Tag: risks

Who Benefits from Stronger Vaccine Laws?

It has become clear that some communities, in which clusters of unvaccinated kids have led to very low immunization levels and the return of vaccine preventable diseases, need stronger vaccine laws.

Voting Yes on Question 1 in Maine will simply mean that those who can't be vaccinated will be more at risk from vaccine preventable diseases.
Voting Yes on Question 1 in Maine will simply mean that those who can’t be vaccinated will be more at risk from vaccine preventable diseases. Folks in Maine will vote No on Question 1 if they support vaccinating and protect their kids.

Who benefits from these stronger vaccine laws?

Who Benefits from Stronger Vaccine Laws?

It should also be clear that everyone benefits from these stronger vaccine laws except those who want to continue to send their intentionally unvaccinated kids to school.

Often associated with DiGeorge syndrome, an absent thymus would typically be considered a contraindication to getting live vaccines.
Often associated with DiGeorge syndrome, an absent thymus would typically be considered a contraindication to getting live vaccines.

Stronger vaccine laws that either eliminate or keep folks from abusing religious and personal belief exemptions would be of greatest benefit to those who need to hide in the herd.

“Known severe immunodeficiency (e.g., from hematologic and solid tumors, receipt of chemotherapy, congenital immunodeficiency, long-term immunosuppressive therapy or patients with HIV infection who are severely immunocompromised)”

CDC on Contraindications and Precautions

This includes those who are too young to be vaccinated or fully vaccinated, those who can’t be vaccinated (true medical exemptions), and those of us whose protection has worn off (vaccines are not 100% effective).

Unfortunately, some folks are confused about what counts as a medical exemption.

A child without a thymus? They typically would not get live vaccines and would get a medical exemption.

“Children with partial DiGeorge syndrome (pDGS) should undergo immune system assessment with evaluation of lymphocyte subsets and mitogen responsiveness in order to determine whether they should be given live viral vaccines. Those with ≥500 CD3 T cells/mm3, ≥200 CD8 T cells/mm3, and normal mitogen response should receive MMR vaccine and VAR.”

2013 IDSA Clinical Practice Guideline for Vaccination of the Immunocompromised Host

Some might if they didn’t have a complete defect and testing showed they had sufficient T cells.

“The Infectious Diseases Society of America, in conjunction with the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), CDC, and other professional societies and organizations, has developed immunization guidelines for children and adults with primary and secondary immune deficiencies.”

AAP on Immunization in Immunocompromised Children (Red Book)

There are also guidelines for vaccinating kids with other chronic conditions, guidelines that are sometimes abused so that kids end up getting inappropriate medical exemptions.

Does your child have seizures?

“Our results suggest that in most cases, genetic or structural defects are the underlying cause of epilepsy with onset after vaccination, including both cases with preexistent encephalopathy or benign epilepsy with good outcome. These results have significant added value in counseling of parents of children with vaccination-related first seizures, and they might help to support public faith in vaccination programs.”

Verbeek et al on Etiologies for Seizures Around the Time of Vaccination

Over and over, studies have shown that vaccines do not cause seizures or epilepsy and that they are safe for kids with epilepsy.

Simply having seizures likely will not get you a medical exemption for vaccines in most states, as it is not considered a contraindication for most vaccines.

“Progressive neurologic disorder, including infantile spasms, uncontrolled epilepsy, progressive encephalopathy; defer DTaP until neurologic status clarified and stabilized”

CDC on Contraindications and Precautions

Even deferring DTaP for uncontrolled epilepsy is a precaution, not a contraindication.

“Prevention is always the best approach, so plan to get a flu shot for next year’s flu season. It is recommended that all individuals with a chronic condition receive the flu vaccine!”

Epilepsy Foundation on The Flu Season: Do you need to worry about medication interactions?

And it is a temporary measure until the child’s neurologic status can be clarified and stabilized.

Surprised?

You shouldn’t be.

Vaccines are safe, with few risks.

And there are very few true medical reasons that kids can’t be vaccinated and protected.

More on Stronger Vaccine Laws

Begun the Vaccine Wars Has

Star Wars imagery has long been a part about discussions about vaccines…

Parents of Earth, are your children fully immunized?
Remember this poster about vaccines?

Unfortunately, it has seeped its way into the other side too…

Begun the Vaccine Wars Has

The other side?

“It’s a trap!” – Admiral Ackbar

Yes, there are folks who are against getting kids vaccinated and protected and for some reason, they identify with the Dark Side of the Force.

“Your focus determines your reality.” – Qui-Gon Jinn

Does that mean vaccine advocates are the Jedi in this scenario?

“In my experience there is no such thing as luck.”

Obi-Wan Kenobi

However this plays out, let’s just hope vaccine hesitant parents aren’t stuck on Alderan…

“Somebody has to save our skins.”

Leia Organa

Vaccines are safe, with few risks, and are obviously necessary.

Let’s help them see through the misinformation and propaganda of those trying to scare them away from vaccinating and protecting their kids.

More on the Vaccine Wars

Were Hundreds of Medically Vulnerable Children Expelled from School in New York?

Why do some people think that hundreds of medically vulnerable children were expelled from school in New York?

