Tag: live vaccines

Is Ocular Palsy a Vaccine Injury?

Now why would anyone think that an ocular palsy could be caused by vaccines?

There is no real evidence that a cranial nerve six palsy, which causes strabismus or esotropia, is a common vaccine injury, even though Dr. Bob focused on it recently.

Is Ocular Palsy a Vaccine Injury?

What is Dr. Bob’s evidence?

A vaccine injury story from a vaccine hesitant mom who was giving her child one vaccine at a time and who became cross-eyed five days after getting the MMR vaccine.

“It is an absolutely, 100% well known vaccine reaction to live virus vaccines as you eventually discovered, it’s called ocular palsy.”

Bob Sears

Is that true?

Not exactly.

It is true that there are a handful of case reports of toddlers developing a cranial nerve six palsy after a live virus vaccine, but that doesn’t make it an “absolutely, 100% well-known vaccine reaction.”

Why not?

The story Dr. Bob tells could be published as a case report. But that wouldn’t be proof that it was caused by the MMR vaccine, as other causes weren’t ruled out, and it is easy to overlook that the child had just had a double ear infection.

“Benign isolated 6th nerve palsy of childhood is rare, and recurrences are rarer. By definition, it is not due to a threatening cause, such as an underlying intracranial lesion, and recovery is expected. This condition typically occurs following viral illnesses, infections, and immunization involving attenuated live vaccinations. In general, prognosis for benign recurrent 6th nerve palsy is excellent, and majority of patients recover full muscle function.”

Gonçalves et al on Benign Recurrent Sixth Nerve Palsy in a Child

Could the child that Dr. Bob talks about have had a viral infection causing their sixth nerve palsy?

Sure. The child even had a double ear infection the previous month.

Considering that in most of the case reports, the children developed symptoms later, between 7 or 21 days to as late as 6 weeks to 6 months after their vaccine, then the previous ear infection starts to look like a more likely cause, not the MMR vaccine.

“A previously healthy four-year-old girl was presented to our emergency room with complaints of binocular horizontal diplopia of sudden onset and strabismus.”

Gonçalves et al on Benign Recurrent Sixth Nerve Palsy in a Child

What’s different about the four-year-old girl discussed above and the child Dr. Bob talks about?

“One week prior to the event, the child had a history of fever and productive cough, and she was under treatment with amoxicillin. There was no history of live attenuated vaccine administration in the previous days.”

Gonçalves et al on Benign Recurrent Sixth Nerve Palsy in a Child

This child wasn’t recently vaccinated.

There are also case reports of children developing recurrent 6th nerve palsy without any obvious trigger – no immunization and no recent infection.

And cases from the 1950s and 60s and earlier, before we had an MMR vaccine.

“This syndrome is not a new entity, and experienced clinicians recall cases in which the combination of only fever and VI nerve palsy cautioned them against other diagnostic measures. Sir Charles Symonds, in a discussion recorded in the proceedings of the Royal Society of Medicine, makes reference to his observations of patients in whom VI nerve palsy followed febrile illness and was of no consequence. In the same discussion he also mentions instances in which VI nerve palsy followed otitis media, and yet there was no pain and little constitutional disturbance. The palsy he considered to be the result of an aseptic thrombosis of the inferior petrosal sinus, adjacent to the VI nerve as it passes through Dorello’s canal.”

Knox et al on Benign VI Nerve Palsies in Children

Also consider that if a live attenuated vaccine is causing such a vaccine injury, then wouldn’t you expect kids with natural measles infections to develop these 6th nerve palsies at equal, or more likely, greater rates.

What about those case reports from the 1950s and 60s and earlier? No, those early case reports weren’t about kids with measles.

The bottom line is that if you want to consider this type of ocular palsy a vaccine injury, you should also explore the possibility that it was caused by an infection or by chance. And the only folks who would say 100% that these incidents are a vaccine injury, when there is just as much, if not more, evidence saying they aren’t, are those who think that everything is a vaccine injury

More on Medical Exemptions

Making a Better Pertussis Vaccine

So we know that we need a better pertussis vaccine.

DTaP and Tdap just aren’t doing the job that they should be doing.

Whooping Cough is back, again.
Whooping Cough is back, again.

So when will we get one?

Making a Better Pertussis Vaccine

Since anti-vaccine folks are always talking about the 300 new vaccines in the pipeline, you would think that we would have had several new pertussis vaccines by now…

Unfortunately, we don’t.

