Vaccinate My A$$

vaccinate1

Ok so I know I said my next blog would be about type 1 diabetes- it turns out I lied.  But I have to get something off my chest. Like, right this second.

I subscribe to a lot of medical social feeds and almost every week the vaccination debate is tossed around. Which, in my opinion, is ridic (ridic: the short form of ridiculous that doesn’t actually exist and is therefore an extra ridiculous thing to say).

I came across this lovely little youtube clip that says all the things I’ve been wanting to about the topic but can’t seem to get my stunned tongue to flip off. So let’s begin, just to clarify which side of the fence I’m on incase you haven’t already guessed…

Vaccine related autism debate over. Let’s move on.

According to the American Center for Disease Control, “Reducing and eliminating the diseases that vaccines prevent is one of the top achievements in the history of public health. But, because of this success, most young parents have never seen the devastating effects that diseases like polio, measles or whooping cough (pertussis) can have on a family or community. It’s easy to think of these as diseases that only existed in the past. But the truth is they still exist. Children in the United States [and CANADA] can—and do—still get some of these diseases. In fact, when vaccination rates drop in a community, it’s not uncommon to have an outbreak.” 2

So here is a little reminder of what some of the diseases look that your child (or you) can be exposed to if you choose not to vaccinate.

Polio

vaccinate polio

3

“Polio is highly infectious and mainly affects children under five years of age. One in 200 infections leads to irreversible paralysis. Among those paralysed, five to 10 percent die when their breathing muscles become immobilized. Polio cases have decreased by more than 99 percent since 1988, from an estimated 350,000 cases then to 223 reported cases in 2012. WHO (World Health Organization) says the reduction is the result of the global effort to eradicate the disease.” 4

Let’s keep it that way people.

Measels

Measles5

According to the public health agency of Canada, “Symptoms of measles begin 7 to 18 days after infection and include fever, runny nose, drowsiness, irritability and red eyes. Small white spots (known as “Koplik’s spots”) can appear on the inside of the mouth and throat. Then, 3 to 7 days after the start of the symptoms, a red, blotchy rash appears on the face and then progresses down the body. Complications include diarrhea, pneumonia and infections of the brain. In developed countries 2 to 3 cases per 1,000 result in death. This increases to 3 to 5 cases per 1,000 in developing countries.” 6

NOTE that someone can be infected for 1-3 weeks prior to displaying signs and symptoms…makes you think about who touched the doorknob last right? Unless you are vaccinated of course.

According the the WHO, measles is the leading cause of vaccine preventable deaths in the world. “The global goal was to reduce mortality due to measles by 90% by 2010 (compared with levels in 2000). This goal was not reached. By 2010, the global mortality of measles has been reduced by 74%, from 535,300 deaths in 2000 to 139,300 deaths.” 7 Despite the shortcoming, it’s still pretty impressive numbers. But if vaccines are a hoax the case reduction must have been… MAGIC!

There were 40 cases of measles reported in southern Alberta THIS YEAR because people chose not to vaccinate (as confirmed by AHS). Luckily no one died. If you “choose” not to vaccinate, PLEASE don’t travel to other countries where they don’t have access to first world health care to save their butts. And don’t forget to stay away from immunocompromised individuals (people who’s immune systems aren’t working due to cancer treatment, AIDS, old age, etc). Ugh. You know you are a liability.

Rubella (German Measels)

rubella8

According to the Public Health Agency of Canada, “Rubella is an infectious disease that results in a transient erythematous rash, lymphadenopathy, arthralgia and low-grade fever. Although a mild illness in most people, in a pregnant woman, the virus can cause a miscarriage or cause infection in the fetus that can result in fetal malformations. The disease is easily preventable with vaccination.” 9

Pertussis (Whooping Cough)

“Symptoms [of Pertussis] begin 6 to 20 days after an individual becomes infected and are characterized by the development of a fever, vomiting and paroxysmal cough (coughing attack), which gets progressively worse. Complications due to pertussis include pneumonia, seizures, brain damage and death. Death is estimated to occur in 1 out of every 200 cases in children < 1 year of age. The number of cases in developed countries has dropped dramatically as a result of widespread immunization programs, proper nutrition and good medical care. In Canada, the number of cases increased in the late 1990s likely due to waning immunity. Pertussis is one of the leading causes of death among non-immunized children in developing countries.” 10

The following is a video produced during the pertussis outbreak in the US in 2010. It discusses why some vaccinations aren’t 100% effective for everyone for life (by the way, neither is the birth control pill), how immunity can eventually fail (aka what is waning immunity?), virus mutation, lack of health care funding affecting the production of better vaccines, etc. Vaccines aren’t perfect, just like the people researching and producing them. But that is not a good reason not to get them.

