Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Vaccines Part II

Wow! Now I now how to get people to comment on my blog. Thanks for all your input and views. I think some very good points were made. I recognize that I am scared of potential side effects compared to real issues if LB were to get one of the diseases. I wonder not only about short term side effects, but long term ones as well - the ones no one knows anything about and may not for decades.

I also worry about any long term side effects to doing ICSI, but I obviously decided that was worth the risk. I recognize that my concern over vaccines may not make sense in that context.

It is also interesting that whooping cough came up a lot in the comments, because that is the one shot that I think LB should get. I haven't done it yet because the aluminum (170 micrograms in one version of the shot and the FDA recommends less than 25 / day for adults) may cause brain / nerve damage. The short term effects may be paralysis - possibly from the tetanus portion of the shot. If there was a pertussis only shot without aluminum, she would have had it already. While pertussis is not usually life threatening after 6 months, it is far too common and uncomfortable for my liking. The question for me on pertussis is not if, but when. Bad for us that Brad and I haven't gotten the adult version of the shot.

As for some of the others:

HIB - Likely at some point - doing her part for the greater good. It is probably one of the safest vaccines out there too - been around for around 3 decades and nothing but inactivated vaccine.

Polio - Yes at some point, but maybe much later. Again, very uncommon, but too dangerous to mess with.

PCV - Still undecided. It can cause meningitis like HIB and like HIB the vaccinated versions are very uncommon (still a somewhat common disease for the versions not in the vaccine). Unlike HIB, however, it has some questionable (to me) ingredients and hasn't been around as long.

Hep B - No at this point.

MMR - Undecided. If we do it, it will likely be later than scheduled and each vaccine done as a separate shot. A couple of people commented that it would make sense to vaccinate to protect pregnant women. I think women should make sure they are immune before they get pregnant. Call me a bitter infertile, but I looked into these things before I tried to get pregnant and they should too.

That's my current thoughts in a nutshell. I don't think we are taking too big of a risk since she doesn't go to day car, she nurses exclusively (although that is now changing with the introduction of solid foods) and, of course, because most people immunize keeping the number of cases relatively low. I have also decided that if she does it a cold or the flu, I will take her in and get her tested because most of things can be treated with antibiotics, but usually by the time a caregiver realizes it isn't a common cold/flu the damage has been done.

Disclaimer: The details above are from memory - I have loaned out my copy of the Dr. Sears book and since I am massively sleep deprived, it may all be a work of unintentional fiction.

Thanks again for all the comments!


Working Girl said...

I am pro-vaccine but, agree that they should be spaced out over time and not given to the child if he or she had a cold in the few weeks prior. We live in an area of NYC that has a very large population of Autistic children. I believe amount of vaccines and their ingredients are part of the problem. Certainly, not the sole problem but a huge factor. Good luck to you!

Fertilized said...

Kami- your new header is really pretty

stacyb said...

you are lucky that you can pick and choose vaccines. in our state it's all or nothing. i too am concerned about things like whooping cough but not, say chicken pox.

we have chosen to space things very far apart.