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Old 06-07-2008, 09:54 PM
Status: "Autumn!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,926 posts, read 98,695,849 times
Reputation: 31341

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The chickenpox vaccine was licensed in Japan long before it was licensed in the US. You can get shingles if you've had the cpx vaccine, but you usually get a milder case.

Right after the cpx vaccine was licensed in the US, a child died from chickenpox disease at Children's Hospital in Denver. The child had not been immunized. Prior to that, most pediatricians in this area were "so-so" about the vaccine, after that, they were convinced it was necessary.

A second dose is now recommended at kindergarten entry, both to catch those kids whose first IZ didn't take, and to give a boosting dose. A few kids get "break-through" disease after having been immunized, but they usually have a milder case.

Quote:
(FYI, encephalitis and severe bacterial infections do not mean automatic death... there are treatments for these things.)
I would not refer to encephalitis so casually! The treatments do not always work, and the child may still have brain damage.
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Old 06-08-2008, 12:15 AM
 
3,107 posts, read 8,025,333 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by leavingcali View Post
Just a little FYI--

I am 30 and have never had chicken pox. My mom is almost 50 and has also never had it. I was vaccinated when I was 26 because my job required me to be around young children; I certainly didn't want to get as an adult! Mom hasn't been vaccinated. The two of us are the only adults I know that haven't had it...
I am 42 and my brother is 39 - neither one of us had the chicken pox or any other childhood diseases (mumps, measles, etc...).

I need to talk to our pedi & PCP to find out what the best course of action for me is now that we have children who might be exposed to these diseases now.

I've heard of these parties but would not be inclined to send my children to one.
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Old 06-08-2008, 07:02 AM
 
20,793 posts, read 52,313,121 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beanandpumpkin View Post
You are right, I forgot about the small number of cases in the Amish community in MN a few years ago... before that, there were no cases since the 1970s. Basically, that strain was from the oral polio vaccine, so it would be less severe than a "wild" case. In some countries, they still use the oral vaccine, which causes a mild form of polio in some people. Since most people are vaccinated against polio, "herd immunity" is at play. In a large unvaxed population, it is possible for someone to catch polio from someone who had the oral vaccine recently, and pass it around.

Yes, you can still get shingles if you get the vaccine... there is a thread about it in the health forum right now. You are injected with the virus, which is what lies dormant in your spine.

The polio cases were NOT in an Amish community--they were the mainstream population with people that chose not to vaccinate.
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Old 06-08-2008, 09:52 AM
Status: "Autumn!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,926 posts, read 98,695,849 times
Reputation: 31341
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sampaguita View Post
I am 42 and my brother is 39 - neither one of us had the chicken pox or any other childhood diseases (mumps, measles, etc...).

I need to talk to our pedi & PCP to find out what the best course of action for me is now that we have children who might be exposed to these diseases now.

I've heard of these parties but would not be inclined to send my children to one.
I think your PCP would recommend you get immunized. People born before 1957 are considered immune to measles, mumps and rubella by virtue of having been alive when these diseases were in ciruculation. 98% of adults have chickenpox antibodies, even if they have no history of the disease. You can get titers drawn, but it's probably just as easy to get the immunizations, which will not hurt you and will give you a boost in immunity if you are immune.

I am only vaguely familiar with the polio outbreak in MN. The Amish outbreak beanandpumpkin referred to was in the late 70s. I believe it was "wild" poliovirus brought in to this country.
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:36 AM
 
2,838 posts, read 8,836,520 times
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Okay, in both of these articles, they refer to the 2005 outbreak of 5 cases of polio in the Amish community in Minnesota... not that it really matters... their religion really has nothing to do with anything.

Polio Outbreak Occurs Among Amish Families In Minnesota

MPR: Minnesota polio cases raise awareness of immunization
Quote:

You can get titers drawn, but it's probably just as easy to get the immunizations, which will not hurt you and will give you a boost in immunity if you are immune.
Titers are obviously safer than getting the vaccines needlessly, since there are no toxins or preservatives injected into you when you have a titer done. Also, you are either immune or you are not.... you can't be "more" immune. Your levels of the virus can be higher, but if you have an adequate level to protect you, then you are "immune." I put it in quotes, because vaccine immunity is known to gradually wear off, so you might be immune one year and not the next. Natural immunity is not known to wear off, so if you are immune, you are truly immune.

(If you write the word "immune" over and over again, it does not look right!)
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Old 06-08-2008, 10:41 AM
Status: "Autumn!" (set 29 days ago)
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
84,926 posts, read 98,695,849 times
Reputation: 31341
Quote:
Originally Posted by beanandpumpkin View Post
Okay, in both of these articles, they refer to the 2005 outbreak of 5 cases of polio in the Amish community in Minnesota... not that it really matters... their religion really has nothing to do with anything.

