General Question

Anatelostaxus's avatar

Should I think (more than) twice before having my children go in for vaccinations?

Asked by Anatelostaxus (1418 points ) December 20th, 2013

I’m reading a good deal about the risks of vaccination causing autism and what more else. What do you think about these claims & risks, are they factual? Would it be better for me to omit my child from our doctor’s list of impending shot appointments?
One acquaintance of mine says she hasn’t let her son get vaccinated at all (he’s over two years of age now), after having had drastic problems as a consequence of her first child’s vaccinations (All formally defined, I’m just putting it naïvely).

(Any professional medical opinion MUCH appreciated)

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30 Answers

MadMadMax's avatar

There is no real connection to autism. My cousin has spent five years working on a Phd focusing on Autism research in Seattle.

Not inoculating your kids puts everyone’s children in danger. This is a horrible movement and absolutely unscientific.

It’s irresponsible.

Rarebear's avatar

I am a physician and I am giving you medical advice.

There is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that there is a link between vaccines and autism. That link was perpetrated by a fraudulent study and is directly responsible for many unnecessary deaths.

jerv's avatar

This is a topic near and dear to my heart for a few reasons.

First, let me say that I am Autistic (Aspergers, actually). It’s a genetic thing though, so I blame my father (based on the way that side of my family tree is), not my vaccines.

Now, do you understand the definitions of the word “discredited” or “fraudulent”? Those are the words use to describe the original reports linking Autism and vaccinations. Even the original author came clean and disavowed the “research” linking the two.

Next, we have something called “herd immunity”. Do you want your kids spreading disease? Without going into too much detail, non-immunized peopel endanger not only themselves, but others as well. That is why some schools refuse children who have not had all their shots. Ditto for certain jobs in the adult world. Get ready for home-schooling!

So, do you believe in junk science that even the person who came out with it doesn’t believe? Are you more into fear-mongering and rumors than medical science? If the answer to either of those is “No”, then shoot your kids!

Seaofclouds's avatar

I’m a RN. All 3 of my children have received all of their recommended vaccinations so far and will continue to do so. As @Rarebear said, the research that was out about a link between vaccinations and Autism was fraudulent. The doctor behind the reasearch had his medical license taken away.

augustlan's avatar

Please, for the love of God, don’t believe that shit. Get your kids vaccinated!

JimTurner's avatar

Should you think about it? Sure. You are a concerned parent.

Should you deny your children a vaccination? No.

MadMadMax's avatar

I made sure my kids got all their vaccines on time. Nothing bad happened.

I had measles as child. I ended up with a 105.6 fever and was rushed to the hospital. The rash was inside my mouth and in my throat; I was struggling to breathe.

I was hospitalized for over a week with pneumonia; a then common symptom. – they didn’t have vaccines back then and it swept through our elementary school like a plague.

During my life I have heard of a child dieing of measles – my mother told me I came close.

Measles remains a common disease in many parts of the world, including areas in Europe, Asia, the Pacific, and Africa. In the United States, most of the measles cases result from international travel. The disease is brought into the United States by people who get infected in other countries. They spread the disease to others, which can cause measles outbreaks.

Anyone who is not protected against measles is at risk of getting infected when they travel internationally.

Before any international travel—

Infants 6 months through 11 months of age should have 1 dose of measles vaccine.†
Children 12 months of age or older should have 2 doses separated by at least 28 days.
Adolescents and adults who have not had measles or been vaccinated should get 2 doses separated by at least 28 days.

zenvelo's avatar

Please, skip the vaccinations like the Taliban so your kid can get polio. And mumps too, when your kid has reached puberty, that way he won’t have to worry about birth control because he’ll be sterile.

glacial's avatar

I don’t know how you can be reading “a good deal” about vaccination and be led to the conclusion that it can cause autism. The only justification for the claim that vaccination can cause autism is a single study, which has not only been debunked, but retracted.

There is no evidence that vaccines can cause autism.

There is evidence that vaccines can prevent the deaths of your children and/or other children.

This is a no-brainer.

Blondesjon's avatar

@jerv beat me to the link.

It’s much wiser to listen to a health care professional than some ridiculous Facebook shit.

Anatelostaxus's avatar

(I’ll start from the bottom)

@Blondesjon found it on Fb too, but that’s not where i got the info initially. A cousin of mine referred, I listened and started looking into it wherever i could.

@glacial Of course you don’t, you’re not here next to me! What I’m reading extensively about is not vaccinations in general, rather about this very psudo-problem we’re discussing. There’s more material than I expected to find on the subject out there and it made me curious.
We all know vaccines are good for you; there’s evidence.
But i also believe in questioning.. as everything is subject to change and anything could happen, vaguely speaking.

Anatelostaxus's avatar

@MadMadMax Thank you for your facts and experiences. Yes, my first position engaging the thought was that it would be irresponsable and inconsiderate to chose not to.

