Vaccine Question and Answers
The wait is over!
I am thrilled to invite Dr. Temple back on the blog and so privileged that she has worked extremely hard to put this series together. She is board-certified, hugely experienced pediatrician with a functional approach to medicine (what a gem!), and her answers are well researched and backed up with medical knowledge and data. This is not an easy topic to tackle!
Here are some of the questions she will be answering over the course of the next 6 weeks so make sure to follow these weekly posts if you want to see what she has to say!
• Do vaccines work?
• I’ve never seen mumps, measles or rubella so why should I vaccinate my child?
• Are vaccines safe?
• How does the US schedule compare with the rest of the world? Do kids get 28 shots by the age of 12 months?
• Why do people say vaccines may cause autism?
• What’s your view on autism and MMR?
• You mentioned that immunizations are worldwide. How does the US compare with the rest of the world?
• Are vaccines behind the rise in chronic diseases?
• Vaccines and aluminum, what are your thoughts?
And here is part 1 of 6:
Thank you so much for inviting me to speak on this very important topic regarding children’s health. Before I launch into the questions and answers, I would like to point out that this is a First World Conversation, one which I have never had in Tanzania or Haiti, where I have worked in the past.
- Have you vaccinated your own children?
I vaccinated my children on the time schedule recommended by the CDC, including HPV and annual flu shots.
- Why should I vaccinate my child?
The purpose of vaccines is multifold
1. Vaccines prevent death and disability in our children.
2. We vaccinate to eradicate infectious disease for our children’s children, their grandchildren, and so on. A great example is smallpox. People were vaccinated against small pox which led to disease eradication. Today, this vaccine is no longer necessary.
3. We vaccinate so our children do not transmit the disease to their future unborn children:
– Rubella. This is also known as German Measles. It is a mild viral illness in children and young adults. However, if a mom contracts this during pregnancy (and she has no antibodies), it has a very high risk of devastating the fetus/baby. Please take note that many pregnancies are unplanned and Rubella is highly infectious and can be transmitted from infected persons without symptoms
– HPV. HPV vaccine is known to protect against cervical cancer. But it also prevents transmission to the baby during pregnancy and delivery. We have annual Pap Smears that have reduced the risk of cervical cancer, and we have tests to detect HPV infection. However, the HPV test is sensitive in women over 30 years old, and currently, there is no treatment. Once a woman becomes infected with or without symptoms she can transmit the virus during pregnancy, or to the baby during delivery and this can lead to growths on the vocal cords, brain growth retardation, and/or seizures.
- Do Vaccines Work?
Yes, they do. Two examples:
• I was a hospitalist before we had the Rota Virus vaccine. At that time, in the spring, the hospital wards were filled with kids who had vomiting and diarrhea and required IV fluids. And by filled, I mean to capacity. A year after the RotaVirus vaccine came out, I had one case a month, maybe.
• The only Haemophilus Influenza B meningitis which I treated was in the Amish community. 3 Children became severely ill in a small community with this disease. All the locals lined up for vaccination.
I say this for the doubters.
One disease gets eradicated by sanitation, ok very plausible.
BUT 26+ diseases become a thing of the past in countries where we have vaccines? These same diseases cause the majority of infant and childhood deaths in countries without vaccines in 2017?
There is no doubt that vaccines can cause side effects which we will talk about next week but if you ask me whether vaccines work then the above illustrates with a resounding YES.
- I’ve never seen anyone with measles, mumps or rubella so why should I vaccinate my child?
Well this kind of illustrates to you that vaccines DO WORK. Most people have not seen measles, mumps, or rubella so the natural reaction is to think we are safe and vaccines are not necessary. However, Measles is highly contagious and there has been a rise in the number of cases of measles with fatalities since the vaccine controversy started.
MEASLES FUN FACTS:
– A person who contracts measles and is without symptoms will infect 9-11 people around them, generally the non-immune. A sick person with measles will infect 18-20 people around them.
– Measles virus can live for 2 hours on a surface where an infected person coughed or sneezed
– Measles has a rash and fever. 1 in 10 develop ear infections that have a high risk of leading to deafness. Immunocompromised people die from measles. This was the case in Disney Land Measles outbreak, yes it was “only 100” people that became infected, but a child died of a preventable disease.
– 1 in 20 get pneumonia that leads to hospitalization (Hospitalization = lots of chemical exposure, including loads of aluminum)
– 1 in 1000 develop brain swelling with seizures and brain devastation
– 1 in 1000 die.
– OR if you get measles, have a mild course, and recover without complications, you are at high risk of developing Subacute Sclerosing Panencephalitis 7-10yrs down the road (a type of brain inflammation)
MUMPS FUN FACTS
It takes 2-4 weeks after exposure to the mumps virus to develop symptoms. During this time, the person is contagious and is spreading the virus by coughing, sneezing, sharing cups, touching surfaces.
Most people recover well after several weeks of pain, fatigue, face swelling, etc. Mumps increases the risk or permanent deafness, brains swelling (encephalitis), and testicular pain/swelling for days to weeks.
Well, we discussed this above – the main issue here is with pregnant women who are not immune contracting it and causing permanent disability in their unborn children. Thankfully we don’t see much of this anymore due to vaccines but congenital rubella syndrome was a very real condition we all learnt about at medical school.
This is not a one sided story – in our next installment, we will be discussing the possible side effects and problems with vaccines so stay tuned!