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To vaccinate or not to vaccinate?

(118 Posts)
helloitsme Mon 30-Jan-12 08:12:58

I would be very grateful for a brief summary of the arguments for and against vaccination to help me decide what to do. I am extremely unsure what to do best for my 2 year old DD who has not yet received any vaccinations. I am of a mind to select only the essential ones, maybe which have a better track record, but I am not as well informed as I would like. I have done some reading, but I still think I could learn more, especially from the point of view of convincing DH and my relatives.
So, what are the main reasons not to vaccinate, and if you choose to vaccinate, which vaccines would seem the most important? Also, at what age would you give them?

Imo it is very irresponsible not to vaccinate.

helloitsme Mon 30-Jan-12 08:30:28

Thanks for the opinion Over. I was really looking more for a summary of the arguments for and against, since I know lots of people feel strongly, and I wanted to try to figure out where I fit in on the whole spectrum of opinion.

Booboostoo Mon 30-Jan-12 08:49:15

All vaccinations have possible side effects but serious complications and severe allergic reactions are extremely rare. The risk of these very rare complications has to be balanced against the risks unvaccinated children are exposed to. Some diseases, e.g . measles, are on the rise due to more children not being vaccinated, while others ,e.g tetanus, are potentially present in a simple skin prick. Unless your child is immunosupressed, has an allergy to a vaccine ingredient or similar rare problems, I would vaccinate.

There have been some scares associated with specific vaccines/illnesses:
- Wakefield suggested that the MMR is linked to autisim, but this study was very poor to start with and has beed widely disproved. Wakefield is no longer allowed to practice medicine in the UK due to the unethical nature of the original study.

- Thimerosol in vaccines has been claimed to cause autism, but this has been removed from vaccines since 2001 (with no corresponding decrease in cases of autism).

So yes, vaccinate and do so asap!!!

worldgonecrazy Mon 30-Jan-12 08:58:26

The most important vaccines are those where the disease carries the biggest risks if caught. We created a bespoke vaccination schedule for DD, and the most important one is Prevenar - 1,000 people inthe UK die from the form of meningitis this protects against each year. You may also want to look at protecting against Men C, with the Hib/Men C vaccine.

Measles can be very dangerous for some children, so that is also one of the recommended ones - go singly if you don't want your child to have three jabs at once.

If you're not planning on going outside Western Europe then Polio is less important as your child is extremely unlikely to come into contact with it and there have been no wild cases of polio in the UK for over a decade.

As your child is over two years old then the 'memory cells' of the immune system will now be active so your child should have a good response to the vaccines. You can get blood tests carried out after the vaccinations have been done to check for immune response, thereby avoiding the need for a second vaccination, sometimes referred to as a 'booster'. The boosters are given to catch the small percentage of people who don't have a good immune reaction, or for jabs given before the age of one year old. I have only found one place that does the blood tests and it's down in London.

The risks from the vaccines are available on the manufacturer's websites, just google for them and read contraindications and other information. Then research the disease and check out the risks of the disease. We chose to vaccinate for those diseases where risk of disease was higher than risks from the vaccinations.

HolyCalamityJane Mon 30-Jan-12 21:12:54

I had the same query regarding the MMR my thread is over on the special needs children board you should take a look there is much greater response. And it has made me decide definitely not to get this vaccination but to get single vaccinations instead. Hope it helps.

helloitsme Tue 31-Jan-12 06:24:25

Hey thanks! I really appreciate having the arguments clearly laid out, it just seems like such a minefield and such an emotive subject, it's hard to make a clear decision for DD. I am going to show the thread to DH and then decide what to do.
I have another question. I have heard that many vaccines have either mercury or Formaldehyde in them. Is there a way I can search for vaccines that avoide these?
Thanks Holy, I am going to have a look at your thread now!

ragged Tue 31-Jan-12 08:02:46

What are the "known" risks of vaccination, because the anti-jabs people all claim that these are wildly under-reported and under-estimated, anyway? How can anyone be sure they've got an accurate set of numbers for those "risks"?

I don't think any in the UK but some of the flu vaccines have mercury in them (thimersol).
Most have aluminium salts, these heighten the immune system response (vaccinations are supposed to cause an immune system reaction). Which I know some feel strongly could be bad.
Personally I prefer the unknown and undetected possible risks from tiny amounts of vaccine additives to the known risks of tetanus/diptheria/polio/HIb/pertussis/measles/mumps/rubella/Men.C, but your choice.

BumbleBee2011 Tue 31-Jan-12 08:14:56

I had a look through different books before deciding for DD, I really wanted to be convinced not to as in theory it fits with my philosophy that modern-day people overly medicate everything - but no matter what I read it became apparent that
a) most of the negatives didn't apply to the UK (e.g dangerous additives, or schedules that put to much pressure on the baby's immune system) and
b) the people who were anti-immunisation we're all quoting each other, and not primary sources! So not very scientific IMO

Ultimately it's a personal choice, there are risks either way so just make sure you are happy with your decision. Needless to say I decided for.

kele79 Tue 31-Jan-12 08:22:57

We need to vaccinate our children, if they are healthy, to protect the children who, through illness eg cancer, can not have the vaccinations. It never used to be an issue as all healthy children were vaccinated.

