Monday, 12 November 2007

To Jab or Not to Jab.....

What do you think about the immunisation of children against childhood diseases?

It has been in the news recently that the Government are toying with the idea of immunising children and/or the elderly against Chickenpox.

My two boys had all their jabs and had the vaccine for Chickenpox been available they would have had that too, after hearing my Dad’s account of how ill I was as a child with Chickenpox. Apparently I was near death and it was only the excellent nursing provided by my Grandmother (KIT) that saved me.

The reason behind wanting to immunise the elderly is because of the risk of Shingles, the adult form of Chickenpox, which can be even more dangerous than Chickenpox in children apparently. I know a few people who have suffered with Shingles and they vouched for how very painful it was and how ill they were, luckily they didn’t suffer any after effects.

Neither of my boys contracted Chickenpox, thankfully, but the elder did contract Measles just before he was due to be immunised. It was the most frightening experience of my life. He was so ill I really though we were going to lose him and, as it turned out, he lost the hearing in his right ear through the disease. Of course immunisation against Measles has been around for quite some time so this particular disease is not as common as it once was.

I know there has been lots of controversy about the MMR vaccine and its possible link to Autism, obviously there are parents who are convinced that the link is there, but I have not had experience of this so cannot come down on that side of the argument. However, from what I have read, the instances of a possible link to Autism are by far outweighed by the numbers of children having the vaccine that are not adversely affected, but are protected from three very serious illnesses. Obviously if you have a child who you think has developed Autism because of having had the MMR vaccine then you would give a different argument but had my two boys had doubts about having their children immunised I would have tried to persuade them to go with the vaccine.

Immunisation, in my opinion, is the best medical intervention and invention next to Penicillin, it had almost eradicated childhood diseases and made such a difference to mortality rates. Unfortunately there has been a decline in the number of parents having their children immunised and we are seeing a rise again of these very dangerous childhood diseases. I am of the opinion Prevention is better than Cure.

What’s your opinion?


Mimi Queen of Memes awarded me this little beauty

I'm truly honoured to receive an award from the Blogblast for Peace Queen herself.
I think I am supposed to pass it on but as there doesn't seem to be any rules about how many people to pass it on to, I want everyone who reads my drivel blog to take it for their sidebar because I consider you all my friends. xx


Queenie said...

I really think its personal choice, having worked with children with aurtisum and their parents I have my doubts.
It is only a matter of cost that they don't do them one at a time, so they could cut all risks if this was done.
I still need to come and pick up my award from you , but like I said I'm having a few problems trying to add onto my blog.

Queenie said...

Yes I know its autisum no pun intended.

Flowerpot said...

A friend of mine had shingles recently and was severely ill with it - took her ages to recover. She said it was AGONY...

MarmiteToasty said...

I got Shingles about 8 years ago.... jebus mary of whoever, it was horrendous, and I wouldnt wanna go through that again.....

Me 4 lads all had different affects from Chicken Pox..... 2 sailed through it, one was a bit poorly and one was so very very poorly with it and was in hospital, yep, over little old chickenpox.... and my Oldest actaully got chickenpox TWICE lol poor devil...

And even though I was vaccinated against Measles in me youth, I had german measles twice as an adult.... once when I was first married and one which was scarey when I was pregnant with my first child...... yikes.....

But I would still get me lads vaccinated nowadays.... I mean they have just had BCGs and tetiness(sp) a few months ago....

My Sam also last year at the age of 16 caught mumps, even though he had had the vaccine..... whats with me family LMFAO


buffalodick said...

I had a light case of chicken pox when I was very young, and lost my immunity in my early 20s- resulting in Herpes Zoster, more commonly called Shingles. The virus traces a nerve, causing blisters and a burning pain I recommend you avoid if possible. Thankfully, it ran its' course with no side effects or relapses. When my aged mother got shingles the nerve it traced was on her head and eye area. Her vision, which wasn't good- worsened in that eye. I'll leave it up to the individual whether avoiding all this is worth a vaccine...

CG said...

Several years ago my 8 year old Kate got chicken pox - quite mildly. Then my hubby Phil caught it. I have never seen anyone so ill. I honestly thought he would die. you could not imagine a childhood disease could cause so much suffering and pain to an adult, a strong and healthy young man. I have had both chicken pox and shingles and the later was very painful. But I will never forget how ill Phil was and how lucky we were he survived.

Julia Phillips Smith said...

As someone who has significant allergies, I understand the fear that some parents have about vaccines. Even though the percentage of reaction to vaccine is low, what if it's their child? I actually got severely ill in my late teens when I had my final childhood booster shot.

However, I do think that the younger generations, never having much experience with the horrendous diseases the vaccines control, are playing a terrible form of Russian roulette. I encourage parents to vaccinate their children.

