What are your thoughts? Input requested on vaccine.

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Shari, Oct 6, 2008.

  1. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Wee difficult child has a regular well child check today. I foresee the chicken pox vaccine discussion coming up again. I am undecided.
    First let me say...I am not against vaccines in general. In typical circumstances, I am very FOR vaccines.
    So that said, let me throw out my thoughts, here...
    Wee difficult child's bio father and I both have many, many atypical allergies and reactions to all sorts of things - environmental, drug, etc. (me being the worse of the 2 of us). In addition to more "normal" allergies, bio dad was allergic to a hypoallergenic pillow his parents bought him when he was very young. I was allergic to most of my childhood vaccinations (thus after surviving 2, I did not get any more). My oldest son is allergic to diphenhydramine hydrochloride (aka Benadryl). I have a long family history of strange and adverse reactions to sometimes common medications. My neice was allergic to the sutures used to close after an appendectomy - it took 9 months to heal the hole in her belly. My other neice (her sister) got measles and mumps from her vaccine boosters she got before starting her new nursing job. You get the picture, I'm sure - we're a doctor's nightmare when it comes to treatment options.
    difficult child has not had the chicken pox vaccine. Don't get me wrong, I think this isn't something to sneeze at, but...I'm also hesitant. If contracted while he's young, chicken pox isn't terrible. He's already demonstrated that he has similar adverse reactions to many medications. His earlier vaccines - tho given seperately in smaller doses at larger intervals, went ok. But again...do I want to take the chance on this vaccine? I don't know.
    I'd like your thougths and input. Ultimately I have to make the decision, but I'd like some outside ideas here.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Is he allergic to eggs? Isnt this the shot that they ask that about? Or is that only the flu vaccine. Mine were too old when this vaccine came out.

    I can really see where this would be a quandary for you. I just dont know what I would do.
  3. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    I'm very strongly against the chicken pox vaccine. I think it's too soon to make it mandatory because I haven't yet read anything definitive on the need for boosters. I'm very concerned that in 10 years, we're going to have a rash (ha - pun???) of adults getting the pox because the information was incomplete on how long it lasts.

    Here in IL, our blessed lawmakers decided to make it mandatory in order for kids to go to school so Diva got the vaccine, unfortunately. My boys all had the pox so no need for vaccine. In a perfect world, I would have had Boo get the vaccine because he's more susceptible to complications (though he flew thru the disease just fine) but I most definitely would not have had Diva get it.

    With your kiddo's history of reactions - personally, I'd wait. If he makes it to late teens without getting the disease, then I might consider the vaccine because I believe it's a much more serious illness in adults - plus by then there should be more concrete data about the need for boosters, etc.

    I agree with vaccines for serious illnesses and while I understand that a very small percentage of kids who do get pox have major complications, I really think the driving force behind the vaccine is to avoid a "nuisance" illness. I much prefer natural immunity in this case - but that's just my 2 cents. ;)
  4. hearts and roses

    hearts and roses Mind Reader

    Given your family history, I think I would forego the vaccine altogether.

    When my girls were little, we deliberately allowed them to get the chickenpox. easy child's was a full blown case. difficult child, not so much. At that time she was almost 2 and the case was mild. Her pediatrician said it was likely that she was still somewhat immune from my breast milk (not sure about that). Later when she was about 8 or 9, she got another mild case. Her DR thinks that since she never got a full blown case, she may not carry enough antibodies for it. If contracted again later the virus could cause some real problems for her, but we're hoping that's not the case.

    As in most situations, I think you should go with your gut.

    Abbey: it's the flu shot that has the egg allergic reaction question.
  5. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Miss KT had the chicken pox shot and the measles shot at a very young age. When she was born, so many infants and children were having severe cases that her doctor felt it was necessary, since she was in day care. Had she not had the shot then, I probably wouldn't have done it. Useless Boy had the chicken pox when he was in his 20's...and was very sick for a long time. I was 9, and don't remember too much about it. I wonder too about Miss KT possibly getting the chicken pox as an adult, since she's hysterically afraid of needles, she won't willingly go back for a booster of anything.
  6. Andy

    Andy Active Member

    I am so against this one being mandatory. I am so glad my kids both had the chicken pox before I had to sign that waiver that I refuse to give it.

    There has not been enough time for tests.

    I know some people have horrid cases and could be dangerous. However, these seem to be hereritory. So, if eveyone in the family gets bad cases, then go ahead and vaccinate. But, for those average cases, let them run their course. Much healthier.

    As with everything else, you need to trust your instincts on this one. And it is a tough decision the older your child gets.

    Many times people will purposly expose their child to chicken pox in the hopes the child will come down with the illness before he or she became older and the case would be harder.

    I would research the ages of chicken pox and determine the age that you want your child to get the chicken pox before. If nothing by that age, then maybe get vaccinated?
  7. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    I held off on this vaccine for a long time, hoping my kids would just catch it the usual way and be done with developing immunity the way most of us did.

    Then they changed the requirements for school entry here, so my youngest got the shot for her kindergarten set of vaccines, and I went ahead and had the other kids get it.

