Friday, September 12, 2008

Letter From School

The following letter was sent home on Friday:

Dear Parent,
A Child at * * Elementary has been diagnosed as having Pertussis (also known as whooping cough). Please see the attached Fact Sheet from the Texas Department of Health for information regarding Pertussis symptoms, treatment and prevention.

Thank You,
Pam *, RN
School Nurse.

There aren't many topics that I feel completely sure about, but immunizations is one of them.

Let me also make it clear that I've written and re-written this post about 7 times. I can't seem to make it unbiased or, let's face it, non-violent. So I leave it to you to write this post. Please comment on the following:

How do you feel about vaccinations?

Meanwhile, here's a little video to let me know what to look forward to in case my child did NOT get immunized for Pertussis.


Suzette said...

Hey thanks for the disturbing video. I was already freaked out by this letter. It makes me so upset when people don't care about others and bring their sick kids to school, church ect. That is my biggest pet peeve and this example is why. My kids can't have some immunizations because they have egg allergies and the immunization could kill them. Luckily this pertussis thing was one they could be immunized for. How sad for those who aren't and effect the rest of us. So I guess my point is KEEP YOUR SICK KIDS HOME!!!!!


Okay, that was a disturbing video. I am so parinoid about my kids getting sick & I can't for the life of me figure out why mothers wouldn't want there children immunized and protected from these illnesses. Scary Letter, I hope your kids stay heathly.

The Jones Family said...

Because of my children's adoption's I am required to immunize my children for at least six months (until the adoption is final). I think that it mean something if the government finds it necessary to require the children to be immunized. This subject is a touchy one at best-a lot of adoptive mom's can't stand that they are required-I however am happy and content to take my child in to get his immunizations. I would never want my child to have to go through what those children were going through in the video.

Andrea said...

I've posted this topic on my blog before and have had a wide range of responses. Working for the Special Education department of a large school district I come in contact with a ton of parents who swear that immunizations is what caused their child Austism. It is scary to think that something meant to protect your child could in fact hurt your child. Although here isn't enough research to support these fears, there are enough celebrities endorsing this idea, along with personal narratives supporting it, that parents let this fear, more than legitimate research, guide their decisions. I choose to have my children immunized, but I can see why some parents are afraid to do it.

caroline said...

touchy subject in our disturbing as that video was, we're equally disturbed that there IS a correlation to autism and autism spectrum disorders (ASD)and vaccines (no matter how hard the government tries to prove otherwise) . We have an ASD child who was immunized at the recommended times and there's a good chance that the vaccines are a contributing factor. I'm not saying don't immunize, as the rest of our kids have been and are perfectly fine, but get them separately and make sure your kids are NOT immune comprised (sick with a cold or anything) when they get them. In years past they didn't bulk the the immunizations into one (like the MMR- mumps measles and rubella), in doing that they have to add a lot strong metals that DO influence the nervous system in tiny ones with immature NS or just kids that are more susceptible to ASD. This is so long- and I could keep going but I'll leave it at that. I'm probably going to be the only black sheep here in your comments, but so be it.

Audra said...

A healthy and happy little boy in my ward recently received his one year old immunizatioins. The next morning he didn't wake up. The mom finally went in at 10 a.m. to find him unresponsive. She called 9-1-1 and he was rushed to the hospital. He had had multiple seizures in the night and at first they weren't sure he was going to make it. He couldn't walk or control his body. He didn't respond to pain. He didn't respond to his parents. It has been a few weeks now, and he is still recovering. They are not sure of the long term effects he will have. He may have brain damage. The medical professionals are linking the seizures to the mutlitple immunizations he had the day before. For some reason, his body didn't metabolize the immunizations like it should have.

