The Big Vaccine Debate

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-14-2005
The Big Vaccine Debate
4
Mon, 11-17-2008 - 3:54pm

The Big Vaccine Debate

Kendall Stolz takes pride in her family's natural lifestyle. They eat organic food, use cloth diapers, and breastfeed their daughter, Stella.

Stolz says she's also choosing a more natural route when it comes to Stella's childhood vaccinations. At 17-months, the toddler has only received three vaccines. Most children her age have had about 15.

"It didn't sit right with me to give all these combo vaccinations at one time to such a small baby," explained Stolz. Instead, she has opted for an "extended schedule," choosing which vaccines she an her doctor feel are most crucial.

A Scripps Howard News Service poll finds more than half of Americans think parents should be able to exempt their children from vaccinations for philosophical reasons. In Ohio, parents like Kendall have that option.

"With philosophical exemptions, parents do have a say in their child getting immunizations," said John Joseph, Public Health Administrator for the Ohio Department of Health.

According to the Health Department, 986 students in first through 12th grades started school last year exempt from the shots for either philosophical or religious reasons.

Still, Joseph says parents are educated about the importance of vaccines. "Absolutely!," he said. "When parents call, we do talk to them and try to explain to them the advantages of being vaccinated."

Cincinnati Children's Hospital Infections Disease Specialist Dr. Robert Frenck worries parents no longer fear the ramifications of not being vaccinated like they once did.

"At that time, there were large outbreaks of polio and people never thought about side-effects of the vaccine," explained Dr. Frenck. "They said 'If we can do something to try to prevent this disease, let's do it.'"

Pediatrician Christopher Cunha says it wasn't that long ago that he saw diseases take children's lives. "We've seen the devastation caused by patients who have not gotten vaccines," said Cunha.

And the chance of spreading the disease is not just limited to those who opt out of the shots. Dr. Cunha said it puts other kids at greater risk for contracting a disease.

"Having an un-immunized person around that other individual ... is like having a gate opened and it just spreads like wildfire."

Cunha said his Northern Kentucky practice, "Pediatric Associates" stands behind in the benefits of vaccines.

"We consider a certain number of vaccines to be a core requirement to be here." He added, "If it reaches a point that we just agree to disagree, we actually ask them to find another provider to care for the their child. That's how strongly we feel."

You can't miss all the attention this issue is getting. High profile parents like Jenny McCarthy have taken center stage, claiming vaccines are linked to autism.

It's modern day fears that continue to make Kendall Stolz leery of vaccines.

"I may not fear polio in regards to Stella. But I fear diseases like leukemia and other childhood cancers, diabetes," she said. "I think the link to autism and other auto-immune diseases is a serious link and i think the medical industry needs to start listening to parents."

But until now, Dr. Frenck says there's no medical evidence to support the autism link. "Autism has been looked at in many, many studies and never showed any relationship to the vaccine," said Dr. Frenck.

As for Kendall, she says she's willing to go against the grain.

"I don't know if I plan on giving her anymore vaccinations at this time," she said. "I object to the schedule that is right now. That's really all I have to say. It's my right."

http://www.kypost.com/content/wcposhared/story.aspx?content_id=85ea55a7-e975-4d2f-8b62-5965e886a283






iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2005
Tue, 11-18-2008 - 9:39pm

Dr. Cunha sounds like an idiot. He's more concerned with being right than being helpful.

"Having an un-immunized person around that other individual ... is like having a gate opened and it just spreads like wildfire."

I suppose the diseases just suddenly appear when they notice an unvaccinated person? Those diseases are just gettin' too smart for us ain't they? As if the majority of "persons" are fully vaccinated...the majority of young children today may be up to date on vaccines but really - are adults getting the same vaccines and boosters? How many of you out there have been told by your doctor that you need to go out and get all the vaccines they currently give children today?

iVillage Member
Registered: 07-05-2005
Tue, 11-18-2008 - 10:18pm

"How many of you out there have been told by your doctor that you need to go out and get all the vaccines they currently give children today?"

I have been told to get those that I was due for, such as influenza and tetanus with pertussis - actually just last month when I went in with a pulled back muscle. Adults should also be appropriately vaccinated. Some providers are better than other at following through with reminders to adults about this, unfortunately.

"I suppose the diseases just suddenly appear when they notice an unvaccinated person? "

No, um, diseases don't work like that. You have to be EXPOSED first. But if exposed, it does spread like wildfire, mostly among the unvaccinated. There is no disputing that.

This doctor sounds like he knows his stuff to me. Unfortunately for those with opposing viewpoints, doctors do need to give fact - not just what parents want to hear.

Amy


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iVillage Member
Registered: 07-17-2005
Wed, 11-19-2008 - 12:27am

"Adults should also be appropriately vaccinated. Some providers are better than other at following through with reminders to adults about this, unfortunately."

Maybe the providers know the rate of vaccine failures. That would explain that. You are like the second person who's ever responded to that question with a yes. I have asked it countless times. Heck, other than seeing my GYN annually, I never even visited the doctor's office. Most adults don't unless a need arises. But if you think adults are protected from vaccines, that's your business. Logic tells me otherwise.

"No, um, diseases don't work like that."

OK so you didn't catch the sarcasm, I'll be more direct next time, sorry.

"You have to be EXPOSED first."

EXACTLY MY POINT! And do you think the diseases routinely seek out the nonvaccinated? The way the doctor worded it, you would think that he thinks that. Gotta love the scare tactics!

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-18-2007
Wed, 11-19-2008 - 8:23am

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I wouldn't say mostly among the unvaccinated, I would say among everyone... the unvaccinated just show proper symptom expression whereas vaccinated people do not.