Tag: cancer

Getting Vaccinated to Protect Those Who Can’t Get the Vaccines

Most people get vaccinated because those vaccines have the direct benefit of reducing their risk of getting a life-threatening vaccine preventable disease. Protecting those who can’t get vaccines is a secondary benefit.

Should you get vaccinated to protect those who can't get the vaccines?
Does rationalizing your decision in anti-vax Facebook groups help you feel better that you are putting kids with cancer at greater risk to get sick?

A secondary benefit that anti-vax folks go to great lengths to convince themselves isn’t real and justify their decision to leave their kids unvaccinated and unprotected..

Getting Vaccinated to Protect Those Who Can’t Get the Vaccines

Of course, none of their explanations really hold water.

None of the vaccines that are routinely used on the CDC immunization schedule are a risk if you are around kids with cancer or other immunodeficiencies, except for FluMist and those with severe issues, like being in a bone marrow transplant unit.

One of the biggest misconceptions though, is that in getting vaccinated, parents are putting their own kids at great risk to protect someone else.

Don't set your kid on fire to keep mine warm!
Don’t set your kid on fire to keep mine warm!

Of course, that’s not true.

Remember, vaccines are safe, with few risks.

That why the analogy of setting their own kids on fire to keep others warm doesn’t make any sense.

After all, unlike vaccinating their own child, setting their child on fire offers them no benefit!

And they should understand that the one and only reason that their kids don’t get more vaccine-preventable diseases in this dog eat dog world is because the vast majority of us vaccinate and protect our kids.

Herd immunity is indeed real. In addition to protecting those who can’t be vaccinated, it protects the free-riders, those who just don’t want to get vaccinated.

What about the idea that it is unrealistic for folks who are immunocompromised to expect that they can lead normal lives and avoid infections?

You can't avoid all risks of infection, but why not avoid those that you can?

While it is true that there are other infections out there besides those that are vaccine-preventable, wouldn’t you want to at least reduce those risks that you can?

But could it be, as much as they seem to believe in shedding, that they think they are being altruistic in not vaccinating their kids?

Anti-vax folks are all about the shedding...
Anti-vax folks are all about the shedding

They aren’t.

In most cases, there are no restrictions on vaccinating people who have contact with those with immune system problems.

What about the idea that vaccines cause cancer?

Vaccines prevent cancer!
Vaccines prevent cancer!

That isn’t true. In fact, there are several vaccines that prevent cancer!

What other misconceptions do they have?

Most of the reasons folks use to avoid vaccines have been refuted a thousand times.
Most of the reasons folks use to avoid vaccines have been refuted a thousand times.

Let’s look at those last few issues…

  • vaccines are not associated with autism
  • vaccines aren’t perfect, but they do work very well
  • vaccines do help those with immune system problems, sometimes directly and more often because of herd immunity
  • people who have cancer are often vaccinated before they have chemo, but that protection gets wiped out during treatment and they can’t get caught up until after they have completed all of their treatments
  • kids with cancer might get some vaccines, but typically don’t get live vaccines

What about the idea that your unvaccinated child isn’t sick, so can’t get anyone else sick?

While that is a very common argument among anti-vax parents, it is very important that if your child is unvaccinated, then they are at much greater risk to catch a vaccine-preventable disease. And since you are often contagious even before you show symptoms, they might unknowingly expose many other people before they even realize that they are sick.

Hopefully you now understand it was never really a question.

That's why you get vaccinated, to protect those who can't get the vaccines!

Vaccinate and protect your kids.

If you don’t, in addition to putting them at risk to get sick, you put everyone around them at risk, including some who are at very high risk for severe complications from vaccine preventable diseases.

More on Risks from Unvaccinated Kids

Are Rates of Cancer in Children Skyrocketing?

Why do some folks think that rates of cancer in children are skyrocketing?

If you want to do something during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, encourage folks to get vaccinated and protected so that they don't put people with cancer, who are likely immunosuppressed at risk to get a vaccine-preventable disease.
If you want to do something during Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, encourage folks to get vaccinated and protected so that they don’t put people with cancer, who are likely immunosuppressed at risk to get a vaccine-preventable disease.

Oh, the usual suspects…

Are Rates of Cancer in Children Skyrocketing?

Cancer is actually one of the leading causes of death, but it is not the leading causes of death in children.

Childhood cancer is not the leading cause of death.

And cancer rates in children are not skyrocketing.

“We identified 120,137 childhood and adolescent cancer cases during 2001-2009 with an age-adjusted incidence rate of 171.01 per million. The overall rate of all cancers combined remained stable over time.”

Siegel et al on Cancer incidence rates and trends among children and adolescents in the United States, 2001-2009.

They have been very stable for many years.

So much for the anti-vax theory that vaccines can cause cancer

There’s more.

Not only are cancer rates in children not skyrocketing, fewer kids today are dying of cancer.

The death rate from childhood cancer has been decreasing.
The death rate from childhood cancer has been decreasing.

And now that they are actually getting vaccines that can prevent cancer, these children have an even lower risk of getting several cancers when they get older!

