Monday, November 19, 2007

The Vaccine Debate

Whom to believe? A mother writes:
Citing various scientific studies, critics of vaccines linked the use of vaccines to everything from SIDS (Sudden Infant Death Syndrome) and autism to leukemia. They particularly complained about the lack of testing of the long-term effects of vaccines, as well as the ethical policies of the companies who manufacture vaccines, regulated only by themselves and their far-from-adequate testing procedures. Lastly, opponents of vaccines protested the simultaneous administration of many vaccines, and they questioned the risk of using vaccines with such dangerous side effects for the prevention of diseases that have all but completely disappeared from this part of the world. All of these arguments led me to reconsider my opinion on vaccines and to question, for example, why my tiny two-month-old baby needed to be vaccinated against hepatitis B, a sexually transmitted disease. Even more, why should my newborn baby, only a few hours old, have her eyes doused with antibiotic just in case she caught gonorrhea from me during labor -- another sexually transmitted disease which I have no reason to think that I carry? This surely seemed to be overdoing it. But where should I draw the line? Could all the claims of vaccine critics be believed?
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5 comments:

alaughland said...

I certainly agree it is questionable...especially the Hep.B. They have been administrating Silver Nitrate drops for decades. I do not know if that is the same compound that is currently being used, but I recently I read about a case of blindness caused by an 'overdose' of the drops. My daughter's Pediatrician said that the vaccines currently used are safer than previously used. I do feel that the risk of death is greater from NOT being vaccinated.

Sanctus Belle said...

I believe the use of silver nitrate drops or ointment has fallen from favor for an antibiotic ointment. Conjunctivitis gonorrhea is still one of the leading causes of infant blindness. The treatment for it has virtually no side effects.

You would be shocked to learn how many women are diagnosed with STD's who are married. One or the other most likely having been in an extramarital affair.

Hepatitis B can be spread sexually, but is more commonly spread via blood exposure in an infected person. Vaccination against Hep B is not analogous with vaccination against HPV.

There's alot of hype out there regarding vaccinations which must be prudently considered.

elena maria vidal said...

Thanks to you both for your feedback. Very helpful!

Christine said...

I refused the eye ointment for the birth of my second child when I found out it was an option, and have also had my daughter vaccinated with an alternative rubella vaccine descended from a chicken egg (and not from an aborted fetus, as is the regular MMR vaccine sold by Merck).

elena maria vidal said...

Interesting, Christine. I think it is good for parents to be informed of these things beforehand, since once you are in the hospital recovering from childbirth it is hard to make decisions. They whisk the baby away and say and say we are doing "this" and "this." So it is good to be informed ahead of time.