Herd Immunity and Unvaccinated Children

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Registered: 08-20-2007
Herd Immunity and Unvaccinated Children
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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.


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Registered: 08-20-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 8:54pm

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, the average life expectancy at the beginning of the 20th century was 47.3 years. A century later, that number had increased to 77.85 years, due largely to the development of vaccinations and other treatments for deadly diseases. Of course, vaccines and treatments only work if they're given, which is why many of these diseases still persist in poorer, developing countries. Despite the success of vaccines, only one of these diseases -- smallpox -- has been erased from the globe. Here are 12 diseases that could be completely eradicated from the world if vaccines were made available to all.

1. Chicken Pox

Before 1995, a case of the chicken pox was a rite of passage for kids. The disease, caused by the varicella-zoster virus, creates an itchy rash of small red bumps on the skin. The virus spreads when someone who has the disease coughs or sneezes, and a nonimmune person inhales the viral particles. The virus can also be passed through contact with the fluid of chicken pox blisters. Most cases are minor but in more serious instances, chicken pox can trigger bacterial infections, viral pneumonia, and encephalitis (inflammation of the brain).


According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), before the chicken pox vaccine was approved for use in the United States in 1995, there were 11,000 hospitalizations and 100 deaths from the disease every year. Many countries do not require the vaccination because chicken pox doesn't cause that many deaths. They'd rather focus on vaccinating against the really serious diseases, so the disease is still common.

While chicken pox is still a relatively common occurrence, diseases like malaria and diphtheria seem to have been wiped out ages ago. Find out more about how these diseases were cured on the following pages.


2. Diphtheria

Diphtheria is an infection of the bacteria Corynebacterium diphtheriae and mainly affects the nose and throat. The bacteria spreads through airborne droplets and shared personal items. C. diphtheriae creates a toxin in the body that produces a thick, gray or black coating in the nose, throat, or airway, which can also affect the heart and nervous system. Even with proper antibiotic treatment, diphtheria kills about 10 percent of the people who contract it. The first diphtheria vaccine was unveiled in 1913, and although vaccination has made a major dent in mortality rates, the disease still exists in developing countries and other areas where people are not regularly vaccinated. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that worldwide there are about 5,000 deaths from diphtheria annually, but the disease is quite rare in the United States, with fewer than five cases reported each year.

3. Invasive H. Flu

Invasive H. flu, or Hib disease, is an infection caused by the Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib) bacteria, which spreads when an infected person coughs, sneezes, or speaks. Invasive H. flu is a bit of a misnomer because it is not related to any form of the influenza virus. However, it can lead to bacterial meningitis (a potentially fatal brain infection), pneumonia, epiglottitis (severe swelling above the voice box that makes breathing difficult), and infections of the blood, joints, bones, and pericardium (the covering of the heart). Children younger than five years old are particularly susceptible to the Hib bacteria because they have not had the chance to develop immunity to it. The first Hib vaccine was licensed in 1985, but despite its success in the developed world, the disease is still prevalent in the developing world. WHO estimates that each year Hib disease causes two to three million cases of serious illness worldwide, mostly pneumonia and meningitis, and 450,000 deaths of young children.


4. Malaria

This disease is a parasitic infection of the liver and red blood cells. In its mildest forms it can produce flu-like symptoms and nausea, and in its severest forms it can cause seizures, coma, fluid buildup in the lungs, kidney failure, and death. The disease is transmitted by female mosquitoes of the genus Anopheles. When the mosquito bites, the parasites enter a person's body, invading red blood cells and causing the cells to rupture. As the cells burst, they release chemicals that cause malaria's symptoms.

About 350 million to 500 million cases of malaria occur worldwide every year. About one million are fatal, with children in sub-Saharan Africa accounting for most of the deaths. Other high-risk areas include Central and South America, India, and the Middle East. Malaria is treated with a variety of drugs, some of which kill the parasites once they're in the blood and others that prevent infection in the first place. Of course, if you can avoid the parasite-carrying mosquitoes, you can avoid malaria, so the disease is often controlled using mosquito repellent and bed netting, especially in poor countries that cannot afford medications.