MMR is on the rise thanks to the scaremongering stories.

Japan stopped the triple vaccination many years ago and the dianosis or autism neither rose or fell.

People forget just what measles can do to a child - blindness, deafness or even death.

I for one could never have put my dd at risk of catching measles.

kele79 Tue 31-Jan-12 08:23:34

Sorry meant to be measles on the rise not MMR

Booboostoo Tue 31-Jan-12 09:40:51

Thimerosol is mercuri and as far as I know you would be hard pressed to find it in vaccines in the UK, but you can always ask your GP for confirmation.

Booboostoo Tue 31-Jan-12 09:41:25

mercury even!

Kewcumber Tue 31-Jan-12 09:50:21

point of view of convincing DH and my relatives. confused

You don;t need to convince your relatives confused do you? you and DH need to decide what to do between you. No-one elses business, presumably they have their own children to experiment on.

You aren't going to know.

I vaccinated because I believe that it is safer to vaccinate than not. It feels like a difficult decision because you are making a decision to "harm" your child and feel responsible for any potential side effects. But I looked after a teenager who was physically and mentally disabled due to measles so it didn;t take me long to decide.

Wouldn't be normal for you not to be nervous though but avoiding something is just as much taking an active decision which could harm your child as doing something.

stopgap Wed 01-Feb-12 00:54:32

See my thread about my baby's bad reaction to his first set of vaccines. That said, I don't know anyone whose child reacted in the same manner as mine. Unless your child has shown signs of autism, digestive issues etc. then I would say they're unlikely to react to the vaccines, so maybe ask your doctor about coming up with a modified plan if you're uncomfortable with the standard schedule, and perhaps start with the single measles jab and Prevnar.

bumbleymummy Mon 06-Feb-12 17:37:25

Worldgonecrazy: "Prevenar - 1,000 people inthe UK die from the form of meningitis this protects against each year."

That figure is not right. There aren't even 1000 cases a year in the UK.

ChunkyPickle Mon 06-Feb-12 17:43:11

Regarding the meningitis vaccs - this article from the BBC has some pretty compelling stats for immunisation

rosi7 Thu 16-Feb-12 17:47:05

Interesting development:

bumbleymummy Fri 17-Feb-12 09:08:46

Just to add another anecdote to Callins, my sister and I both had measles, mumps and rubella as children with no ill effects whatsoever. Both my boys have had rubella (they were both under a year). Mumps is also usually a mild childhood disease (about 1/3 of cases show no symptoms at all) and if you look up mumps on the HPA website you will see that there is no firm evidence to show that mumps causes sterility (the risk usually given for post-pubescent males).

Measles is very rarely dangerous in well nourished, healthy children and while it tragically kills thousands every year in developing countries there have been 2 deaths in the UK in the last 20 or so years, both in immunocompromised children.

Obviously it's your decision to make - please don't allow yourself to be bullied and scaremongered into it. Inform yourself as much as possible about the diseases themselves, their incidence rates and the risks of complications and decide what you feel most comfortable with whether it's delayed vaccinations, scheduled vaccinations, single vaccinations or no vaccinations.

Also, please don't let the 'greater good' herd immunity arguments get to you. Very few of them would pay to get their children vaccinated against CP even though it can also be dangerous to immunocompromised people. They very rarely put their money where their mouth is.

Nickoka Fri 17-Feb-12 09:17:40

My Mum decided not to have my brother vaccinated against whooping cough (in the 1970s when they did jabs separately) as my other brother had had a high temperature after his jab. My younger brother who wasn't vaccinated then caught whooping cough when he was about 8 and it was awful. It went on for about 3 weeks of the most alarming cough and puking up mucus. It was really horrible for him, and for the whole family to witness.

So what I'm saying is jabs may sometimes have side effects but you must balance this against the far far greater risks of not vaccinating.

sleeplessinsuburbia Fri 17-Feb-12 09:31:20

My mother's sister died from a common childhood disease which now has a vaccine.

bumbleymummy Fri 17-Feb-12 13:04:32

Nickoka, the whooping cough vaccine has now been shown not to provide lifelong protection. Quite a few children (and adults) are contracting it now even though they were vaccinated as children.

FruitSaladIsNotPudding Fri 17-Feb-12 13:20:03

We vaccinated. I looked into it, and as someone else has said, the arguments against vaccination are very weak - people will quote anecdotes, or link to dodgy sources like alternative health magazines. On the other hand, there are many many proper studies which support vaccination.

Basically, I prefer to act on evidence.

Of course, some children do have reactions to vaccines, but it is very rare. Your child is far more likely to be harmed by these diseases.