What we do have is some good candidates, including:

  • new acellular pertussis vaccines, either with more antigens or an adjuvant
  • a new live attenuated nasal vaccine, BPZE1
  • new whole-cell vaccines with reduced endotoxin contents (so should have fewer side effects that then original whole-cell pertussis vaccine – DTP)

Before you get too excited, keep in mind that none of these vaccines will be available in your pediatrician’s office any time soon. Developing a new vaccine takes a lot of time.

BPZE1 has started phase 2a trials though.

What do we do until we get new pertussis vaccines?

“We should be more vigilant than we have been in the past to recognize and treat pertussis in all age groups so that transmission to young infants is reduced. Most important (although not discussed in this review) is to ensure that all pregnant women receive the Tdap vaccine between 27 and 36 weeks’ gestation with each pregnancy. Also, we should consider routinely administering Tdap vaccine every 3 years to all adolescents and adults who were primed with a DTaP vaccine.”

James D. Cherry on The 112-Year Odyssey of Pertussis and Pertussis Vaccines—Mistakes Made and Implications for the Future

We should keep using the pertussis vaccines we have!

Vaccines work, even when they aren’t as effective as we would like.

More on Making a Better Pertussis Vaccine

What is Eczema Vaccinatum?

Did you know that having eczema is a contraindication to getting a vaccine?

Which vaccine?

The smallpox vaccine!

Yes, smallpox has been eradicated, but the vaccine is sometimes still used in very specific situations, especially in the military.

What is Eczema Vaccinatum?

Not only is eczema a contraindication to getting the smallpox vaccine, you shouldn’t even get it if a household contact has eczema.

Why not?

Shedding.

Yes, although anti-vaccine folks needlessly worry about shedding when kids get routine childhood vaccines and even talk about a shedding season, with the smallpox vaccine, problems with shedding are really a thing.

Since the smallpox vaccine is a live virus vaccine and since it very commonly causes a skin reaction at the injection site, shedding can spread it to others. While that’s a good thing with some vaccines, like the oral polio vaccine, because it increases herd immunity, it isn’t with the smallpox vaccine.

If the weakened smallpox vaccine can cause a skin reaction on your arm where you got the shot, what is it going to do if it gets on a child’s skin that is irritated all over with eczema?

An 8-month-old boy with eczema vaccinatum.
An 8-month-old boy with eczema vaccinatum. Photo by CDC/Arthur E. Kaye

It’s a good thing that we don’t routinely have to use the smallpox vaccine anymore.

“Because persons with eczema are deferred from vaccination, only a single, accidentally transmitted case of EV has been described in the medical literature since military vaccination was resumed in the United States in 2002.”

Reed et al on Eczema vaccinatum.

And that it doesn’t happen with any other vaccines!

More on Eczema Vaccinatum

What Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Actually Know About Vaccines?

Anti-vaccine folks are spreading another quiz around…

It’s not the questions that automatically makes you think the quiz is anti-vaccine though. It’s how you just know anti-vaccine answers will be very different from someone who actually does know something about vaccines.

What Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Actually Know About Vaccines?

If you are anti-vaccine, you likely believe that vaccines are dangerous, full of toxins, and that they don’t even work. That gives other folks a giant hint as to how you would answer these 32 questions…

