Advertisement

Archive for Friday, January 20, 2012

Vital vaccines

Kansas legislators should head off efforts to expand exemptions for childhood vaccinations.

January 20, 2012

Advertisement

Parents’ rights over their children are important, but broadening the exemptions for childhood vaccinations isn’t in the best interests of the state.

Kansas legislators heard testimony Wednesday concerning a bill that would allow parents or guardians to refuse immunizations for their children on the basis of conscience or personal belief. Current state law requires children to be immunized against diseases such as chicken pox, measles, mumps and rubella before they can enroll in school unless their parent or guardian seeks an exemption for religious reasons. It could be argued that personal belief is as valid as religious belief on this matter, but any legislation that encourages more people to bypass childhood immunizations is detrimental to public health.

The state’s epidemiologist testified that states that have broadened their vaccination exemption laws have seen an increase in preventable diseases. Parents who are seeking the additional exemption say the choice of whether to have their children vaccinated should be theirs alone. That would be a valid argument if their vaccination decision affected only their children, but that isn’t the case. For instance, an outbreak of a communicable disease can endanger children too young to be vaccinated.

It’s interesting how parental attitudes toward vaccinations have changed. A generation or two ago, there were no vaccines for childhood diseases like chicken pox, measles of mumps. Children obtained their immunity by getting those diseases. Most children weathered such illnesses with no lasting effects. Unfortunately, some did not. Vaccines are not without risk, but neither are these diseases.

Rep. Brenda Landwehr, R-Wichita, who chairs the House Health and Human Services Committee, said at Wednesday’s hearing that she did not support the bill because “I still remember polio.” Many older Kansans also remember that disease, which cast a wave of fear across the nation in the 1930s, ‘40s and especially the early 1950s. There certainly was no hesitation to receive the polio vaccine when it became widely available in 1955. Because of effective vaccines, polio was eliminated in the United States by 1979.

It’s ironic that the comfort level of the minority of parents who don’t want their children vaccinated against childhood diseases is a direct result of the fact that the vast majority of children are vaccinated, thereby eliminating the risk of a potentially dangerous epidemic.

Maybe it isn’t totally fair to grant vaccination exemptions on the basis of religious, but not personal, beliefs, but any move that expands exemptions in the state is a bad idea.

Comments

gr 2 years, 2 months ago

"Many older Kansans also remember that disease, which cast a wave of fear across the nation in the 1930s, ‘40s and especially the early 1950s. There certainly was no hesitation to receive the polio vaccine when it became widely available in 1955. Because of effective vaccines, polio was eliminated in the United States by 1979."

But when you look at the data, the numbers fluctuate wildly before 1955. Why? And you still see cases in the 80s and 90s.

Just as well say, because of the increase of cell phones, polio was eliminated.

0

The_Original_Bob 2 years, 2 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

0

Flap Doodle 2 years, 2 months ago

"The TB vaccine causes a false positive on a TB test, so now you have to take a series of X-rays to determine if one has TB..." Not quiet so simple as that. http://www.cdc.gov/tb/publications/factsheets/testing/skintesting.htm

0

RETICENT_IRREVERENT 2 years, 2 months ago

Ron, Pick a better example than TB. As I understand it: No one is vaccinated in the US unless they are specifically at risk, or were foreign born. The TB vaccine is very ineffective, and lasts under 8 years. The TB vaccine causes a false positive on a TB test, so now you have to take a series of X-rays to determine if one has TB, and the case must be acute to show up on the X-ray. And you do not want to treat the the person for latent TB case if they have an active TB case, but if you rule out TB because of false positive, the latent TB case could develop to an acute infection.

0

The_Original_Bob 2 years, 2 months ago

Indiana Nurse must of seen this link on a anti-vaccine message board. She just signed up to be commenter here today.

0

FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 2 months ago

Is there an AIDS vaccine yet?

hujiko's theory applies with all vaccines doesn't?

0

IndianaNurse 2 years, 2 months ago

To argue the point of vaccination is not the main problem here. Freedom of choice regarding invasive medical procedures should be the priority. Our constitution grants us that right. If you are concerned about catching any illness from others, take precautions, not others rights. Vaccination does not equal immunisation. Once vaccinated, you do not know if you are truly immune to the illness. That is why so many vaccinated people continue to catch the very disease they were vaccinated for. How long does your vaccine work if it even does? You do not know. It is just a guess. This is not concrete but our constitution is. Let's not tear one another up and destroy our liberties in the process.

1

kochmoney 2 years, 2 months ago

Actually, anti-vaccine sentiment isn't a recent phenomenon. There were ignorant fools that thought the small-pox vaccine would turn them into cows when it first came out. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:The... Mandatory vaccination laws were the only way to get those fools to vaccinate, and it's the only way to get them to do it today. Yes, we're going to be all anti liberty and require your kids to get their shots, just like we anti liberty require them to be buckled into car seats. Get over it.