5. Measles

Measles is a highly contagious viral illness of the respiratory system that spreads through airborne droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. Although the first symptoms of measles mimic a simple cold, with a cough, runny nose, and red watery eyes, this disease is more serious. As measles progresses, the infected person develops a fever and a red or brownish-red skin rash. Complications can include diarrhea, pneumonia, brain infection, and even death, although these are seen more commonly in malnourished or immunodeficient people. Measles has historically been a devastating disease, but WHO reported in 2006 that measles mortality rates dropped from 871,000 to 454,000 between 1999 and 2004, thanks to a global immunization drive.

Until 1963, when the first measles vaccine was used in the United States, almost everyone got the measles by age 20. There has been a 99 percent reduction in measles since then, but outbreaks have occurred when the disease is brought over from other countries or when children don't get the vaccine or all the required doses. Most children today receive the measles vaccine as part of the MMR vaccination, which protects against measles, mumps, and rubella (German measles).


6. Pertussis

Whoop, there it is -- and if you suspect someone has it, move away. Pertussis, or whooping cough, is a highly contagious respiratory infection caused by the Bordetella pertussis bacteria. The descriptive nickname comes from the "whooping" sounds that infected children make after one of the disease's coughing spells. The coughing fits spread the bacteria and can last a minute or longer, causing a child to turn purple or red and sometimes vomit. Severe episodes can cause a lack of oxygen to the brain. Adults who contract pertussis usually have a hacking cough rather than a whooping one.

Although the disease can strike anyone, it is most prevalent in infants under age one because they haven't received the entire course of pertussis vaccinations. The pertussis vaccine was first used in 1933, but adolescents and adults become susceptible when the immunity from childhood vaccinations wanes and they don't get booster shots. According to the CDC, pertussis causes 10-20 deaths each year in the United States, and there were 25,000 cases reported in 2004. Worldwide, the disease causes far more damage -- about 50 million people around the world are infected annually, and WHO estimates around 294,000 deaths each year. However, 78 percent of the world's infants received three doses of the vaccine in 2004.

7. Pneumococcal Disease

Pneumococcal disease is the collective name for the infections caused by Streptococcus pneumoniae bacteria, also known as pneumococcus. This bacteria finds a home all over the body. The most common types of infections caused by S. pneumoniae are middle ear infections, pneumonia, bacteremia (blood stream infections), sinus infections, and bacterial meningitis. There are more than 90 types of pneumococcus, with the ten most common types responsible for 62 percent of the world's invasive diseases.

Those infected carry the bacteria in their throats and expel it when they cough or sneeze. Like any other germ, S. pneumoniae can infect anyone, but certain population groups are more at risk, such as the elderly, people with cancer or AIDS, and people with a chronic illness such as diabetes. The CDC blames pneumococcal disease for the deaths of 200 children under the age of five each year in the United States. WHO estimates that annually pneumococcal disease is responsible for one million fatal cases of respiratory illness alone; most of these cases occur in developing countries. There are two types of vaccines available to prevent pneumococcal disease, which the CDC recommends that children and adults older than age 65 receive.


There are a few more but i thought this was getting rather large so if you feel lke reading it this is the link - http://health.howstuffworks.com/12-deadly-diseases-cured-in-the-20th-century3.htm

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girls
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 9:04pm

Public health officials say unvaccinated children are at the center of increasingly frequent outbreaks of illnesses that most doctors have studied in books but never seen.


That's how Kelly Lacek's youngest son, Matthew, came to be something of a celebrity patient at Pittsburgh's Children's Hospital two years ago, at age 3.


Few doctors there had ever seen a child infected by the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type b. Before Hib vaccine for infants was introduced in 1990, the disease struck down 20,000 American children a year and killed 600.


