Nurses who refuse to vaccinate, harm patients

nurses-vaccinate-care

There’s an irresponsible antivaccination group called Nurses Against Mandatory Vaccines whose sole purpose is to oppose vaccinating nurses and other healthcare workers against vaccine preventable diseases. They claim that they are opposed to mandatory vaccination, yet if you look into their propaganda, they use all of the refuted tropes and lies found throughout the antivaccination movement.
These so-called nurses, whose profession is generally dedicated to protecting, maintaining and assisting people to live healthy lives, are so blinded by their antivaccine myths that they would rather risk harming patients and their co-workers rather than get a safe and effective vaccination. These nurses have arrogant and ignorant beliefs, no different than global warming deniers and creationists, that put at risk patients who are too young to be vaccinated. Immunocompromised patients who cannot be vaccinated. Certain cancer patients who are at risk to almost every disease. Instead of protecting life, they willingly choose to cause harm

I do not know why these “nurses” have such callous disregard for human life. It disgusts me. It nauseates me. These “nurses” are not nurses–they are vile, ignorant fools.

But there is a group that stands with patients and the honorable profession of nursing. A group that represents all that is wonderful and helpful about dedicated nurses. A group that thinks that patient care supersedes believing in ridiculous myths. Nurses Who Vaccinate. Check them out. Help them out. And give them your support in whatever way you can.

Why we vaccinate–preventing unvaccinated children from getting sick

love-immunize-protectThis is a new guest post by Karen Ernst, who is the parent-leader of Voices for Vaccines, a parent-led organization that supports and advocates for on-time vaccination and the reduction of vaccine-preventable disease. Karen is the mother of three boys and the wife of a military officer, living in Minnesota. 

Unvaccinated children do not deserve to get sick.

Of any statement made by anyone discussing immunization, that one seems like it should be the least provocative. Yet, for the umpteenth time this week, I’ve read on an antivaccine blog that pro-vaccine advocates claim vaccine hesitant parents don’t love their children or should have their children removed from their home.

Let’s take a moment for a reality check. Most parents do vaccinate their children. In fact, less than 1% of all school children in the USA are completely unvaccinated. While within this overwhelming majority there are bound to be a few jerks who will make callous statements about children and their parents, most of us want to protect all the children around us. Continue reading “Why we vaccinate–preventing unvaccinated children from getting sick”

Why we vaccinate–to protect those children who can’t be vaccinated

One of the most selfish and narcissistic tropes of the antivaccination cult is that “if your child is vaccinated why do you need to worry about mine.” Setting aside the fact that the vaccine denier can make that arrogant statement because most of the community is vaccinated so her children are protected by the herd effect, it ignores the fact that not every child is vaccinated.

queensland-health-minister-geoff-wilsonChildren who are under the age of 3-6 months either have not or just received the DTaP vaccine against whooping cough (Bordetella pertussis), so they are susceptible to adults, teenagers and other children who might be passing along the disease. Moreover, vaccines are not 100% effective (this does not mean that they are 0% effective, just that it’s not perfect), so some people may be vaccinated but still can catch the disease.

But there are also children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons, and they are vulnerable to infectious diseases, even the flu. In a recent story, the Brisbane Australia Courier Mail reported about a three year child, Lachlan, who, because of a liver transplant that may leave him immunosuppressed for the rest of his life and unable to get vaccinated, must be protected against those children that might carry diseases that could kill this child. To be clear, because vaccine deniers tend to have no knowledge of real science, this child cannot be vaccinated not because the vaccines would harm him, it’s because his immune system cannot develop the adaptive immune response, so the vaccines are useless.

His parents, Chris and Nelia Hay, must be extraordinarily vigilant in protecting young Lachlan. Another child, whose parents may listen to the reprehensible Meryl Dorey, may not be vaccinated and pass along the “harmless measles,” which could kill Lachlan. Every sniffle. Every rash. Anything seen on another child must make the Hays stiffen with fear.

And when Lachlan heads off to a school, his parents will probably have to choose a school with extraordinarily high vaccination rates. Not that I would actually recommend this, but Mississippi, which doesn’t allow any vaccine exemptions except medical ones, has a nearly 99% vaccination rate. Lachlan would be safe there from the ignorance of antivaccination lunatics.

Society and political entities evolved to protect the individual citizen (OK, it’s not perfect, but it’s better than the alternative). We vaccinate not only to protect the ones we love, but also to protect the ones we don’t know. Vaccines work, and we have scientific evidence supporting. Vaccines are safer than almost any medical intervention out there, and we have evidence supporting that. To not vaccinate is simply wrong.

 

Visit the Science-based Vaccine Search Engine.

Consequences of not vaccinating a child–Report 1

pox partyVaccine deniers love to say that many (and some say all) vaccine preventable diseases are not dangerous, so why even take a tiny risk of an adverse event with vaccines to prevent these innocuous, harmless diseases. The problem with that belief is that it is simply untrue.

