Audience feedback for "Solomon Squad": Vaccinations
Related entries: Feedback
Plenty of Weekend America listeners responded to our piece entitled Solomon Squad: Vaccination. Read some of the audience feedback below; join the discussion.
Lori Westin - Sisters, OR
Lynn Nowood - Redmond, WA
Very interesting show. My family and I were just having a discussion on the issue of vaccines after watching the PBS series Rx for Survival. The men and women who brave disease infested villages in order to eradicate disease are true heroes.
Not to sound like sour grapes, but it would be nice to have a philosopher involved - the discussion of the vaccination problem conflated 2 different issues - what are the MD's obligations to his patient and what are his public health obligations. Here, because of what is known as the free rider problem, they pull in two different directions. As long as everyone else assumes the risk of vaccination, his patient can opt out. Such problems are hard to deal with at the individual level ... that is why we have requirements of evidence of vaccination as a requirement for school registration. I would have advised the MD to treat the patient but work to set in place a public health requirement in his community.
Bets Adair - Kirkland, WA
I wish they would have addressed more the schedule of immunizations. I believe children need to be immunized but not as early as the AMA has decided. My friend's nephew wound up in the hospital every time he received an immunization. At one point he was on the heart transplant list because of the severe reaction his body was having from the immunizations...and amazingly the medical community refused to look at the fact that the boy would be healthy until receiving the immunization shots. That would be a conversation to have. Thanks
Mirine Dye - Islamorada, FL
I truly enjoyed the piece on families who make the educated choice to not vaccinate only to be left without medical care.
Martin Fairer - Milwaukee, WI
Posted by Josh Berman on November 12, 2005
I found this segment very disturbing. It seems to me that Dr. Zavod is essentially refusing service to people based upon their religious beliefs. What's next, Doctors refusing to treat, for examples, Jews or Muslims because of their religious beliefs? Isn't this EXACTLY what Title 7 was meant to put an end to?
Posted by: D Reany on November 12, 2005 5:09 PM
The problem that I had with the discussion was that parents were portrayed as being "hysterical" and that there was little attention paid to the fact that some of the immunizations children are mandated (by states) to have, are not childhood diseases. And further more, the efficacy of many vaccines are not proven. My state mandates Hep B vaccinations. Hep B is a sexually transmitted disease and children are not at risk unless the mother has the disease or is in a risk group for Hep B. The Hep B vaccination can produce adverse reactions and has even killed children. The American Pediatric Society is largely and political institution and, in the current political environment, is very friendly to the pharmaceutical industry. Sometimes to the detriment of society. Doctors are a little more hysterical in listening to and being brainwashed by the APS and FDA. Without being hysterical, ask yourself this question: has there been any reports of FDA approved drugs causing adverse reactions and even death in the news? The non-hysterical answer is yes! Then ask yourself this: is there an ingredient in children's vaccines shown to cause adverse reactions? The answer is yes; Thymerasol. Is it still on the market? Yes and if you want your child to have a Thymerasol free vaccine, you will have to pay extra because the government is phasing out Thymerasol. So doctors and drug companies can deplete the stocks of vaccines, with Thymerasol, so that they don't loose any money on the deal. The issue is not about safety and efficacy, it's about quelling "hysteria" so the pharmaceutical companies won't lose any money. The doctor in question, and the panel as well, could maybe be a little less hysterical and look at it from the point of view of the parent and ask himself/herself these questions. Would you give a vaccine to your child knowing that it has caused adverse reactions and even death when it's not even when the chance of contracting the disease as a child is close to zero? And would you knowingly inject mercury into your child (mercury is an ingredient in Thymerasol)?
Posted by: Clay Grier on November 17, 2005 1:57 PM
Hi, Adoptee's have problems getting health information too.
Its a mutual consent registry.
Posted by: joan on November 20, 2005 8:54 AM
CAn you tell me what other problems these children have developed.?
Posted by: Joan on November 20, 2005 8:57 AM
Do your homework!
There IS a lot of hysteria about harmful effects of vaccines. The small number of side effects is nothing compared to the consequences of not vaccinating. People have forgotten what infectious diseases were like before most people were vaccinated.
Your contention that you'll be paying extra for mercury-free vaccines is just, for the most part, untrue. And the cost of vaccinating, under any circumstances, is a lot less than the cost of treatment for, say, a case of tetanus or whooping cough. And those diseases ARE out there.
