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The vaccination debate.

(1002 Posts)
StrandedBear Fri 16-Sep-11 09:34:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

discobeaver Fri 16-Sep-11 09:43:57

Before widespread vaccinations, lots and lots of children died of diseases. Now they don't.
That's why I vaccinate my kids, although do admit I paid for separate MMR jabs, what a pain in the arse that was.
The 'herd immunity' of most kids being vaccinated protects, in general, the ones who aren't immunised.

I do know however that some children have been damaged by vaccines, and can understand why some parents are wary.

NinkyNonker Fri 16-Sep-11 09:54:31

I had the initial ones done and am delaying mmr, we have done lots of research and most indicates that there is no rush. We may then do separate jabs.

MyRealName Fri 16-Sep-11 09:58:24

The risk of complications or death from diseases such as meningitis or measles (which is on the rise due to falling vaccination rates) is far greater than any risk associated with the vaccinations themselves. That's why my DD is getting her jabs. The MMR thing angered my scientific brain no end, but I won't get into that, that's not what you're asking!

I hate taking her, I hate seeing her cry, and I hate that she is irritable afterwards. But I have and will make sure I am never late, never cancel any appointments, and am fully informed before I get there, because I know they are important for my child personally, and for the whole of society.

Everyone has the right to decide what is best for their own child, but personally I feel there has been too much said about the risks of vaccines, and nowhere near enough about the diseases they protect us from.

Four month boosters for DD soon sad I feel sorry for the poor nurse who has to spend all morning making babies cry!

WidowWadman Fri 16-Sep-11 10:09:38

If I wasn't an atheist I'd say Andrew Wakefield deserves a special place in hell for what he's done to vaccinations.

I might be completely barking up the wrong tree, but it seems to me that having children brings up a special brand of scepticism and the idea that one knows better than what those doctors say, because one is a parent.

So some people are prone to treat there children with homeopathy because it's allegedly milder, don't give vaccinations or delay them because they believe the little bodies can't cope with the harsh stuff yet - why they think the little bodies can cope with a wild infection is beyond me though.

There's a lot of cash to be made with parents fears, and that's why alternatives are being pushed to them, whilst the evidence based stuff which is free on the NHS gets vilified.

Anyway, anyone who's more worried about vaccine damage than the damage the real diseases do, should read Roald Dahl's account of the death of his daughter. Makes me cry every time.

buttonmoon78 Fri 16-Sep-11 10:10:52

I have had 3/4 vaccinated and dc4 is due his first lot next week. I'm not looking forward to it but I'd rather short term pain than have to deal with the effects of measles or something.

My first memory is having whooping cough. Which was nice. FiL contracted diptheria as an adult as his mum didn't believe in jabs.

What I don't understand is - and this is a genuine question, not intending to be inflammatory - why do some people refuse childhood jabs but then use anti-malarials and take holiday jabs? confused

There is far less risk in having a complete course of childhood jabs than in taking a single tablet of lariam hmm

I think that in the western world we are so sheltered that we have forgotten the terrible effects of these diseases. They are not little things - they can be fatal. Witness the effects of polio or mumps. It's not worth mucking about with. In the 3rd world mothers would give their right arms to protect their children to the extent that we are able to and yet some people choose to put their children at risk.

I really don't get it at all.

buttonmoon78 Fri 16-Sep-11 10:13:13

I might be completely barking up the wrong tree, but it seems to me that having children brings up a special brand of scepticism and the idea that one knows better than what those doctors say, because one is a parent.

Hell yes! As on that other thread... 'my child, my choice' regardless of the evidence or dangers.

FiL really appreciated his mother's choice hmm

borderslass Fri 16-Sep-11 10:18:37

I had all mine vaccinated DS[17] like his sisters was a bright toddler but is now ASD for a long time we blamed the vaccine and this started before all the publicity surrounding it.

When he was 14 he was assessed by an OT and it became clear that he had issues from the day he was born it was just a coincidence when they showed up properly.

Kladdkaka Fri 16-Sep-11 10:21:11

I had my daughter vaccinated because childhood diseases kill and herd immunity is essential to protect the most vulnerable who have no choice about vaccinations. Not vaccinating is irresponsible. Do people really want to go back to the dark old days of hundreds of deaths of children every year through perfectly preventable diseases?

buttonmoon78 Fri 16-Sep-11 10:21:53

It must have been hard to let go of the thing you blamed borderslass.

Having something to blame is important to us so it's no wonder that what you experienced is repeated up and down the country. sad

ChunkyPickle Fri 16-Sep-11 10:24:26

I vaccinate for all the reasons already said.

I'm noticing that a person's personal experiences seem to make a big difference - ie. I had a great grandmother, and knew an elderly lady across the road when I was growing up who both had reduced vision from catching the measles when young.

I've lived in 3rd world countries, and the mothers do indeed line up to get their children vaccinated - the thought of not doing it horrifies them, as they have first hand knowledge of what can happen.

Mind you, my DP took our 1 year old for his last set of vaccinations, and found the experience a bit hair raising. Ours is very good about it, and apart from a bit of a yell from the shock he calms down again almost immediately, but sitting in the waiting room hearing the other kids screaming could put off some people as well I think

Dawndonna Fri 16-Sep-11 10:27:06

I agree that not vaccinating is irresponsible. My uncle contracted polio in the outbreak after the war, he would be furious to think that anyone would want to put their child through what he went to. He's (obviously) in his sixties now, but can remember being able to walk and run.
As for Andrew Wakefield (spits) I too am in agreement. I speak as the daughter, mother and wife of people with Asperger Syndrome. Funny, no MMR when my father was young, before the second world war.