Even worse than pushing the idea that cancer rates are skyrocketing and that vaccines cause cancer, many of these same folks steer people with cancer away from life-saving medical treatments!

How can these folks publish advice that people with cancer should stop chemotherapy and radiation?!?
How can these folks publish advice that people with cancer should stop chemotherapy and radiation?!?

Surprised?

You shouldn’t be.

This is the modern anti-vaccine movement.

More on Cancer and Vaccines

Understanding Immunization Signs That Protestors Carry

Apparently, protesting kids getting vaccinated and protected against life-threatening diseases is now a thing.

Does anyone really think that vaccines are only tested for 4.5 days before being approved by the FDA?
This is just anti-vaccine misinformation in sign form… Do they really think that vaccines are only tested for 4.5 days before being approved by the FDA? Or that kids get 72 vaccines?

Is it a new thing?

Understanding Immunization Signs That Protestors Carry

As anti-vaccine folks get kicked off of social media, they seem to be moving back into the “real world.”

It is important to understand that the signs are pure propaganda and the anti-immunization misinformation on the signs certainly isn’t new…

They all contain anti-vaccine talking points that are easily refuted.

Vaccine mandates don't force anyone to get vaccinated

Forced medicine?

As most of you understand, vaccine mandates don’t force anyone to get vaccinated. They are typically mandates to get vaccinated if you want your kids to attend daycare or school, etc.

Don't believe everything you read on a sign...
What about the choices of those who want to keep their kids safe from vaccine-preventable diseases?

Want your kids to opt out and not get vaccinated? Then in most cases you can keep them home.

Say no to forced vaccines! Except that no one is trying to force you to get vaccinated!!!
Say no to forced vaccines! Except that no one is trying to force you to get vaccinated!!!

You have a choice.

Many vaccines have been tested against placebos.

You would think they would at least try and get their propaganda straight.

9 doses? 24 doses? Which sign is true?
To get to the inflated counts, up to 72 doses, you have to count the DTaP, MMR, and Tdap vaccines as three separate doses. And if you are going to do that, you should always do it, not just NOW to scare folks to make it look like kids get a lot more vaccines than they used to.

One of their signs says kids got 9 doses in 1980 and another says 24. Which is it?

How many doses of vaccines did kids get in the 1960s and 1980s?

How many new vaccines are being developed and tested for release? It ain’t 271 or 300 or whatever number they make up.

This sign misrepresents a study about SIDS which actually “did not detect any concerning patterns that would suggest causal relationships between vaccination and deaths.”

It shouldn’t be a surprise that nothing on the anti-immunization signs you might see is true.

Do these folks have a right to protest?

Sure.

Just like you have a right to ignore them and get your kids vaccinated and protected.

The few folks who protest immunizations today are still dwarfed by all of the people who get vaccinated and protected. In 1962, the line for polio vaccines was so long, that it surrounded a city auditorium in San Antonio, Texas.
The few folks who protest immunizations today are still dwarfed by all of the people who get vaccinated and protected. In 1962, the line for polio vaccines was so long, that it surrounded a city auditorium in San Antonio, Texas. Photo courtesy CDC/ Mr. Stafford Smith.

Remember, vaccines are safe, with few risks, and they are obviously necessary.

More on Anti-Immunization Signs

But Did Anyone Die?

Anti-vaccine folks don’t seem to like that they are getting more attention these days.

Why are they getting more attention?

More unvaccinated folks are getting sick.

But Did Anyone Die?

Is that really such a big deal though?

Hillary Simpson doesn't think measles outbreaks are a big deal because she doesn't think that anyone has died....
Hillary Simpson doesn’t think measles outbreaks are a big deal because she doesn’t think that anyone has died….

It’s not like anyone has died in all of these outbreaks, is it?

Actually, they have…

Most anti-vaccine folks conveniently seem to not be aware of her, but an immunocompromised woman died after she was exposed to measles during a 2015 outbreak in Clallam County, Washington.

“New details about the first confirmed measles death in the U.S. since 2003 show that the victim, a 28-year-old woman with underlying health problems, was likely exposed to the virus at a Port Angeles tribal health clinic.

Nearly three dozen other people also were potentially exposed to the highly contagious germ on Jan. 29, 2015, at the Lower Elwha Health Clinic by a 52-year-old man who became the first case of measles confirmed in Clallam County in two decades.”

Fatal measles case linked to exposure at tribal clinic, records show

So yes, someone did die during the recent measles outbreaks.

A 28-year-old woman died in Clallam County, Washington.

Not everyone is all better.

And during the 2013 measles outbreak in Brooklyn, a pregnant woman with measles was hospitalized and had a miscarriage.

But it isn’t just measles…

There are also deadly outbreaks of hepatitis A and as everyone knows, pediatric flu deaths are mostly in kids who are unvaccinated.

So, did anyone die?

Yes, tragically people have died because of the anti-vaccine movement.

And tragically, unless folks stop believing this kind of anti-vaccine propaganda and start vaccinating and protecting their kids, even more people will die unnecessarily.

More on Vaccine Preventable Disease Deaths