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5.4 Story: From: madrone@cruzio.com


This article is from the Childhood Vaccinations FAQ, by Lynn Gazis-Sax lynng@alsirat.com with numerous contributions by others.

5.4 Story: From: madrone@cruzio.com

In article <gazissaxCHyIIJ.Fuo@netcom.com> you write:
>These first questions are meant for people anywhere on the spectrum
>as far as what vaccinations they chose to give or not give their
>children. What vaccines did you (will you) choose to give or not give
>your children?

Morganne received 1 dose of DPT, 2 doses of DT, 3 doses of oral polio
and 1 dose of MMR. Matisse has received 1 dose of tetanus vaccine
and we plan to vaccinate her for polio. Both girls will receive
rubella vaccinations at puberty (if they show no immunity at that

>What were your reasons for making the choices you did?

I was undecided with Morganne but decided to vaccinate her anyway.
After she had severe reactions to the pertussis and MMR vaccines,
I did more reading and consulted with the doctor. We came up with
the following:

1) Additional doses of pertussis or MMR could be dangerous or deadly
for Morganne and were not advised for siblings, either.
2) The side effects of the diptheria, pertussis, measles, mumps
and rubella vaccines are a greater health risk to healthy
children than the diseases themselves.
3) There are concerns about vaccines wearing off. I would rather
my children contract mild illnesses (mumps, rubella, chicken pox,
measles) as children. I am haunted by the prospect of a population
of young women whose immunity to rubella may wear off just as
they begin to bear children.
4) The risks of tetanus and polio (and the safety of the vaccines)
are greater than the risks of the vaccines. So my children will
receive these vaccines.
5) The risk of rubella in a pregnant woman is very troublesome.
Therefore, I will delay this vaccine until puberty. This will
give them a chance to receive more effective immunity from the
natural disease and will also put them at lower risk for
reduced vaccine immunity in their childbearing years.

>How did you go about making your decisions, and what resources did you
>find helpful in getting the information you needed?

Our family doctor was very helpful. I also found the writings of
Robert Mendelsohn and George Wootan (both MDs) very helpful. Mothering
magazine was another good source of information. George Wootan's book
has an especially good section on the risks and benefits of the various

>For parents who have vaccinated your children, do you have any advice for
>parents who are about to have their children vaccinated about things they
>should be prepared for?

Know what severe reactions to watch out for and take any unusual reactions
seriously. I didn't know until later that Morganne's reaction could
have resulted in brain damage or death. Report the reactions to your

Prepare for mild illness for 1 week to 10 days after the vaccination.
It can and does happen.

>For parents who have not given the recommended infant vaccinations, are
>you planning to have your children vaccinated later? Why or why not?

I covered this above, but will summarize.

1) The effectiveness of some vaccines (particularly pertussis) is
2) The incidence of diptheria is quite low and diptheria is now
3) Measles, mumps, rubella and chickenpox are mild childhood diseases
with few side effects for healthy children. (These diseases are
dangerous for malnourished children, however).
4) Each vaccine carries certain risks.
5) The immunity conferred by a vaccine is generally shorter-lived and
less complete than the immunity conferred by the natural disease.

Note that we are choosing to vaccinate for polio and tetanus.

>In particular, would you vaccinate your daughter for rubella when she hits
>puberty? Why or why not?

Yes. Childhood rubella vaccinations seem short-sighted to me in light
of the tendency for the rubella vaccine to wear off. But young women
need immunity to rubella to protect their unconceived children.

>(Please mail responses to this account. Your name will be included inthe
>FAQ unless you specify otherwise.)
>If anyone is interested in reviewing the FAQ when I have written a draft,
>send me email (I have one person reviewing it already). I have found
>some information about vaccinations in other countries, so I no longer
>need that question answered, but if anyone on sci.med (or on misc.kids,
>for that matter) can suggest good resources to check to keep this FAQ
>current after I have written it, I'd welcome them (one thing I've noticed
>in my research is that there are lots of changes happening).
>Lynn Gazis-Sax

Heather Madrone
madrone@cruzio.com (WAS madrone@cruzio.santa-cruz.ca.us)


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