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23 October 2009 @ 12:48 pm
Vaccine Hysteria  
I am reading a lot of stuff these days about people too afraid to take the H1N1 vaccine, people afraid to give their kids the chicken pox vaccine, the pertussis vaccine, and others.

What happened to science? Does no one read legitimate scientific research any more? The autism link has been thoroughly debunked. The vaccines have been changed so that thimerosol (the ingredient feared and thought to cause autism) is not used and still the hysteria continues. WTF?

We are having outbreaks of the diseases once nearly eradicated by widespread vaccination. The anti-vax crowd just says "Oh those diseases aren't as bad as we were told. So and so had whooping cough and was just fine! Measles, shmeasles." Yeah, let's bring back polio too. Kids really enjoyed the crutches and wheelchairs. Hey, they can pop wheelies!

I have a problem with chicken pox parties over vaccination, too. Do you people quarantine your kids after these parties? Because the immuno-suppressed kids might die if they get exposed. What about the pregnant lady on the bus? She shouldn't be exposed during the incubation phase either! You are all counting on a mild case of chicken pox--that's not the kind I had! Some people die from chicken pox but you'd rather deliberately expose your child than get a few shots of the vaccine? I had blisters in every conceivable place and some that you hadn't thought of. I was acutely miserable. I was lucky it wasn't worse. If I found out my parents deliberately gave it to me rather than give me a vaccine, I don't know if I would speak to them again.

While everyone is getting their exemption "for religious reasons" other kids can't go to school with your kids unless they're willing to risk their lives. A Pox on You chronicles the difficulties of one family with an immunosuppressed child who can't send him to a daycare because someone has an exemption. The author wonders what she will do when he goes to school:

For now, we will hire an at-home sitter for him. It's more expensive and not what we had wanted, but it's the best, safest option. When he is ready to go off to school, we will have to face this issue again: Public schools are forced to enroll unvaccinated children who have religious or philosophical exemptions—again, whatever that means. Because we want him to have as "normal" a life as possible, we'll likely send him off in the bright yellow school bus and cross our fingers that the kid sitting next to him didn't just attend a "chicken pox party" over the weekend. Because what's "just a case of chicken pox" for that kid could be a matter of life or death for mine.

Vaccination isn't just a personal decision. It's a public health matter that can affect others. Having a pox party can have devastating consequences unless all involved quarantine their children during the incubation phase. But since their children may attend multiple parties before they catch chicken pox, I am pessimistic that they will really keep their children home each time. If their own child has a mild case of chicken pox but kills another child through exposure, do they still feel good about their choice?

Junk science is rampant and ignorant people who don't read other sources fall for it every time. Anecdotal tales sound convincing but are no match scientifically for actual scientific studies, preferably more than one to duplicate results. Junk science is so compelling that a whole town fell for one spoof and wanted to ban foam containers with dihydrogenmonoxide or DHMO just to be safe. It's another way to describe H20, or water. One guy was so convinced by the spoof website that my husband couldn't convince him it was a scam even by showing him the debunking pages. "The hoax is designed to illustrate how the lack of scientific knowledge and an exaggerated analysis can lead to misplaced fears."

If you'd like to see the hoax, here is the page: http://www.dhmo.org/

More information:





With thanks to stephanieb


http://www.slate.com/id/2232187?obref=obinsite (Far Left and Far Right together on anti-vaccine hysteria)

http://www.flu.gov/myths/index.html (Flu myths and realities)
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 23rd, 2009 08:59 pm (UTC)
Pertussis isn't polio. Chicken pox isn't small pox. The rhetoric on the "vax or you're an idiot and going to kill my kid!!!!" side is so overblown that they seriously treat chicken pox as if it were deadly. Pertussis the VAST majority of times isn't deadly, or even hospital-worthy. The VAST majority of children don't have a problem with chicken pox and are over it in less than 2 weeks.