As for the Hepatitis B vaccination, the virus is transmitted through bodily fluids. It's extremely contagious, and it's extremely dangerous. You could get it through sex or through something like borrowing someone else's toothbrush. Or kissing someone's "owie." Since you don't know everything your child is doing, doesn't it make sense to give them lifelong protection against the virus? I'm all for it, for my daughters and their future partners, as well as their current playmates. And I'll get them the new HPV vaccine, too. Wrapping my head around the idea that my little girls will be having sex someday, and probably sooner than I would like, is nothing to wrapping my head around the idea of one of them dying, quickly and painfully, from cervical cancer.
Here's my bottom line: if you don't vaccinate and you don't have a good, demonstrable medical reason for it, you are putting others in our community at risk.
Posted by: Liza Pryor on November 30, 2005 11:02 AM
I think that some listeners maybe missed the introductory segment. I believe that the question about whether or not doctors should drop patients who refuse vaccines was raised by a survey of Chicago pediatricians who reported that large numbers of parents were refusing immunizations not for moral/religious reasons, but because they had concerns about the safety of vaccines or because they didn't feel that the diseases protected against were real problems.
There is a LOT of bad vaccine information out there, much of it greatly overstating the risks or even outright misstating the facts. And a lot of parents are falling prey to it.
One of the above posters writes, "Would you give a vaccine to your child knowing...that the chance of contracting the disease...is close to zero?" Well, we're a mobile, global society, and the viruses are out there, just waiting for us to let down our guard. If you choose not to vaccinate, you're counting on everyone else to do it. You're relying on "herd immunity." And there are communities in the US, like Boulder, CO, for example, where herd immunity is already failing for certain diseases because parents are refusing vaccines.
Posted by: Liza Pryor on November 30, 2005 12:21 PM
You clearly missed the point to my post which was that: people such as my wife and I, who have legitimate questions about vaccine safety (thymerasol) and necessity (Hep B) are written off as "hysterical." I can tell you from my point of view that is not the case. The problem with your reply was insulting and as wel some of your assertions are outright false. First, your claim that "Your contention that you'll be paying extra for mercury-free vaccines is just, for the most part, untrue." is for the most part untrue in that my wife and I, just recently, had to pay out of pocket for thymerasol free DTaP. Our HMO is run by BlueCross BlueShield. Perhaps you could call them on our behalf? Second, your claim that "You could get (Hep B) through sex or through something like borrowing someone else's toothbrush. Or kissing someone's "owie."(SIC)" is contradicted by the CDC's own information that can be viewed at this url (http://www.cdc.gov/ncidod/diseases/hepatitis/b/faqb.htm) and states:
"How is HBV spread?
Hepatitis B is not spread through food or water, sharing eating utensils, breastfeeding, hugging, kissing, coughing, sneezing or by casual contact."
The reason that they began giving the Hep B vaccine to infants is because a small number of babies of infected mothers developed a serious liver problem. Basically a small sub-group of a sub-group developed a liver ailment and now they want to vaccinate the healthy ones. That is why our state legislature (Massachusetts) is proposing to repeal the law mandating Hep B vaccination for infants. The bottom line is it has killed perfectly healthy babies who had no risk of getting Hep B. If you're concerned about transmitting through sexual contact then vaccinate at twelve year of age not twelve hours! Lastly Chickenpox is not life threatening. I had chickenpox and I'm here replying to your post not dead. Risk of complications due to chickenpox is much greater in adults than children (shingles - herpes). The problem is there is no data supporting the long-term efficacy of the chickenpox vaccine. As well the chickenpox vaccine should not be given to people over the age of twelve. In short, the best vaccine against chickenpox is... getting chickenpox.
My bottom line is this. The doctor in this story has a god complex. Like you, our doctor had some of the same misinformation regarding vaccines (what had thymerasol and what didn't). She told us the same thing "there's a lot of bad information out there" and told us to go to the CDC's website. And what we all found was that the DTaP that she wanted to give our child had thymerasol and it was the CDC's website and not some blog that was sating the severe reactions to vaccines. Much to her credit she worked with us to order Thymerasol-Free DTaP vaccine and allowed us to set a schedule so that we may monitor our child for any severe reactions to that and other vaccines. What I found more frightening was the fact that the reason we had to special order our Thymerasol-Free DTaP vaccine was that so many parents aren't concerned or don't know that they're INJECTING MURCURY into their children. Can you really overstate the risk of INJECTING MURCURY into your child?
Posted by: Clay Grier on January 18, 2006 11:44 AM