vaccinated can still get TB, and with their screening test "waived" due to vaccination, continue spreading it.

I find that hard to believe, unless your family has some special circumstances. Which seems likely, since the vaccine in the US is only recommended for very specific circumstances.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:06 PM

9. I think I should be able to drive down the road

at whatever speed I wish to travel.

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Response to Downwinder (Reply #9)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:53 PM

29. She refused TB for her kid and

Swine flu (1976) for herself. The swine flu vax caused over 500 cases of nerve disorders (Guillaume Barr). No one in the US gets the TB Vax.

Her kid got the MMR, DTap, HPV, etc, all the usual stuff US kids get.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:17 PM

12. You neglected a misconception...

In 90s, several resistant strains of TB were emerging. Your idea that "most strains of TB can be easily and effectively treated" wasn't necessarily true in 90s, and isn't true now.

I hope offense over being targeted because you were a foreigner didn't color your decision.

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Response to Panich52 (Reply #12)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:52 PM

19. 1.3 percent of tuberculosis cases in the U.S. were resistant to both isoniazid and rifampin

The risk to her was minuscule. Are you vaccinated against TB? TB vaccine was not even recommended for me when I was working in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Yemen.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:19 PM

13. I think vaccination is a good idea

I wouldn't want to go through all my childhood diseases again: measles, mumps, German measles, chickenpox. It sucked. I couldn't even go out on Halloween I was so sick! I had the smallpox vaccination years ago. I wouldn't want smallpox I had the typhoid, cholera, yellow fever vaccines and was nearly dead after those.

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Response to Rosa Luxemburg (Reply #13)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 03:47 PM

100. her child was vaccinated against all the normal childhood diseases

 

the vaccine that she declined was TB, which is not routinely given in the US and not even routine in Sweden. Her rationale was quite reasonable for their situation. The only reason they were being asked to vaccinate her child against TB was because the mother was an immigrant...from the US, where the incidence of TB is very low.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:43 PM

14. The TB story is complicated.

Vaccination makes screening for active outbreaks of TB much more difficult. If the general population is vaccinated, then the only simple screening test for TB becomes ineffective.

A complete medical evaluation for tuberculosis must include a medical history, a physical examination, a chest X-ray and microbiological examination of sputum or some other appropriate sample. It may also include a tuberculin skin test, other scans and X-rays, and surgical biopsy.


That's not inexpensive. Unlike measles, chicken pox, or the flu, TB infections are frequently not obvious. A person infected with TB can walk around for months or years spreading the mycobaterium. It's easier to discover TB infections with a skin test during medical physicals every couple of years than it is to do a full TB workup on everybody

That's why the vaccine is not recommended in places where the disease is not already endemic.

The scariest thing about TB is that improper use of antibiotics has hastened the evolution of antibiotic resistant varieties.


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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:54 PM

21. I was vaccinated on the INSIDE of my arm

My mother had them do the vaccine on the inside of my arm. It's barely visible there.

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Response to Ino (Reply #21)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 10:57 PM

23. Whetever vaccine it was, it was not a TB vaccine.

It's not given in US with exception of very specific cases.

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Response to LisaL (Reply #23)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:57 PM

31. Perhaps it was the TB/PPD screening test. My kid had that as a toddler. n/t

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Response to Ino (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 09:29 AM

59. That's a test for TB, not a vaccination.

Typically done on the inside of the forearm. Either a tine test (a 4-pronged instrument you barely feel) or a Mantoux (bubble) test - single needle which is used to inject a small fluid bubble just under the skin.

Either that or smallpox vaccination (usually done in the shoulder area - but occasionally on the upper inside of the arm)

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #59)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:49 PM

77. It was a smallpox vaccination.

The scar from which so many people have prominently displayed on upper left arm. Just saying it doesn't have to be put in such an obvious place.

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Response to Ino (Reply #77)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:56 PM

79. Now, it doesn't have to be anyplace at all :)

(My father's is on the inside of his upper arm - which is the only reason I know it is possible to put it there.)

