what is your opinion? Is it a conspiracy or a grace to humanity? Has it halted our natural evolution to resistance to disease?
It has halted devastating plagues wiping out huge numbers of people, which is good enough for me.
But is it still right to be vaccinated for them even though some of those diseases are no longer around? Or what about those that are still around and constantly evolving, and the vaccine is only functional for 60% who are vaccinated?
Not around? You must mean in the US. They are still common in developing countries, just waiting for someone to bring them back to the US.
Which does happen, and when we are no longer immunized those same diseases that were wiped out here are reintroduced and do their damage again.
They are still around, and still killing people, just as suppressed levels. Influenza for example.
I have done a little bit more research on vaccines since I asked this question, and I found that many can cause Autoimmune disorders, that some can cause a very weak immune system, as they are given so early in life that it doesn't allow for a child's immune system to build itself up. I have found that it is not 100% required that one cannot get into public schools without being vaccinated, that if their parents have religious beliefs which don't allow it, or in some states, philosophical beliefs.
We are still vaccinating for diseases which are no longer a threat to us. And on top of it, it means pumping in chemicals into our bodies before our bodies have a chance to realize what they are and what diseases they're capable of fighting against.
With that in mind, I re-ask the question.
Unfortunately, you get the same answer.
"We are still vaccinating for diseases which are no longer a threat to us". The reason those diseases are no long a threat is because we vaccinated them out of existence in the US. Stop the vaccinations and you will soon see the diseases return; in some cases that is already being seen as more and more parents refuse to participate. The US is not an isolated island in the world and those diseases are brought into the country every day.
Yes, vaccinations carry some risk (and can actually cause death) but they don't carry anywhere near the risk that those diseases do. We can either accept the risk (and handful of harmed children) from the vaccine or the risk from the disease and the thousands of deaths we have already experience and will see all over again. Until the entire world is free of a particular disease (medstudentsource indicates that smallpox is entirely gone) it is only prudent to accept the small risk of vaccinations. It would be shortsighted in the extreme to think otherwise.
The principle of a vaccine is to introduce either an inactivated form or part of the pathogen in order for the immune system to develop a response to it. So in fact it is increasing your immune response to the given pathogen not limiting it. If a child gets chicken pox they develop an immune response to it and clear it. If they get the vaccine then they develop a immune response to the small amount of chicken pox pathogen injected. Then if the vaccinated child comes into contact with chicken pox their body already knows how to deal with it.
As to the vaccines for diseases that are "no longer a threat to us"... They are not a threat because we have a large enough segment of the population that has been vaccinated. The few people that remain unvaccinated and thus are not immune are too few in number and spread too far apart in order for the disease to survive in the population. This principle is know as herd immunity and is the reason for the required vaccines for schools and why it is ok if only a few people are not vaccinate (allows for those who have religious/philosophical beliefs against it). As long as there is a only a few people who are not vaccinate the disease will not have a large enough host population to survive. If too many people do not get vaccinated there is then a large enough population for the disease to be maintained and you would have a resurgence. In fact we are seeing this with recent outbreaks of the whooping cough.
However, autoimmune disorders are possible if the vaccine presents a component that is similar to something naturally made in your body. This is fairly unlikely.
The 60% protection is due to the fact that normal flu vaccines are predictions based on the strains presented last year and what is expected to hit this year. I think of it as looking at the weather forecast. If the weather man says rain I will grab my umbrella just in case he is right. It might be a torrential down pour and I stay only 60% dry. Worst case it is sunny and I don't use it.
At the end of the day it is up to the individual to decide if they are comfortable with vaccines. I am more comfortable with a vaccine than diphtheria and will chose to be vaccinate.
I chose not to vaccinate my newest until he is over three. And then he will start a delayed single vaccination at a time schedule.
My daughter has autism and there is enough anecdotal evidence on a link between autism and vaccinations that for us withholding vaccinations until a later age makes sense.
We also realize that there is a danger involved in delaying the vaccinations both to Aiden and to other children with weakened immune systems that he might pass any illnesses along to during the incubation period. We avoid large groups of people -including Walmart- we home-school which also severely curtails his exposure to other children via siblings- and I work from home so no daycare.
We carry anti-bacterial cleansers with us and we don't allow many visitors during outbreaks (which also means we monitor the CDC website and others like it.)
If you are going to forgo vaccinations then you do need to consider not only your/your childs safety but the safety of those in the "herd" who are immuniocompromised as well.
Your answer sounds imminently reasonable to me, but I do have one question.
It is becoming pretty well accepted that our "germophobia" is in itself causing immune system problems. Our immune systems need exercise, so to speak. The question is, does that concern you (the anit-bacterial cleansers) and if so, what can be done about it?
It does concern me... but not a whole lot in my case. There are -after all- four living siblings. Common illnesses are going to get through no matter what we do. We are just adding protection from the biggies (chicken pox measles mumps rubella) that can be deadly but aren't so common. The most likely exposure to them really is most likely going to be in large groups where the rareness is sort of cancelled out by the number of people.
My kids still get plenty of common colds/ear infections/etc.
They also get to play in the dirt- splash in the mud- and without fail find the litter-box to run their cars in for 30 seconds until I find them.
They eat their own buggers... find stuff on the floor to put in their mouths... and kiss their grandmother's dog on the mouth.
It's just in large gathering groups that I am germophobic. Otherwise I accept that if a kid isn't sometimes dirty and doesn't sometimes do exceptionally gross things then there is likely something very wrong with them. Of course 4 of my 5 are/were boys so that might be coloring my perspective.
You've certainly got a point there - with four kids around you're going so see some sickness and playing outdoors isn't going to hurt, either. I know and understand how that works; my wife and I have seen a big difference in the frequency of our own illnesses once the kids left home and I expect to see more (if that's possible) now that we're both out of the workplace.
I am conflicted about vaccinations. On the one hand, I believe that they help protect us from illnesses and can benefit society.
On the other hand, I don't the manufacturers or the health system. When there is constant news for the flu shot and the HPV shot, I know that a lot of it has to do with lobbying and marketing, and I am not sure whether the information is as reliable as it should be. They say that the risks are minimal or acceptable. I know that my daughter fainted after she got her HPV (Guardisil) shot, (the doctor didn't even tell her to sit for a while even though my research later showed that this is a common reaction).
Much worse, a distant relative became invalid after she got a regular immunization (I think it was the DPT (diptheria, pertussis, and tetanus). The distant relative was a young normal child getting a regular shot which completely changed her. She is now a young adult and cannot feed herself, walk, talk, etc. The doctors denied that it was the shot that did it, since no one had reported it as a bad batch, so they didn't report it either.
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