Vaccines aren't 100% effective, not even close, nor 100% safe. At best, the pertussis vaccine only works 80% of the time. The CDC has no plan to eliminate chicken pox; that is NOT the goal of the vaccine. Not sure what is, but it's not elimination. Polio hasn't appeared in the industrialized world for over a decade. Not one case in 10 years.

They've also added a ton of new shots since I was a kid, and are pushing them even earlier. Of course, if you even put of your child's shots by 6 months they need fewer shots. At the absolute earliest, a child isn't immune to pertussis (or diptheria) until 8 months old. If you don't give them shots until 6 months, they're immune at.....10 months old! Vaccines are MORE EFFECTIVE if you wait until your child's even just a little bit older.

If pumping your kid full of a ridiculous amount of drugs were truly safe, they'd give all 37 shots in the hospital. Funny, they don't.

Then there's the fact that the dosing is insane. What other drug would you give the IDENTICAL dosage to an 250 pound 18 year old and a 4.5 pound newborn. Hepatitis B does just that. Which is physically impossible to get as a newborn unless the mother has it. Obviously the vast vast majority of women don't.

Then, of course, horrible reactions do exist. My stepsister had the not uncommon, scientifically verified, doctor diagnosed reaction of grand mal seizures from the DPT shot. Years of possibly choking on her tongue or vomit, or hitting her head as she randomly collapsed on the ground and started convulsing to save 3 months of a bad cough. It was fun being told how to deal with a seizing friend when I was 6 years old. I saw several of them over a few years.

As for other immunosuppressed people, vaccines DO NOT work 100% of the time. And they wear off, whereas getting the disease makes you almost always immune for life. Hell, I'm fully vaxed and I found out at the hospital that I'm no longer immune to rubella. Which, for the record, I plan on fixing early next year, once flu season passes.

As a new mother, I also love how the vaccine debate focuses solely on new mothers. VACCINES WEAR OFF. When's the last time you got your MMR booster? Or DTaP booster? Have you ever been innoculated against rotovirus? THat's a new vaccine that wasn't out when you (or I) were kids. What about the immune suppressed people? You're putting them in danger not spending hundreds of dollars getting your vaccines up to date! The rhetoric goes that because I have my daughter on a selective and delayed schedule because I've looked at actual instance rates, reactions, the symptoms, morbidity and mortality of every disease in question, I'm an anti-science wackaloon who's destroying the country and killing other children, but the average 30 year old who hasn't had more than a flu shot since he or she was 16 is totally fine and not at all that description.
Tapatitapati on October 23rd, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Chicken pox has been deadly in some cases, and not just in immunosupressed kids. Do you really want to gamble that your kid won't be the one who dies? If so, I guess you can, just keep your kid at home while incubating is all I ask.

Kids are the population most likely to spread these diseases. I do update vaccines but adults are rarely the ones passing these things on. Kids are the ones most vulnerable and therefore we focus our energy on protecting them.
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 23rd, 2009 09:41 pm (UTC)
Ah the appeal to emotion and "you're a bad mother" instead of looking at the facts and statistics. How very...scientific.

When was your rotovirus shot? Hib? Pneumococcal? Did you have the hepatitis series (new for my generation, not around for yours)? Adults pass on hepatitis, not children.
Tapatitapati on October 23rd, 2009 09:44 pm (UTC)
Where did I say you're a bad mother?

I'm immune to hep A by virtue of having had it, and low risk for acquiring b but if I worked in health care I'd get the vac for that. I am virtually housebound so I'm at low risk for just about everything these days.
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 23rd, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
The "you don't want your child to die" is an implicit statement that I"m a bad mother because I'm willing to let her get the chicken pox. You're saying that I care more about her not getting the vaccine than her life, which is insulting and ridiculous.

My daughter is incredibly healthy. Almost frighteningly strong, and thus far seems to have my immune system, which is again, incredibly strong. I know our habits, our family history, and therefore relative risk at acquiring some disease and having a bad reaction to it. I've done the research and compared the relative risk of the disease vs. the benefit of her immune system doing its thing, the schedule here and in other countries (our schedule is much more intense than all of Europe or Japan) vs. the fact delaying for awhile gives a better result and the reduced risk of reaction by not having so many shots, etc. etc. etc.