Polio Outbreak Occurs Among Amish Families In Minnesota

MPR: Minnesota polio cases raise awareness of immunization


Titers are obviously safer than getting the vaccines needlessly, since there are no toxins or preservatives injected into you when you have a titer done. Also, you are either immune or you are not.... you can't be "more" immune. Your levels of the virus can be higher, but if you have an adequate level to protect you, then you are "immune." I put it in quotes, because vaccine immunity is known to gradually wear off, so you might be immune one year and not the next. Natural immunity is not known to wear off, so if you are immune, you are truly immune.

(If you write the word "immune" over and over again, it does not look right!)
Oh, yes you can be "more" immune; titers are measured by the amout of anitbody found, though you are right that nothing benefits you having more than you need for protection. It is possible to have some antibody, but not enough. Nautural immunity can and does wear off. For example, people can get pertussis again after natural infection. It is also possible to get chickenpox again after natural infection. That is probably why the vaccine is not always effective, either.

Last edited by Katarina Witt; 06-08-2008 at 10:55 AM..
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Old 04-30-2010, 12:16 AM
 
1 posts, read 2,169 times
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It's always interesting to see debates (even a couple of years later, I know!) about vaccination.

I was vaccinated against whatever was available, as my mum was a nurse in a children's hospitaL; she had to nurse children who contracted all kinds of preventable diseases, and knew from experience that the risks associated with vaccinations were far less severe and far less likely than the risks of serious effects (brain damage, blindness, death etc) of the diseases.

On the natural vs. vaccination induced immunity, they are the same: the body doesn't distinguish between the source of infection when attacking the intruder...they simply work in exactly the same way to get rid of the infection.

I've had chicken pox twice, both time caught naturally (pre-vaccination existence). The first time was a very mild case when I was about 10. The next was a rather severe case when I was 12: I have many scars on my face and body. So that's another example of how "natural" immunity is not any better. I am also still required to be checked for immunity to Rubella, even though I had again a naturally obtained case of it as a teenager.

As a new aunt to a prem baby, and as the daugher of a very sick and immunosuppressed parent, I am also concerned about the pool of preventable diseases (e.g. measles) that are out in the community in those who don't immunise. Who else bears the cost of the decision not to immunise, even against such "non-dangerous" diseases such as chicken-pox? How would you feel if you or your children are responsible for someone vulnerable suffering or dying as a result of you carrying a disease to them?

Last edited by Bansidhe; 04-30-2010 at 12:22 AM.. Reason: Wanted to say a little more!
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Old 04-30-2010, 03:32 AM
 
Location: Australia
1,492 posts, read 2,651,339 times
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I believe that you get all the kids to bath together so that they have a really good chance of getting the pox.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:01 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
61 posts, read 144,904 times
Reputation: 61
TouchofWhimsy - totally agree with you.

It is funny - as soon as something becomes a vaccine preventable disease, everyone is afraid of getting it. It's chickenpox, people. Yes, there are some children who are immunosuppressed or otherwise in poor health that may have a bad case of CP or even die, but even before the vaccine, the deaths due to CP were in the 50-150 range. Most were immunocompromised individuals. Ask your mother or grandmother if the mumps or measles was as feared when they were kids - it was something most kids got and got over. The CP vaccine is a convenience thing - fewer days of work and school missed.
Also, the CP vaccine will most likely go the way of the tetanus shot - you will most likely need a booster every 10 years. If your adult children decide not to keep up with the booster shots, their immunity may wane, and they could wind up with an adult case of Cp which is far more serious. If you get CP naturally, you have immunity for life. Who here is up to date on your tetanus shot? I'd wager it isn't all of us.

Almost everyone - immunized or not - will be succeptable to shingles. Shingles happens when the dormant virus that causes CP flares up. Usually in older people whose immune systems can't contain the virus to your nervous system anymore.

FYI - my youngest just received her first varicella vax at 3. If it wasn't required for school, I would have skipped it until puberty.
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Old 04-30-2010, 06:06 AM
 
Location: Williamsburg, VA
61 posts, read 144,904 times
Reputation: 61
Quote:
Originally Posted by Bansidhe View Post
How would you feel if you or your children are responsible for someone vulnerable suffering or dying as a result of you carrying a disease to them?
I would feel terrible, which is why my children are vaxed on a schedule that I see fit.
I agree that we as a community should protect those who cannot receive a vaccine, but you are also putting the healthy child's health at risk when you vax. It is a delicate balancing act. Unfortunately, there are may other diseases out there which children are not vaccinated for that would cause a lot of problems for a sick child - tb, coxsackie, strep.
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