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The thorny issue of needles

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#1 JohBD

Posted 13 April 2009 - 04:17 PM

Almost 10 weeks has already flown by since my second son, Ethan, was born, and just over a week ago he had his first of many vaccinations. I was dreading the event because our eldest son, Noah, gave me a horrible look I’ll never forget when he had his first jabs. Ethan was exactly two months old on the day of his vaccination and it couldn’t have come sooner.

My worry about my son being in pain for a short time is nothing compared with how I would feel if I was sitting with him in hospital as his tiny body fought for breath. We live on the NSW Central Coast, an area which is currently experiencing an outbreak of whooping cough so bad I’ve heard of people quarantining themselves and their children so there is no chance of infection. Our local newspaper, the Central Coast Express Advocate, reported there had been 246 cases of whooping cough in this region in January and February this year, compared with 397 in all of 2008.

Now Ethan has had his first vaccination he at least has some protection against whooping cough. Noah has already been vaccinated so that just leaves my husband and I to get our booster shots. My parents are also planning to ask for the booster shots as they spend so much time with our children. There is an information sheet on whooping cough on the NSW Government website: http://www.health.nsw.gov.au/factsheets/in.../pertussis.html

When I was pregnant with Noah we attended ante-natal classes with a couple who were planning on not having their child vaccinated. While I respect their decision not to vaccinate, I have wondered many times over the past few weeks if they had changed their minds, particularly in light of the outbreak in the area we live. If their child, who would be three, did contract whooping cough would other children have been put at risk as a result?

I lived in England at the time many parents refused the triple MMR (measles, mumps and rubella) vaccination. Andrew Wakefield published a study in 1998 reporting 12 children had developed autism and bowel symptoms soon after their MMR needle. Instead these parents paid for three separate needles for their children, or some refused to vaccinate at all and vaccination rates in the UK declined. Several studies since then have not found a link between the vaccine and autism, and in 2004 10 of Dr Wakefield’s 12 co-authors retracted their statements.

The way I look at vaccination is: there is a tiny risk of an adverse reaction, compared to a much, much bigger risk of my children contracting a host of diseases if I had chosen not to vaccinate them. I’m willing to take the smaller risk.

As for how Ethan fared with his vaccination: he lapped up the syringe of rotavirus vaccine and screamed very loudly for both needles. I must have looked worse though, as the midwife spent more time comforting me than my baby. The anticipation of his pain got the better of me and I cried. Next time I must take some moral support!

What are your views on vaccination and how did you and your child/ren cope when they were jabbed?

#2 Sancti-claws

Posted 13 April 2009 - 04:23 PM

My sister is good friends with the mother who lost her daughter due to the whooping cough outbreak in your region - she was only 4 weeks old.  Apparently it was the first death since 1993.

I think if you are in doubt about getting your child immunised, get informed - by all sides.

My daughter had no reaction to her shots apart from whinginess and a bit of a cold - but I do know of one child who had a severe reaction and gave his mother 2 years of heartache before becoming the hale 18 year old she now looks up to.

Edited by suziej, 13 April 2009 - 04:24 PM.

#3 JohBD

Posted 13 April 2009 - 04:34 PM

It would be so horrible to lose a baby, let alone to a disease which can be prevented. This is why I believe in vaccination, but agree with you suziej about informing yourself before deciding one way or the other.

#4 blissfulqueenb

Posted 13 April 2009 - 07:25 PM

Can't you just go read any of the multitudes of threads on EB before dredging ALL of this up AGAIN?

#5 littleredfox

Posted 14 April 2009 - 10:08 PM

i think perhaps that you should research some more if you think the risk of an adverse reaction to vaccination is smaller than the risk associated with the infectious disease...try www.avn.org.au for pro-choice information - investigate before you vaccinate....