CatherinaJTV Fri 17-Feb-12 19:19:51

if you coughed your lungs and stomach content out for 8 weeks, you are not immune for life either, so I'd rather have the booster every 5 or 10 years than another summer like that...

ArthurPewty Sat 18-Feb-12 16:52:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 00:24:25

The arguments for vaccination are generally along the lines of 'protecting your children against serious illnesses' and are supported by evidence based science, the WHO, the HPA, the NHS, and anyone who has any sense.

The arguments against can be easily found by googling, eg the Whale & JABS sites and contain a load of unfounded pseudo- cientific babble about how vaccination is ineffective, the diseases are not that serious and damage your child's immune system.

Believe whichever side you like.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 10:05:05

Catherina, again you are using extremes. Whooping cough can also present as simply a persistent cough that lasts for weeks. Many people don't realise they have it (usually because they thinkthey're protected for life by the vaccine they got in childhood) and spread it around.

Runningforthebus - I actually got most of my information about the diseases, incidence, risk of complications etc from the NHS, WHO and HPA. If you read their information I'm not sure how you can come to the conclusion that you are 'protecting your child against serious illness' particularly wrt rubella and mumps.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 10:24:53

Well, Bumbleymummy, it's because the HPA, NHS and WHO recommend the vaccinations. That's how I can come to that conclusion.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 13:14:55

I'm not talking about their recommendations, I'm talking about the 'protecting your child' part of your first post. The rubella vaccine is not recommended to 'protect your child' , in fact it makes very little sense to protect a toddler against a disease that is usually extremely mild in childhood.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 13:23:03

Why don't you want to talk about what the health professionals recommend Bumbley?

bakingaddict Tue 21-Feb-12 13:32:47

Not vaccinating your child is akin to putting them in a car without a car seat and seat-belt. People will say 'oh this happened all the time when we were younger without any harm' but documented evidence shows that both vaccination programmes and compulsory seat belt wearing have reduced the childhood death rates in both these instances otherwise what's the point in introducing these measures.

ArthurPewty Tue 21-Feb-12 14:43:19

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 15:37:40

Running, because I was talking about what you said in your post.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 16:09:13

Bumbley, we will have to agree to differ then. Because, you see, I think it makes perfect sense to immunise babies and toddlers against serious diseases like measles (still in the top 5 worldwide child mortality stats worldwide) and even mild ones like rubella when rubella has such an impact on an unborn child. Rubella may be mild (in the main) but I was mighty glad I had been vaccinated against it when I became pregnant.

Do you often advise people to go against medical advice? Because that's what you're doing when you minimise the effects of serious diseases on public forums. Do you think the Unicef and Save the Children vaccination programs are inadvisable/ ill thought out? I don't.

You claim upthread (or on the other thread) that measles is mild too - well in that case why is it still quoted as one of the top 5 causes of infant death? (Source - Unicef)


ArthurPewty Tue 21-Feb-12 17:14:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 17:28:49

Running, where have I advised anyone to go against medical advice?

I, personally, think it makes more sense for a girl to catch rubella as a child and have lifelong protection that can protect her unborn child when she is older. I, personally, think it is risky to assume that a childhood vaccine will guarantee that you are protected when you are older and I, personally, think it is irresponsible for a woman not to ensure that she is protected and to rely on someone else to protect her unborn child - it's a bit unreliable.

I'm not sure where I have said that measles is mild but it is certainly less dangerous in developed countries than in developing countries. It sadly does kill thousands of children in developing countries every year due to higher risks of complications due to malnutrition and lack of access to healthcare which is why it is still one of the top 5 causes of infant death. We don't really have the same problems with the other 4 causes of infant death here either - respiratory illness, malnutrition, diarrhoea and malaria. Would you object to me saying that those aren't really as serious/dangerous/risky in the UK?

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 17:39:58

Iirc the leading cause of infant death in the UK is SIDS.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 17:47:49

You're entitled to your opinion Bumbley, but it is against medical advice. You're advice is that the illnesses are not that serious/immunisation is not required or effective, no?

All medical agencies (including the WHO, HPA and NHS where you apparently get your figures from) advise the full immunisation program, as long as the child has no contra-indicating health problems.

The Unicef figures are quite clearly worldwide. Vaccinations have already done their job in the UK at practically eradicating these diseases. You know why? - because vaccination works.

CatherinaJTV Tue 21-Feb-12 17:55:13

LeonieDelt - that was Schwarz strain used in Eastern European vaccine, not the Edmonston which is used in Western European and US American MMRs and which never sheds.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 17:56:27

*Your advice

CatherinaJTV Tue 21-Feb-12 17:57:22

Bumbley - I was describing my experience with whooping cough as a strapping 15 year old (after babysitting an unvaccinated, coughing toddler). The extremest case that I know personally was the unvaccinated daughter of a friend of mine who caught whooping cough as a 5 year old and then coughed and whooped and vomitted every night for two weeks, spent nights sitting on her mother's lap and weekends on a drip in the hospital because she was so dehydrated.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:00:27

No, that is not my 'advice' - I'm not 'advising' anyone by expressing my opinion.