I've done my research, and my opinions are based on science and not some idiotic appeal to emotion and being labeled a bad mother. I wish more people could respect others choices.
Tapatitapati on October 23rd, 2009 10:05 pm (UTC)
You're not just willing to LET your child get chicken pox, you are actively seeking it out! You are the one who posted that you want to take her to a pox party! Yes I think it is ill-advised to deliberately expose your child to an illness which does kill some children and leave others with life long scars. That's different than saying you are a "bad mother." I am judging a behavior, not labeling you with an identity.
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 24th, 2009 01:46 am (UTC)
And by vaccinating her against diptheria, pertussis, and tetanus I'm planning exposing her to a significant risk that she'll suffer from grand mal seizures for the better part of a decade and potentially die because of that.

You haven't once acknowledged that this does indeed happen, that people are seriously injured from it, and more people have serious vaccine injuries than die from a typically mild illness!

But hey, if I follow the doctor's recommendation, even if it kills me or my child (yes this has come up for me a number of times, yay penicillin allergy) I'm a "model citizen" to quote the screened poster who insulted me, and did everything right.

I don't follow anything unquestioningly. I'm insulted that you and others think that that makes me a bad person. I find this sentiment to be deeply anti-intellectual. I WILL NOT put the health of my child solely in the hands of a biased, poorly trained, unthinking, uncompassionate and hurried person who just so happens to have a medical degree.
(Anonymous) on October 23rd, 2009 11:43 pm (UTC)
The pertussis vax as well as chicken pox reduce the severity of the disease, its not claimed to eliminate it. ANd by not acknowledging that, I wonder where you got your information. Pertussis can and does kill. As does chicken pox.

Just remember that you are making the decision that some people are worth less than others. And that people on chemo don't count. Or immunosuppressed people. Its a bargain you are making. Its doesn't make you a bad mother. But it also does not make you a model citizen.
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 23rd, 2009 09:49 pm (UTC)
Also, my daughter is more likely to get killed in the car trip to the doctor to get the chickenpox vaccine than from getting the chickenpox.

Maybe I should just never leave the house. Wouldn't want to risk my daughter not surviving.

And since only 80% of teens are immune to pertussis and FAR fewer adults (since vaccines wear off) maybe I should totally isolate my daughter from every other person out there because who knows their immune status, and I wouldn't want her to die, now would I?

I mean, do you know your own immune status? Have you been tested? How do you know you're safe to be around children? YOu could give them a disease!!!!
Tapatitapati on October 23rd, 2009 09:53 pm (UTC)
Look, you had your say in your journal and while I posted in response I endeavored to be polite about it. Now you're just going off. If you feel secure about your choices, good for you. I just don't have to agree with them.
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 23rd, 2009 09:56 pm (UTC)
I'm just cranky at your whole "I'm endangering the world and am a bad mother" schtick. I don't think a person is a bad parent or a bad person if they make different choices than I do. You think otherwise, and it's insulting.

And in light of the H1N1 crap, I get told indirectly that I"m a terrible person, an idiot, anti-science, and have no problem risking my daughter's life on a daily basis. It boils over occasionally.
Tapatitapati on October 23rd, 2009 10:02 pm (UTC)
I don't think a person is a bad parent or a bad person if they make different choices than I do. You think otherwise, and it's insulting.

That's not what I said--that's what you're reading into what I said.

All I want to know is: will you quarantine your child after a pox party or not?
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 24th, 2009 01:35 am (UTC)
Hadn't thought that far ahead. I certainly wouldn't bring her around anyone I knew who would be at high risk of serious complications from chickenpox.
Tapatitapati on October 24th, 2009 12:56 pm (UTC)
But you can't know everyone's health status before you take her somewhere, can you?

