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Old 07-19-2011, 04:16 PM  
mohel
 
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Not vaccinated? Not acceptable

I post this as a heads up, not criticism. Yesterday I read about measles epidemics devastating two countries. We need to understand and protect ourselves & kids.

I've gotten vaccines and flu shots for over 60 years. I get a tender arm, nothing more. The killed viral traces in a vaccine or flu shot can't give you the disease. It can set off an immune response which was the intention all along. Some folks may have more than others but it's not the flu nor a disease. It's US responding and nothing harmful. The harm lies in the vulnerability to diseases we thought long behind us as problems.

Public health: Not vaccinated? Not acceptable
Public health: The vaccination debate - latimes.com

Quote:
By David Ropeik
July 18, 2011
What does society do when one person's behavior puts the greater community at risk? We make them stop. We pass laws, or impose economic rules or find some other way to discourage individual behaviors that threaten the greater common good. You don't get to drive drunk. You don't get to smoke in public places. You don't even get to leave your house if you catch some particularly infectious disease.

Then what should we do about people who decline vaccination for themselves or their children and put the public at risk by fueling the resurgence of nearly eradicated diseases? Isn't this the same thing: one person's perception of risk producing behaviors that put others at risk? Of course it is. Isn't it time for society to say we need to regulate the risk created by the fear of vaccines? Yes, it is.

The evidence is overwhelming that declining vaccination rates are contributing to outbreaks of disease. Take just one example, measles. The World Health Organization reports outbreaks in countries where vaccination rates have gone down, including France (7,000 cases so far this year, more than in all of 2010), Belgium, Germany, Romania, Serbia, Spain, Macedonia and Turkey. There have already been 334 measles cases in England and Wales this year, compared with 33 all of last year. The U.S. has seen 118 cases as of mid-May, compared with 56 cases a year from 2001 to 2008.

Small numbers, you say? True, but consider their cost (beyond the suffering of the patients), as illustrated in this case published this year by the Oxford Journals. When a woman from Switzerland who had not been vaccinated for measles visited Tucson in 2008 and became symptomatic, she went to a local hospital for medical attention. This initiated a chain of events that over the next three months led to at least 14 people, including seven kids, getting measles. Seven of the victims caught the disease while visiting healthcare facilities. Four people had to be hospitalized. The outbreak cost two local hospitals a total of nearly $800,000, and the state and local health departments tens of thousands more, to track down the cases, quarantine and treat the sick and notify the thousands of people who might have been exposed.

Fueling that outbreak? None of the victims had been vaccinated or had "unknown vaccination status," and remarkably, 25% of the workers in the healthcare facilities where the patients were treated had no immunity to measles (either they had not been vaccinated or the antibodies from an earlier vaccination could no longer be detected). One healthcare worker got the disease and gave it to two other people.

That's just one example of the growing threat to public health caused by people worried that vaccines will cause autism and other harms, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary. In many places, particularly in affluent, liberal, educated communities (San Diego, Marin County, Boulder, Colo.,), unvaccinated people are catching diseases that vaccines can prevent, like measles, whooping cough and meningitis. In 2010, as California suffered its worst whooping cough outbreak in more than 60 years (more than 9,000 cases, 10 infant deaths), Marin County had one of the lowest rates of vaccination statewide and the second-highest rate of whopping cough. A 2008 study in Michigan found that areas with "exemption clusters" of parents who didn't vaccinate their kids were three times more likely to have outbreaks of whooping cough than areas where vaccination rates matched the state average.

And this is a risk to far more people than just those who have opted out of vaccination. People are getting sick who have been vaccinated but the vaccine either doesn't work or has weakened. Infants too young to be vaccinated are getting sick, and some of them are dying horrible deaths from whooping cough after exposure in communities where "herd immunity" has fallen too low to keep the spread of the disease in check.

Unvaccinated people who get sick and visit doctor's offices or hospitals increase the danger for anyone else who uses those facilities. Outbreaks are costing the healthcare system millions of dollars, and local and state government (that's taxpayer money, yours and mine) millions more as they try to chase down each outbreak and bring it under control to protect the public's health. Your health, and mine.

No one doubts the honest passion of those who fear vaccines. And for some people, no amount of communication or dialogue or reasoning will stop them from worrying. But risk perception is ultimately subjective, a combination of the facts and how those facts feel, and sometimes our fears don't match the evidence. The dangers that sometimes arise because of the way we perceive risk must be managed too. But we must act in the face of this threat to public health.

There are many potential solutions, each fraught with pros and cons and details that require careful thought and open democratic discussion.

? Perhaps it should be harder to opt out of vaccination. (Twenty-one states allow parents to decline vaccination of their children simply for "philosophical" reasons; 48 allow a religious exemption, but few demand documentation from parents to support claims that their faith precludes vaccination.)

? Perhaps there should be higher healthcare and insurance costs for unvaccinated people, or "healthy behavior" discounts for people who do get vaccinated, paid for from what society saves by avoiding the spread of disease.

? There could be restrictions on the community and social activities in which unvaccinated people can participate, like lengthy school trips for kids, etc.