0

lweinmaster 2 years, 2 months ago

I'm surprised at the Lj World stance on vaccines since they seem to be against Obama Care and mandated health care. Forced vaccines are socialized, mandated medicine and healthcare!

1

Betty Bartholomew 2 years, 2 months ago

Kids are only required to have vaccinations in order to go to public school. Don't want vaccinations? Don't send your kid to public school. Pretty simple logic.

I get my child immunized because I care about her health. Why let her suffer from a disease that was preventable, whether it's chicken pox or polio? Silly people with your anti-vaccine rhetoric. Even if the causation of your Chicken Little science is true, it occurs in such a small part of the population as to render your argument moot.

0

Chengdu808 2 years, 2 months ago

Drug companies spend more money on promoting drugs than they do in research and development. Last century saw the rise of so-called "wonder drugs" such as antibiotics. Currently there are few of these in the pipeline. The drug companies are in a frenzy over the profit potential of vaccines. Drugs, on the other hand, are targeted to subgroups of individuals who are afflicted with certain diseases. Decisions on funding research are based on how much profit might be realized. If your disease does not afflict a sizable population, you are out of luck. There is just not enough profit. Big pharma is wild with anticipation of the huge profits they can make with vaccines because their potential market switches from small subgroups of the population to the entire world. Because it is a "preventative" they will sell it to everyone. The research community knows vaccines are a trigger in many neurological disorders. What is heard in the media is that vaccines do not "cause" certain disorders. There is rarely one "cause". In genetically susceptible individuals environmental exposure to toxins (as in vaccines) triggers immune response which affects brain proteins and synaptic function in the brain. There are approximately 1400 brain proteins and 130 of these are found to be involved with disorders such as autism, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's, OCD, and many others.

1

lweinmaster 2 years, 3 months ago

Educate yourself about vaccines from these two doctors who have studied vaccines.

0

Joe Hyde 2 years, 3 months ago

With some immunization decisions parents might look beyond the short-term benefit/risk to the child and consider what the impact of not allowing immunizations will be once their child becomes an adult.

Take chicken pox, for instance. For a child, chicken pox is an annoying but relatively harmless illness; catch it once and the child recovers quickly, never to catch it again. However, if an adult who has never had chicken pox as a child catches it, this is a life-threatening disease because the dynamics of the infection affect the adult body far differently.

Some years back I visited with a man who told me he'd recently recovered from a bout with chicken pox. I don't remember the gory details, only that he said the disease began breaking down his internal organs. He considered himself very lucky to have survived. Not that he was overjoyed about it especially -- what with having to pay off a medical bill that rose to over $40,000

Almost dies, shells out over $40K, behind chicken pox.

0

Bryan Anderson 2 years, 3 months ago

There is no proven link between Autism and vaccines. The study that claimed to find a link has been proven to be fraudulent.

0

lweinmaster 2 years, 3 months ago

MADE IN CHINA most vaccines are made in China. If they use lead in toys imagine what they put in vaccines.

0

lweinmaster 2 years, 3 months ago

Where has common sense gone, shocking the LJWorld does not see that the expansion of the vaccine program is for profits. Pharma owns the media and runs the government with there advertisement dollars and campaign contributions. I see that LJ WORLD is part of the problem. We are no longer a free country. When you take away parents right to choose medical interventions for our children you have trambled the constitutional rights.. When your child is vaccine injured no one wants to help.
Vaccines are not risk free. If you read page 11 of the Tripedia package insert where it lists AUTISM as a potential adverse effect in post marketing data. How much "evidence" do you need to link vaccines with AUTISM when it is listed right on the label? And the fact that we have thousands of parents saying their children were injured? Read it for yourself:

http://www.fda.gov/downloads/B...

Adverse events reported during post-approval use of Tripedia vaccine include idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpura, SIDS, anaphylactic reaction, cellulitis, autism, convulsion/grand mal convulsion, encephalopathy, hypotonia, neuropathy, somnolence and apnea. Events were included in this list because of the seriousness or frequency of reporting. Sounds like autism to me.

1

Phillbert 2 years, 3 months ago

This may be a first for me on a LJW editorial, but bravo.

0

Paul R Getto 2 years, 3 months ago

It’s ironic that the comfort level of the minority of parents who don’t want their children vaccinated against childhood diseases is a direct result of the fact that the vast majority of children are vaccinated, thereby eliminating the risk of a potentially dangerous epidemic. === Good point. We all stand on the shoulders of giants, scientific, historical and philosophical. If the grandparents of these folks now testifying had similar opinions, some of these people might not be around to ask that their children be excused. With luck the bill will not leave committee and die where it sits.

0

Commenting has been disabled for this item.