1. Can you name 5 vaccine ingredients?
Yes. I can also name what’s not in vaccines, including heavy metals, hidden ingredients, toxins, antifreeze, lead, glyphosate, vaginal spermicides, etc.
AV answerall vaccines contain toxic ingredients!
2/3. What is MRC-5/WI-38?
These are immortalized cell lines that are used to make some vaccines. These cell lines are derived (they can replicate infinitely) from fetal embryo fibroblast cells from two electively terminated pregnancies (abortions) in the 1960s. The cells used today are descendants of the original cells.
AV answerthere are aborted baby parts in our vaccines!
4. What is vaccine court?
The Vaccine Court is part of the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) and decides if the claims should be compensated or dismissed, etc.
AV answervaccine court proves that vaccine injuries are real.
5. What is the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program?
The National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) was created as “a no-fault alternative to the traditional legal system for resolving vaccine injury petitions.”
AV answerthe National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) proves that vaccine injuries are real.
6. What is the 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act?
The National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 established the VICP, the Vaccine Injury Compensation Trust Fund, the National Vaccine Program Office, VAERS, and required that health care providers give a Vaccine Information Statement to anyone getting a vaccine.
AV answerthe 1986 National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act should be repealed because it removed all liability from vaccine manufacturers.
7. How has the CDC schedule changed since 1986?
The immunization schedule has changed to include vaccines to protect kids against meningitis, pneumonia, blood infections, severe dehydration, epiglottitis, and cancer from Hib, pneumococcal disease, rotavirus, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, chicken pox, HPV, and meningococcal disease.
AV answerit has ballooned and exploded with 300 more vaccines in the pipeline!
8. How much money has been paid out by vaccine injury court?
Since the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program began, in 1988, almost $3.5 billion dollars have been paid out for 4,899 compensated awards, the majority of which were settled, and during which time over 2.5 billion doses of vaccines were given.
AV answer$3.5 billion dollars, which proves that vaccine injuries are real!
9. How many doses of vaccines are in the CDC schedule between birth and age 18?
By age 18 years, today’s kids get 54 doses of 13 vaccines that protect them against 16 vaccine-preventable diseases, with a third of those doses coming from yearly flu vaccines.
AV answer72 doses!
10. Do vaccines contain DNA from aborted fetal cell lines? If so, which vaccines?
Residual, highly fragmented DNA is sometimes found in vaccines that are made using the MRC-5/WI-38 cell lines.
AV answervaccines contain aborted fetal tissue.
11. Do any vaccines contain dog, monkey, pig, or human DNA?
Residual DNA, if found in vaccines, is not a cause for concern. It is typically a function of growing vaccine viruses in mammalian cell lines.
AV answerdog, monkey, pig, and human DNA contaminate vaccines and will turn us all into mutant dog-monkey-pig-human hybrids.
12. What is an adjuvant?
An adjuvant in a vaccine can increase the body’s immune response to an antigen, allowing you to use a smaller amount of antigen, which is important, as it is the antigens that typically cause side effects.
AV answerAdjuvants in vaccines have never been tested and they trigger vaccine injuries and disease.
13. What is an antigen?
An antigen is a substance, often part of a virus or bacteria, that can stimulate an immune response and the production of antibodies. Surprisingly, even though kids get more vaccines than they used to, those vaccines contain far fewer antigens than older vaccines.
AV answerwe don’t care about antigens anymore, because all of the other vaccine ingredients are toxic.
14. Which arms of the immune system do vaccines stimulate?
It actually depends on the vaccine, but this is about the differences between innate (nonspecific and without memory) and adaptive immunity, which typically interact with each other, whether it is to create natural or vaccine induced immunity.
AV answerI don’t care which arm you try to give it to them, my kids aren’t getting vaccinated!
15. Which arms of the immune system do natural diseases stimulate?
As with vaccines, it depends on the disease.
AV answerEven if you offer to give the shot in their legs, my kids aren’t getting vaccinated!
16. What is transverse myelitis?
Transverse myelitis is a type of inflammation of the spinal cord, causing weakness and paralysis, and typically triggered by infections, immune system, inflammatory, and vascular disorders.
AV answertransverse myelitis is a vaccine injury.
17. What is encephalopathy?
Almost anything can cause encephalopathy, leading to diffuse brain disease and dysfunction.
AV answerencephalopathy is a vaccine injury.
18. What is the rate of autism in 2018? What was it in 2000? What was it in 1980?
The reported rate of autism has increased since 1980 because of better recognition, diagnostic substitution, broadening of the diagnostic criteria, and social influences. Vaccines are not associated with autism.
AV answervaccines cause autism. If it isn’t the MMR vaccine, then it is thimerosal, or maybe aluminum. Or it could be glyphosate. It is definitely vaccines though.