#6 katjas

Posted 15 April 2009 - 03:53 PM

I recieved the letter about the fre whooping cough vaccination. I made an appointment straight away for my husband and me as we have a 12 week old baby. I also ensured that both sets of Grandparents had it done as well. The good thing about the vaccination is that is also included a Tetanus booster as well. Double for nothing.

#7 Kate's first !

Posted 15 April 2009 - 04:20 PM

To the people who do not vaccinate their children - if only you could go back in time to when there were no vaccines and children died in their tens of thousands from now very preventable diseases. I am sure the parents of these children would have jumped at the chance to protect their children.

A good friend of mine had her child in hospital at the age of 6 weeks with whooping cough - he nearly died - and he is still suffering from coughs and general ill health as a one year old. And yes she has had both her children vaccinated.

#8 kenziesmom

Posted 15 April 2009 - 04:54 PM

I am not commenting on the whooping cough vaccination.  Personally, I don't have a problem with it and have immunized both my children for it.  However, re: MMR Vaccination.  I would be wary of immunizing your child with this combo.  I had a healthy, talkative 2 year old until her 2nd year MMR vaccination.  I then watched her 'disappear' into her own world and stop talking, communicating and looking at others.  She was diagnosed with autism.  She is now 4 years old and thanks to a lot of research, limiting her diet (taking out all food additives, preservatives, colours, flavour enhansors), Sensory OT, Speech Therapy and an incredible vitamin mix of B6 and Zinc, I have my daughter back!  If you think your child has been affected by the MMR.  I'm happy to share what I have found/trialed/done with you so that you may also try and have your child returned to you too.  BTW, in the USA, the first court case against the pharmaceutical companies regarding the possible link between the MMR and autism was won in favour of the family.

#9 ceils

Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:28 PM

I would rather have a child with autism than a dead child.

#10 upup

Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:46 PM

I would rather have a child with autism than a dead child.

Autism is not the only risk from vaccination so is death, brain damage, digestive problems for life, allergies, asthma as well as the long list provided to parents in the vaccine box which many Dr and nurses do not give to parents.

Personally I dont vaccinate - I did a LOT of research to come to this conclusion. I respect parents who vaccinate. If your kids are vaccinated and you believe that they wont get ill why are you so worried about non vaccinated kids?

Also most life threatening cases of whooping cough are in children who are too young to be vaccinated and most cases (I believe 96%) are caught from those who are partially or fully vacinated as they still carry the virus. We have one of the highest vaccination rates for whooping cough in the world yet we have this epedemic.

As PP stated investigate BEFORE you vaccinate. Every parent has the right to make an informed decision.

Try looking at the AVN website for more information.

Edited by ella30, 15 April 2009 - 05:47 PM.

#11 mumhas2boys

Posted 15 April 2009 - 05:55 PM

I'll leave the do/do not debate alone for now, but want to address the other part, which is how to make it easier for babies to cope with their needles. When my first baby was about to get his first set of shots (8 long years ago!), a friend told me to breastfeed him while he was getting the shots. It was one of the best pieces of advice on parenting I got from anyone - he made one little peep when the needle went in and never cried then or during the rest of his shots. It worked for my second son as well. You could just make sure the baby has a bottle if you don't breastfeed. My doctor thought it was a great idea and offers it as a suggestion to all his new mums when they come for their babies' shots.

#12 clare1975

Posted 15 April 2009 - 06:48 PM

If you don't want to vaccinate, please research your decision.  And this does not mean just reading Dr Spears - he is full of inaccuracies.  Also visit the govt website about immunisation, there is a lot of myth debunking there.

I'm truly sorry for anyone whose child suffers from autism, but there is NO link between this and the MMR.  The original study was of 12 children, has been retracted by the authors (who admit to some falsification of data), and has been replicated again and again by many studies, and there has been no link ever established.  The time that autism surfaces is around the time of the MMR, and this leads people to link the two.