Empress Bee (of the high sea) said...

this is a really tough question. my daughter is convinced that the link to autism is real. my grandchildren are not vaccinated and i worry about that. i sure don't have the answers though and see both sided of it.

on another note, it's good to be back!

smiles, bee

Akelamalu said...

Of course it has to come down to personal choice Queenie and for me the choice would be vaccination.

I believe it's EXTREMELY painful Flowerpot :(

You must have been terrified getting german measles when you were pregnant Marmie it is sooo dangerous!

Oh that explains why people get the shingles rash in different areas Buffalo, I did wonder.

It's strange that childhood diseases can cause more problems in adults isn't it CG?

Yes Julia that's how I see it - Russian Roulette. :(

I can understand parents being afraid Bee but it's a chance I'd still be prepared to take. Welcome back honey I missed you. x

KellytheCulinarian said...

I lived abroad as a child and traveled extensively. I'm of the opinion that if there's a shot for it, I'll take it. I know there are side effects, but they're rarely worse than the actual disease. I never, however, got shots for allergies -- I just grew out of it.

Akelamalu said...

Ah for travelling abroad one definitely needs shots kelly :(

S said...

In the Us we have had the Chicken pox vaccine...well for at least 10 years daughter received the vaccine.
On the other hand, I have plenty of friends who do not vaccinate their kids...and so in California if you dont vaccinate your kids, they cannot go to public school...the chicken poz vaccine is still an option and not required.
Now when the chicken pox hit our school, it was pretty apparent who had been vaccinated and who hadnt...why put your kid through an illness that modern medicine can now prevent?
I know all about the arguements against vaccinating...I was born in Africa and I was jabbed to death before being allowed to come into the US as an infant. But you know, thems the rules...and I survived all the vaccines.
Additionally, I get lots of jabs for India too. Why get sick when you dont have to? Why get malaria when you can prevent it?
Why watch your child suffer through chicken poz when it is uneccessary!
Sheesh do I have an opinion or what!

S said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Akelamalu said...

Thanks for dropping by S.
That's really interesting about unvaccinated children not being allowed in public school and the Chicken pox vaccine being available for 10 years - we're behind again!

Elaine Denning said...

I had chckenpox as a child and wasn't too bad..apart from having one of the spots in a very very sensitive place!

I think parents should be given the option to pay for the MMR vaccine as 3 separate ones. (Or is that already possible?)

Akelamalu said...

Not sure if parents can have the choice of paying Miss U but if that were the case it would be discriminatory I think, making it only availabe to those who could afford it. Much better that the Government made the separate vaccines available to all.

Pam said...

the mmr shot is a standard for kids here in the u.s. i got my girls vaccinated against it and there's also a booster for it, too. i also recently got flu shots for me and the kids. i would definitely immunize my kids, but it is a personal choice. i know there are lots who refuse based on religion and such. i was just reading about a young mother who had twins, hugged them and died. she needed a blood transfusion because she was losing a lot of blood, but her husband and family refused to let her have it. quite sad really...she should be alive to be w her twins, but now she's gone because of religion.

and yep, s is aren't allowed in school w/o all the proper vaccinations. my oldest daughter, who turns 11 in feb, is getting the meningitis and hpv shots. i say it's best to have some form of protection from this things than none at all.

Gledwood said...

Does chickenpox in childhood protect against shingles in adulthood? I thought you HAD to have HAD chickenpox to GET shingles??

I know someone who got chickenpox as an adult (not shingles... well he insisted it was chickenpox, that's the name he used) ... anyway he was really ill with it

A veterinary nurse wrote into the paper saying in so many words: MMR = 3 live vaccines = madness MMR+chickenpox = 4 live vaccines = utter MADNESS

I'm not against these immunizations I just really do not see why they need to be given all at once. I think it's pure government cheapskating as I'm sure the 3 jabs separately are far more expensive

Anonymous said...

All these vaccines and their side effects worry me greatly

Although my children are much much older, because of mental health problems in the family we decided against vaccination for whooping cough and measles; luckily they never caught w/c but my daughter was the only one who got the measles and that was before she could have been vaccinated anyway... thank G-d they survived the usual childhood diseases

my mother contracted shingles from playing with a child on a flight who later got chickenpox... she was incredibly ill and in much pain and I got the chickenpox as a teenager... not nice, not nice at all

yet still I don't favour vaccine; I would have to be convinced 100% that 1) it worked, which they don't always and 2) the side effects are less than the condition

I wish they could come out with a vaccine against bipolar... a life-long illness

Anonymous said...