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Response to Ino (Reply #21)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:12 PM

90. Mine too

my mother was a RN and she had them put it under my arm, not the armpit, but further down. i never see it, and assume others don't either.

the majority of the smallpox vaccines were probably done on the outside for expediency and the convenience of the nurses giving them.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:41 PM

28. You can do whatever you want with your kids.

But we, the public, should also be able to decide whether unvaccinated go to public schools.

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Response to RandySF (Reply #28)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:54 PM

30. Her kid is vaccinated

except for TB.

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Response to Ilsa (Reply #30)

Fri Feb 6, 2015, 11:58 PM

32. I am her father acutely...

...a common mistake with the first name “Kelly”

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Response to RandySF (Reply #28)


Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:05 AM

33. "When to vaccinate or not is a much more complicated issue"

No it is not

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:06 AM

34. I'll stipulate that the swine flu vaccine was a mistake, with the facts as you present them

I come to the opposite conclusion that you do. Children should be vaccinated completely before starting school, to protect all children and adults. A scar from the TB vaccine, imho, is no big deal. Tuberculosis is potentially fatal.

I'm 56, and universal child vaccinations basically wiped out the bad diseases in my lifetime in this country. I have no problem mandating them for ALL CHILDREN. This is an issue of life and death, not just a minor case of the sniffles. There is absolutely nothing I can say that will change your mind, so I won't waste my time.

Trash thread.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:16 AM

37. CDC doesn't recommend TB vaccine except in very select cases.

So unless you are that select case, you haven't got it either.
Children in US aren't getting a TB vaccine either, except for very special circumstances.

http://www.cdc.gov/tb/topic/vaccines/

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:37 AM

39. Once again my point is proven

People can take firm unmovable positions regardless of the strategies that actual public health professional recommend. Unfortunately, elected officials can take the same uninformed positions and make law: “Tuberculosis is potentially fatal” all kids should be vaccinated against TB or not allowed is schools.

For those still reading who somehow missed this fact: US children are not vaccinated against TB.

I appreciate the thoughtful, informed comments of ‘hunter’ @14
“Vaccination makes screening for active outbreaks of TB much more difficult”

Widespread vaccination for TB would actually undermine the strategy for combating TB that has been carefully developed by public health experts.

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Response to steve2470 (Reply #34)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 10:26 AM

65. You are aware that TB is not a recommended vaccination in the US -

And that you almost certainly have never had a TB vaccine (unless you work in a few high risk jobs), nor have the vast majority of children in public schools.

The medical recommendation is for vaccinations only in areas where TB is endemic, or where the immigrant parent came from an area in which TB was endemic - which does not include the US (the immigrant parent) or Sweden (the home country)

So in this instance it was the government recommendation, going against the medical recommendation.

Are you really saying that government recommendations on medical matters should trump medical recommendations?

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:07 AM

36. Really

As small as the world is becoming this is the trend that will destroy us all. Well played!

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Response to rockodman (Reply #36)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:25 AM

38. "the right to decide for themselves and their dependents if and when to vaccinate" or gvts telling

telling you you should vaccinate? Which is the trend?

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:02 AM

43. Thank you, KellyW.

Like you, we believe in vaccinations and have almost always accepted the usual vaccinations on the usual schedule.

One exception was the polio vaccine. We had some elderly relatives in a very rural area who had never had polio vaccinations, and we were concerned about exposing them to our son if he had the live virus vaccine. At the time the research was clear: the live virus vaccine was killing some people every year -- AND all the diagnosed cases of polio were coming from the live vaccine rather than the wild polio germ, which had been wiped out. In that circumstance, the killed vaccine was more than adequate to protect the population. However, our doctor was still following the standard recommendations, which hadn't changed to reflect the research of the previous few years, so he -- like the vast majority of pediatricians -- only offered the live virus oral vaccine.

Fortunately, the public health department did offer the killed virus vaccine, so we sat there for a couple hours one morning waiting for my son's turn to get the shot.

Five years later, it was time for our other son to receive his polio vaccine, and by then the FDA had changed its recommendation to fit with the research; the killed vaccine I'd wanted for my older son had become the new standard. That time I didn't have to sit in the public health department for hours because I could get it from our pediatrician.

Thank you for your OP and for speaking out for informed consent and against vaccination absolutism.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:10 AM

44. Right wing nonsense is creeping into the Democratic party

 

A letter from the GUMMIT!!

Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me! Me!

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:14 AM

45. Honestly, you disgust me. nt

This is the DU member formerly known as alp227.

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Response to alp227 (Reply #45)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 07:26 AM

51. Lulz..nt

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 02:31 AM

46. You lost me at your first inflammatory, stupid paragraph.

There is no "vaccine hysteria, " unless you are talking about the nonsensical anti-vaxxers' hysteria over fears the MMR vaccine causes "mental disorders."

A child should not be allowed into public school without having up to date vaccinations unless a doctor determines, for medical reasons, that the child should not be vaccinated. Leaving it up to the parents to "decide" is why we have a measles outbreak in California.

Deciding whether your child should have the recommended childhood vaccinations is not "complicated." Refusing to give the recommended childhood vaccinations to your child who is medically capable of being vaccinated is child neglect, and a threat to the health of the rest of us. Yes, later in your OP you assure us your child did get those vaccinations. But that does not make your broad assertion that parents should decide "if and when to vaccinate" any less stupid and dangerous.

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Response to SunSeeker (Reply #46)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 04:27 AM

48. Try to follow along, this is important

The fact remains that we refused a “recommended” vaccine, by your assertion, we were guilty of neglect. Even though no doctor in America today would recommend the TB vaccine for our child in our circumstances. Should I have been kicked out of the 7th grade for refusing the A/New Jersey/1976 (H1N1) vaccine? It was recommended by the federal government in 1976- that was until after the November election that year, when they abandon the program.

The hysteria that has broken out is between the 2 camps; one side says ‘No, Never!’ And the other side, which you appear to be on, says ‘Make Them!’

The thoughtful public health professionals will tell you that force seldom works and comes at a high cost. One public health official in my state commented on a proposed bill to tighten vaccination requirements: “I want to know for sure it just won't make people more angry and create more backlash. I want families to feel good about getting their children immunized.” We need to convince vaccine skeptics of the positive risk/benefit of many vaccines, not try to force them to accept someone else’s decision-particularly when those decisions are not made by doctors and epidemiologists, but by politicians responding to the ‘Make Them!’ camp.

Let’s consider Thimerosal, a preservative used in vaccines that many in the ‘No, Never!’ camp believed caused severe side effects. A link between Thimerosal and the side effects was never proven. However, Thimerosal was removed from all pediatric vaccines in the US-to improve public confidence in the safety of vaccines. Why did 100 million people get the Sabin vaccine in just 3 years? Particularly considering that it was kind-of dangerous. Because they wanted to, not because the government made them. They feared polio much more than the vaccine. If a vaccine had been available for Ebola in the US when there was a few cases last year, millions of people would have rushed to get it.

When it comes to vaccinations, you will never get everybody and the only way to get enough is by persuasion, not force. That is why public health took Thimerosal out of pediatric vaccines. Not because they thought it was dangerous, but because they thought it would persuade more people that vaccines are safe.

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Response to KellyW (Reply #48)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 07:21 AM

50. Well said.

There are those here on DU that even think they can convince others by calling them "idiots" instead of having rational discussions about the facts and science. Even at the risk of making it worse, they'll contribute to politicize the issue, in which labeling pushes some into accepting a position they'd never take in personal scenarios.

I'm glad you looked at your situation thoroughly before declining the TB vax in Sweden.

My super-pro-vax mother declined the Swine Flu vax in 1976, too, for all of us.

Well said, Mr. KellyW.

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Response to KellyW (Reply #48)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 09:33 AM

61. Thimerosal is actually not out of all pediatric vaccinations.

The multi-dose vials of the annual influenza vaccines (approved for children as young as 6 months) contain thimerosal. Those are routinely given to children, unless you make an effort to ensure you receive only the ones packaged in single dose vials (which are often in short supply). Some TD vaccines also still contain thimerosal

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #61)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 11:02 AM

67. Flu vaccine is not mandated -But some have suggested adding it to the mandatory list

http://time.com/3657461/mandatory-flu-shots/

But thanks for pointing that out that multi-dose flu vaccine still contains Thimerosal. While the ‘Make Them!’ camp have been screaming measles, some of the required vaccines, like Tetanus, are not for contagious disease.