Let’s look at this map…

map211

This 2012 map is of preventable disease outbreaks. You will note high concentration in areas where religious sects deny vaccination, as well as impoverished/unstable areas that can’t gain access even if they wanted to.

If you are suspicious of this map it is produced and update by the American Council on Foreign Relations.  “The Council on Foreign Relations (CFR) is an independent, nonpartisan membership organization, think tank, and publisher dedicated to being a resource for … citizens in order to help them better understand the world and the foreign policy choices facing the United States and other countries. Founded in 1921, CFR takes no institutional positions on matters of policy and has no affiliation with the U.S. government.”12 Boom. You can find an interactive up to date version of the map here (it tells you what the colors mean)…  http://www.cfr.org/interactives/GH_Vaccine_Map/index.html#map

The number of vaccine preventable diseases is growing. Check out the PHAC list here, complete with epidemiology of the diseases and information about the vaccines. http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/

One last thing about the oh-so-controversial influenza vaccine…I get it. I get it because I want to protect the people I care about (from my family to my patients). Just because I have good health and a rockin’ immune system does not mean everyone I come in contact with does. Most people that are devastated by influenza are at the extremes of age or immunodeficient in some way. Most people also don’t know what the “flu” really is. You’d be right if you said the shot is not 100% effective, but I see the glass as half full.  Even if the dose only gave me 50% better immunity and/or reduced symptoms (fake stat), well that is 50% better than I had before.

Oh, and before you start telling me that current vaccines are full of monkey pee, I encourage you to do some verifiable research because I’m totally willing to do battle. I know karate.

In the meantime, get your a$$ vaccinated. Or don’t and it’s basically job security for me. 😉

Medic15

Sources

(1)

(2) http://www.cdc.gov/features/reasonstovaccinate/

(3,4) http://premiumtimesng.com/news/147372-africa-advances-setbacks-polio-fight.html

(5) http://lcpeds.com/blog/page/4/

(6, 7) http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/measles-rougeole-eng.php

(8) http://www.mdguidelines.com/rubella

(9) http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/rubella-eng.php

(10) http://www.phac-aspc.gc.ca/im/vpd-mev/pertussis-eng.php

(11) Map http://www.microbiologymaven.com/cool-science-stuff/496/

(12) http://www.cfr.org/about/faqs.html

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5 thoughts on “Vaccinate My A$$

  1. Another great post Vanessa!! I definitely agree with you that there are soo many vaccines out there that make our lives better and I can’t imagine where we’d be without them. I have to admit though that I’m in the anit-flu shot camp. I totally get it for old people and little kids but I have just always believed that if you’re healthy, your body is made to fight off sickness and it’s silly not to let it do the work. Who knows if I’m right or wrong though 🙂 Keep up the great posts!

    • Thanks Steph!
      There is a growing group of people that are doing the same thing- choosing their vaccines based on their bodies natural ability to fight the disease and the risk of complications (for our age group, the flu would theoretically have low risks). This somewhat makes sense to me. By exposing our bodies to disease we strengthen our immune system (however, this is also the exact same thing a vaccine does). Our bodies are still doing the work when we are exposed to a vaccine and subsequent infections, just in a scientifically controlled fashion.
      I didn’t mention it in my post but when I was in PCP school we were forced to get the flu shot or we couldn’t do our practicum. This definitely makes sense to me because health care workers are constantly around people who have a high risk of complications even from a minor infection.
      On a different note, did you have to get travel shots for China?
      Miss you!
      Vanessa

      • Interesting! I didn’t realize that’s also what vaccinations did as well. Not really an issue for me currently though – not an option in China!

        I didn’t have to get any shots for travel to China. I already had my Hepatitis shots and that’s the only ones they recommended. I did however get the HPV one right before I left as recommended by my doctor (not specifically for China). They sure did make us go through a lot of testing to be able to enter the country though! I guess they don’t let sick people come in…

  2. Pingback: Another family devastated by vaccines facing prison for “murder” | Dylan Leighton

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