19. What is glyphosate? Is it in vaccines?
Glyphosate, a weed killer (Roundup) made by Monsanto is not in any vaccines.
AV answerbecause glyphosate is everywhere, including in vaccines, half of all children will be autistic by 2025.
20. If your child is injured who will take physical, emotional and financial responsibility?
If a child has a true vaccine injury, compensation from the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) will hopefully help with your financial responsibilities.
AV answeryou can not sue vaccine manufacturers, so they have no liability if your child is injured by a vaccine.
21. What was the Supreme Courts statement on vaccines in 2011?
In 2011, the Supreme Court decided Bruesewitz v. Wyeth, in which they used the infamous unavoidably unsafe terminology, which has been misunderstood by anti-vaccine folks ever since.
AV answerthe Supreme Court said that vaccines can never be safe.
22. Can you find a study showing vaccinated vs unvaccinated health outcomes?
Yes, yes I can. A large study, “Vaccination Status and Health in Children and Adolescents Findings of the German Health Interview and Examination Survey for Children and Adolescents (KiGGS),” found that unvaccinated kids weren’t healthier, they just had more measles, mumps, rubella, and pertussis.
AV answerthe Mawson study (published in a pay-to-publish journal after being retracted two other times) proves that unvaccinated (homeschooled) kids are healthier than vaccinated (homeschooled) kids.
23. Can you find a safety study proving it is safe to inject multiple vaccines?
Yes, yes I can. There are many studies that prove that it is safe to give multiple vaccines at the same time.
AV answervaccines have never been tested together.
24. Do vaccines shed?
A few vaccines do shed, including the rotavirus vaccines (in stool, so wash your hands when changing diapers) and oral polio vaccines, which haven’t been used in the United States since 2000. Although FluMist can shed, since the vaccine contains attenuated viral strains of the flu that are temperature-sensitive, it isn’t a problem, except maybe for someone who is severely immunocompromised.
AV answerour unvaccinated kids are at risk during shedding season!
25. Which vaccines can shed for up to 6 weeks?
The oral polio vaccine, which hasn’t been used in the United States since 2000, can likely shed for up to 6 weeks. This type of shedding is one of the reasons this weakened live virus vaccine is preferred over the inactivated polio vaccine when polio is still common in an area. In areas with poor hygiene and sanitation, the shedding (in stool) can lead to a type of passive immunization and improved herd immunity!
AV answershedding season is coming!
26. Which vaccines are live virus vaccines?
Attenuated, live virus vaccines which contain a weakened version of a virus include MMR, Varivax (chicken pox), the rotavirus vaccines, FluMist, the yellow fever vaccines, the oral polio vaccine, and vaccines against typhoid, cholera, adenovirus, and smallpox.
AV answerunvaccinated children are at risk from shedding if they are around kids who have gotten a live virus vaccine, especially during shedding season.
27. What is the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP)?
This is the same thing as the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP) in question 5…
AV answerwe need to repeal both the NVICP and the VICP!
28. What is SV40?
Simian virus 40 was found to contaminate polio vaccines from 1955 through 1963. Fortunately, it has not been found to cause any disease in the folks who got those vaccines.
AV answervaccines are contaminated with monkey viruses and cause cancer.
29. What is MTHFR and how does it affect the body’s response to vaccines?
True MTHFR gene mutations rarely cause homocystinuria. Folks are more likely to hear about MTHFR polymorphisms, which are typically normal and have no affect on vaccines or anything else.
AV answerno one should not get vaccinated if they have MTHFR mutations or signs of MTHFR.
30. What is an acceptable amount of aluminum to be ingested per day versus the aluminum content in the Hep B shot given at birth, 2 months, and then again at 4 months?
Although there are limits on aluminum that premature neonates and infants getting daily intravenous fluids and IV feeding solutions over prolonged periods of time, that doesn’t mean that aluminum in vaccines that infants get every few months isn’t safe. It is. And they are.
AV answerinfants are getting toxic amounts of aluminum in their vaccines!
31. Can someone who was vaccinated for pertussis still spread pertussis after being exposed to it? If so, for how long?
Maybe. A study in baboons said it is possible. More importantly though, you are much more likely to get pertussis if you are unvaccinated, will have more severe symptoms, and will likely get more people sick.
AV answervaccinated people are the ones starting pertussis outbreaks.
32. What is the death rate from measles in the past 10 years in the U.S. compared to the death rate from the MMR vaccine in the past 10 years?
Deaths from measles are now rare in the United States because most people are vaccinated and protected. And unless you are looking at VAERS reports, the deaths from the MMR vaccine are also very rare. We will have more and more measles outbreaks if folks don’t get vaccinated though, increasing the risk of another measles death.
AV answermeasles is a mild disease that was on the Brady Bunch, and MMR is an unnecessary vaccine kills tons of people.

