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Subject: People against vaccinations - help me understand rss

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Why are some people against vaccinations? I don't understand it.

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CHAPEL
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There is a lot of internet misinformation, and media over-exposure.
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MWChapel wrote:
There is a lot of internet misinformation, and media over-exposure.


That too.

Plus, if you're talking about H1N1 there is a common perception (with some merit) that they will either be ineffective or not needed to begin with. Last I checked the regular yearly flu strains still kill many thousands more people than H1N1 has. And will likely continue to do so.

On the other hand, for the very young and very old (meaning older than me), getting a regular yearly shot seems to help. My dad, who is 83, hasn't had the flu for at least 10 years because he goes to the VA and gets a shot every fall.

I got my kids vaccinated as per recommended schedule and will consider an H1N1 for the one still at home.
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Lawson
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tesuji wrote:
Why are some people against vaccinations? I don't understand it.


In short: I recommend that you listen to Act One of this episode of This American Life, which does the best job I've heard of presenting the anti-vax argument in an empathetic way without distorting its essentially illogical nature.

In longer: I know lots of people who do not vaccinate their children. (I think they're wrong, though I think it's reasonable to question and make changes to standard vaxing schedules.)

There are two categories of these people, in my eyes.

First, there are the people who have different assumptions from mine (for instance, about the credibility of available scientific data) and thus reach different conclusions from mine about the risks associated with vaccinations. With these people, I respectfully disagree.

Second, there are the people who are not willing to subject themselves and/or their children to the relatively-small (but real) risk of vaccination complications because they'd rather trust "the herd" to take the risks in their stead even as they lower (or eliminate) the margin of safety that "the herd" represents. These are the free-riders, and for them I have bountiful contempt.
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tesuji wrote:
Why are some people against vaccinations? I don't understand it.



I know several against mandatory vaccination, which their jobs force upon them.
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There's a study that shows in people over the age of 65, getting your flu shot reduces all cause mortality by 25% the year you get the shot. There's few medications that have as much data to support their use as vaccines. We have huge sample sizes and long term safety data.

Most people I encounter are afraid because of the things they've heard. They just don't know what to believe. Nobody is scared of influenza (or didn't used to be, despite it being a leading cause of death in North America) but they are scared of side effects.

Others are pseudo educated and think they understand the risks and benefits when they don't.

A huge problem are the quacks health practitioners - naturopaths, chiropractors, and sadly even some nurses who promote misinformation and fear.

Some people will declare that the flu shot gave them the flu, and no amount of reasoning will persuade them otherwise. Others feel that since they got sick with some other respiratory infection that the shot 'didn't work.'
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Geosphere wrote:
tesuji wrote:
Why are some people against vaccinations? I don't understand it.



I know several against mandatory vaccination, which their jobs force upon them.


There are nurses I know at the hospital in town who refuse to get the flu shot. I don't think they should be allowed to work with patients if they refuse because they put a very vulnerable patient population at risk. A healthy nurse is unlikely to die from influenza, and far more likely to transmit the disease to some frail old guy convalescing from his heart attack.
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I don't work with sick people, if I did, I would prolly think differently, however...

The last time I got a flu shot, I got really sick. Really sick.

I'd rather take my chances on not getting sick, thanks.
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Dan Becker
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With every prescription there are side-effects. So some are wary of the side-effects.

Personally, I am rarely sick. I get a cold about once every 2 years. I know this is but one data point, but I've had one flu shot in my adult life (about 3 years ago), and I immediately got sick with the flu for the next 10 days. Yeech. Never again.

Also many people are suspicious of drug companies pushing their latest snowball for people to ingest and pay them money.

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http://www.mrxswebpage.com/flushots.htm
 
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DWTripp wrote:
MWChapel wrote:
There is a lot of internet misinformation, and media over-exposure.


That too.

Plus, if you're talking about H1N1 there is a common perception (with some merit) that they will either be ineffective or not needed to begin with. Last I checked the regular yearly flu strains still kill many thousands more people than H1N1 has. And will likely continue to do so.

