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Thread: Avoiding vaccines

  1. #1
    Senior Member singin_intherain's Avatar
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    Avoiding vaccines

    Quote Originally Posted by Sue Pendleton
    Now, if you haven't gotten one yet go get your flu shot!
    Sue
    Funny you should say that, because I logged on to ask about avoiding a flu shot. I am petrified of the bird flu, not only of what it mght do to me and the world, but of having to get vaccinated for it. I think vaccines are bad for me, make me worse like being sick might. I've never gotten a flu shot since the swine flu scare of the late 70s maybe. My MMR booster and a tetanus shot both preceded (and I suspect precipitated) particularly bad times.

    What is the conventional wisdom about vaccines for people with MS and other such diseases? Any way we could avoid the shot and hope that enough people around us get vaccinated that there'll be nobody spreading illness to us?

    I wash my hands a lot an have a sadly small sphere of travel, haven't been really sick in years.

    And is a vaccinated person ever a bit contagious from the vaccine?

    And I hope Sue that you feel better!

  2. #2
    Senior Member lynnifer's Avatar
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    They always have a warning at the ones I go to (I never get a shot, the person I live with does) ... if you suffer any kind of neurological deficit, they encourge you NOT to get one. At least that's the warning I've read the past two years.
    Roses are red. Tacos are enjoyable. Don't blame immigrants, because you're unemployable.

    T-11 Flaccid Paraplegic due to TM July 1985 @ age 12

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Hi Singin and Lynn,

    Ok, the low down as I understand flu shots. First, current flu shots are from dead viruses. Some people experience slight flu like symptoms after the yearly flu shot but it is not the flu. It's your body creating immunity against the viruses used in the vaccine. Why a medical association would suggest that people at higher risk for pnemonia due to reduced lung capacity such as SCI and MS or lowered immune system such as those with HIV not get the flu vaccine is beyond me. Is there a website or can you scan and copy in a post the reasoning they use, Lynn? It is suggested that if you are actively sick at the time of the vaccine clinics that you should wait until you feel better before getting the shot.

    As far as the risks of the swine flu vaccine of the late 1970's the site below explains a lot of the hype and truth about its relation to vaccinated and unvaccinated people getting Giulliam Barre' Syndrome (GBS) after the shot. I remember the morning less than a week after I was vaccinated for swine flu. My brother had come out of remission with his leukemia and we lived in one of the counties and were both in 4-H where some of the kids died of the flu. My Dad opened the morning paper to a huge headline of SWINE FLU SHOTS PARALYZE! I didn't see the paper till later. Dad just turned pale and took the paper to go read in the bathroom and then I found it outside in a garbage can. The version of the vaccine I got was live. I'm not sure all the swine flu vaccine was. I do know the 6 kids in my county who died were all healthy farm kids while we were in the more "citified" parts of 4-H like photography, sewing and my brother had show rabbits till about the time he became sick again and he sold them.
    http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/Organiza.../swineflu.html

    You are not contagious if you have had a dead virus or bacteria vaccine. You can be if it is a live vaccine. I went to spend the 3 days the state health department said I might be contagious with a friend's family. The USA just recently began a totally dead vaccine set of polio serum because with the old live vaccine about 7 people a year, normally the kids, got polio from the vaccine. In places that gave a two dead and then 2 live formula a grandmother who was never vaccinated came down with polio from changing her grand baby's diaper. This was about 10 years back in the USA. So I think we are currently a totally dead country with polio now. In places that use live polio vaccine the WHO suggests changing diapers for 2 weeks after each live dose with rubber gloves.

    As far as the bird flu.. Normally the first vaccines for anything new are live vaccines. Companies work very hard as does the government to make these dead vaccines as soon as possible. For one thing if you become ill from vaccines in the USA you are covered now by a federal program that cares for victims of required vaccines. It is not a cheap program. According to the doc I spoke to the other day he said that as long as you are not traveling to countries that have had human bird flu victims a regular flu shot and the normal pnuemonia shot should keep most people healthy until any vaccine like Tamiflu is well tested in different populations. Do make sure you cook poultry thoroughly if for no other reason than salmonella that we know is associated with it. The same holds for eggs. Over medium, scrambled and hard boiled are all safe for salmonella and should be until or if we hear of cases in humans here.