Also, I have said that some of the illnesses are usually not serious in childhood (as stated on the NHS/who/hpa websites) and that I, personally, don't think that some of them are necessary/required in childhood in the UK and that some vaccines are not effective at providing lifelong protection eg. the whooping cough, mumps vaccines etc.

What are those contra-indicated health problems that you are talking about? I don't think the doctor/nurse took any family history when I took DS along to discuss vaccines so how exactly do those children get identified?

Do you know what else is good at eradicating diseases and saving lives? Clean water, adequate nutrition, good sanitation and proper healthcare provision. If you think vaccines are the only things sparing us from the diseases in developing countries then you are very naive.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:02:49

That's fine Catherina, my own and my sister's experiences were very different to that if anecdotes are relevant here. There are many more cases of pertussis being diagnosed in adults who simply thought they had 'a cough that wouldn't go away'.

MuslinSuit Tue 21-Feb-12 18:06:03

Leonie - which jabs in current use have been proven to cause any damage?

Because it seems like appallingly bad science to talk about 'vaccine damage' to mothers who are looking for the facts .


CatherinaJTV Tue 21-Feb-12 18:08:20

oh for most adults it is probably just a nuisance - but not for the infants they encounter and give pertussis to (Little Miss High Horse here got her pertussis booster when it became available and is going to continue to do so).

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 18:09:51

muslinsuit - are you trying to say that none of the current vaccinations (as used in the UK schedule) has ever provoked a severe reaction in a child, which has resulted in vaccine damage?

what an extraordinary statement.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:10:40

Muslin, all vaccines carry a risk and there have been many cases off vaccine damage that have been compensated by the government's vaccine damage payment scheme.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:10:49


bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:13:24

Yes, Catherina, it's a shame that so few people realise that the vaccine is as ineffective as it is.

MuslinSuit Tue 21-Feb-12 18:13:47

What % of children vaccinated are 'damaged'?

What % of unvaccinated children are 'damaged' by the diseases they contract?

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 18:15:01

Bumbley, your opinion / your advice? What's the difference? You are clearly putting your opinion here, in response to a poster asking 'vaccination, yes or no?' You are still minimising and understating the seriousness of childhood diseases. Why? Your information may well be taken fom HPA/NHS websites, yet, it is confusing why you don't then agree with their advice to vaccinate?

Btw, I'm not the judge of contra-indications, but the GP's/HCP's are.

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 18:16:18

that's not the same question at all, MuslinSuit, as you are (hopefully) well aware.

vaccine damage happens. it is rare, but it happens.

I, for one, would be really quite interested in having accurate and up to date stats on the efficacy of vaccines.

eg, I would prefer it if doctors routinely swabbed if, say, mumps or measles is suspected, rather than stating 'measles like virus' or 'mumps like virus' hmm

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 18:20:28

I think it is quite easy to disagree with the WHO/hpa/nhs take on some vaccines.

I agree with bumbleymummy - I would prefer my daughters to have the chance to catch rubella wild, and I think it is the responsibility of the person old enough to have sex/have children to find out whether they are immune to rubella. it is not ethical (imo) to inject babies without their consent, when the adults/older people in the equation are capable of taking care of their own health.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:20:45

Actually running, my advice to the OP was,

"Inform yourself as much as possible about the diseases themselves, their incidence rates and the risks of complications and decide what you feel most comfortable with whether it's delayed vaccinations, scheduled vaccinations, single vaccinations or no vaccinations."

It would be nice if the GPs/HCPs asked some questions to determine whether the vaccines would be contra-indicated then wouldn't it?

nocake Tue 21-Feb-12 18:23:45

Your decision not to have your child vaccinated, if you make that decision, doesn't just affect your children. It also has the potential to affect every child your child comes into contact with who can't be vaccinated for valid medical reasons. This is the pronciple called Herd Immunity. If enough people are vaccinated then it doesn't matter that a small number aren't because there aren't enough of those people for the diseases to get passed around. Once enough people choose not to vaccinate the herd immunity is lost and, as is happening in the US, people start catching the diseases, passing them on and children start dying from them. It may not be your child that dies. It's more likely to be the child down the street who is unwell and can't be vaccinated. I wouldn't want to be the cause of someone else's child dying...

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:25:56

As far as minimising and understating goes - the NHS itself describes some of these illnesses as usually mild/self limiting and states that complications are rare.

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 18:26:12

nocake - which common childhood illness do you think we have had herd immunity from in the uK?