On the other hand, for the very young and very old (meaning older than me), getting a regular yearly shot seems to help. My dad, who is 83, hasn't had the flu for at least 10 years because he goes to the VA and gets a shot every fall.

I got my kids vaccinated as per recommended schedule and will consider an H1N1 for the one still at home.


Tripp.. I really suggest you get an H1N1 shot for the one at home. A friend of mine has a co-worker whose 5 year old daughter died today of H1N1, Her family is, of course, devastated. I'd hate to see the same happen to you.

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49xjohn wrote:

I don't work with sick people, if I did, I would prolly think differently, however...

The last time I got a flu shot, I got really sick. Really sick.

I'd rather take my chances on not getting sick, thanks.


If you'd rather not get sick, then you should take the flu jab. I suggest you look at the evidence and not use a single (and incorrectly interpreted) anecdote as the basis for your decision. You CANNOT get the flu from the vaccination. You can suffer minor side effects including a mild fever and slight muscle aches for a day or so. If you think the flu jab made you really sick, I can only tell you that you are wrong, the flu jab cannot make you sick. (I am assuming that you do not mean you had an alergic reaction, or you would have said so).

http://www.nhs.uk/Conditions/Flu-jab/Pages/How-does-it-work....

This year the flu jab is predicted to be 70 - 80% effective. It also takes around a week to 10 days to be effective. You can therefore get the flu even after having the shot, but this would not be caused by the vaccine.

I always get the flu jab even though, not being a child or elderly, I am unlikely to die from seasonal flu. I just do this because influenza is really unpleasant, and reducing my risk by 70 - 80% at a small risk of minor side effects for a day or so is basically a no brainer.
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Gary Page
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beckerdo wrote:
With every prescription there are side-effects. So some are wary of the side-effects.

Personally, I am rarely sick. I get a cold about once every 2 years. I know this is but one data point, but I've had one flu shot in my adult life (about 3 years ago), and I immediately got sick with the flu for the next 10 days. Yeech. Never again.

Also many people are suspicious of drug companies pushing their latest snowball for people to ingest and pay them money.



Another one? The flu jab cannot give you the flu. You are mistaking correlation with causation.

Where does the idea that the flu jab can give you flu come from? Is it the really mild flu like side effects that it can cause, or is it just the correlation causation fallacy?
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DWTripp wrote:
Plus, if you're talking about H1N1 there is a common perception (with some merit) that they will either be ineffective or not needed to begin with. Last I checked the regular yearly flu strains still kill many thousands more people than H1N1 has. And will likely continue to do so.


Another point on H1N1 is that it is being rushed through (for understandable reasons) without the full range of testing and the pharmaceutical companies making it have been granted immunity from any civil action as a result. (This all comes to me second-hand from a nurse and from a friend in the pharma industry, so I can't attest to its accuracy.)
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Chad_Ellis wrote:
DWTripp wrote:
Plus, if you're talking about H1N1 there is a common perception (with some merit) that they will either be ineffective or not needed to begin with. Last I checked the regular yearly flu strains still kill many thousands more people than H1N1 has. And will likely continue to do so.


Another point on H1N1 is that it is being rushed through (for understandable reasons) without the full range of testing and the pharmaceutical companies making it have been granted immunity from any civil action as a result. (This all comes to me second-hand from a nurse and from a friend in the pharma industry, so I can't attest to its accuracy.)


This isn't true, the H1N1 vaccine has been made exactly the same way as the seasonal flu vaccine is made every year. See about half way down on this website.

http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/vaccination/public/vaccination_qa...

If you look elsewhere on the website, you can find information regarding the safety profile also.
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Dan Becker
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GazPAge wrote:
beckerdo wrote:
With every prescription there are side-effects. So some are wary of the side-effects.

Personally, I am rarely sick. I get a cold about once every 2 years. I know this is but one data point, but I've had one flu shot in my adult life (about 3 years ago), and I immediately got sick with the flu for the next 10 days. Yeech. Never again.

Also many people are suspicious of drug companies pushing their latest snowball for people to ingest and pay them money.



Another one? The flu jab cannot give you the flu. You are mistaking correlation with causation.

Where does the idea that the flu jab can give you flu come from? Is it the really mild flu like side effects that it can cause, or is it just the correlation causation fallacy?