I hope when at these parties you will advocate that others quarantine their children while in the incubation stage. It's the civil and responsible thing to do.
Equinoxstephanieb on October 23rd, 2009 10:17 pm (UTC)
You don't live in a vacuum. You are making choices that affect others. Don't those others have some right to criticize your choices?
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 24th, 2009 01:37 am (UTC)
There's a difference between "it's ill-advised due to xyz reason" and the vitriol that is currently directed at anyone who even questions vaccines.
Equinoxstephanieb on October 24th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
I didn't see any vitriol. Just you putting words in other people's mouths. But if you're taking a position that is against scientific consensus, public health advice, and medical best practice, and you're putting others at risk by doing so (however small YOU think that risk is), then you should expect people to disagree with you, to bring up the evidence against your position, and to point out to you that you are potentially endangering others. This isn't a hypothetical argument. Real safety issues are involved. You should be really really REALLY sure you've got the science right before getting defensive your position.
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 24th, 2009 02:00 am (UTC)
"I didn't see any vitriol."

Someone did in fact say that I'm "anti-science." Someone did say that I'm "endangering others" These are both factually untrue, vitriolic, and insulting.

Except I'm not. I AM vaccinating, just not on the CDC's schedule.

And so should you. How do you account for the fact that there ARE adverse reactions, including grand mal seizures and still say vaccines are 100% safe. How do you further account for the fact that the later you vaccinate your child, the fewer shots they receive, therefore the less chance of an adverse response?

The simple fact of the matter is that according to the CDC's schedule, a child is not immune from pertussis until 8 months at the absolute earliest. By waiting 6 months, my child will have 1 or 2 fewer shots and be immune a whole 2 MONTHS later. Risk of adverse reactions reduced, immunity still in place.

Vaccines, like all things, are a balancing act.

And tapati keeps on talking about how bad chicken pox was for her. That's unfortunate, but extremely rare. 10% of all people are allergic, many of them seriously, to penicillin, yet doctors still hand that out willy-nilly. If you apply the idea that a few people may have a rare reaction means all should avoid something applies even moreso to antibiotics, where severe reactions are FAR more prevalent. Yet that doesn't happen.

People seem offended that I"m even questioning the CDC schedule. I've not once said I'm anti-vax, though many have assumed it and attacked me accordingly. I"m very pro-vax, but I find the schedule untrustworthy and excessive, and it's common knowledge that it was developed to get as many people vaxed as possible, and is not necessarily in the best interest of the child.

So how can you defend the "get vaxed or else" stance without accounting for the issues that I brought up.

Even my pediatrician, a rather mainstream doctor, agrees my assessment of the H1N1 vaccine. It wasn't well tested and the pharma cos. have no liability. They have literally no incentive to make a safe H1N1 vaccine than altruism, and I"m not trusting their altruism.
Tapatitapati on October 24th, 2009 01:05 pm (UTC)
I'm allergic to penicillin--an allergic reaction is something that can be countered if caught in time and any antibiotic on the market has the warning label about what to look for.

However, attending a pox party and then having all of those new disease vectors--exposed children--out in public before they show symptoms is something that no one can even guard against. How can they, if they don't know that the smiling child or baby just attended a party a few days ago and is now contagious?
thirishar on October 23rd, 2009 10:19 pm (UTC)
You ARE anti-science. Get with the program and get your child vaccinated.
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 24th, 2009 01:38 am (UTC)
How, precisely, am I anti-science? Science shows that delaying vaccines increases the likelihood of immunity. Science shows that vaccines can and do cause negative reaction. Science shows that vaccines wear off and aren't 100% effective.