Hundreds of medically vulnerable children were not expelled from school in New York with valid medical exemptions.

The usual suspects…

Were Hundreds of Medically Vulnerable Children Expelled from School in New York?

So what’s the real story?

A new vaccine law in New York eliminated religious exemptions so that students with non-medical exemptions would not be able to continue to go to school if they were missing one or more vaccines.

As the law continues to allow medical exemptions, it should be clear that as others got caught up on their immunizations, this helps make sure that those who are truly vulnerable are now at less risk of being exposed to a vaccine-preventable disease.

“If a child has a medical exemption to immunization, a physician licensed to practice medicine in New York State must certify that the immunization is detrimental to the child’s health. The medical exemption should specify which immunization is detrimental to the child’s health, provide information as to why the immunization is contraindicated based on current accepted medical practice, and specify the length of time the immunization is medically contraindicated, if known.”

Dear Colleague letter regarding guidelines for use of immunization exemptions

And those kids who do not have a valid medical exemption?

It is very important to understand that their parents have a choice to get them vaccinated and protected so that they can continue go to school.

Unfortunately, some parents and even a few doctors remain confused on what it means to have a valid medical exemption.

Especially in states that have strengthened their vaccine laws, a valid medical exemption must meet certain criteria and follow “current accepted medical practice standards as defined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices.”

That doesn’t mean there can’t be exceptions, but it also doesn’t mean that a child would typically get a medical exemption for any reason simply because someone thinks they should, even if that someone is a doctor, unless the exemption is for an immunization that is “contraindicated based on current accepted medical practice.”

Were hundreds of kids in New York denied medical exemptions?

It is certainly possible when you hear parents tell stories about being denied exemptions for things like autism, ADHD, food allergies, epilepsy, clotting disorders, diabetes, psoriasis, autoimmune disorders, PANDAS, Tourette’s, or MTHFR gene mutations.

Were hundreds of kids in New York denied valid medical exemptions?

No, they weren’t.

More on New York Vaccine Laws

Bob Sears Was Right

Are you surprised that I think Bob Sears was right about something?

This quote about measles returning was eventually removed from the first edition of his vaccine book that was published in 2007.
This quote about measles returning was eventually removed from the first edition of his vaccine book that was published in 2007.

You shouldn’t be…

Bob Sears Was Right

Unfortunately, one of the few things he was right about is the only thing most folks didn’t seem to hear.

“With the growing mistrust of vaccinations in our country, more and more parents are saying no to vaccines. They’re refusing all vaccines altogether. And I think if more and more parents keep making those decisions, we’re going to run into a lot of trouble with these diseases. Illnesses that are very rare right now, that most parents don’t have to fear, could escalate and could start killing babies left and right if fewer and fewer parents are vaccinating.”

Dr. Robert W. Sears: Why Partial Vaccinations May Be an Answer

He repeatedly warned that measles and other diseases would come back if parents didn’t vaccinate their kids.

“As parents’ fears of vaccines grow, I think we may see fewer and fewer parents decide to vaccinate. And then we could see what used to be very rare illnesses become more common. We might see measles escalate. We might see diphtheria come back into the United States. God forbid, we might see polio come back. Then children are going to start dying. And then a lot of those parents that had chosen not to vaccinate might change their mind, and they might start vaccinating again, and then new parents might be more inclined to vaccinate their babies if we see these diseases come back.

Now, I hope and pray that doesn’t happen. I hope that we can maintain adequate herd immunity in our country so we don’t see these diseases return. But that worry of diseases coming back into our country, and the worry of diseases running rampant and killing a lot of babies, I don’t think that supersedes the parents’ basic right to choose what they want to do for their children. And if parents want to accept the disease risk because they don’t trust the vaccines, I think they have the right to make that choice.”

Dr. Robert W. Sears: Why Partial Vaccinations May Be an Answer

Were you surprised when they did?

“Why is it that every time there are a few cases of measles, everyone panics? I just don’t get it.”

Bob Sears

And predictably, folks like Sears have downplayed their return.

“This measles outbreak does not pose a great risk to a healthy child. And quite frankly I don’t think it poses any risk to a healthy child.”

Jay Gordon on Doctor explains why he lets kids avoid the measles vaccine

Were you expecting them to start recommending that kids get vaccinated and protected?

Larry Palevsky spoke at an anti-vax rally in New York during their record setting measles outbreak.

Ironically, folks like Bob Sears thought they were helping to get more kids vaccinated by pushing their non-standard, parent-selected, delayed protection vaccine schedules, but in reality, all they did was scare parents even more.

To be fair, Bob Sears wasn’t the only person to predict the return of vaccine-preventable diseases.

“I do believe sadly it’s going to take some diseases coming back to realize that we need to change and develop vaccines that are safe. If the vaccine companies are not listening to us, it’s their f*cking fault that the diseases are coming back. They’re making a product that’s sh*t. If you give us a safe vaccine, we’ll use it. It shouldn’t be polio versus autism.”

Jenny McCarthy on Autism and Vaccines

Nor the only person folks blame…

But he may have been one of the first to predict what would happen if parents actually listened to what he was saying…

More on Bob Sears and the Return of Measles