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Advice from those who delaying or haven't vaccinated

(61 Posts)
looseleaf Wed 07-Nov-12 21:58:19

I strongly feel DD was affected adversely by her very early vaccinations and when I looked up their ingredients 3 years on I was also horrified she was given levels (of mercury or aluminium, my sleep deprived brain no longer remembers) way above the recommended amount deemed ok.

I've since seen a summary of an independent study suggesting that non-vaccinated children are 4 times less prone to various health problems - I'm not trying to make any arguments here as it's such an emotive subject but I want to ask , when u have such a very strong gut instinct not to vaccinate this time round, and have read widely (, and I've also consulted a private doctor who's studied the subject extensively and raised lots of wuestions rather than dictate answers) have I still come away afraid to stand firm with my instinct - ie do you too find yourself patronised or spoken to aggressively by health professionals?

Please give me any advice as I'm so worried and we've just joined a new surgery where the receptionist was frankly rude when I said we're deliberately delaying DS' vacs (he's 16 months). I kept very calm and confident but I worry am going to have problems and if only they understood the hours and hours I've spent researching and deliberating over making what I feel is the right decision (DH trusts me but is programmed with the rest of us to feel vaccines aren't to be questioned )

No debates please as I do need help from anyone in the same boat and reassurance that surely I'm not alone? I really feel so angry at my total blind faith the first time and wish I'd at least waited a couple of months even for dd's immune system just to develop a bit first?

Sorry for my stressed post and DC's health stresses me out as dd (fully immunised btw) has had a tough health history

sashh Thu 08-Nov-12 01:50:48

Sorry but I think it is par for the course.

I'm very pro vacine - I'll just get that out of the way so you know I am biased.

You may well have done a lot of research, and it may actually be research from good sources (peer reviewed journals, PubMed etc. etc) But, and it is a big but, you will be one in a million.

The vast majority of people who don't vaccinate do not research properly.

I had a rather heated discussion with another poster who kept saying "why can't scientists tell me this is 100% safe?"

Well a scientist cannot say that because there is no proof something is safe for everyone. Even water. We allow children to freely drink water, we drink it ourselves. As lay people water is safe to drink. To a scientist it is safe to consume in most situations but in some can be poisonous or cause great harm (do you remember Leah Betts?).

So the Dr, HV, receptionist, nurse does not know if you have researched properly or have just googled a few anti vax sites, and most people objecting to vaccines (not those with health issues that prevent vaccination) have got their information from Dr Google.

You are being tarred with the same brush.

Health care professionals are encountering diseases that where virtually unknown 20 years ago. Things like whooping cough.

It's not personal, stay calm ad assertive.

But please understand that a child registered at that surgery may have died that week due to a disease that can be vaccinated against, someone with a poor immune system might have caught something that they would not have done if vaccination rates were higher.

If you were employed by a GP, even as a non medical person such as a receptionist, and you used to see a child on a regular basis, but you don't now because they died from whooping cough, measels, or even diptheria wouldn't you be a little bit aggressive when you encountered an unvaccinated child?

AnitaBlake Thu 08-Nov-12 02:42:14

Well put sashh!

Cadmum Thu 08-Nov-12 03:28:43

Forgive me for changing a few words in sashh's post: If you were employed by a GP, even as a non medical person such as a receptionist, and you used to see a child on a regular basis, but you don't now because they died from a serious reaction to the whooping cough vaccine? Wouldn't you be a little bit aggressive when you encountered a parent who vaccinated their child without doing any research themselves?

Probably not on the UK since doctors cannot offer impartial, scientifically-based information without adversely defecting their own financial remuneration. The real reason your GP's surgery will encourage you to vaccinate your child is because they are paid more to do so.