Matthew "got so sick, so fast. He was hunched over and couldn't breathe," as the infection often causes severe swelling in the throat, Lacek recalled. "We took him to our local emergency room, and they were treating him like it was an asthma attack. But this one young doctor asked me if he'd been vaccinated. I said no, and within seconds he realized how life-threatening Matthew's condition really was. He saved his life."


Looking back, Lacek considers how she came to doubt vaccines. With her firstborn, Ashley, "I didn't think twice about shots, but then we started hearing about the autism concerns and it seemed like I was surrounded by friends with children getting diagnosed with those conditions."


Working as registrar at the private school her children attend in Monroeville, Pa., Lacek noticed religious exemptions from vaccination.


Her second child, Stephen, had gotten his first "baby shots," but when Lacek asked her pediatrician if she could prove to her there was no mercury in the vaccines, "she couldn't and I said, 'OK, we're not doing it.' "


Today, all the Lacek kids are fully vaccinated. Kelly Lacek is part of a national network called Parents of Kids with Infectious Diseases, urging families to immunize.


"I think making people aware of real-life stories like ours, letting them know that these killer diseases vaccines are meant to prevent are still out there, helps put the risks in a different light," Lacek said.

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girls
iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2009
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 9:21pm

Hey, ya know, I'm 58. I can remember many of these childhood illnesses and survived several. My family of 5 children went through the entire polio epidemic terror from 1943 when my oldest brother was born until 1957 when my youngest brother arrived (along with the vaccine) and we never got any vaccinations at all. For anything.

I've already put up the info once from insidevaccines showing that vaccines didn't save us from these diseases. I guess no one read it. Pretty tough reading, I'll admit.

But here it is again. Complete with links to the CDC and to the original journal articles wherever they are available.

Part I http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/2008/06/16/where-do-they-find-these-scary-statistics/
Part II http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/2008/07/28/where-do-they-find-these-scary-statistics-part-ii/
Part III http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/2008/09/02/where-do-they-find-these-scary-statistics-iii-lets-make-a-few-assumptions-hepatitis-b/
Part IV http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress/2008/10/03/scary-stats-iv-polio/

The most difficult concept for people to get their minds around is the difference between morbidity (sickness) and mortality (death). For measles, incidence didn't particularly drop with improved living conditions, but the death rate went way, way down. When children weren't dying of measles parents weren't particularly terrified of measles.

With diphtheria, mortality went down a bit with better treatment, but the big change before the vaccine was the drop in morbidity. There was a lot less diphtheria around. Since the vaccine was only used intermittently, there isn't any reasonable way to give it credit for saving us all from this disease, at least not in the U.S. They do anyway, but honestly! Cases went down from 200,000 per year in the early 1920s to under 20,000 per year by the late 1930s.

Why do you think that happened? Since the vaccine wasn't widely used?

http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:18pm
In most cases, parents who forgo vaccinations do not wish to rely on "herd immunity". They prefer to rely on natural immunity from natural contraction of a disease instead of unnatural possible immunity from unnatural injection of a strain of a disease and additives.
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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:22pm

<>

What makes people think that these diseases prevail in these countries because the vaccines aren't present instead of these diseases prevailing due to poor living conditions, lack of nutrition, and lack of prenatal care, amongst other impoverished conditions?

"Those of us that mean to get flu shots but never do may inadvertently cause the level of available vaccines to plummet."

What a wonderful scare tactic for the provaxers! Hurry up and get your flu shots!!! They won't be around for long!!

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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-02-2009
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:26pm

No, the thing with flu vaccine has to do with pandemics. Most years it doesn't matter if everyone gets the flu vax or doesn't get the flu vax (to be blunt). But IF there were a pandemic we would need millions of shots in a big hurry, so the capacity has to be there, and the way to have the capacity is to produce millions of flu shots every year and the way to pay for the factories to produce these shots is for lots of people to be convinced that they have got to have them every year.