Perhaps you're anti-research? Anti-independent thought?
thirishar on October 25th, 2009 06:15 am (UTC)
I'd spell it out for you, but unfortunately your attitude makes it quite clear you;'re not going to absorb a word of it anyway. You've got your eyes shut and your ears plugged, wandering around yelling "LALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU" whenev er someone tries to explain why it is you should go and get your kids vaxxed.
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 24th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
And by your reasoning I'd be dead by now. Because the "program" says I shouldn't question doctors, should take whatever they give me, and considering I'm deathly allergic to an entire class of drugs I would be dead now if I "got with the program" and unquestioning followed my doctor's recommendations.

Do you really want me dead?
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on October 24th, 2009 02:42 am (UTC)
I almost died when I had chicken pox - I caught it while I had three day Measles. :(
Equinoxstephanieb on October 23rd, 2009 10:13 pm (UTC)
I've spent all day researching and writing and fuming about this and I have to get some work done today, but briefly:

What Tapati said. Plus, chicken pox may not be that dangerous for most kids but it's nonetheless really really miserable. Why inflict that on kids when you don't have to? And with anti-biotic resistant strep infections on the rise, do you really want them walking around with 300-1000 open wounds? http://www.nnii.org/immunization_science_detail.cfv?id=7

This article from Pediatrics replies to a lot of your points: http://www.immunize.org/concerns/offit_moser2009.pdf

As for shots: up-to-date on my tdap, hep, and current seasonal flu. H1N1, MMR (come to think of it, I may have gotten that booster when I got the tdap and the hep. I'll have to check), and rotovirus (thank you for reminding me to add that to my list) when the doctor's office calls me in for H1N1. Like Tapati said, transmission is more likely between children, especially children in school and daycare. As a middle-class American, I can afford to pay for my shots. A lot of people can't. Vaccines are offered for free to children, not so to adults. Personally, I think we ought to be funding them for everyone. Vaccines are cheap and safe. A lot of bang for our health-care buck.
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 24th, 2009 01:36 am (UTC)
It's far more dangerous to take the child in a car anywhere. Arguably that's absolutely not necessary. Do you feel comfortable risking your child's death to go to the park?
Equinoxstephanieb on October 24th, 2009 02:05 am (UTC)
What is taking my (hypothetical) child to the park riskier than? I'm confused.
Things Gone and Things Still Herejette on December 13th, 2009 04:04 am (UTC)

/not a anti-vax hysteric, just a selective health care consumer
danaewintersdanaewinters on October 23rd, 2009 09:47 pm (UTC)
I admit, I waffled back and forth about getting both the flu and H1N1 shots this season...that is, til I got rippingly ill with Strep, and realized if it was at all possible to get that sick with either flu this winter, I wanted to avoid it at all costs. Besides, I'm sure it won't be remotely the last time my kids are exposed to some nasty thing or another this season.
batchfilebatchfile on October 23rd, 2009 10:35 pm (UTC)
A lot of the hysteria actually comes from medical company's refusal to adequately state who should NOT have the shots.

I should never have been vaccinated with the MMR, and in fact I am at high risk if I ever get a flu shot. but this was something my grandfather had to logically work out on his own, after finding out I was allergic to feathers as a teen. at the time i was receiving immunizations there were no warnings about the virii being incubated in eggs and that people allergic to eggs should not have them.

in fact i was in the hospital after having had one of my children and had a nurse who was adamantly insisting i be REimmunized with the MMR because my bloodwork showed i was not immune(after recieving all the childhood and teen boosters and getting seriously ill after each and every one). i sent her away with her needle(she was going to immunize me without even telling me what it was, in fact, but i have been proactive for years) to go read the packaging. she left in a huff, but never returned.

if the medical establishment was more transparent, there would be far more trust, and fewer unnecessary nightmarish allergic reactions.

as for my kids, i kept them mostly sequestered until they were to go into school. my doctor, knowing my full medical history, said it was the smartest thing i could have done, to wait until they were older for their shots, ensuring they wouldn't have bad reactions.

also, it's a medical fact that the earlier you expose a child to certain high risk allergens, the more likely it is that they will become highly, evenly deathly, allergic to them. peanuts are one example of this.