The pertussis vaccine was changed precisely because of adverse reactions including infant deaths. This is little consolation to those who lost a healthy infant prior to the change. I am too emotionally involved to be impartial and I tend to avoid these threads but the op is looking for support not further condemnation.

piglettsmummy Thu 08-Nov-12 04:52:58

I was worried initially about having dd vaccinated not all but more specifically the MMR jab especially as during a research project ( educational purposes not personal) I had encountered both for and against arguments about it and the against MMR was more striking to me. But then I kind of looked around and thought
Actually look how many millions of children there are and there is such a minority of children that have been claimed
To be affected by vaccinations. Most of which are parents who need to find a explanation for there child's medical issues. my dd has a
Complex of problems and is what docs call an 'allergic baby' ( their term not mine). I still worry about vaccinating her as she perks up allergic reactions wherever and whenever she likes! But I always think well there can be something done to reverse it. Vaccinations for children is like medication for adults. They all work by helping the bodys natural processes if u read the whole list of ingredients in most medications would u really wana take it still? Probably not but u do because it helps. The same goes for vaccinations they will help fight of the conditions they are made to, yes they may have side effects but at the end of the day they wouldn't process a drug of it wasnt safe x

notnagging Thu 08-Nov-12 05:14:15

People who don't get their children vaccinated are responsible for the spread of illnesses that could've been prevented if they had done. All pregnant mothers are now being advised to have the whooping cough immunisation for example as people are not vaccinating their children. There is a reason vaccinations exist, there is no conspiracy theory behind it. I pray to god your child does not attend nursery with other children who have not been vaccinated.

downindorset Thu 08-Nov-12 09:41:13

Hi OP. I'm not sure what help you need but I can give you reassurance that you are not alone. My DS has had his first set but as soon as I started weaning him the allergies started coming and I stopped. I may well pick up again when he goes to school but at the moment, I'm leaving things as they are and letting him grow and develop without interference.

Keeping calm and confident is key as you have suggested.

I know a variety of people, some who vaccinate completely, some who don't at all.

I do believe in doing your own research and not blindly trusting doctors. I used to trust the medical system implicitly until I had some wrong advice, some wrong procedures and lost a child as a result. Now I am much more circumspect. What I have learnt is that there are good doctors and bad doctors. And that just because something is recommended at one time does not mean that it will be recommended in the future, when time has passed and more is known. Also, the system uses protocols and does not treat individuals. Unfortunately, we all need individual treatment because we are not all the same.

I do think there are some strong positives to vaccination, particularly in the developing world where sanitation and nutrition are real issues. I also think it's not an easy decision either way. In the end, we must all do what we feel most comfortable with and live with the consequences. There is a lot of fear and hysteria around this subject and it's hard to see the wood for the trees sometimes.

StarlightMcKenzie Thu 08-Nov-12 09:49:04

I have a mish-mash if vaccinations and not amongst my children. I phoned the vacc people wot kept sending me letters and asked them to stop. They did so without questioning why.

Pagwatch Thu 08-Nov-12 09:49:47

Its a difficult area.
I think if you have had a strong adverse reaction from a vaccination then your concern is understandable.
But you have to be able to discuss those concerns in a rational way.
And you have to remain very focused about the fact that vaccinations are voluntary so, if you feel people are being pushy nd aggressive rather than helping you with your concerns, then you should feel free to ignore them.

But it is an obligation I think to discuss it fully - to test your own views to make sure they are sensible and robust.

Dd is not vaccinated but I discuss this with my Gap. He understands why and actually he agrees so its not an antagonistic conversation
Of course he recognises tht, just as you did, I had assumed that I would vaccinate fully until some serious adverse reactions made e question that. Very different from just dismissing vaccination with no promoting.

My DD attended nursery and school. They have all been fully informed.
In your finger pointing rant did you consider at all that some people simply cannot vaccinate?

notnagging Thu 08-Nov-12 14:37:04

Not being able to vaccinate for medical reasons is different from not wanting to as you feel your child is more precious Then anyone else's.