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 18:27:32

And the minimising the seriousness of the illnesses Bumbley? Illnesses that can kill and cause serious disablility. You blatantly did that.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:28:52

Nocake, we have never had the required percentage vaccinated in the UK to create herd immunity to MM or R and there are still outbreaks of the diseases in countries with over 95% of the population vaccinated. If you are worried about the risk your child could pose to another I hope you have vaccinated them against chickenpox too. It can be risky to immunocompromised children too.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 18:30:14

The NHS does - but still advises vaccination. So I take it you agree, as you keep quoting the NHS.

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 18:30:28

what about your minimising the effects of vaccine damage? that occurs too, and that is why this is not (always) an easy decision to make.

I really don't understand why anyone ever has a problem with posters who say 'read all you can; ask questions; make sure you are getting sensible answers; then make a decision that is right for you'

what exactly is wrong with that?

as bumbley has pointed out - case histories aren't taken pre-jabs. no one is interested in whether your child might be contraindicated or not at that point - it really is a 'jab first, ask questions (and deny all associations) later' situation.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 18:46:58

Do I agree that some of them are usually mild/self limiting and rarely cause complications? Well, yes - that is what I have said. Do I think that it then makes sense to vaccinate against them en masse in childhood? No, but it is easier/more coat effective for the NHS to manage it like that so I'm not surprised that they recommend it.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 18:50:37

I don't agree it's more cost effective? Surely, if all these diseases are so mild and self limiting as you say, and a vaccine is not needed - why would the NHS waste money on vaccination programs? Surely it would be cheaper to not vaccinate and let the parents treat these 'non-serious' illnesses at home?

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 18:53:28

it's about the loss of working productivity, in the main.

chicken pox is being lined up as the next disease to be vaccinated against routinely in the uk, as ti is 'inconvenient' for parents to have to take time off at short notice, and inconvenient for workplaces to have to cover that.

chicken pox is no more serious than it was 20/30/40 years ago, but it is being considered for inclusion in the standard vaccination programme, for these reasons.

it is more cost effective, overall, for the nhs to recommend standard vaccination. but that does not mean it is in the best interests of the individual.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 19:00:03

As marvin said...

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 19:03:55

Is that right marvin? It's not as simple as the children not getting diseases that can kill, then? Riiiiight.

I would argue that it's pretty much in the interest of any individual that they won't have to suffer from diptheria, polio, Men C, measles, and all the others that are part of the vax program.

Vaccine damage is real, but as you say yourself, rare. No one has minimised it. You may as well argue that children shouldn't have surgery under a GA because there is a small risk of an adverse reaction.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 19:04:12

Also more cost effective to combine all the vaccines rather than offering them separately...

ArthurPewty Tue 21-Feb-12 19:07:33

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ArthurPewty Tue 21-Feb-12 19:08:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 19:09:52

what is in the interest of the individual depends on many factors. none of which are taken into account before vaccinations are given.

I have been in a situation where I found out (long after my child should have been vaccinated against various different illnesses) that to vaccinate would have been a very bad idea after all.

I had been pressured for months to 'just vaccinate'. I had been told that my decision was irresponsible, and that I was being foolish (at best) and risking my child's health.

when it came to light that it was 'lucky' that I hadn't vaccinated (actually not that lucky at all, given the factors I had taken into consideration, but which doctors had repeatedly dismissed as 'not worth considering') was there an apology? any acknowledgement I was right? no chance.

I am not willing to subject any future children to vaccination unless my questions can be fully answered. they won't be, and so that leaves me unable to confidently offer up any future children as guinea pigs.

diseases can harm, yes. so can vaccines. fatal complications from diseases are rare. vaccine damage is rare. it is for the individual to decide which risk factor is better suited to their family and circumstances.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 19:13:11

Obviously, I can't comment on your own anecdotal case, marvin. Fatal complications from diseases with an available vaccine are rare now because the diseases are rare now. Prior to vaccination schedules, not so much.

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 19:15:49

I don't expect you to comment on my case. Just stating what happens (and quite often, ime)

fatal complications rates fell before vaccination was introduced.

but aside from that - it is up to each family (who have a better idea of health history) to decide which risks are worth taking for themselves and their children.

vaccination is not, and should not be, a one-size fits all issue.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 19:17:32

Not true running, fatalities from the diseases fell BEFORE the vaccines were introduced. The figures are on the HPA website if you are interested. The introduction of antibiotics and tha availability of the NHS in the 1940s made a huge difference to recovery from these diseases.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 19:19:02

Sorry Leonie, only just saw your little dig there. Vaccination science and the immune system is covered in basic gcse biology - so no, I'm not.

Must I post up Tim Minchin for you?

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 19:21:31

<snort> at taking gcse biology as the be-all-and-end-all oracle on vaccination.

must I post up the example where, to get the marks, the wrong answer had to be given to a Wakefiled/mmr question?

propaganda at its worst, imo.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 19:33:14

I think you are the propoganda writer marvin, with your little anecdote. Why let science get in the way of your little theories eh? Why would anyone sneer at science gcse level or not?