and yet doctors are injecting proteins into infants, by way of early infant immunizations.

so my opinion? yes, the anti immunization people are often off their rockers.
but the medical community as a whole is to blame for it by not being more transparent and more conservative with other people's babies.
Tapatitapati on October 24th, 2009 01:10 pm (UTC)
It would be great if they someday develop a method that doesn't involve eggs to create these. Until then, I suggest a medic alert bracelet that clearly indicates your egg allergy and to have it prominent in your medical chart and have a bracelet for it at the hospital, if you ever go again. Medical error does happen and that nurse should have checked. Even Walgreen's screens for that before giving out the flu shot!

I'm not saying all doctors and nurses are infallible angels. But I am weary of the hysteria that I see on Facebook and elsewhere, and truly horrified by the notion of chicken pox parties. I really would not have forgiven my family if they had done that to me deliberately!
Ashleyprophet_maid on October 24th, 2009 01:51 am (UTC)
To all you who think someone is a bad person (insert vitriol here) for not following the US schedule unthinkingly, do believe the same about every European country and Japan? All of whom has a much more flexible and LIGHTER vaccination schedule than we do.

Go on, I want you to say right here that the government of Iceland, Sweden, France, the UK, Belgium, Greece, Japan are all anti-science. COme on, you can do it. Because frankly my position is closer to all of them than it is to yours. My reading is backed up by the international community. Yours isn't.

But of course I'm anti-science.
Tapatitapati on October 24th, 2009 01:16 pm (UTC)
I didn't know they were throwing chicken pox parties sponsored by the government in all of those countries. Are they?

I don't care if you slightly delay your vaccination schedule, but there's no good science behind those parties. And if your child has one of the bad cases of chicken pox, even deadly, I am sure you're not going to feel good about the risk then.

Don't bring up the driving analogy again because it has nothing to do with deliberate exposure to disease. I'd feel less upset if you simply didn't vac for chicken pox and didn't attend those parties, but giving your child an illness deliberately is just so wrong on so many levels.

Maybe your memories of chicken pox are all sweetness and light, I don't know. I had blisters everywhere. There was not a square inch of my body uncovered, and I had them in my mouth, throat, eyelids, and vaginal area. You cannot imagine my torment. I allowed myself to scratch under the hairline and have horrible scars there. I really would have disowned my entire family if I found out they did that to me on purpose.

My daughter was equally horrified by the idea of pox parties, given the scars on her forehead.

It's your child and your choice. Like I said, at least be responsible enough to quarantine your child after exposure so some adult who has never had it (like my own mom who died never having had it) won't get sick.
axolotl9: cultural travestyaxolotl9 on October 24th, 2009 04:43 am (UTC)
vaccines et. al
our daughter has not had the chicken pox vaccine. why? because it's nearly as bad as having the chicken pox as far as exposure to immuno-suppressed people goes, being a live-virus vaccine. similarly, neither she nor I have had a flu vaccination yet this season because all we've gotten in Santa Cruz County so far is the nasal mist, which (again) is live virus. We have an immuno-suppressed person in our household - is she to move out for two weeks each time we get a vaccination?

and then there's the vaccination errors - daughter got an extra MMR this year because her chart said she should, even though elsewhere in the comments it said she didn't need one.

all in all I believe vaccination is a good thing, but there are issues with it even without going into the safety of the vaccines.
Tapatitapati on October 24th, 2009 01:02 pm (UTC)
Re: vaccines et. al
But you are not proposing to take your child to a pox party, either. :)