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Response to KellyW (Reply #67)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:05 PM

84. Yet, anyway - and quite a few here have been screaming to make it mandatory

(At the same time they are insisting that no pediatric vaccinations contain thimerosal - and slapping you upside the head for exposing their children to TB, without realizing that the only difference between your child and theirs is that you made an active decision not to vaccinate for TB).

I'm not personally concerned about thimerosal, but I do think that people should be able to choose to avoid it - so when everyone here keeps saying it was taken out of children's vaccines in 2001, I usually point out that it really hasn't been taken out of the vaccinations they are insisting children should have (even if they are not yet mandatory).

Personally, I find this thread really scary. People claiming the mantle of science and medicine spending a lot of time yelling at you, and insisting you should have just blindly followed the great god of government, when in this case the government position was not in line with what they claim is their motivation (the medical and scientific recommendations for vaccines). This crusade has really gotten out of control.

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Response to KellyW (Reply #48)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:15 PM

76. I can "follow along" your bullshit just fine. I can read.

My post explicitly referred to recommended childhood vaccinations. The minute you suggest it should be up to the parents for all vaccines you are suggesting childhood vaccines are not necessary.

Worse, you suggest the US medical community does not know what it is talking about in recommending childhood vaccinations by bringing up your anecdotes about a unique 1970s flu vaccine and your Swedish government TB saga, where you pat yourself on the back for refusing the vaccines. You imply parents who "decide" not to vaccinate their children are making a thoughtful choice. That is standard anti-vaxx stupidity and very dangerous.

Childhood vaccines are so important and the science so unequivocal that they should be required, absent medical reasons, just like the requirements for baby car seats. Making it a requirement is very "convincing." That is why Mississippi, where it is required, has the highest vaccination rate in the country, while California, which allows the parents to decide via the "personal belief" exemption, has among the lowest rates, and is ground zero for the measles resurgence.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 07:11 AM

49. I was the lucky recipient of the swine flu vaccine in February of 1977...

twice (!) while in USAF basic training, so the government didn't entirely drop the matter. That was on top of whatever other injections/vaccinations I'd received (and likely a different flu vaccine as well). I was sick the entire time I was in basic, and every year following that I got a flu shot while I was in the military. Never got the flu otherwise, in all the years before or since.

I've often wondered if that swine flu mess wasn't some sort of trigger for my declining health over the years, but have never been able to get a doctor to even test for anything like Guillame-Barr.

I've been tested for TB, because I've had two different teachers come down with it, but to my knowledge never got any vaccination (I don't remember getting it in the service).

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 07:59 AM

52. I don't know

this is a touchy subject. Did you consult a doctor about what to do? That's where your best advice would come from.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 08:38 AM

54. Enjoy your stay

 

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #54)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:09 PM

89. well

according to this person's profile, s/he's been here since 2002....

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Response to shanti (Reply #89)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 02:11 PM

98. If she keeps touting CTs it won't be long. However infrequent she posts.

 

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Response to Katashi_itto (Reply #98)


Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 08:39 AM

55. Bully for you. Too bad for the rest of us.

Because your "we" event affects not just you, but the entire population. Note the Palatine nursery measles event, that is now spreading across Chicago.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #55)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 09:39 AM

62. And when was your last TB vaccination?

If you are like the vast majority in the US, never.

BCG Recommendations

In the United States, BCG should be considered for only very select people who meet specific criteria and in consultation with a TB expert. Health care providers who are considering BCG vaccination for their patients are encouraged to discuss this intervention with the TB control program in their area.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #62)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 10:05 AM

63. I had the actual disease

and it is so contagious that I spent a year in the hospital.

Because I have lung scars and test positive for TB, I can never give blood. Also, I think that I am now immune. But it scarred my childhood.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #63)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 10:21 AM

64. Sorry to hear that -

My response was not to discount the serious nature of TB,

It was to point out what most people in this thread don't seem to realize: Neither they, nor their children, nor the vast majority of children walking around in public are vaccinated against TB.

