Herd Immunity and Unvaccinated Children

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Registered: 08-20-2007
Herd Immunity and Unvaccinated Children
37
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 8:49pm

Some info to read over and maybe debate a bit. :)


If the word "vaccine" immediately strikes fear in your heart, then you likely came of age not in a time dominated by worries about polio, but in a time when vaccines make news because of side effects ranging from mild irritation to death. The most notable example is probably the debate regarding the claim (not supported by any scientific studies thus far) that the thimerosal in certain childhood vaccines may have led to an increase in autism. These days, the public has serious doubts about whether it's worth protecting herd immunity at the cost of exposing children to these risks.



That means that levels of vaccinations have dropped dramatically, particularly in certain parts of the United States where exemption from vaccinations is granted for religious, philosophical or personal reasons. In 2002, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimated that while 90 percent of all American children had received most of the necessary vaccinations, about 1 percent of all children hadn't received any shots .



Parents who forego vaccinations can rely on herd immunity -- for now. Children who aren't immunized are protected by the children that did get vaccinations; some parents who did take the risk of a vaccination, however, consider this freeloading . However, as vaccination rates drop, the safety of the herd, particularly its weakest members, can become compromised.


Publi

girls
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Registered: 08-20-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:49pm

One SIDS study concluded that 17 of 23 vaccinated SIDS infants (or about 52%) died within one week of a DPT shot after 6 (or about 11%) died within 24 hours of the shot.>>


One thing about SIDS is there is no known reason for it yet.

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girls
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Registered: 08-20-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:52pm

Also about Autism -



Dr. Offit's Testimony


This is Dr. Paul Offit's testimony to the House Government Reform Committee, given on 6 April 2000. Dr. Offit addressed the question of: Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?


My name is Paul Offit. I am a pediatrician. I am also the Chief of Infectious Diseases and the Henle Professor of Immunologic and Infectious Diseases at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. I am also a member of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices to the CDC. I have 20 years of experience in the areas of virology and immunology.


My role, in these proceedings, is to explore the theories that have arisen due to concerns by the public that autism might be caused by the combination of measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines (known as MMR). No evidence exists that proves this association. However, three theories have been used to explain it. In the time that I have been given, I would like to explain why I think that these theories are not valid.


The first invalid theory is that children who get the measles vaccine make an immune response not only to the vaccine, but also to their own nervous system. This kind of reaction is called autoimmunity. To understand why this theory is invalid, we must first understand differences between natural measles infection and measles vaccination.


During natural measles infection, the measles virus reproduces itself many times in the body and causes disease. In contrast, following measles vaccination, the vaccine virus reproduces itself much less and doesn’t cause disease. Because more measles proteins are made during natural infection than after immunization, the immune response to natural infection is greater than the immune response to immunization.


If the immune response is greater after natural infection, then the autoimmune response would also be greater. If this were the case, then autoimmunity should occur more frequently after natural infection than after vaccination. Or, said another way, if measles virus caused autism, measles vaccination would lower, not raise, the incidence of autism.


The second invalid theory is that the child’s immune system is simply overwhelmed by seeing three viruses in a vaccine at the same time. Some have gone so far as to suggest that it may be of benefit to divide the MMR vaccine into three separate vaccines. The rationale behind this theory is that children do not normally encounter such an assault on the immune system.


From the birth canal and beyond, infants are confronted by a host of different challenges to their immune system. Their intestines encounter foreign proteins in milk and formula. Their lungs encounter bacteria inhaled on the surface of dust in the air. And literally thousands of different bacteria immediately start to live on the skin, as well as on the lining of the nose, throat, and intestines. Here is how infants deal with this immediate confrontation to their immune system.


Babies have a tremendous capacity to respond to their environment from the minute they are born. The newborn has billions of immunologic cells that are capable of responding to millions of different microorganisms. By quickly making an immune response to bacteria that live on the surface of their intestines, babies keep those bacteria from invading their bloodstream and causing serious disease. Therefore, the combination of the three vaccines contained in MMR, or even the 10 vaccines given in the first 2 years of life, is literally a raindrop in the ocean of what infants successfully encounter in their environment every day.