Is that a normal response to immunizations? No. We know that. But seeing first hand this little boy and his family go through that nightmare has been heart renching. They definitely have a different view on immunizations. My little boy is a few weeks behind him in age and will be next to have his one year old immunizations (This Thursday!). Has that put a new light on childhoold immunizations for me? Yes. If I made it a matter of prayer and received promptings to not immunize my child, I wouldn't. But I would have to be sure of my promptings from Heavenly Father to not do that because I too believe in childhood immunizations. I think they are safe for the vast majority of kids. But what if that horrible life threatening incident happened to your child?
What if that happened to your friend, or niece, or nephew? What would your view be then? Definitely something to think about. I sure have.

Emma said...

As wife of a soon-to-be pediatrician, I'm sure you know what my response will be. I too am trying to write something without sounding biased - but I can't. It worries me when parents who don't have their kids immunized (for whatever reason - and I can think of a ton) think their kids will be safe because "all the other kids are immunized". This is a topic I could go on and on about, but I won't.

Seivert/Webb Family said...

Children MUST be immunized. The evidence is far too overwhelming that they are best for everyone.

It's truly maddening that one idiot can/could re-introduce this kind of horror on others.

Janene said...

Yep, I was also rather excited about the note that went home. I was glad Ava got that particular immunization on Monday as Tuesday she developed a cough. I am not going to continue to watch that footage because I am pretty sure that it will keep me up for the remainded of the evening.

Randi said...

I would just like to make this brief point:
We do NOT know that the afforementioned child wasn't vaccinated. How many of you have reiceved a flu vaccine and then gotten the flu, or gotten the chicken pox vaccine and then got a small case of the chicken pox. Yes, I am well aware of the uncommon-ness of such things, but it CAN happen. Otherwise none of you would be worrying about your vaccinated children getting it! So, before we go casting stones, maybe we should know the whole story.

Darin and Joanna said...

Oh immunizations...what a fun topic! I believe in shots, however that being said I had a bad feeling about getting shots with my last child. I am not sure why, but I just couldn't shake it. Anyway I did a lot of research and found a book called "the vaccine book" by Dr. William Sears. He goes in to each shot and there pros and cons. It really made me feel better about vaccines. Also at the end he has an alternative vaccine schedule to reduce the theoretical risks that shots may or may not pose. Your child can still be completely up to date with shots, you just spread them out a little bit (go in ever month when they are little). Anyway my pediatrician did not agree with me and saw no reason why my little girl should not get all of the shots on time, but I felt good about my decision and feel it what was best for her. I think immunizations are a personal decision for each parent, but I do think we need to realize the implications of what our world will turn into if we stop giving them to our I don't care to live in.

Jodie Haney said...

That's terrible.
I have heard that spreading out the shots a little more may help. I would have to research it more, but if I had to to all over again, I would probably go in every 6 months or so for 1 shot per trip. I wouldn't let them do 4 or 5 shots in one day. It just seems like too much for those little bodies.

Jennifer said...

We have decided to do selective, delayed immunizations for all of our children. While I believe that most vaccines can be relatively safe, the vaccine schedule for infants and children has practically doubled in my lifetime and I feel it is far too aggressive (the AAP recommends 6 shots at a baby's six-month check-up. SIX!). An infant's body should not be injected with high doses of toxins like formaldehyde and aluminum and mercury (still found in many flu shots). Audra's comment is truly terrifying.

Even though we have declined some vaccines, every choice we've made has been researched, discussed with our doctor, and prayed about. I also keep my children home with me (not in a group daycare/school situation), breastfeed them *forever* and do my best to keep their immune systems strong. Many of these illnesses are (1) completely eradicated in the US (2) not that severe if you get them as a child (like chickenpox, which I hope all my children get) or (3) are almost unheard of past the age of 2 or 3 (and yet, boosters remain on the immunization schedule).

Someone made the comment that the child at your school with pertussis may have been previously vaccinated. I've know lots of kids who have had chicken pox, measles, rubella and most of them were vaccinated against the diseases they caught (by the way -- the DTaP is one shot we get on schedule. Whooping cough is just too frightening).

The Vaccine Book is a good resource (It's actually by Robert Sears, not William Sears) and I wish it had been around when I started researching vaccines 6 years ago.