@JimTurner A valid approach, in general.

@augustlan very persuasive emphasis indeed

@Seaofclouds Amazing how disinformation travels faster than proper information; and consequences spread in parallel.

@jerv Yes, I’m aware. No I don’t believe in trendy junk, but I do like to get as many opinions as possible. That’s my skepsis, as things believed, such as the necessity of vaccination are induced. You just know it because you just do. I’ve never had the means nor skill to test thing first hand in a lab, so How can I take for granted that it is so? I can trust what professionals say, but how can I be sure of anything really?
Of course this mindset isn’t going to lead to lofty decisions that might put any life at risk, but it does guide mine through meanders of questions & probabilities.
Thank you for the link

@Rarebear again i mention the faulty tendency of humans to suck in deception in place of guidance. It’s very interesting ‘why’ this happens.
Thank you for you professional view.

@zenvelo hah! the Talibans.. a point efficiently made, regardless that which might’ve come out as indelicacy to someone who might’ve actually believed in the rumors

I read opinions and experiences elsewhere that were all oriented towards “No”. Here I got all solid “Yes“es. i appreciate your coherent unanimity.
Til the next question :)
Thanks to all.

JLeslie's avatar

With the supposed autism connection, the people who ranted about it blamed the mercury (thimerasol) in the vaccination being the cause of autism. The fact is the majority of vaccinations don’t have mercury anymore. Here is a table with information about vaccines and thimerasol and different vaccine manufacturers. If you have any concern about the mercury, that is basically a non issue pretty much now. As people mentioned above there is scientific data now showing no connection between autism and vaccinations, but if you still have a concern discuss it with your doctor. You can double check with your doctor which vaccines he uses against the list onnthe table ai provided.

I can’t imagine not vaccinating my child for polio, measles, rubella, whooping cough, tetanus, and mumps. If you are on the fence, I say don’t be on the fence about those. I know a few parents who chose not to vaccinate for chicken pox. I know a couple others who didn’t vaccinate for hep A. I know some parents who don’t give their child flu vaccines. I know some parents who chose to give vaccines on a slightly different schedule. I don’t know any parent personally who withheld all vaccines, because it is crazy.

jerv's avatar

“I read opinions and experiences elsewhere that were all oriented towards “No”. Here I got all solid “Yes“es. i appreciate your coherent unanimity. ”

It seems that you already know this, but there may be others reading this thread that don’t, so I’m just putting it out there:

This is where you have to consider the source. Your best bet is always go to a variety of different places, evaluate the trustworthiness of each, and do a little credential checking. Just because you agree with someone, that doesn’t mean they are a trustworthy source. One of the dangers of the Internet is the effects it has on confirmation bias; it’s perilously easy to find information that confirms either side of a proposition, and even a subconscious bias can lead you towards sources that “confirm” even the most erroneous crap. The Earth is flat, and the Sun orbits around it!

Here in this thread, we have an RN, a few parents of vaccinated kids, citations of reports contradicting the alleged autism/vaccine link (including a retraction from the original author of the one study saying a link existed), and more. Look at all of what has been presented here, then weigh that against the evidence on the other side. To my knowledge, all that the “Vaccinations cause autism!” side really has is the debunked-and-retracted paper and a few parents with no medical knowledge of their own who cite no reputable medical reports supporting their position. Which side do you trust more? Do you go by evidence or emotions?

Quakwatch's avatar

Vaccines are vital for kids (and adults). We are seeing new outbreaks of previously well controlled vaccines because of the nefarious influence of pseudoscientists. For example, pertussis outbreaks and cases are on the rise. In yet another example, although measles was declared eradicated in the US in 2000, this past year has seen a major increase in measles, and the majority of cases are in non-vaccinated persons. So many of the uneducated yet opinionated folks you read on the internet seem to think that these diseases are mild, and that natural immunity is preferred to vaccines. I can tell you that these (and other preventable diseases) are not mild, and that children and adults can die from them. Please, vaccinate your children.

P.S. If you are currently pregnant, new recommendations are that you get vaccinated with Tdap while pregnant in order to pass on protective antibodies to your infant so that they will be protected from pertussis during their early vulnerable period when they themselves cannot be vaccinated.

Pachy's avatar

I’ve been taking mandatory and elective vaccinations all my life—including the very first needle and later orals ones for polio in the ‘50s —and have never contracted any disease or illness they were designed to prevent, nor any side effects.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
ARE_you_kidding_me's avatar

The risks are very very low and the reward is very high. Thinking about these things and not just doing them is not such a bad thing. It’s good parenting. I’d make sure they are vaccinated though I.M.O.

Smitha's avatar

I vaccinate my child. She is fine and healthy and has not been sick. I too was completely vaccinated as a child. I still remember the ravaging effects of polio my friend had to suffer. Luckily she faced everything courageously and is a successful doctor now. Understanding the seriousness of childhood diseases would drive many of us to take the preferred risk of vaccination over the non vaccine route.