Pagwatch Thu 08-Nov-12 15:32:17

Yes. But having had an adverse reaction, as the Ops child did, makes her concern understandable and not in the 'more precious than anyone elses' category.
Although that is an interesting concept in itself as don't we all regard our child as more precious than other peoples? Or do you genuinely regard my DD as precious as your DCs ? And if vaccinations are totally benign why does does how precious a child is come into it?
More to the point, 'medical reasons' can be a matter of opinion. DD has no specific medical reason not to be vaccinated but that the substantial list of family reactions, including the severe reaction of her brother, means that most of her medical advisors say she shouldn't have any. But I bet I could find a couple who would say she should.
It isn't cut and dried.
So the 'i pray to god...' guilt fest was a bit unnecessary IMO.

worldgonecrazy Thu 08-Nov-12 15:45:27

Yes, the surgery will be rude, the GP will use emotive language and you will be threatened with all sorts of things if you choose to forge your own vaccination path. These things are all par for the course.

If you are well-read on the pros and cons of vaccines, that will put you on a good footing, as many GPs don't read further than the blurb sent by the vaccine manufacturers. The practice nurse who gave DD a couple of her jabs was so badly informed it was laughable.

Unfortunately doctors are so used to being treated like demi-gods by their staff and patients, that it's easy to forget they are human, with human failings.

I agree with Pagwatch - if your reasons for not vaccinating, or choosing a bespoke vaccination schedule, are sensible and robust, then you will be able to deal with GPs and practice nurses.

looseleaf Thu 08-Nov-12 20:01:06

Thank you all so much for your replies. Downindorset I was so saddened you've had known such loss by the way. And grateful to all your replies, Pagwash too and some interesting questions.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 00:37:33

'If you are well-read on the pros and cons of vaccines, that will put you on a good footing'

Well yes, but actually you don't have to give any reason at all to refuse vaccinations. You can just say 'no thanks' and refuse to discuss it further. You don't have to 'make a case' to avoid them, you simply refuse consent.

CelticPromise Fri 09-Nov-12 00:58:32

Of course it must be very worrying if your child has had a bad reaction, and I don't doubt there are a few children for whom vaccination is not to be recommended.

But I am always shocked at the attitude that there is a money making conspiracy behind immunisation, or that your doctor is promoting it to make money. As if the NHS along with public health bodies worldwide would provide it if there was no evidence of safety and efficacy. I will trust the experts to read the evidence and make the recommendations rather than Dr Google, because I am not a scientist and I am not capable of appraising the quality of research.

Herd immunity can protect the few who can't be vaccinated, but there are so many unvaccinated children now it's not working. We don't have smallpox any more thanks to vaccination. I read the other day that polio, which had also been on the way to being eradicated, is making a comeback.

OP as you feel very strongly perhaps you could consult an immunology expert who might be able to answer your questions rather than raising more.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 09:29:37

'As if the NHS along with public health bodies worldwide would provide it if there was no evidence of safety and efficacy'

But they have done this before. With the first MMR for example. Other countries were busy withdrawing it and the UK peddled it harder.

StarlightMcKenzie Fri 09-Nov-12 09:35:01

I am not a scientist, but I don't need to be to have experienced systemic failure by the NHS time and time again, poor decisions, policy and financially driven medical decisions rather than individualistic and poor training. Nor to understand political and corrupt rationale for policies, pharma deals and health decisions.

Our politicians and our NHS Senior management are constantly in the news for getting it wrong or having hidden agendas. Vaccinations themselves being immune to this is a bit of a tall claim to make.

CelticPromise Fri 09-Nov-12 10:43:37

I can't think of an instance of seeing NHS management in the news for having hidden agendas.

There are corrupt individuals in every organisation and the pharmaceutical industry is a disgrace. They suppress trials that don't support their work and they are in it for the money.

But there are many many trials, conducted by public health organisations as well as big pharma, that show the safety and efficacy of vaccines. The original MMR is still in use in some countries- I understand the evidence shows it's more effective.

I just don't believe that noone who conducts any of these trials and supports vaccinations is in it for good and moral reasons, and I am happy to be advised by people who know what they're talking about. My understanding is that pro vaccine scientists are very much in the majority, and as it is their job to evaluate evidence that's good enough for me. I've also read a bit about the recent MMR scares and I think the media has been very irresponsible in reporting poor research and discouraging vaccination.

I think the rise in whooping cough and measles is quite scary too.