#13 littleredfox

Posted 15 April 2009 - 06:56 PM

the only issue i have is with those who state opinions about risks without having researched. Most deaths from infectious diseases reduced significantly sue to improved hygiene and sanitation, and also well before the introduction of vaccines.  What is more concerning now is that these treatable infectious diseases have been replaced with chronic ilnesses, and can often be linked to the 'other' ingredients that are in vaccines

#14 anti-mumbojumbo

Posted 15 April 2009 - 08:17 PM

Good on you Joh for making an informed decision to have your children vaccinated. This action is consistent with the years of findings from dedicated highly trained scientists and public health experts whose goal is to save lives and prevent disability. This massive body of evidence is the stuff that guides us in logical decision making in our everyday lives. If you choose to ignore this evidence then you are playing with the lives of your children as well as those in our community. Don't forget that not vaccinating your kids puts others at risk as you may well allow the transfer of bacteria and viruses.
If as Adele Horin aptly calls the "Dummy Mummy" set really want an enemy then they should choose those nasty pathogens that maim and kill our children. The too young for a vaccination argument is amazing considering that mothers should be protecting their young.
Let's stop wasting valuable child rearing time discussing problems with vaccinations and concentrate on preventing injuries to our children - a major cause of death and disability. And if you're still hankering for an issue to tear your self up on think about how you could apply your skills and knowledge to improving the lot of our indigenous children.

#15 bondimum

Posted 15 April 2009 - 09:16 PM

BTW, in the USA, the first court case against the pharmaceutical companies regarding the possible link between the MMR and autism was won in favour of the family

Can you verify this? I had heard the opposite but don't know for certain.

#16 steviej

Posted 16 April 2009 - 08:24 AM

Don't fall for the misinformation. Vaccinations don't cause Autism. They are safe and reliable.

Vaccinations are an essential part of modern life.

Unless of course you want to go back to the dark ages with a life expectancy in the 30's.

As Amanda Peet said "Frankly, I feel that parents who don't vaccinate their children are parasites."

#17 premmie-29-weeks

Posted 16 April 2009 - 09:25 AM

I'm not a mother as yet, I certainly want children and hopefully DH and I will become parents within the next couple of years.

Re Vaccinations, honestly I don't understand how you could choose not to vaccinate your kids. Little bit of pain, for a lifetime of protection. I don't doubt that there is a tiny percentage who have a negative reaction and that's horrible I agree. But Small Pox has been irradicated, due to vaccines...I'd rather take the risk than risk sitting by them in hospital while they battle a most likely life threatening disease.

#18 JohBD

Posted 16 April 2009 - 09:41 AM

Thanks everybody for your discussion on my post. I agree about researching before making any decisions and that is exactly what I have done, but I know there is still much for me to discover on all aspects of parenting.

Feeding a child while they have their needles definitely worked for me too.

#19 ~Bambi~

Posted 16 April 2009 - 09:56 AM

so many 'new' members in here...
I was under the impression that our (aust) vaccines for MMR had been changed and no longer contained the ingredient that was linked with causing autism...

I actually read that on EB somewhere and they had a link? anyone else know where that is?

anyway, i chose to not to vaccinate at birth (or have vit K) but chose to have the following vaccinations.

Its a parents right to choose.

#20 JohBD

Posted 16 April 2009 - 04:17 PM

Hi yummymummy85

You are so right about it being a parent's right to choose whether or not to vaccinate their children. Those rights should be respected.


#21 ScienceMatters

Posted 16 April 2009 - 11:36 PM


Vaccination saves lives. This is based on science. A certain proportion of the population needs to be vaccinated to stop the spread of a particular disease. Vaccination is not 100% effective, but if as a population a high enough % of the population is vaccinated then as a population we have protection from the disease as there are not enough susceptible individuals for the disease to spread. This is why the unvaccinated child is a threat to all those children who have been vaccinated (science - if anti-vaccinators understood science they wouldn't have to ask why we care that their children aren't vaccinated). If they want to live on an island and have no contact with the rest of the world that is fine - but if they want their children to mix with my child then it matters.