Here you go, you've asked for it: for not knowing that opinion and anecdote (and dodgy websites) are no replacement for evidence based science.

Gorgeous Tim

ArthurPewty Tue 21-Feb-12 19:37:21

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 19:37:44

which dodgy websites?

this is a thread asking for opinions and experience. I posted my experience. why is it propaganda, any more than any other poster who has stated their experience (vaccinating their children) was 'fine'?

which particular theories are you talking about (your posts is verging on incoherent)?

my only point about gcse biology is that it is hardly in-depth, and sadly has been subject to abuse over the years, and used as a vehicle to spread propaganda (not exactly earth-shattering news, since the school curriculum is used in the same way)

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 19:38:55

I'm all for evidence based science.

I am just asking that the evidence (that there are no contraindications) comes before the vaccines.

is that really too much to ask? (especially given my experience?)

GnomeDePlume Tue 21-Feb-12 19:45:03

While it is possible to get immunity from diseases by catching them in the wild the problem with this approach is that you dont know when that will be. You might hope that your DC catches rubella at an age when it is both convenient and early enough but the fact that many other DCs are immunised makes this a far from certain proposition. I'm afraid that the law of sod will dictate that your DCs will get these diseases at the least convenient moment:

- just before or while on holiday
- while attempting to take important exams
- worst possible scenario - when finding themselves unexpectedly pregnant

Why risk it?

marvinthemartian Tue 21-Feb-12 19:54:06

I'll take my chances on inconveniencing the family holiday thanks.

as to the exams issue - I hope you strongly encourage your children to test for immunity to mumps before heading off to university then. large outbreaks of mumps at universities for the last god knows how many years. the 'one jab gives immunity for life' is looking like it will easily need a third dose...

and on the unexpected pregnancy? well, it is still up to that individual (who has a far better chance at giving informed consent than an infant) to check their immunity, rather than rely on babies to protect them. imo.

GnomeDePlume Tue 21-Feb-12 20:22:23

Inconveniencing the family holiday may include a flight ban affecting the return journey

There are many important exams long before university.

The thing about unexpected pregnancies is that they are, well, unexpected. They can occur before the mother had even thought about checking her immunity.

Marvin - my comments werent aimed at you more a counter to the argument that wild immunity is automatically a viable option. It may work for some but for others it may prove to be an unmitigated disaster.

If people choose not to immunise then IMO they must inform anyone responsible for their DCs and also the DCs themselves as soon as they are in a position to make any sort of medical decision for themselves (around 13).

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 20:26:06

Children can get sick with ANYTHING at the least convenient time. It's just one of those things about being a parent.

bumbleymummy Tue 21-Feb-12 20:27:11

If they catch CP while on holiday/just before they go they can't fly. Do you recommend that we all vaccinate against CP for that reason?

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 20:27:35

Yet, marvin, it is evidence based science leads the WHO, HPA and NHS and children's charities to decide that the vaccination schedules, in both the developed and developing countries, are effective and safe. It saves lives, it really is that simple.

The contra-indications to vaccines are the same as the contra-indications for any medical procedure - be it GA, penicillin, or paracetamol.

I'm afraid, Leonie and marvin, I cannot take the views of people who sneer at biology be it at gcse level seriously - it's the basics of science. It's not wrong because it's taught to 16yr olds ffs. You sneer at science - I despair for you.

Here's more Tim for you just because I love him

ArthurPewty Tue 21-Feb-12 21:12:54

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 21:55:34

Yes, Leonie, but you did sneer at science upthread didn't you? The science behind vaccination is surprisingly basic, easily explainable to 14-16 year olds. But not to people who believe what they read on 'whale' and the like, unfortunately.

ArthurPewty Tue 21-Feb-12 22:03:56

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

runningforthebusinheels Tue 21-Feb-12 22:23:59

No, I'm sorry Leonie, but gcse biology is not erroneous, it may be basic but it is not erroneous. They do not take you aside at Uni and say, 'you know that stuff we said about immunity and vaccination at gcse, it's not true - the human immune system works in a whole different way - really vaccines don't work/are damaging/delete as appropriate. But we just don't tell those puny 14yrolds.' Do they?

Scientific principles are scientific principles - they stand. Until proven otherwise (using only evidence based science of course - not wooooooo stuff) then it is revised. That's what 'science' does.

ArthurPewty Wed 22-Feb-12 07:04:59

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

runningforthebusinheels Wed 22-Feb-12 07:16:06

Wakefield [roll] [roll] [roll]


CatherinaJTV Wed 22-Feb-12 07:28:48

sorry, I am about a page behind, but Marvin, if disease-acquired immunity works so well, why were there so many cases of congenital rubella pre-vaccine. After all, all girls had had the chance to get rubella "naturally"?

bakingaddict Wed 22-Feb-12 08:38:30

There's some really wooly scientific thinking from people....people believing that the immune system cannot handle multiple vac's FGS what do you think happens on a daily basis. Your immune system is probably bombarded with hundreds of pathogens on a daily basis, it doesn't give up the ghost when it passes the magic 3 number so why do you think this happens with a triple vaccine?