Response moderated
JLeslie's avatar

@MadMadMax You can get shingles after getting the chicken pox vaccine. “They” hope fewer people will get shingles having been vaccinated then those of us who had chicken pox. “They” believe that more cases of shingles might happen in the US for the next 30 years, because we as adults who had chicken pox are not being exposed to chicken pox from our children, because they have been vaccinated. They believe exposure to chicken pox gives us a boost in our immunity. I don’t know what I believe, but that is the accepted thought process in the medical community now. Also, medical science does not believe shingles is contagious, in that they don’t believe someone can catch shingles (I have my doubts, but as I said the accepted belief now is varicella exposure boosts our immunity to varicella) but it is known that someone with shingles can give chicken pox to someone with no immunity to chicken pox.

I don’t know any people personally who have had shingles the same time as their spouse. I get shingles quite often and my husband has never suffered with it. A few jellies here get shingles often and their spouses don’t get it.

MadMadMax's avatar

@JLeslie http://answers.webmd.com/answers/1173647/is-shingles-contagious

Shingles is contagious and can be spread from an affected person to babies, children, or adults who have not had chickenpox. But instead of developing shingles, these people develop chickenpox. Once they have had chickenpox, people cannot catch shingles (or contract the virus) from someone else. Once infected, however, people have the potential to develop shingles later in life.

Shingles is contagious to people who have not previously had chickenpox, as long as there are new blisters forming and old blisters healing. Similar to chickenpox, the time prior to healing or crusting of the blisters is the contagious stage of shingles. Once all of the blisters are crusted over, the virus can no longer be spread and the contagious period is over.”

I too am unsure I believe this. When my husband went to the doctors, there was a child running around, sitting on the seats and touching the magazines etc. He was covered in chickenpox soars – apparently *per our doctor’ the child had not been vaccinated because it was against his parents’ religion.

When my husband, who was under a lot of stress at the time, came down with a painful, debilitating shingles (he had had chickenpox as a child), the doctor was very suspicious. He knew the period that this child had been in hiis office and he researched and definitely in the office at the same time. Our doctor said the child’s soars were open. It was summer, he was very lightly dressed and rolling all over the furniture – our doctor was convinced that due to the overlap of time, Hub had picked shingles from the child with chickenpox. Our doctor told us that the rise in inoculated children was going to reawaken problems we hadn’t faced for many years.

Quakwatch's avatar

“Catching” shingles from someone with chicken pox is impossible. Acute chicken pox occurs when one contacts or inhales the virus, and it spreads throughout the body. The virus then becomes dormant in the dorsal root ganglia (the spinal cord) and when someone is stressed or when their immune system weakens, the virus reemerges and follows the nerve axons (like train tracks) to the skin. The mechanisms are completely different.

JLeslie's avatar

@Quakwatch Do you think it is true that more adults are likely to get shingles (adults who had chicken pox) now that children are vaccinated for chicken pox? As I said above supposedly the hypothesis is being around children with chicken pox helped boost our immunity as adults.

Also, do you think people with shingles can cause another person to get shingles? It seems to me if the first hypothesis is right that being around varicella boosts immunity, I would think even being around someone with shingles boosts immunity to getting shingles. But, I have a friedn who came down with shingles for the first time a few days after sitting next to someone with shingles on a plane flight. I realize it could be a coincidence, but it made us wonder.

Do I have to worry about autoinnocuating myself with shingles? Move it to another part of my body? I thought supposedly it doesn’t happen with shingle smlikenother herpetic infections, but I still am kind of neurotic about touching my eyes and things like that when I have shingles just to be on the safe side.

MadMadMax's avatar

Just get a shingles shot. It’s a little expensive (relatively) but why guess? Shingles is horrible.

JLeslie's avatar

For now I don’t want to get one, but thanks for the suggesstion.

MadMadMax's avatar

You’re welcome. after seeing what my husband went through, I’m going to get the shot. I can get it during my next checkup or even at our primacy.

JLeslie's avatar

The shot is said to be about 50% effective. My shingles is not very very bad. Itchy like crazy, just a smallish area on my right buttocks, hopefully I don’t develop a new or larger area. It responds well to Valtrex when I bother to take the meds, some neuralgia here and there where I feel like a reoccurance is coming on and then it doesn’t. Except for when it does. You would think having an outbreak would increase a person’s chances of not getting another outbreak, but I don’t think it works that way.

JLeslie's avatar

@Quakwatch I remembered I was still curious about the shingles question. Is it accepted as fact that being around people with chicken pox helps boost our imminuty to shingles? Or, is that just a hypothesis? If that is the case is it true if we are around people with shingles too? Like is my husband less likely to get it because he is around me who gets it a lot?

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