This is not about creating more government to intrude further into our lives. This is about calling on government to do what it's there for in the first place: to protect us from the actions of others when as individuals we can't protect ourselves. It is appropriate, and urgent, that we act to protect public health from those whose choices about vaccines are putting the rest of us at risk: We make them stop.

David Ropeik is an instructor at Harvard University and the author of "How Risky Is It, Really? Why Our Fears Don't Always Match the Facts."
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Old 07-19-2011, 04:26 PM  
MRB
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I had all those immunization shots by the end of the late 1950's. I understand some of them they don't give anymore.

I've never had a flu shot and don't intend to get one. I havn't had the flu or a cold for over 12 years.

I did, however, get an immunization shot in 2007 three months before I went to China and South Korea.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:18 PM  
mohel
 
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I got in the habit of flu shots while I still drank. I was susceptible to bronchitis and respiratory ills so it seemed wise. I really only rarely got the flu to begin with but it may have helped but it certainly never hurt me.

I did get shingles and no one wants that suffering so read up on it before you write off the idea. Like you I remember iron lungs and childhood epidemics and I would hate seeing their return.
While many in the US are vaccinated they may need a booster in old age.

Anyone having a chance to watch Adam's "cold contamination" segment of Mythbusters might be in for a surprise.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:26 PM  
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I had a brother contract TB and spent 4 yrs in a hospital back in the early '50s, that stuff is nasty and it too, i've heard, is on the comeback. I knew a girl who in high school who pulled her crippled body around on a walker-brace because of POLIO, that too I hear is one the rise. Nasty horrible stuff.
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Old 07-19-2011, 05:43 PM  
mohel
 
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I had a positive reaction to the Manteaux test for TB in grade school. My body had fought it (TB) off on it's own but I was a very lucky kid because that's fairly rare.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:07 PM  
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I believe that I'm exposed to the flu and cold viruses but have such an uber strong immune system that they don't catch hold of me.

For many years and even now when I go to work in the field in my company if I'm not atop a telephone pole I'm down underground in filthy telecom manhole vaults and other septic areas on a regular basis. I believe that the near continual exposure I have to nasty bacterial and viral things has massively bolstered my immune system over the years.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:21 PM  
mohel
 
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Quote:
I believe that the near continual exposure I have to nasty bacterial and viral things has massively bolstered my immune system over the years.
Good chance you're right but we're aging too. Four years ago I caught what I thought was a cold but it quickly morphed into what I call "the plague". My neighbors knocked on my door after not seeing me for 3 days and the husband caught it too. I'd told him; "you could die of this" and once he had it he agreed enough to need me to take him to Urgent Medical for a $110 bill & a shot.

Since then I've doubled my anti germ routine. There are Russians, Southeast Asians and Polynesians all around and just a few exotic bugs can hitchhike in with them.
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Old 07-19-2011, 06:48 PM  
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The problem I see with flu shots is that the current year vaccine is for last years flu strain.

Also I refuse to allow anti-bacterial cleansers in my house as I believe that they kill too many good bacteria that your skin needs to be healthy and again not having some exposure to the bad germs weakens the immune system.

I'll have to say though that when I went to China with the group two folks didn't get their reccomended shots to travel there and they both got sick as a dog the last week of the trip. One of them was my youngest brother. He was sick for near 3 months with some kind of lung thing after we got back. That was in 2007 and I'll have to say that my brother hasn't been sick a day since he got over that nasty lung thing he caught in China.
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Old 07-20-2011, 06:24 AM  
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Are you so sure that the flu shot doesn't make you sick?

I refuse to get a flu shot. The last time I had one it set me to the ER not once but twice. I got one at Fort Hood every year and every year I had to go to the ER. They still forced me to get it unless I disobeyed a direct order and just skipped out on it. The last time I got it I ended up with a raging temp of 104.3*. the oh so wonderful doc at the ARMY ER said your fine have a bag of IV and go to work. REALLY a bag of IV and GO TO WORK. I could hardly drive. So I got my IV ad went to work weaving and driving like I was drunk even hit a sign or two. I get to the motorpool and stagger into the office and sit down look at my squad leader and pass out with my head slamming into his desk. He woke me up and told me to go do some work. Now mind you I have just gotten the flu shot within 3 hours. So as I stagger up and head down the stairs I fall the Platoon SGT called for an ambulance to come get me. I go back and my temp is now 104.5* 2 more bags of IV for some reason. Then he did something that almost got me a court-martial. Because I threatened his life.

Come to find out a year later at an AIR FORCE hospital I can't get the Flu vax. I am allergic deadly allergic to something in the vax.

Now I am all for kids getting all their vaxs. There has been outbreaks of stuff in CA that we had beat a long time ago. When I was a teenager they would reports outbreaks of measles mumps Rubella and many other disease that are kept in check with simple vaxs. They all got tracked back to what illegal aliens and their kids.

Vaxinate them kiddos and keep them healthy. Vaxs don't cause Autism they don't cause anything except healthy kids.
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Old 07-20-2011, 09:10 AM  
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Lately I have been hearing alot of scuttlebutt about a recent court decision regarding mandatory vaccinations for school kids. Is it correct the school systems can no longer demand these required shots?
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