    Then, a few years later, we learned difficult child 1 had a serious autoimmune GI disorder and he had to go on medications to suppress his "overactive" immune system so it would stop attacking his gut. I can't remember why, but during one of his usual blood draws, I asked to have his titers checked and found out that he DID NOT have chicken pox immunity. So now it IS a big deal for him because he cannot have the vaccine while on this immunesuppressant medication (it's a live virus vaccine), and if he were to contract the virus, he'd likely have to be hospitalized.

    We'll probably never know why the vaccine didn't work for him in the first place. I guess our situation is kind of unusual, because who knew he'd get this autoimmune disease in the first place? I wish now, though, that the vaccine had worked for him so we wouldn't have to worry so much about outbreaks at school.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    First of all, if he is going to get the chicken pox from the vaccine, the strain of ckn pox is weakened so the case of ckn pox will be less. If you wait, and he gets it later, even after age 10, it will be much worse.

    I am ALL FOR this vaccine. I have had ckn pox 2 times - once when my bro and the 2 little girls we played with all the time got them. A second time when I was 15 and they were everywhere, and I do mean EVERYWHERE. The second time I was nearly hospitalized. While preg with Wiz the history made the doctor go "Hmmm?" and he tested for ckn pox antibodies. I have NONE. Getting ckn pox at this age would be devastating.

    If your rationale is that you want him to get the pox to build up natural immunity, well, given your family history this shot will do it. He would end up with the ckn pox, and then his body would build up immunity.

    It is mandatory in many states already. In my state it must be done on or after the 1st birthday. thank you had his ONE day before his 1st birthday, so we have had to do all sorts of letters each year from the doctor.

    This vaccine is going to be mandatory. I DO forsee a booster in 10 years being needed, but I for one am glad they have the vaccine.

    I really think you have to go with your gut instinct. But the odds of your son getting ckicken pox from another kid are getting lower with each passing year.

    I guess if I were you I would want to see ALL the active AND inactive ingredients in the vaccine. And I would think about what I do with the other mandatory vaccines.

    Follow your mommy instincts, is all I can say.

    Personally, I am happy we have the ckn pox vaccine, and am looking into boosters for the kids already.
  9. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I got them for the girls because husband has had severe shingles and the Chicken Pox, he has had shingles 2x now...
    Also my Father has a very rare Disease that he is most likely going to die from that causes allergic reactions and attacks his whole body and every system and his mast cells. If he were to get any thing like that now he could die...
    His disease is genetic.

    But if I were in your situation I think I would opt out... or at least research every avenue.
  10. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I agree with research EVERY avenue, including ALL ingredients in the vaccine. While we opted to have it, and now it is mandatory in our state (with NO choice for parents to opt out via a doctors note, which shocked me!)
  11. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    easy child had the chicken pox when she was little. I thought about not getting the shot for difficult child but our pediatrician was very much in favor of the shot, said he had seen too many bad cases of the chicken pox. It is also mandatory in our state now for kids to attend school.

    I do understand with the concerns of allergy why you would be concerned. I agree it would be good to research all of the ingredient and then make a decision.
  12. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Shari, I think in this case, from what you've explained, the allergies are an almost sure thing, and the chances of getting chicken pox are a what-if. If you can prove that the risks outweight the benefits (doctors call it a risk-benefit ratio) the dr may even agree with-you and write you a "pass."

    I waited until my son was 11-1/2 until he got the shot, hoping he would catch the real thing from someone else, but it is so rare now, and you only hear about the other kids after the contagious period has passed, that it's very difficult to catch.
    The vaccine only lasts about 3 yrs. It's actually one of the crummiest vaccines out there. Very disappointing in terms of delivery and effects, but a money maker for the pharmaceutical company. (Along with-the flu vaccine ... something like 70 kids across the US died from the flu last yr but when the studies were analyzed, most of them died from staph infections from the hospitals!)
    We had to get the shot this fall for sports and school. And because the older you get, the worse the chicken pox is/are. Our kids will have to be re-vaccinated every few yrs for the rest of their lives. A very bad plan.

    I'd put it off for as long as possible. in my humble opinion.
  13. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    I can vouch for how bad chicken pox is as you get older. The first time I had it I had TWO spots. That was it. My bro and our 2 friends from down the street had it at the same time. I got it again when I was 15 and I had spots EVERYWHERE - even in personal, feminine areas and on my eyelids and feet and scalp.

    If you get chicken pox when you are older there are also very good chances it can kick off other health problems, such as autoimmune disorders (The theory is that getting the virus triggers something in your system that then malfunctions - my fibro problems started RIGHT after the ckn pox, though the arthritis started a few years earlier.)

    Anyway, I have heard about "chicken pox parties" where parents who know a child with chicken pox bring their children to play or spend the night with the sick child. this is so the kids can get a natural immunity. It seems like a strange thing to me, but it has been in the news a few times over the last few years.
  14. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I'd go to a chicken pox party.

    I don't want him to get it when he's older, particularly with my new diagnosis of RA; but I just can't see that a vaccine that won't protect him for life is a good idea at 6, especially given all the allergy/reaction concerns he already has.

    I didn't get it, and the doctor didn't harrass me about it. Yeah. Might be the wrong choice, but...its the one I made.
  15. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Shari, it sounds like you put a lot of thought and care into this decision. If you change your mind he can have the shot later. AND if you followed your mommy instinct, it is probably the right decision for your family. Mommy instinct is a powerful thing, esp when combined with research!