The idea comes from the correlation of getting sick in proximity to getting a flu shot. Many people experience illness after getting a flu shot.

I ask this in all sincerity, since I do not know a great deal about how flu shots work. If the shots cannot give you flu, what causes the fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and flu-like symptoms after getting a flu shot? Is it because your body is battling the flu?
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beckerdo wrote:
The idea comes from the correlation of getting sick in proximity to getting a flu shot. Many people experience illness after getting a flu shot.

I ask this in all sincerity, since I do not know a great deal about how flu shots work. If the shots cannot give you flu, what causes the fever, muscle aches, sore throat, and flu-like symptoms after getting a flu shot? Is it because your body is battling the flu?


Here is a summary, again from the CDC.

http://www.cdc.gov/flu/about/qa/misconceptions.htm

Basically, the flu vaccine can take 3 forms: (i) inactivated (killed) viruses, (ii) viruses with the genetic information removed (ie just the outer coating) or (iii) parts of the virus's outer coating. As such they are not able to reproduce and cannot give you the disease. The vaccine works because the immune system produces antibodies which "attack" the coating of the virus, so the coating is the only part that needs to be introduced by the vaccine.

I think I was actually incorrect to say people believed this because of correlation / causation fallacy, it's probably more a case of confirmation bias and/or post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy. The millions of people who get flu jabs and suffer no illness don't remember it; when you get the jab and then get sick, one would tend to (incorrectly) associate the two.

Hope that helps and doesn't come across as patronising. You are of course free to make your own health choices, but hopefully it is helpful to have the facts to help you make decisions.


In case people can't access the link above, here is the key section.

the CDC wrote:
What about people who get a seasonal flu vaccine and still get sick with flu-like symptoms?
There are several reasons why someone might get flu-like symptoms even after they have been vaccinated against seasonal flu.

People may be exposed to one of the influenza viruses in the vaccine shortly before getting vaccinated or during the two-week period that it takes the body to gain protection after getting vaccinated. This exposure may result in a person becoming ill with flu before protection from the vaccine takes effect.

People may become ill from non-flu viruses that circulate during the flu season, which can also cause flu-like symptoms (such as rhinovirus). Flu vaccine will not protect people from respiratory illness that is not caused by flu viruses.

A person may be exposed to an influenza virus that is very different from the viruses included in the vaccine. For example, the seasonal flu vaccine will not protect against the new 2009 H1N1 virus because this virus is so different from seasonal H1N1 viruses that normally spread in humans and is very different from the H1N1 virus contained in the seasonal vaccine. There are many different influenza viruses. For more information, see Influenza (Flu) Viruses.

Unfortunately, some people can remain unprotected from flu despite getting the vaccine. This is more likely to occur among people that have weakened immune systems or the elderly. However, even among these people, a flu vaccine can still help prevent influenza complications. For more information about the effectiveness of the seasonal flu vaccine, see How Well Does the Seasonal Flu Vaccine Work?

Seasonal influenza vaccine provides the best protection available from seasonal flu—even when the vaccine does not exactly match circulating seasonal flu strains, and even when the person getting the vaccine has a weakened immune system. Vaccination can lessen illness severity and is particularly important for people at high risk for serious flu-related complications and close-contacts of high-risk people. Children under 6 months old are the pediatric group at highest risk of influenza complications, but they are too young to get a flu vaccine. The best way to protect young children is to make sure members of their household and their caregivers are vaccinated.

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In my opinion its quite simple:

Today, many people have forgotten or never experienced how dangerous infections can become. My grandparents grew up in a world where diseases like smallpox, tuberculosis or polio were an actual threat. Everybody knew that if you caugh one of these, you really were in trouble. But then, over the decades, medical standards improved greatly. Vaccination became a standard, hygiene improved, antibiotics cured diseases that had been deadly just a few years ago. And over the time, less and less people were in fear of these illnesses.

Nowadays, really dangerous infections seem to have vanished and seem to be a problem only for very old persons or for people living in third world countries. Instead, other medical problems have come to our attention which affect even children or young adults: asthma, allergies, psychological problems. For these problems science and medicine have not yet identified the real root cause so (naturally) people start to make wild guesses about what could be the reason for their health problems.