    As far as your problems with the MMR and tetanus vaccines? If you did not have allergy like reaction such as hives, swelling, rash, difficulty breathing or high fever than I would discuss future tetanus boosters with your neurologist. I assume you are past needing MMRs. I am allergic to the tetanus vaccine and some day when I have no problems like paralysis to worry about I'll get tested to see if I am allergic to the toxin or the toxoid.

    I forget where I read it but the biggest vector of the flu are school children. If you have them or are round them I'd opt in for a flu shot.

    I'll do a bit of research and see what the MS Society says about flu vaccines.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  4. #4
    Senior Member singin_intherain's Avatar
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    Thanks Sue! I'll keep checking to see if you have an word from the NMSS. I had to get an MMR booster in grad school, and life generally declined around that time. A couple years later, after a tetanus shot (after a fall and sttches) I got really sick (not sure if from the shot or being in the ER), and my walking really declined within weeks

    I have wonered if it is the vaccine itself or the medium they mix it in that might be a problem. they use mercury in those I think, and I've had high mercury levels in tests on my hair.

  5. #5
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by singin_intherain
    Thanks Sue! I'll keep checking to see if you have an word from the NMSS. I had to get an MMR booster in grad school, and life generally declined around that time. A couple years later, after a tetanus shot (after a fall and sttches) I got really sick (not sure if from the shot or being in the ER), and my walking really declined within weeks

    I have wonered if it is the vaccine itself or the medium they mix it in that might be a problem. they use mercury in those I think, and I've had high mercury levels in tests on my hair.
    Straight from the NMSS web site:



    Flu Vaccine
    October 2005—As in previous years, a flu shot is recommended as a safe and effective vaccination for people with MS. You can read about the Society's preventive care recommendations on the web site. The flu shot can safely be taken by individuals who are on a disease-modifying medication (Avonex®, Betaseron®, Copaxone®, or Rebif®).

    In 2003, the FDA approved a flu vaccine nasal spray-FluMist Intranasal®—"for healthy children and adolescents, ages 5-17, and healthy adults, ages 18-49." According to Dr. Aaron Miller, the Society's Chief Medical Officer, FluMist is not recommended for use by people with MS, and should specifically be avoided by any person with MS who is on an immunosuppressive medication such as mitoxantrone (Novantrone®), cyclophosphamide (Cytoxan®), azathioprine (Imuran®), or methotrexate). FluMist is a live, attenuated vaccine for which we have no safety data in MS. We do know, however, that live-virus vaccines are more likely than inactivated-virus vaccines to cause an increase in disease activity in people with MS, particularly those whose systems are immunosuppressed. Furthermore, the interactions between live vaccines and the disease-modifying medications (interferon beta-1a [Avonex® and Rebif®], interferon beta-1b [Betaseron®], and glatiramer acetate [Copaxone®]) are not known.

    In summary, therefore, people with MS should consult with their physician about obtaining a flu shot as soon as possible. The FluMist nasal spray vaccine is not recommended for people with MS.



    So, other than if you are having an exacerabation and then I would ask your neurologist, a dead virus flu shot is the way to go for MSers along with others at risk for complications from the flu.

    I also found this site through Google and it's from the National Acadamies of Science Institute of Medicine. The booklets, books and just chapters can be read online, downloaded if you have a PDF reader (free download) or in hard or soft cover for a price. Lynn this covers the influenza and neurological problems but seems to just address MS as far as I can read. I'm still on a borrowed computer that doesn't have PDF and at dial up speed I'm not downloading it. This is a question you might want to check on the TMA site. If IIRC you're a member? If not yell and I'll cheeck.
    www.iom.edu/report.asp?id=4715

    Singin? There is also a book on Thirmerosal (the mercury based preservative) and it's neurological effects especially in relation to autism. Since the preventive care part of the NMSS website suggests the MMR and tetanus/diptheria boosters I can only assume that they are not determined to worsen symptoms of MS. The quote below is from that book and after this:

    "Thimerosal is used in some vaccines and other pharmaceutical products to prevent bacterial contamination. Vaccines against measles, mumps, and rubella; varicella; and polio have never contained the preservative. However, until recently, several other vaccines on the recommended childhood immunization schedule in the United States did. They are now manufactured without thimerosal, but an unknown, probably small number of vaccine doses for hepatitis B; diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis; and haemophilus influenzae type B, a form of bacterial meningitis, are still on clinic shelves. These supplies should not be used when alternatives are available, said the committee that wrote the report."