How did you answer the questions?

What Do Anti-Vaccine Folks Actually Know About Vaccines?

Is Surgery a Contraindication to Getting Vaccinated?

There are some situations in which it is very important to think about vaccines before your child has surgery.

“Pneumococcal conjugate vaccine (PCV13, Prevnar 13, Pfizer), Haemophilus influenzae type b vaccine (Hib), meningococcal conjugate vaccine (MenACWY), and meningococcal B vaccine should be given 14 days before splenectomy, if possible.”

Ask the Experts about Scheduling Vaccines

A splenectomy leaves your child at extra risk for many vaccine-preventable diseases, so it is a good idea to get vaccinated and protected well in advance of a planned splenectomy, if possible.

This doesn’t mean that these vaccines won’t work after the surgery, but just that you don’t want your child to be unprotected while he remains unvaccinated.

Is Surgery a Contraindication to Getting Vaccinated?

What about other surgeries?

Some kids are put on an aspirin regimen after cardiac surgery and it should be noted that taking aspirin is a contraindication for getting FluMist, the nasal spray flu vaccine, and is considered a precaution for getting the chicken pox vaccine.

“(j)No adverse events associated with the use of aspirin or aspirin-containing products after varicella vaccination have been reported; however, the vaccine manufacturer recommends that vaccine recipients avoid using aspirin or aspirin-containing products for 6 weeks after receiving varicella vaccines because of the association between aspirin use and Reye syndrome after varicella. Vaccination with subsequent close monitoring should be considered for children who have rheumatoid arthritis or other conditions requiring therapeutic aspirin. The risk for serious complications associated with aspirin is likely to be greater in children in whom natural varicella develops than it is in children who receive the vaccine containing attenuated VZV. No association has been documented between Reye syndrome and analgesics or antipyretics that do not contain aspirin.”

Vaccine Recommendations and Guidelines of the ACIP

In most other situations, not only is surgery not considered a contraindication to getting vaccinated, but “hospitalization should be used as an opportunity to provide recommended vaccinations.”

“Most studies that have explored the effect of surgery or anesthesia on the immune system were observational, included only infants and children, and were small and indirect, in that they did not look at the immune effect on the response to vaccination specifically. They do not provide convincing evidence that recent anesthesia or surgery significantly affect response to vaccines. Current, recent, or upcoming anesthesia/surgery/hospitalization is not a contraindication to vaccination. Efforts should be made to ensure vaccine administration during the hospitalization or at discharge.”

Vaccine Recommendations and Guidelines of the ACIP

The one possible argument that makes sense to delay a vaccine in few days or weeks before a planned surgery is that if your child has a reaction to the vaccine, even if it is a mild reaction, like a fever or irritability, then it might cause them to delay the surgery.

And you could make the same argument about delaying vaccines in the days or weeks after having surgery. Could mild reactions to a vaccine be confused with complications from the surgery?

Otherwise, your anesthesiologist’s preferences aside, a recent or upcoming surgery is not a true contraindication to getting vaccinated, especially if it is a vaccine that your child is already past due for or needs because of a local outbreak, etc.

nless they are giving these kids the oral polio vaccine or plan on them sharing a room with a bone marrow transplant patient, they don't need to worry about shedding. But that's only one of the reasons that this hospital's recommendations don't follow ACIP guidelines.
Unless they are giving these kids the oral polio vaccine or plan on them sharing a room with a bone marrow transplant patient, they don’t need to worry about shedding. But that’s only one of the reasons that this hospital’s recommendations don’t follow ACIP guidelines.

What happens if you delay getting your child vaccinated because of a planned surgery and they get exposed to someone with measles or chicken pox?

Fortunately, this isn’t usually an issue unless your child is already behind on their vaccines and needs to catch up. After all, there is a lot of flexibility built into the immunization schedule, so that your child could get all of their vaccines on time, even with a planned or unexpected surgery.

More on Surgery and Vaccines

What Is a Vaccine?

You know what a vaccine is, right?

The word vaccine comes from the vaccinia virus that was in the original smallpox vaccine.
The word vaccine comes from the vaccinia virus that was in the original smallpox vaccine.

The flu shot you get each year is a vaccine.

Vaccine: A product that stimulates a person’s immune system to produce immunity to a specific disease, protecting the person from that disease. Vaccines are usually administered through needle injections, but can also be administered by mouth or sprayed into the nose.

Immunization: The Basics

The smallpox shot that Edward Jenner developed was a vaccine.

Vaccine Definitions

While that is an easy enough definition to understand, that there are many different types of vaccines does make it a little more complicated.

There are:

  • Live-attenuated vaccines – made from a weakened or attenuated form of a virus or bacteria
  • Inactivated vaccines – made from a killed form of virus or bacteria
  • Subunit, recombinant, polysaccharide, and conjugate vaccines – made from only specific pieces of a virus or bacteria
  • Toxoid vaccines – made to target a toxin that a bacteria makes and not the bacteria itself

And of course all of these types of vaccines work to produce immunity to specific diseases – vaccination.

Immunization: A process by which a person becomes protected against a disease through vaccination. This term is often used interchangeably with vaccination or inoculation.