The TB rate in the US is low enough that it is not a medically recommended vaccination. The same goes for Sweden. For children, the vaccine is not recommended (WHO standards) unless they live in an area where TB is endemic, or have an immigrant parent from an area where TB is endemic. Since that doesn't apply to the US (where parent immigrated from), the recommendation was medically inappropriate.

Despite that - people are trashing the OP for refusing government, but not medically, recommended vaccination, without any apparent understanding TB is not a routine vaccination either here, or in Sweden, and that they themselves have almost certainly not been vaccinated against TB.

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Response to Ms. Toad (Reply #64)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 10:30 AM

66. However, in the 50s it and polio

were rampant and those 2 vaccines saved countless children from my situation. So, we vaccinated against and now the disease is almost wiped out. And what does DPT vaccine stand for? I don't think the t stands for typhoid. Or don't they vaccinate for those 3 deadly diseases anymore. Not having small children, I don't really know what is standard any more.

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #66)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 11:30 AM

72. This is what is required in my state (WA)

Hepatitis B
Diphtheria
Tetanus
Pertussis
Polio
Measles
Mumps
Rubella
Varicella (chickenpox)

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #66)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:08 PM

75. we don't vaccinate the general population against TB in the US

 

because the vaccine is very unreliable, and the closer to the equator you go, the worse the efficacy rates are.
0-80% efficacy is not a good rate. So it's recommended for very specific, high risk segments of the population (eg, health care workers who treat TB patients), but nobody else.

In a country with a very low rate of infection and therefore low probability of exposure and infection, it makes more sense to rule it out using the relatively low cost and very reliable skin test, rather than ruling it in via more expensive and invasive tests. And aggressively identifying and treating people with latent or active cases.

When I was a kid, we did the skin test routinely. I don't remember when they stopped testing us routinely. As a health care worker, I have the skin test annually and it is on file with the hospital and maybe the state.

My aunt is also a TB survivor, and from the days when there were no antibiotics, only sanitoriums, rest and hope. My father burned all her belongings because he figured she wouldn't be returning.


Glad you made it. So sorry for the emotional trauma...

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #66)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 12:50 PM

78. They didn't routinely vaccinate against TB in the US, ever.

The United States is one of only two countries that have never routinely used the TB vaccine (The Netherlands is the other).


http://vec.chop.edu/service/vaccine-education-center/a-look-at-each-vaccine/tuberculosis-vaccine.html

The polio vaccine - yes, but not the tuberculosis vaccine. Which is the point of most of my responses in this thread. TB is not a vaccine that has ever been recommended for anything beyond a very small population within the US (prison workers, certain hospital workers, children whose parents immigrated from an area where TB is endemic).

Yet the responses to the OP are attacking the OP as if the OP's child might be killing people, or that the OP was anti-science, should be isolated, etc. - when they, themselves, are in the exact same position - neither they nor their children have been vaccinated. The only difference is that the OP made a deliberate choice to go against a government policy that is inconsistent with medical recommendations, while the posters, for the most part, are unaware (1) that they didn't get a TB vaccination and (2) it has never been recommended in the US.

DPT = Diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis

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Response to WhiteTara (Reply #66)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 05:06 PM

104. DPT=diptheria, pertussis, typhoid. n/t

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 11:14 AM

70. Jesus. This is a masterpiece of paranoid mis-direction.

I would never have dreamed it possible to conflate 9/11, Dick Cheney, and the smallpox vaccine. But you succeeded.

And your woeful declaration, suitable for fainting couches and support-group confabulations: "I still have the scar..."



Well done.

You're fueling the flames of libertarian "I-have-the-right-to-choose!" idiocy.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 11:40 AM

73. There is no fucking controversy, Jesus Christ!

There is a safe and effective way to prolong human life and alleviate disease and suffering, then there are people who deny it.

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Response to TransitJohn (Reply #73)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:15 PM

92. Safe and effective are relative, not absolute

Making pronouncements that they are and then saying –“end of discussion!” does a great disservice to the professionals who do the very difficult job of determining what should be recommend and what should be compelled. We are entering a dangerous time when these decisions will be taken out of the hands of these professionals and given to politicians who will listen to people like yourself.