PeppyNephrine Wed 22-Feb-12 08:41:59

Doesn't this board get bored having the exact same argument over and over and over and over again?

OP, just vaccinate your child. Its a wonder of modern medicine that has saved millions of lives, a chance that plenty of women around the world would die to get for their children. End of story.

CatherinaJTV Wed 22-Feb-12 16:17:03

PeppyNephrine - LOVE * YOUR * SCREEN NAME

agree with the sentiment of your post, too

bumbleymummy Wed 22-Feb-12 18:11:55

You would think so Peppy, but obviously not grin

Btw, I don't think that comparing people living in developing countries with limited/no access to clean water and sanitation, poor nutrition and inadequate healthcare provision makes a good point or 'ends the story'.

Baking addict, vaccines actually bypass parts of our immune system so again, not a great comparison.

marvinthemartian Wed 22-Feb-12 20:41:54

Catherina - I have said many times, I think it is up to the individual to check their own immunity to diseases, rather than rely on babies and infants to protect them.

I don't buy the 'might not have thought to check their immunity' either. No, currently, might not think to do so (as happens with so many other diseases too, where vaccine immunity wanes yet teens/adults don't go for boosters) - 20 odd years ago no one thought to vaccinate babies against rubella either. systems can change hmm. and adults/teens/older children should be taking responsibility for their own health.

running- it is not so much the basic science I was laughing at, but the fact that the science taught at gcse has been shown (especially where vaccines and health science is concerned) to actually be wrong. and no more than propaganda. so to take that as gospel is worrying, tbh.

even back in my day, I recall being taught things at gcse science level which, once i started A level, were then dismissed with a 'oh yes, we did say that, but had to really, as it needed to be simple. that's not quite the whole story...' and then the proper reasoning would come out (or, at least, more of the proper reasoning...)

Beachcombergirl Wed 05-Sep-12 16:20:29

What did the original poster do in the end?

helloitsme Mon 12-Nov-12 21:28:07

Just saw your post Beachcombergirl. Well, I should say that this thread kind of ran away from me. There were some posts soon after I posted, and then a lull, during which I thought the thread was cold. I was very suprised to see it had run and run! And I have to say that I am touched by the effort that people are willing to put in to answering questions from other concerned parents.
Having said all that, I am still very confused about what to do. I have read the arguments on both sides, and find them both convincing. As yet I have not vaccinated, but I'm still considering some vaccinations. I have moved internationally during the course of this thread and now face a different set of doctors and diseases, and I just feel pretty unsure which way to go. I also think that because people feel so very very strongly about this topic, it's difficult to discuss sometimes and just be clear. So it makes it difficult sometimes to come out and say where you're at and what your dilemma is. However, I am still better informed after the thread than before, and much appreciate the effort of all who wrote on it....

Beaaware Thu 15-Nov-12 10:47:15

I agree with LeonieDelt, go by your gut feelings. My friend's son was only 24 when he died of human bse they think it was linkd the the BCG vaccine which he had years before.

Tabitha8 Thu 15-Nov-12 18:56:28

It looks like there were concerns over the polio vaccine that was being used in 2000. Although we are told there was no risk whatsoever....

ElaineBenes Sat 17-Nov-12 02:24:34

So you refuse a polio vaccine based on a precautionary withdrawal of some batches of vaccines over 10 years ago even though the chances of ever developing cjd from vaccines is incalculably small anyhow.

On the other hand, the risk of polio is real since there is very little herd immunity from the inactivated polio vaccine which is now given - so if polio is imported and you're not vaccinated, you could get it as you won't have the same benefit of herd immunity as other diseases.

Perfect demonstration of the logic of many people who don't vaccinate.

Tabitha8 Sat 17-Nov-12 14:06:47

Oh dear, Elaine I'm beginning to think that you are just looking for an argument. My point was directed at Beaware and wasn't being used as an argument against a polio vaccine. Why did you take it as such?

JoTheHot Sat 17-Nov-12 18:19:56

Probably because, habitually, you seek to discourage vaccination by misrepresenting vaccine science. You can only cry wolf so many times before people start to anticipate it. Just a guess.

Tabitha8 Sun 18-Nov-12 13:36:38

Now there's an accusation. I'm not anti-vaccine, but believe what you will.

specialsubject Sat 24-Nov-12 16:27:07

I grew up knowing two gents who must have been among the last generation to contract polio in the UK. Every single step was a struggle - and they were the lucky ones in that they survived and could breathe unaided.

OP - your kids may be in luck and polio will finally be eradicated before they have the chance to leave the UK. If not, please make sure they they know that they are not immune.