Immunization: The Basics

What other definitions are important to know when you talk about vaccines?

  • active immunity – immunity that you get from having a disease (natural immunity) or getting a vaccine and making antibodies
  • adjuvant – a substance that helps boost your body’s immune response to a vaccine so that you can use a minimum amount of antigen, reducing side effects
  • antibodies – protective proteins that you make against antigens
  • antigens – specific substances (can be part of a virus or bacteria) that trigger an immune response
  • attenuation – a virus or bacteria that is made less potent, so that it can produce an immune response without causing disease
  • elimination – getting rid of a disease in a specific area
  • endemic – the baseline level of disease in an area
  • eradication – getting rid of a disease everywhere (smallpox)
  • epidemic – an increase in the number of cases of a disease over a large geographic area
  • herd immunity – when enough people in a community are protected and have immunity, so that disease is unlikely to spread
  • immunity – protection against a disease
  • incubation period – how long it takes to develop symptoms after you are exposed to a disease
  • outbreak – an increase in the number of cases of a disease over a small geographic area
  • pandemic – an increase in the number of cases of a disease over several countries or continents
  • passive immunity – temporary immunity that you get after being given antibodies, either via a shot of immunoglobulin or a mother’s antibodies are transferred to her baby through her placenta
  • placebo – classically defined as “a comparator in a vaccine trial that does not include the antigen under study”
  • quarantine – isolating someone so that they don’t get others sick
  • titer – an antibody count that can often be used to predict immunity

Got all of that?

So what about variolation, the process that was used before Jenner developed his smallpox vaccine? Was that also a vaccine?

It did produce immunity to smallpox, which is the basic definition of a vaccine, but still, variolation is typically concerned an immunization technique and not a vaccine.

More on Vaccine Definitions

Is a Family History of Altered Immunocompetence a Contraindication to Getting Vaccinated?

Have you ever wondered why a “family history of altered immunocompetence” is listed as a contraindication to getting varicella and MMR vaccines?

If family members have altered immunocompetence, getting and exposing them to measles isn't a good idea either.
If family members have altered immunocompetence, getting and exposing them to measles isn’t a good idea either.

It’s probably not why you think…

Is a Family History of Altered Immunocompetence a Contraindication to Getting Vaccinated?

Which vaccines are contraindicated if you have a family history of altered immunocompetence?

Typically MMR and Varivax, the chicken pox vaccine.

Is this about side effects?

Kind of.

As they are live vaccines, you don’t usually want to give them to anyone who might be immunocompromised. And since some conditions that cause immune system problems can run in families, if there is a family history of these conditions, you want to make sure your child doesn’t have one before they are vaccinated.

(g) family history of congenital or hereditary immunodeficiency in first-degree relatives (e.g., parents and siblings), unless the immune competence of the potential vaccine recipient has been substantiated clinically or verified by a laboratory.

General Best Practice Guidelines for Immunization: Best Practices Guidance of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP)

Fortunately, these types of severe immune problems are rare.

They might include:

  • Severe antibody deficiencies (e.g., X-linked agammaglobulinemia and common variable immunodeficiency)
  • Complete defects (e.g., SCID disease, complete DiGeorge syndrome)
  • Partial defects (e.g., most patients with DiGeorge syndrome, Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome, ataxia- telangiectasia)
  • Phagocytic deficiencies that are undefined or accompanied by defects in T-cell and NK cell dysfunction (such as a Chediak-Higashi syndrome, Leukocyte Adhesion Deficiency [LAD], and myeloperoxidase deficiency)

Talk to your pediatrician if your child has a first degree relative with one of these conditions, before they get their MMR or chicken pox vaccines.

Still, by twelve months, infants with a severe congenital or hereditary immunodeficiency or any other severe immunodeficiency will almost certainly have symptoms already.

Most children, for example, had been diagnosed with severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), in early infancy when they have severe and life-threatening infections and failure to thrive.

And most newborns in the United States are now screened for SCID as a part of their routine newborn screening test, and can be diagnosed and treated before they have symptoms! That’s also long before they might be due for their MMR or chicken pox vaccines.

So, if your child has a family history of congenital or hereditary immunodeficiency, and it is in a first-degree relative, but has no symptoms themselves, then they can get safely vaccinated on schedule.

Not surprisingly, anti-vaccine folks try to abuse their family history of altered immunocompetence as an vaccine exemption, even when their own child isn’t immunosuppressed!

More on Vaccine Contraindications