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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?

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?

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