Beaaware Sat 10-Nov-12 13:58:31

This is what is in the pneumonia vaccine (prevenar13) given to babies, young children aged between 6 weeks and 5 years:

30.8 micrograms of pneumococcal purified capsular polysaccharides
32 micrograms of CRM197 protein
aluminium phosphate
sodium chloride
succinic acid
polysorbate 80
water for injections
and finally

exposure to Bovine derived materials, but dont worry they say that no evidence exists that any case of vCJD (human bse) has resulted from the administration of any vaccine.

(not sure how they would know this for certain)

Makes you think twice!

sashh Sun 11-Nov-12 06:43:55

* If you were employed by a GP, even as a non medical person such as a receptionist, and you used to see a child on a regular basis, but you don't now because they died from a serious reaction to the whooping cough vaccine? Wouldn't you be a little bit aggressive when you encountered a parent who vaccinated their child without doing any research themselves?*


1) has this even happened? I know there hace been 10 babies killed by whooping cough this year.

2) That child will not have infected anyone else.

StuntNun Sun 11-Nov-12 06:56:05

DowninDorset what is the connection between vaccinations and allergies? I haven't heard of this before. I know when I was a child I couldn't be vaccinated against measles because the vaccine was produced using eggs and I was allergic. Please could you explain what you mean.

My DSs were recently advised to have their BCGs. DS1 was very worried about the pain of the needle so my DH and I discussed with him how important vaccinations were and that he would be protected against a very serious disease. This led to a discussion with DS1 about smallpox and it made me realise that we wouldn't be able to eradicate smallpox worldwide now if we had to, because so many people would just refuse to vaccinate.

amarylisnightandday Sun 11-Nov-12 07:06:48

With dd1 I jabbed until she was 6 months then I panicked, delayed so I could do masses of reading then I held off until 18 months and rejected the last pneumococcal but agrees to the mmr. Dd is fine BUT her immune system seemed to dip right down after the last jab she had under 12 months (not got her red book with me to tell you what it was) and this really concerned me. She was v robust prior to that and is again now but then she's had no jabs for 18 months plus (keep thinking she might be due one and if its pneumococcal and she's technically covered I will refuse it).

I am about to have dd2. I will not be refusing the jabs but I'm not allowing any until post 6 months and only when she is in good health.

On the whole I am pro vac and I do think a considered decision is a responsibility to wider society.....but seeing a v v healthy, bf baby knocked out of whack like that concerned me greatly. That said I fob think it was a medium term, not long term effect of the jab and it doesn't change my opinion about jabs on the whole.
I am also v against giving children anti biotics unless its an emergency. Dd1 has never had any - I have refused I think 2 courses on a lets wait and see if the temp can be managed by calpol basis. I can see with my own eyes the difference in general health and immunity between dd1 and various little friends who were bf for the same period and have v comparable lifestyles and diets.

downindorset Sun 11-Nov-12 09:27:45

Stuntnun - there is a possibility that vaccination and autoimmunity is linked - perhaps by triggering allergies in those that are susceptible. As far as I can tell, the exact extent of the link is not known and in most cases is probably negligible. However, My DS was allergic to egg and now has a strong anaphylactic reaction to nuts. His allergy status is changing as he grows. Since both allergy and vaccination are immune related, I chose to stop one until I knew more about the other. That way, I could be sure that any vaccinations he was having were not influencing his system. For my peace of mind, it is the best thing to do.

StarlightMcKenzie Sun 11-Nov-12 09:29:47

What would have happened wrt smallpox if we'd vaccinated against cowpox and made it extinct?

stargirl1701 Sun 11-Nov-12 09:35:30

Beaaware it doesn't make me think twice at all. I was desperate for my LO to be vaccinated. Two babies in my local area are in Intensive Care at the regional teaching hospital with whooping cough. I was terrified my LO would catch it and die. I feel so much less anxious now she has had her first vaccination. I was offered the whooping cough vaccination by the GP to help protect me as her primary carer. I took it in a heartbeat with the flu jab. I had two sore arms and felt a bit ropy for 24 hours. Worth it. I feel so privileged to live in a country where all this is free.

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