Frankly, it would make more sense to just build a few more factories and make a few shots every year just to stay in practice. The current system is dishonest, wastes a lot of time and resources, and is adding to the distrust of vaccines.

http://insidevaccines.com/wordpress
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:30pm

"Those of us that mean to get flu shots but never do may inadvertently cause the level of available vaccines to plummet."


Well its the truth isnt it? IF people dont go and get it the supply demand drops and companies will eventually wont supply it anymore.


In Australia you are not forced to get the flu shot and it is only really regarded to people over 65. Same as the chicken pox vaccine and a couple of others

girls
iVillage Member
Registered: 08-20-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:38pm

In most cases, parents who forgo vaccinations do not wish to rely on "herd immunity". They prefer to rely on natural immunity from natural contraction of a disease instead of unnatural possible immunity from unnatural injection of a strain of a disease and additives.


But thats the thing nearly everyone is vaccinated, so who's to say that your childrens natural immunity is actually fighting anything? Who's to say that is most of the population wasnt vaccinated that you're children wouldnt be sick right now because no one was vaccinated

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girls
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:43pm

"Of course, vaccines and treatments only work if they're given, which is why many of these diseases still persist in poorer, developing countries."

Again, misinformation. Are we to believe that the ONLY thing keeping these countries from being healthy is the lack of vaccines????

Chicken Pox

Diptheria

"the disease still exists in developing countries and other areas where people are not regularly vaccinated. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates that worldwide there are about 5,000 deaths from diphtheria annually, but the disease is quite rare in the United States, with fewer than five cases reported each year."

Still no mention of living conditions contributing to the health of countries. Only thanking the use of vaccines or damning their absence.

HIB

<

A manufacturer of HIB vaccine states in the product insert that the vaccine "has not been evaluated for its carcinogenic, mutagenic potential or impairment of fertility" and "it is also not known whether can cause fetal harm when administered to a pregnant woman or can affect reproduction capacity."

In 1995, out of 74 Hib disease cases where age and vaccination status were known, 41 or 55 percent had received at least one Hib shot; 22 were appropriately vaccinated for their age; and 18 had completed the primary series.>>

Pertussis

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The only large study ever conducted in the U.S. to determine DPT vaccine reaction rates found that 1 in 875 DPT shots is followed by a convulsion or shock/collapse episode. The rate of permanent damage or death following DPT reactions is a hotly debated subject. One study surveying 215,000 Swedish children whom had received DPT shots showed a rate of permanent brain damage or death in 1 in 17,000 children. Many vaccine authorities rely on the 1981 British study that reported that 1 in 110,000 DPT shots results in a serious neurological reaction and that permanent brain damage occurs in 1 in 310,000 shots. (These figures are often misquoted by U.S. physicians as 1 in 110,000 children. This is a significant error because a child may receive 3 to 5 doses of vaccine.) It is misleading to apply these risk estimates to the U.S. population because:

* Britain uses a different whole cell pertussis vaccine that appears to be less potent;
* High risk children were excluded from the study even though these categories of high-risk children are routinely vaccinated in the U.S.
* All reactions were not counted. The study only counted those children who were hospitalized or who had a convulsion lasting 30 minutes or longer. Children can have serious vaccine reactions and not be hospitalized or have convulsions lasting less than 30 minutes and still die or become brain damaged.

Even the study’s authors cautioned against using the reaction rate figures for other countries. It is probable they greatly underestimate the actual risk for American children. >>

<< Despite a very high vaccination rate in the U.S., thousands of cases occur. CDC officials have stated that a growing number of pertussis cases are occurring in vaccinated adults and older children. Often adults and teenagers can have atypical whooping cough and only exhibit symptoms similar to a bad cold or flu. The undiagnosed adult and teenage carriers of whooping cough, most of who have been fully vaccinated, spread the disease to vulnerable newborn infants and young children.>>

<

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.>>

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-09-2007
Sun, 01-11-2009 - 10:46pm
America doesn't require flu vaccines either. To require (really require) any vaccine would be unethical and unconstitutional.
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