The third invalid theory is that the MMR vaccine is given by an unnatural route. The rationale behind this theory is that children do not normally encounter viruses or bacteria under their skin or in their muscles. But infants and children frequently encounter viruses and bacteria in many places throughout the body. Our species survives because, from the minute we are born, we are capable of meeting challenges at all sites.


To review, here are the medical facts:



  • First, if autism is a consequence of autoimmunity, then the incidence of autism would have decreased, not increased, after vaccination.
  • Second, children from birth are confronted with and manage an enormous array of different challenges to their immune system at the same time.
  • Third, challenges to their immune system occur by a variety of routes.

The parents we’ve heard testifying here today are asking a scientific question, "Does the MMR vaccine cause autism?" Questions of science are best answered by scientific studies. And the answer to this question is already available. Dr. Brent Taylor and his coworkers in London have conducted a large, meticulously designed, well-controlled study that disproved an association between MMR vaccine and autism. I believe other studies will confirm Dr. Taylor’s results.


"What is at stake here?"


In the early 1990s our immunization rates against measles dropped only about 10%. Measles outbreaks swept across our country. About 11,000 people were hospitalized and 123 died from measles – died from a disease that is easily and safely prevented by a vaccine.


My concern, Mr. Chairman, is that some parents listening to or reading about this hearing might incorrectly conclude that vaccines cause autism. This is clearly not the case – vaccines are extremely safe and highly effective. I encourage this committee to make that fact clear to every parent in America.


If, as a result of reading about this hearing, some parents choose to withhold or delay vaccines for their children, their tragedy could be profound. If many parents choose to withhold vaccines, the tragedy all across America could be devastating.

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girls
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Registered: 08-20-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:53pm


What Happens When We Don't Vaccinate?


Parents educating themselves about childhood immunizations sometimes ask this question. We found a good answer at the CDC:


Although vaccines have dramatically reduced the number of people who get infectious diseases and the complications these diseases produce, the viruses and bacteria that cause vaccine-preventable diseases and death still exist. Without vaccines, epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases would return. Here is an idea of the effects of vaccinating and not vaccinating.


Polio


Prior to vaccination, between 13,000 and 20,000 polio cases of paralytic poliomyelitis were reported each year in the United States.


In 1996, because of a global effort to eliminate the disease through vaccination, there were only 3,500 documented cases of polio in the world. Wild polioviruses have been eliminated in the entire Western Hemisphere.


If we were to discontinue polio vaccination in the United States, immunity to polio would decline, leading to the risk of polio epidemics similar to those that occurred in the past.


Measles


Before measles immunizations were available, nearly everyone in the United States got measles. There were about 3-4 million cases each year. An average of 450 measles-associated deaths were reported each year between 1953 and 1963.


In industrialized countries, up to 20 percent of people with measles are hospitalized, and 7-9 percent suffer from complications such as pneumonia, diarrhea or ear infections. Some people with measles develop encephalitis, and 1:1,000 people with measles die.


Widespread use of the vaccine has led to >95 percent reduction in measles.


Measles still occurs throughout the world, and is frequently imported into the United States. In 1995, there were 1.1 million deaths worldwide from measles. If vaccinations were stopped, 2.7 million deaths could be expected.


Stopping measles vaccination would probably lead to massive epidemics similar to those that occurred in the pre-vaccine era. Between 1989 and 1991, the number of reported measles cases rose sharply, with >55,000 cases, 11,000 hospitalizations and 120 deaths reported. The major cause of the outbreak was low rates of vaccination among preschool children.


Haemophilus influenzae type b meningitis


Before Hib immunization, Hib was the most common cause of bacterial meningitis in U.S. infants and children. Before the vaccine, there were about 20,000 invasive Hib cases annually. About two-thirds were meningitis. Up to 8,000 cases of life-threatening invasive Hib disease – bacteremia, pneumonia or epiglottitis – also occurred annually. 1:200 U.S. children younger than 5 got Hib disease. Hib meningitis killed 600 children each year, and left many survivors with deafness, seizures or mental retardation.


Since the introduction of the vaccine in 1987, the incidence of Hib has declined by 97-99 percent. Fewer than 10 fatal cases of invasive Hib diseases were reported in 1995.