I have less problems with not vaccinating for the sound reason you have than I do with people having pox parties and then taking their kids out in public while incubating the disease.
Mari Adkinsmariadkins on October 24th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC)
Re: vaccines et. al
mari concurs. it's like thomas and his kidney disease. it's far better he gets vaccinated for pneumonia, flu, and h1n1 especially now that he lives here in lexington with me and is exposed to a far greater number of people on a daily basis than he ever was before. thing is - we're still waiting on the h1n1 injections to get to his pediatrician's office. :grumble: for a population of 350k, the cdc only shipped 10k inoculations to start. 10k! i know there've got to be more 'high risk' folks than 10k in this county ... :sigh:
Tapatitapati on October 24th, 2009 09:36 pm (UTC)
Re: vaccines et. al
They just can't make them fast enough, that's the problem. It's going to arrive in waves as they get more batches done. It is frustrating. I do agree that health workers and kids should go first because it's spreading fastest among that population. Plus if you can stop it in that population, the rest of us will have less chance of getting exposed.
Ms. F.goodbadgirl on October 24th, 2009 03:35 pm (UTC)
Is it really true that thermasol has been removed from ALL vaccines? That has not been my understanding.....I know they are now making thermasol-free vaccines but my research indicates that they are also more expensive.

I didn't go through all of your links but I'm interested in reading more about how the link between vaccines and autism has been thoroughly debunked.

Personally, I'm a fence sitter. I can understand both sides of the debate - and certainly agree with you about the dangers of exposing non-vaccinated kids to vulnerable populations, ie pregnant women or people who have come from other countries where no vaccines were available.

Sorry - am running late and these questions could probably be answered by reading your links, I'll come back and do that....but I had no idea they had removed all the thermasol from all the vaccines.....
Tapatitapati on October 24th, 2009 09:33 pm (UTC)
From the CDC:

Mercury and Vaccines (Thimerosal)
Photo of bottle

Thimerosal is a mercury-containing preservative used in some vaccines and other products since the 1930s. There is no convincing scientific evidence of harm caused by the low doses of thimerosal in vaccines, except for minor reactions like redness and swelling at the injection site. However, in July 1999, the Public Health Service agencies, the American Academy of Pediatrics, and vaccine manufacturers agreed that thimerosal should be reduced or eliminated in vaccines as a precautionary measure.

Since 2001, with the exception of some influenza (flu) vaccines, thimerosal is not used as a preservative in routinely recommended childhood vaccines.

It's my understanding that you can get the flu vaccine without it as well.
Ms. F.goodbadgirl on October 25th, 2009 01:42 am (UTC)
Ah, gotcha....I guess my focus was on the flu vaccine which I think comes both with and without - but I didn't know they had removed it from all of the kid's vaccines.

I do think the CDC vastly underestimates the dangers of mercury exposure -given the amount we are already exposed to via the environment. But the CDC also says there's only 30,000 cases of Lyme in this country while simultaneously admitting they have no idea how many Lyme cases there actually are but the number is probably closer to 300,000. So - I'm also a fence-sitter about the CDC.

I used to get the flu vaccine every year when I worked in health care - hardly mattered, I would catch every bug that came through the office.

Refreshingly, since I've been essentially quarantined from the general population -ermmm too disabled to work or get out much I haven't had a cold in almost 2 years....I shouldn't say that, I'll jinx myself. :)

And, Lyme and Epstein Barr and pretty much like having a terrible flu all the time anyway - only I can breathe out of my nose which I've always been fond of.

Tapatitapati on October 24th, 2009 09:34 pm (UTC)
Plus these days there's more mercury in many fish than in a vaccine.
Ms. F.goodbadgirl on October 25th, 2009 01:47 am (UTC)
Yeah, but that's what worries me.....so many of us are so environmentally toxic we don't know which end is up - and there's a lot of people, a growing number of people, with ailments that are confusing and varied and hard to diagnose and treat. Given how polluted our air and food and water and office spaces and etc....are I worry about adding to that mix.

If I had a child I think I'd certainly vaccinate for polio, I'd do the MMR all the basics....but I probably wouldn't get them a flu vaccine unless they were somehow weakened and more vulnerable.

Like I said, you make a very strong, valid case for vaccination. And I also don't trust drug manufacturers as far as I can throw their private planes....so I think it's a matter (for me,) of doing the research and making the most responsible decision you possibly can both for you and your family AND your community.