The CDC reported last week about a previously healthy 15 year old girl in Ohio who died from a chickenpox (Varicella zoster virus), a disease that is generally prevented by the varicella vaccine. The adolescent girl was admitted to a hospital after three days of a rash consistent with chickenpox with the last day experiencing fever and shortness of breath. The young girls was started on antibiotics and antifungals, to treat any concurrent infections, but she died three weeks later. The girl was current (or close to current) on her other vaccinations, MMR, DTaP, and Hib, but lived in an area that with low uptake of varicella vaccinations. Because deaths from chickenpox are so rare (about 100 people die of chickenpox every year in the USA), but not unknown, the Ohio Department of Health undertook a thorough investigation and concluded that the girl died from chickenpox, and there were no other comorbidities, including leukemia (which might have suppressed her immune system).

The complications from chickenpox occur mostly in susceptible groups such as infants, pregnant women, and immunocompromised individuals. Some of the more serious complications are:

  • dehydration
  • pneumonia
  • bleeding problems
  • infection or inflammation of the brain (encephalitis, cerebellar ataxia)
  • bacterial infections of the skin and soft tissues in children including Group A streptococcal infections
  • blood stream infections (sepsis)
  • toxic shock syndrome
  • bone infections
  • joint infections

It was very difficult to read the article. Most of the young girl’s organs failed, and she was in respiratory distress when she died. I cannot imagine being a parent watching what happened over three weeks while she was in the hospital. I can only imagine that the parents are beating themselves up over not having her vaccinated.

For those parents who are engaging in Pox Parties, where parents deliberately infect their children with flu, chickenpox and other vaccine-preventable diseases, understand that you might be putting your child at risk of dying. Please don’t do it.

Vaccines do save lives. 

Use the Science-based Vaccine Search Engine.

Key citations:

Anti-vaccine lunatic proud to spread infection to unsuspecting children

That is a screen shot from a Facebook posting on July 14, 2012 where a mother describes how she took her child, infected with chickenpox (Varicella zoster), to a baseball game. And she bragged how she probably infected others (probably most were vaccinated, which indicates he level of understanding of immunizations). She was so proud of attempting to infect others with her son’s chickenpox that she had to tell everyone about it. The stupidity of her actions were beyond comprehension by me. Continue reading “Anti-vaccine lunatic proud to spread infection to unsuspecting children”

Parents put immunocompromised child at risk by not vaccinating sibling

Chickenpox, or Varicella zoster, is a common childhood disease that can result in fairly serious complications such as encephalitis, pneumonia, sepsis, hemorrhagic varicella, and death. Individuals at especially high risk from complications from varicella are immunocompromised, usually from some sort of immunodeficiency or immunosuppression (usually pharmaceutical treatments for cancers or autoimmune diseases). For immunocompromised individuals, it is important that any individuals around them should be vaccinated against common childhood diseases, whether chickenpox or other diseases (mumps, rubella, etc.), because the chances of transmitting these diseases is extremely high and the risk of complications are serious.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that a 3 year old Minnesota girl, who was receiving immunosuppressive therapy for juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, was admitted to a hospital after 2 days of a high fever of 102.7°F (39.3°C) and extensive rash, including in her mouth and throat. Neither she nor her younger sibling received the first dose of varicella vaccine (recommended at 12-15 months) because their parents refused the vaccinations as a result of personal beliefs. The child eventually recovered as a result of treatment with intravenous acyclovir (which has more serious potential side effects than the imagined ones for the vaccine). Continue reading “Parents put immunocompromised child at risk by not vaccinating sibling”

The best reason to detest the anti-vaccine movement

There are many reasons to loathe the anti-vaccine lunatics. Their decisions are based on pseudoscience and uninformed opinions. They listen to uneducated individuals instead of researchers who spend their lifetimes trying to understand the nuances of vaccines, the immune system and infectious diseases. They look for nonexistent conspiracies to such a point that they sound like a schizophrenic undergoing a psychotic break. They pretend to be interested in their children, and you almost want to believe them, but their conclusions are based on so little evidence, you begin to think that it’s all about the hype rather than the children.

Continue reading “The best reason to detest the anti-vaccine movement”

US measles cases quadrupled in 2011

The New York Times has reported that cases of measles in the US has quadrupled from 2010 to 2011. Though it was large increase, it is still rare with only 222 cases throughout the United States spread across 17 outbreaks.  However, since the disease is so contagious, an outbreak can develop and grow quite quickly.

The disease is much more frequent in Europe, the New York Times reported, and many of the outbreaks were traced to foreign visitors or Americans returning from trips, typically Europe.  The virus then spreads to children who have not received vaccinations against the highly contagious disease.

As we have discussed, measles can be a dangerous disease.  One-third of all U.S. measles cases required hospitalization.  Although most children who contract measles survive the disease, the prognosis includes severe complications including death from panencephalitis. Also infected children, even if they have no serious complications, can infect someone who is immune-compromised.  In that case, the consequences could be deadly.

Please, vaccinate your children.  

via U.S. measles cases quadrupled in 2011 | Vaccine News Daily.