One final word -- I believe that these anti-vaccine groups often use fact mixed with fear tactics to get people not to immunize. I also believe the CDC does the exact same thing to get people TO immunize their children.

Phew! Sorry this is so long. I'd love to see a follow-up post to this one letting us know your feelings and how things played out at the school.

The Brandon's said...

I actually was not too worried, knowing that the kids were immunized. I did however, send Aaron for his booster!
Caroline - just FYI, we too have discovered that our son cannot get one of the booster immunizations due to his birth family's medical history. Luckily, it's just the chicken pox vaccine, which is not the worst thing in the world.

Anonymous said...

Vaccination is interesting to discuss - people get so worked up and call others "idiots" and other rants.

I personally agree with Jennifer about delayed vaccines. The vaccine schedule is way too aggressive for infants. So far, I've vaccinated all my kids according to schedule, but that was at the heavy prompting and guilt-tripping of our pediatrician.

Anonymous said...

I appreciate your blog on immunizations. As a principal, I had to honor the wishes of parents who did not vaccinate their children and our nurse and I always said prayer that the children would be healthy. However, our Jon was only able to have the first DPT immunization and when he showed a reaction, they cut out the "P" part because they said he was allergic. We certainly continued with the rest. We're so lucky to have medicine that has wiped out many childhood diseases...................

Love, Mama Ruth

Matt Sjoblom said...

I'm late to the discussion, but I couldn't resist. I recently went to a lecture from the head of the CDC's vaccine advisory board, who said the following:

"Autism is a terrible disease, I recognize that, and I can appreciate the desire of the families affected to have answers. Unfortunately we don't have those answers yet. The answer we do have is that vaccines are not the culprit. This has been proven to such an extent that it is the official position of the CDC to no longer enter the debate which still rages on."

Pretty strong. She then went on to explain why she thinks that many are choosing to not vaccinate their children. The most convincing reason is that modern American parents have never seen, or known someone with the terrible sicknesses that the vaccines protect against. She then went on to show pictures, and videos like this one, of dying children.

You see, the average person who doesn't vaccinate is educated, suburban, and upper-middle class. We are educated to make decisions based on weighing risk and benefit. There is certainly a risk to vaccination, however the risk now is much less than when our parents generation were receiving their vaccinations. The problem lies in the fact that we underestimate the benefit these vaccines confer because we don't understand the diseases that we are vaccinating against anymore. Trust me, our great-grandparents whose generation saw 1 in 5 of their children die of these diseases would have lined up to have vaccines injected into their childrens' eyeballs if they thought it would protect them to the level that our children are protected now.

But as it has been mentioned by previous posters this is a passionate subject, and anyone is free to call me an idiot, it's not like I'm a doctor or anything . . . oh wait.

Matt and Emmy Bludorn said...

Jennifer - You hope your kids get chickenpox? Wow. I was just around this summer when my brother's kids got it because they hadn't been vaccinated. Absolutely horrible and I can't imagine any parent who would want their kids to go through that. All four kids were covered from head to toe but on two of the kids especially, the concentration of pox was astounding. It was pure misery for everyone involved and the kids were in so much discomfort. They ended up having to have priesthood blessings and it drug on for about 2 weeks by the time it made its rounds through the family. We all felt horrible for the poor kids.
There are cases where "innocent" chickpox has proved to be life threatening.
A few of the cousins who had been vaccinated received mild cases of it, which lasted a day or so. They all had fewer than 10 pox (compared to the countless ones the unvaccinated ones got).
We've all heard the stories from our childhood about when multiple kids had the chickenpox and everyone was quarrantined at home, etc., etc. and it just seemed like a rite of passage. That's how my sister-in-law talked about it before her kids got it; almost in a romanticized sense. I don't think the horribleness of the illness necessarily got conveyed.

. said...

wow, lots of stong opinions on this one. i have something funny to add, the little boy who had whopping cough, guess what, is in miah's class! yep, cute little chester was gone for a long time according to miah, with the "hooping cough". he's fine, she's fine, we're all fine.
he he


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