Clumsymum Fri 16-Sep-11 10:32:49

We didn't allow DS to have the MMR because when he was at that age the Andrew Wakefield debate was in full flow, and we didn't feel we could trust any of the information we got from any source. As my stepson is quite severely autistic, we didn't feel it was a risk we were able to take at that time. A hospital peadiatrician fully understood our fears, and tried to get us single vaccines, but the regulations prevented it. I am VERY angry that the govt was so high-handed, and wouldn't let parents choose.

We did get DS MMRed when he was 8. Our minds were changed because
a) the evidence against the triple vaccine seemed to have been disproved
b) at that age we felt DS's own immune system was stronger, to avoide bad reaction to the triple vaccine
c) we were travelling to the caribbean, where his risk of contracting measles would be higher.

Similarly, DS has not had the meningitis vaccine which was offered at age 3, because it was a brand new vaccine at that stage, and the disease was not an issue in this area. I wanted to see what side effects emerged in 5 years time before I commit DS to such things.

bumbleymummy Fri 16-Sep-11 10:44:49

Button moon - your last post is extremely patronising and dismissive of parents with children who have been vaccine damaged - many of them have been compensated. It is not always a case of 'looking for something to blame'.

I don't have the time or energy for this right now and I can already see it getting heated. Most people who have decided not to vaccinate/to delay vaccines/selectively vaccinate etc have done so after a great deal of thought and consideration and have based it on their own family history/experience and the individual needs of their children. The one-size-fits-all approach to vaccination does not suit all children and many of you would do well to remember that there are plenty of MNers with vaccine damaged children who have to read your thoughtless,insensitive posts.

MyRealName Fri 16-Sep-11 10:52:23

Clumsymum, I'm glad you decided to get the MMR in the end, and respect that you were aware of and weighed up the available evidence to the best of your ability. You mention you are angry at the government for not letting you choose, and in a way I agree with having more choice. However, offering that choice would have two dangerous consequences: appearing to agree that the MMR was dangerous, and lowering uptake of vaccines. The amount of people failing to get their children vaccinated purely because they can't keep appointments is shocking, and increasing one appointment to three would certainly lower vaccination rates. When I took DD for her first jabs, the lovely nurse told me that there had been two no-shows already that day and mine was a 10.15 appointment. A waste of precious NHS time.

WidowWadman Fri 16-Sep-11 10:55:56

Whenever I read that line about individual needs of individual children, I wonder whether it's not every child's need to be safe from preventable diseases?

NB - I'm not talking about the very vulnerable children which cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and who depend on the ever waning herd immunity

buttonmoon78 Fri 16-Sep-11 10:56:01

My apologies - it wasn't meant to be patronising blush. But it is hard to let go of blaming something and accepting that sometimes things just 'happen' with no particular reason or cause. I know because I've had to do that myself for another reason (which is probably why I didn't realise my comment would be perceived as patronising).

And I do know that the perceived link with autism is not the only reason that people choose not to vaccinate (nor was I referring to anything other than that).

Stoirin Fri 16-Sep-11 10:56:01

My mother gave a lot of thought to not vaccinating me after a similar (completely unfounded) scare about the whooping cough virus. I'll bet she gave that decision a lot more thought while I was in the hospital almost dying from it. The mothers of the 3 children who died in the last big measles outbreak near me probably thought a lot about those other parents decisions too.

There are plenty of MN with vac damaged children? I don't think so, since the number of children known to be vax damaged is very very small, there couldn't statistically be plenty hanging around here.

This thread is going to go the way of all the others. And its not an AIBU anyway.

MyRealName Fri 16-Sep-11 10:56:06

I didn't read buttonmoon's post as patronising or dismissive.

bumbleymummy Fri 16-Sep-11 10:57:16

MyRealName, some parents don't want to vaccinate their children against mumps and rubella but would vaccinate against measles if they had the option. If they cant pay privately they have to go for mmr or nothing. I think when you take away people's choice about whether or not they vaccinate against certain diseases you are stepping into dangerous territory. Should we not have had a choice about the swine flu vaccine either? For the sake of the 'greater good'.

wigglesrock Fri 16-Sep-11 10:59:49

I vacinate my children without a thought - I lived as a very young child in a very undeveloped country that didn't have the money to vacinate their children - if I didn't bring them for their jabs, my mother would!

WidowWadman Fri 16-Sep-11 11:00:29

What makes you think rubella and mumps aren't dangerous?

bumbleymummy Fri 16-Sep-11 11:00:41

Ok button moon, it sounded like you were dismissing all parents who think their children are vaccine damaged as people just wanting something to blame. I'm glad that isn't what you meant! smile

Re herd immunity - there are still outbreaks of disease in countries which have over 95% of the population vaccinated. It doesn't guarantee anything.

bumbleymummy Fri 16-Sep-11 11:01:38

WW - read about them on the NHS/HPA website to see their incidence and risks.

buttonmoon78 Fri 16-Sep-11 11:02:24

But the single vaccines (when I did my research which was, admittedly, some time ago) had not been licensed as single vaccines as they had not gone through such rigorous testing. I don't want my child exposed to risk any more than you do so why would it be a good thing to give them a vaccine that had not been tested properly?

And from what I recall (always a shaky position) there was simply not enough swine flu vaccine to go round.

I'm sure I'll be corrected in a min though!

Thanks myrealname - I don't like upsetting people so get a bit twitchy when accused of something nasty.

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