    There is a short blurb:

    "The preservative is still used in a few vaccines, including influenza vaccine, which is given annually during the viral flu season to adults and some children. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that protecting pregnant women and high-risk children during flu season take precedence over any possible risk from thimerosal exposure."

    There is much more that is very even handed in its reporting since no reviewers were allowed who dealt with vaccine research or received funds from vaccine manufacturers in any part of their research or medical work previous to their inclusion on these panels.

    If you are showing high levels of mercury I doubt it is from vaccines. Have you had your water and areas from different parts of your lawn tested (the dirt I mean)? Do you eat a lot of fish? I read recently that the very fish best for our hearts and high in Omega 3 fatty acids are also the ones most likely to have higher levels of heavy metals because they are fished for by size mainly and so they have lived through a lot of polluted areas that we are just getting to cleaning up and the most difficult to do much about. Does anyone else in your household have high levels of mercury in hair or blood samples? If so I would speak to a public health doctor to get help in finding the source.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  6. #6
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    i wont' get any of the shots period. Even if there is a bird flu outbreak unless it gets as heavy as the black plague back in the day.

    PS. I haven't been sick since the able bodied days. Hell I haven't even had diaria as a para. I invision it must suck

  7. #7
    Interesting. I have been consistenly waived from being vaccinated due to my compromised immune system. I've had a low white blood cell count since my injury. The last series of vaccines I received was the booster at around age 10 or 11. A doctors letter got me out of needing one for admission to undergrad. and graduate schools. I've never gotten a flu shot. The times I've tried to volunteer at rehab. centers I was told I'd need the hep. vaccine so I declined. I did come down with the chickenpox at age 22 which nearly killed me but by the time that vaccine came out I was already an adult and it was only recommended for children.

  8. #8
    Super Moderator Sue Pendleton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seneca
    Interesting. I have been consistenly waived from being vaccinated due to my compromised immune system. I've had a low white blood cell count since my injury. The last series of vaccines I received was the booster at around age 10 or 11. A doctors letter got me out of needing one for admission to undergrad. and graduate schools. I've never gotten a flu shot. The times I've tried to volunteer at rehab. centers I was told I'd need the hep. vaccine so I declined. I did come down with the chickenpox at age 22 which nearly killed me but by the time that vaccine came out I was already an adult and it was only recommended for children.
    Sen, Hepatitis A is so prevalent that it is considered part of universal precautions for anyone in the hospital, nursing home areas.

    I also missed the chicken pox even though I had 3 siblings who all had it. I was entering the army when the vaccine came out but there was so much concern about the original vaccine making people susceptible to shingles later in life few docs gave it to most kids and many schools didn't require it. The army does use the new one now. I guess they worked the shingles angle out it.

    I'd just keep an eye on the CDC web site for flu out breaks in your area. If it hits it might be a good idea to discuss it with your doc.
    Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, "I will try again tomorrow."

    Disclaimer: Answers, suggestions, and/or comments do not constitute medical advice expressed or implied and are based solely on my experiences as a SCI patient. Please consult your attending physician for medical advise and treatment. In the event of a medical emergency please call 911.

  9. #9
    I got ADEM from a flu shot a few years back and damn near died from it. After five days in a coma I couldn't move a thing except for my eyes. After seven months in rehab, I got most of my upper body back, except for half of my left hand and my right eye. My legs move a tiny bit when I try to kick them. Nothing has changed since.

    The saving grace was that it happened while I was in the military so it is service connected and the VA is taking care of my related needs. After spending six months dodging bullets in Afghanistan I thought I was free and clear but it was a few droplets of fluid that did me in.

    Needless to say I will probably not get one of those ever again.


    Edit: first post, hi everybody.
    Last edited by rmpage; 01-23-2006 at 03:00 PM.

  10. #10
    Senior Member singin_intherain's Avatar
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    Hi RM

    Welcome! Man, that's sucky luck, but I'm awfully glad you missed the bullets. I think I've seen some other veterans on the site; if you're interested in connecting with any you're more likely to find them in another forum, as well as warm wonderful people all around. Do you mind if I ask what ADEM is, and if they know what about the flu shot caused it?

    Best of luck.

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