Now here comes vaccination: a shot were some mysterious substance is injected into your body for seemingly doubtful reasons. Why do I need to get this shot? Why does my little child need it? I've never seen anyone die from polio so why this? Maybe it's all a big conspiracy from the evil medical corporations. And where's conspiracy there's certainly harm. My arm itched after the injection! What if the substance did anything else to me? I slept bad the next few weeks. Surely it was because of this!

And so it goes: ignorance turns into worries, worries turn into fear and fear turns into hysteria. A friend of mine who is a M.D. usually says: these days, some people have become so obesessed with potential side effects that they totally forget the main benefit.
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gruescher wrote:
In my opinion its quite simple:


Completely agree with this. Thankfully, I have never seen anyone who has died from a preventable disease, but I can imagine how awful it would be if it were someone close to you.

I am not an medical professional, but I thought that diseases like measels cannot be treated easily once caught and so the vaccine is the only effective treatment.
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GazPAge wrote:
If you think the flu jab made you really sick, I can only tell you that you are wrong,

Fine. I am wrong. I hope you get just as sick as I did so that I can make fun of you on the internet.

Good luck.
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Flu shots in the past were pretty much a shot in the dark, hoping to protect against the flu that was expected to be prevalent that flu season.

H1N1 seems to be more targeted and might be useful.

Other vaccinations are an interesting question. I am glad that my kids all had chicken pox before the vaccine was in general use, because it seems now that there are (at least) a booster shot still needed. Who knows if it will protect today's kids into adulthood. And chicken pox is much worse as an adult.

Then there is the whole potential link with the mumps vaccine and autism. It's certainly not proven, but there are a troubling correlation. If it does prove to be true than we have a bunch of people (possibly including my daughter) that were harmed much more by the vaccine than the disease ever could have done. Glad I don't have any more kids to make the decision on that particular vaccine. Maybe by the time I have grandkids, they will have established a link or lack of link.

In general, I approve vaccinations, but they aren't completely risk free by any means.
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49xjohn wrote:
GazPAge wrote:
If you think the flu jab made you really sick, I can only tell you that you are wrong,

Fine. I am wrong. I hope you get just as sick as I did so that I can make fun of you on the internet.

Good luck.


I think you are missing my point. If you say you did get sick, I'm sure you did. I am also sure it was not funny.

This does not change the fact that your illness was not caused by the flu jab (barring allergic reaction).
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qzhdad wrote:
then there is the whole potential link with the mumps vaccine and autism. It's certainly not proven, but there are a troubling correlation. If it does prove to be true than we have a bunch of people (possibly including my daughter) that were harmed much more by the vaccine than the disease ever could have done. Glad I don't have any more kids to make the decision on that particular vaccine. Maybe by the time I have grandkids, they will have established a link or lack of link.


The autism thing has been debunked.

Mumps is thought of as a nuisance disease where you get sick and get better again. That's not why we vaccinate against it. The vaccine is primarily done to prevent the dangerous complications that can result from mumps infection. There was a small mumps outbreak locally and there is one university student who is now infertile as a result of his mumps orchitis.

I saw an elderly man the other day who as atrophic testicles for the same reason.

Mumps used to be a significant cause of deafness in children.

Mumps can cause birth defects if a pregnant woman gets sick with it.

The local outbreaks of mumps and measles that the 'developed' world has seen, shows how fragile the balance can be. Herd immunity isn't even a good argument any more with the numbers of people who travel to and from countries where these diseases are endemic
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qzhdad wrote:
Then there is the whole potential link with the mumps vaccine and autism. It's certainly not proven, but there are a troubling correlation. . . . Maybe by the time I have grandkids, they will have established a link or lack of link.


As I see it, they already have established a lack of a link. The study that kicked off the initial wave of concern looks shaky, and, since then, study after study after study shows no link. (For instance, this document gives what looks to me to be a fair summary of the situation.)

Quote:
In general, I approve vaccinations, but they aren't completely risk free by any means.


Here, we agree.
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