I don't have the answers, but I do know that no-one will get smallpox ever again. With luck, in a few years no-one will ever get polio again.

maebybebe Tue 11-Jun-13 17:59:53

Hi, well I've been thinking about this for some time and now I've decided to have children I have started to delve into in depth research, my first step is to read the book Vaccination is not Immunisation by Tina O'Shea, as that is one book I understand gives an overview of the pros and cons and gives sources for all the information. Of course I will read books with the view that we should vaccinate, and indeed a lot of parents who have read this book come out with the decision they will vaccinate against some things and not others. So I think that could be my outcome. Has anyone read this book at all? I also need to re-read a proper textbook on immunology, which I did do a few years back out of interest, but have forgotten most of it.

curlew Wed 19-Jun-13 21:52:17

Do you mean Tim O'Shea? If you do, this is a quotation from him-

"Dr O'Shea teaches that vaccines are based on "junk science", and said in a radio interview last year that vaccine-preventable diseases should be treated by "naturally boosting the immune system".

"You do that by diet, by lifestyle, by chiropractic adjustments, by keeping the spine in line, by natural methods – not by giving these fictitious, imaginary, man-made altered pathogens and pretending like they trigger an immunity,"

Dragonboobs Fri 28-Jun-13 20:46:26

I wrote my dissertation on 'the causes of death in Victorian <name of home town>'

It was painful and heartbreaking to research and write. Because I hadn't anticipated how many under 5s there would be. I had to seperate my data for them; there were just so many.

You can read that if you like; I guarantee it'll have you booking a vaccination appt before you've finished it.

It's your decision. But make sure YOU research properly and thoroughly. Vaccinations were created and exist with damn good reason.

Fwiw my DS had his mmr today. It's how I stumbled upon this thread.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 28-Jun-13 20:51:15

Dragonboobs: seriously you did a dissertation on disease and death and don't realise how much impact sanitation, nutrition and antibiotics have had since the Victorian Age? Actually?

Dragonboobs Fri 28-Jun-13 21:07:54

Of course I realise that. I wasn't going to rewrite the whole thing here. It'd be a rather long post if I talked about all the reasons why infant death has decreased so much. But vaccinations are one reason and this is a thread about vaccinations.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 28-Jun-13 21:11:09

They're a much smaller reason than sanitation and nutrition. So why would reading about infectious disease in the Victorian age send you straight out to get a vaccine? Your post says vaccines were created with damn good reason. But deaths had declined hugely before vaccines were created. You sort of imply it's largely down to vaccination.

Dragonboobs Fri 28-Jun-13 21:24:47

But still a reason, yes?

Because it makes for harrowing reading. That, I think, would make you want to make damn sure you protected your child against, any which way you could.

I did assume most people realise that sanitation and nutrition have improved.

I made it quite clear that it was up to any parent but that they should ensure they have all the info to make the decision.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 28-Jun-13 21:29:15

Meh. I think it's pointless bordering on scare-mongering.

Abra1d Fri 28-Jun-13 21:37:38

'I grew up knowing two gents who must have been among the last generation to contract polio in the UK. Every single step was a struggle - and they were the lucky ones in that they survived and could breathe unaided.'

My father is like this. He 'recovered' from polio in that it only left him with one leg that couldn't bend at the knee. He was in hospital for a year, missed university and National Service and could play no sports except golf and swimming. Now he is in his eighties the pain from his ruined joints is awful and he is pretty well wheelchair-bound. It beats me why anyone would risk this for their child.

Crumbledwalnuts Fri 28-Jun-13 21:45:33

"With luck, in a few years no-one will ever get polio again." I don't think people know enough about the story of polio vaccination in developing countries.

maebybebe Tue 03-Sep-13 21:56:45

Hi, haven't been on here in a while. I am a way off from even trying for a child, but I have always been interested in these kinds of issues; where there is so much vigour on either side and as someone has said on the first page of this post 'that people all seem to quote one another, rather than actual primary sources' - it has got to a point with this issue where it is difficult to get to the nitty gritty of which is the "right" view, because discussions always come back to a kernel of an idea on either side: vaccines have prevented diseases, smallpox is gone because vaccines and soon polio will be gone too / It was sanitation that eradicated polio and vaccines are harmful etc. etc.

Also, as someone said in response to my wanting to read a certain book; and yes it is Tim O'Shea, the quotes seem far from impartial! And I had found this book looking for impartial views! Therefore I want to undertake a research project. I want to look into it from a layman's, a concerned might-be-mother, I want to look at the actual beginnings of the whole thing and come to a rational conclusion for myself.

Who knows, maybe this resource will be of interest to others, but it will be something I have to do to satisfy myself in this minefield of staunch supporters of ingrained viewpoints.

Thank you.

bruffin Tue 03-Sep-13 22:54:05


this is the IOM review of vaccine effects and causality This looks at the reactions attributed to various vaccines, the mechanism behind it and also good information about the actual disease. Its free to read on line.

WHO Vaccine safety web sites meeting credibility and content good information practices criteria
and avoid any site that links to whale.

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