Without vaccination, this disease would likely cause the same amount of disease and deaths that it caused before the vaccines were developed.


Pertussis


Before pertussis immunizations were available, nearly all children developed pertussis. In the United States, prior to pertussis immunizations, between 150,000 and 260,000 cases of pertussis were reported each year with up to 9,000 pertussis-related deaths.


Pertussis can be a severe illness, resulting in prolonged coughing and vomiting spells that can last for weeks. These spells can make it difficult for a child to eat, drink and breathe. In infants, it can cause pneumonia and lead to brain damage, seizures and mental retardation.


During the 1970s, widespread concerns about the safety of pertussis immunization led to a rapid fall in immunization levels in the United Kingdom. Within several years, a series of pertussis epidemics occurred; >100,000 cases and 36 deaths due to pertussis were reported in one epidemic in the mid-1970s.


Concerns over vaccine safety have been addressed with the newer acellular pertussis vaccine, which is effective and is associated with fewer and milder adverse reactions than the whole-cell product.


In Japan, pertussis vaccination coverage fell 80 percent in 1974 to 20 percent in 1979. An epidemic occurred in 1979, resulting in >13,000 cases and 41 deaths.


If we stopped giving pertussis vaccine in the U.S., we would experience a massive resurgence of disease. A recent study found that, in eight countries where immunization coverage was reduced, incidence rates of pertussis surged to 10-100 times the rates in countries where vaccination rates were sustained.


Rubella


While rubella is usually mild in children and adults, up to 90 percent of infants born to mothers infected with rubella during the first trimester of pregnancy will develop congenital rubella syndrome, resulting in heart defects, cataracts, mental retardation and deafness.


In 1964-65, before U.S. rubella immunization was used routinely, there was an epidemic of rubella that resulted in an estimated 20,000 infants born with CRS, with 2,100 neonatal deaths and 11,250 miscarriages. Of the 20,000 infants born with CRS, 11,600 were deaf, 3,580 were blind and 1,800 were mentally retarded.


If immunity to rubella were to decline, rubella would return, resulting in pregnant women becoming infected and giving birth to infants with CRS.


The above information covers five of the 10 vaccine-preventable diseases against which children are routinely vaccinated. Stopping vaccination would also cause major increases in diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis B, varicella and mumps.

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girls
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Registered: 09-09-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:54pm

Natural Contraction of a disease = natural lifelong immunity to said disease.

I'm not relying on anyone's vaccinated child to keep my child healthy. What I'm trying to tell you is that a lot of parents who do not vaccinate would rather their child contract a disease naturally and have a natural immunity to it instead of injecting an unnatural and possibly ineffective immunity.

What kind of statistics are you using to say that "nearly everyone is vaccinated"?

Are you saying that if my child has natural immunity to chicken pox that it is not the natural immunity keeping them from getting pox but it is the vaccinated children keeping them healthy?????

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:55pm
One thing about some anti-vaxers...
some of us believe that vaccines ARE a possible reason for sids.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:56pm
Just wanted to let you know that Dr. Offit isn't usually a source that any antivaxxers are going to take seriously.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:59pm

"Without vaccines, epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases would return."

Again, all hail the vaccine. Let's give no credit to living conditions or any other environmental factors. Let's only praise the vaccines, without them we would surely perish.

(completely facetious)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 11:01pm

Just wanted to let you know that Dr. Offit isn't usually a source that any antivaxxers are going to take seriously


Hmm... Why would that be?

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girls
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 11:07pm
Without vaccines, epidemics of vaccine-preventable diseases would return."

Again, all hail the vaccine. Let's give no credit to living conditions or any other environmental factors. Let's only praise the vaccines, without them we would surely perish.


(completely facetious)


Im pro vax (duh) and the vaccines are what i believe in. So it would be natural for me to post things relating to VACCINES!

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girls
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Registered: 09-09-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 11:14pm
What I'm saying (in more than one post) is that your references, like a lot of provax references, ONLY credit vaccines and give no mention of environmental issues or living conditions. They are written to make people think that vaccines are the only reason for decreased diseases. That is misinformation.
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