These professionals would admit that they are not always 100% right for all time. It is a constant evaluation of risks and benefits. As pnwmom @43 related in her personal story, In 1999 OPV was considered safe and effective and recommended for all children entering school- in 2000 it was determined that it was not. I don’t bring up this case, as those from the ‘No Never!’ camp would, to say “see, scientists can be wrong”, but to point out that vaccination policy is a constant recalculation of risk/benefit. That policy should be set by professional epidemiologist, that includes the decision of when some medical treatment should be compelled.

Should influenza vaccination be required of school children?
No, flu vaccine is not very effective (60% at best) and attempts to create herd immunity by vaccinating school children have failed to in other countries when it was tried.

Did I get a flu shot this year? Yes, and I specifically sought out a quadrivalent vaccine. If you got a flu shot this year, do you know if it was quadrivalent or trivalent? I chose quadrivalent because I travel all over the world and I wanted the extra protection from B/Brisbane/60/2008. Given that the 2014 North America vaccine turned out not to be effect against the most common A strain circulating this year, I went to my doctor and got a prescription for Tamiflu, which I carry in my travel bag. If I come down with the flu on a 14 hour plane flight, I can treat myself.

Virtually everyone I work with is vaccinated against Anthrax, but I am not. They were compelled to be vaccinated by their terms of service. I also carry Ciprofloxacin in my travel bag, in the event I was exposed to Anthrax, I could start treatment immediately.
Should school children be compelled to be vaccinated against Anthrax? Of course not !

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:07 PM

85. Never mind

I just can't do this anymore.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:19 PM

93. ...

 

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 01:41 PM

96. You lost me at...

"People should have the right to decide for themselves and their dependents if and when to vaccinate."

The very first paragraph. We're not talking about dressing your puppies in Halloween costumes. This is scientific medical fact. We eradicated seriouse diseases generation ago with thoughtful scientific vaccination programs. Now we're facing disease outbreaks because the moms at the book club read something online. We're fucked. We're just fucked. America has become the nation of stupid.

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Response to Atman (Reply #96)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 04:47 PM

102. Only one human disease has been eradicated-smallpox

Other disease have been virtually eliminated but there is an important difference. In fact, if a disease has been eradicated, you don’t continue to vaccinate against it. Measles vaccine was introduced in 1963. Before that, Measles cases in the US ran at about 550,000 a year, with around 500 deaths. There was a spike in Measles in the US between 1989 and 1991, with about 55,000 cases. Last year there were 664 measles reported in the US, and that was high. This year we are looking at around a 100 cases already, but the measles season is winter and spring, so we would not expect cases to be uniformly spread throughout the year. While the trend is worrying, we are not even close to the situation of 89-91, curiously, there was not the public freak-out back then. The sky isn’t falling.

I believe this situation does not warrant forcing health people to receive medical treatment that they have refused. It is a bad idea to start an all-out war between the “No Never!”s and the “Make Them”s. The public health emergency that requires forced vaccination may come, but this is not it. In my state they want to force people to vaccinate their children against their wishes, not just for measles, but also for non-communicable diseases like Tetanus, even though there is no justification of a threat to others by being unvaccinated against Tetanus.

In my state, a person with MDR-TB cannot be forcibly quarantined without a court order and full due-process. Also, my state has a very dark history of forced medicine, it was in the forefront of Eugenics movement in the 1920s, all in the name of “public hygiene”. I am not drawing a comparisons here between forced vaccination for the public good and forced sterilization for the public good. But this is the baggage that we take into public health debate. There is a better way than the ‘Make Them!’ approach

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sat Feb 7, 2015, 04:56 PM

103. Follow this from your post:

"People should have the right to decide for themselves and their dependents if and when to vaccinate."

I get your little TB story, and I'm glad you "decided" to have your dependents vaccinated, but this statement is over the top, and if it's what you believe, fine, but it's wrong and so is you overblown OP. Sorry.

As one of my favorite posters said on another thread on the same topic: Two words: bull and shit.

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Response to KellyW (Original post)

Sun Feb 8, 2015, 11:20 AM

108. People seem to be less and less interested in doing their part as a member of society.

 

I suppose it isn't surprising, given the 'you're on your own' attitude that seems to ooze out of every corner of life here in the States.

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