Sorry - but I don't respect the anti-vaccinators point of view. It is based on a whole lot of mumbo-jumbo fake science etc. People who don't vaccinate and particularly those who spread the anti-vaccination message are putting the whole population at risk. They are selfish, misinformed and spreading lies and misinformation.

I know people whose children have supposedly suffered autism due to vaccination - sorry those parents have plenty of the personality traits of autism spectrum disorder (I don't believe the autism has anything to do with the vaccination but is actually hereditary). That whole study has long been discredited as pointed out in the article (10 of the 12 authors retracted) and was based on extremely faulty science - the study design was completely and utterly invalid.

Please vaccinate your child and don't listen to the garbage sprouted by the anti-vaccination fruit-loops. Whatever you do don't try and have a logical conversation with them about the issue because it simply isn't possible.

I'm not sorry to cause offence to people who 'choose' not to vaccinate - but your 'choice' is costing children their lives.

#22 mychellew

Posted 17 April 2009 - 12:34 PM

If you are going to immunise your children, go ahead, but to call those who don't - 'fruit loops', 'parasites' 'dumb' etc is really unnecessary. (Oopps, did I spell that right?)
There is much to be said on this topic and alot of researched information unattainable for the average 'mother'. Un-immunised children are not a threat to your little Johnnie(s). So fear not, in fact if you weren't so fearful you probably would not be following the masses to immunise.
If there are people out there who don't immunise their children because they are stupid then hail the stupid one. We need more of them!!!

#23 =Magpie=

Posted 17 April 2009 - 01:46 PM

If there are people out there who don't immunise their children because they are stupid then hail the stupid one. We need more of them!!!

Why? If you are happy with your decision why do you need more people to validate it?

Interesting point though. What do you think would happen if we all suddenly stopped immunising our children? Serious question, not having a go at anyone.

Edited for spelling.

Edited by Twunty, 17 April 2009 - 01:47 PM.

#24 beej37

Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:15 PM

Hi ,
I think this article is quite ridiculous, if it puts importance on the amount of pain the child has to endure when getting vaccinated. There's going to be alot of physical pain throughout the childs life from general falls , bumps and bruises. The real issue is not the needle stick but what we are trying to do with general government pushed vaccinations.
The questions needed to be asked are :
Why kids get adverse reactions to what is considered dead viral material?
Why Australia is slow to act on preservatives , that are mercury based , added to vaccines, to increase there shelf life .
Vaccinations don't guarantee that your child will not get the virus / bacteria and get sick, as show in the whooping cough epidemic in Sth. Australia.
So I think parents should be more informed about the risks  and ask more questions ,and look into the alternatives , like homeopathic vaccinations, etc.  before committing to one side of the argument , for fear of death or illness.
A few of my friends have had whooping cough go through the family , including my pediatrician , and although , very distressing , the symptoms were not life threatening.
As parents we all want to do whats best for our children,
but i find myself  increasingly cynical of our government and medical system , that leaves us little choice or information.
Especially when they campaign to have girls as young as 6 vaccinated for a cervical cancer linked virus that is only contacted through sexual intercourse.
I can't help but worry about the system in place .
Just my two cents .

#25 ellamac

Posted 17 April 2009 - 04:42 PM

Hi there

The fact is that if we all chose not to immunise our children, there would be a return of all sorts of life threatening and debilitating illnesses like polio, which we take for granted we do not have to worry about in Australia. People are able to "choose" not to immunise their children because the majority of us do.

It's also more than just a personal choice issue. We have had instances at our kinder of non immunised children catching viruses which can potentially affect the foetuses of the many pregnant mothers bringing their children to and from school. They can also have a serious affect on new born children who have not yet been immunised.

I understand that parents have to make their own decisions about what they feel is right or wrong for their child but they may be putting others at risk by choosing not to immunise their child.

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