Of course it is a personal choice, but your kids may not be that grateful when they grow up and get a disease they could have been vaccinated for - there were apparently quite a few polio patients in the 1950s whose parents had decided for whatever reasons not to vaccinate them, and they were none too pleased. I say there is too much evidence that vaccinations work (statistics for one) to dispense with them. Of course it is tragic if your child happens to be the one suffering from serious side effects - but does that mean we should throw the baby out with the bath water? And how sure are you that the effects are really side effects from the vaccination? As far as I know, autism is often diagnosed around the time a round of shots is given, but who's to say that the two are linked in every single case? I've had all my shots, my girls have had and will have all theirs, and if I had KNOWN about a vaccine against chicken pox I would have dragged them to the doctors for that one too. They both had it, one worse than the other, but weeks of misery in total for the whole family - we all suffered from seeing the poor mites suffer - not to mention the small scars one of them has all over her body. I don't get the 'flu jabs offered here in wintertime, but I do think protecting children from childhood diseases is extremely important.

Mimi Lenox said...

Vaccination would be my choice.

Mimi Lenox said...

And I can't believe I forgot to post the rules for passing on the award.


Travis Cody said...

I got chicken pox as an adult and it sucked. I had all the other childhood innoculatons - never got measles or mumps or whooping cough.

So I would vote for immunization if I had kids.

Pam said...

ann-the side affects of immunizations usually are rare in most and i'm thinking...hmmm which is worse? maybe a lump and warm/tender area at the site or having the chickenpox/shingles? but it is a personal choice.

sp-i took the flu shot because i'm hypothyroid and my immune system is weakened enough as it is. and when i get sick nowadays, i stay sick for at least two weeks or more! i'm tryin to prevent getting sick or staying sick that long

ok, i'm really done interjecting my opinions now lol

mrsnesbitt said...

My MIL suffered from shingles some years ago and was very poorly. I had a friend suffer too. Both thought it was linked to some deep emotional upset? I dont know.

Anonymous said...

i think immunizations help a lot. the vaccines i got actually protected me from lots of diseases that could be bad. :)

the blinking starts in my blog are gif images. would you like me to send it to you? :) it will lok cute in your blog, too! :)

Akelamalu said...

I think you have more shots in the US than we have here in the UK Ciara. I heard about the young mother dying after her twins had been born. Apparently she was a Jehovah's Witness and had refused a transfusion, such a tragedy.

I'm not sure about chickenpox in childhood protecting one from shingles in later life Gleds, but they always say it's best to get these diseases whilst you're young don't they? I am sure the reason for giving the combined vaccines is purely related to money too.

It's a personal choice Ann and one I'm sure all mothers think very carefully about. For me I'd take vaccinatin every time but that's my choice.

Good point about Polio Sp, I have a distant relative who very nearly died because of polio in the 50's. By the way there doesn't seem to be a link to your blog (if you have one)so I can't visit you.

Oooh Mimi have I broken all the rules????? :(

Ah if only the chickenpox vaccine had been available when you were a child Travis it may have saved you all that pain.

Ciara you're interjections are always welcome here honey! x

I've heard that emotional upset can bring shingles on too Mrs N but I don't know if it's a fact.

I'm sure they did aCey. I'd love the gif, can you email it to me please?

Mother of Invention said...

I think they should vaccinate children or else polio, TB and all the other diseases will come back big time.

This post just reminded me of a flu shot clinic down the street today..right now! I almost forgot so I go to get a major jab in the muscle ouch!

TopChamp said...

I would have my kids vacinated. Definitely.

(maybe one day I'll prove it. A LONG time from now.)

MarmiteToasty said...

I would not be happy if my chicken Janet catch the pox :)


Akelamalu said...

Glad my post reminded you to get your flue jab MOI :)

I'll remind you when the time comes Topchamp :)

LOL what you like Marmie?

~ej said...

we do vaccines here. i do not however think that all of them need to be mandatory for school aged kids. i am against a few of them, including the one where the risk factor is frequent sexual partners....ya think my 2 yo needs that?? :-(
i put off the MMR till they are aged 4, but most parents just forget. i have a good memory for these things.
the chicken pox vaccine does not always protect, CP went thru the school one year and took out more than 75% of the 2nd graders, even ones who had been vaccinated (my son was fine). but having had CP twice in my lifetime, once as a 20something, mine have all had the vaccine!! ;-)

Akelamalu said...

Chickenpox is a real dangerous disease as you know from experience elena jane, I'd go for vaccination too.

Jo Beaufoix said...

My kids have had all the possible vacs here so far.
They haven't had the chicken pox one (it's not included in the usual ones at the mo' I don't think), but both had Chicken Pox in January. Miss M had it very mildly but Miss E was really poorly. She had every possible sympton and ended up with a burst blood vessel in her eye from the strain on her little body. It has also left them very vulnerable to illness this year and they seem to be catching something every couple of weeks.
I thought the Dr who postulated the link with autism had been found to be bias in his statements and his work therefore unfounded??
I have worked with children on the autistic spectrum, from Asperger's to full blown autism, and I know it can be a terrible condition to live with, but for me, the risk to my children from all these other illnesses poses a greater threat.

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