CategoryVaccine Safety

Rotavirus vaccine

Rotavirus vaccine

The vaccine for Rotavirus was discontinued in the 1990s. An undeniable link between the vaccine and a troublesome condition called Intussusception in which a portion of the bowel twists or slides into another portion of the bowel. In 2006, a new vaccine has been granted FDA approval and will be used regularly this fall.

Rotavirus is an intestinal virus that causes diarrhea in young children. Rotavirus is more prevalent in children under the age of six, as proper hand washing is the key to prevention. Usually the disease is mild and lasts only a few days, no more than a week.

In more severe cases (1 out of every 50), the diarrhea can lead to dehydration requiring hospitalization. In third world countries, the disease leads to around 500,000 deaths every year.

Rotavirus spreads easily in daycare and school settings. It can lead to large numbers of children being forced to stay home sick. This can be costly to daycares and parents.

The Rotavirus vaccine does not have confirmed doses at this point. As soon as the vaccine is readily available in a couple of months, the correct dosages and procedures will be made available to health care officials. There are no known side effects, but a small risk 0.001% of those vaccinated may develop Intussusception.

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Polio vaccination

Polio vaccination

Caused by an intestinal virus, Polio can be transferred through saliva or feces.

Currently, Polio does not exist in much of the world, only third world countries still report cases of the disease.

The majority of those who contract polio never show signs at all. A few become feverish, nauseous, and may throw up. One to two percent of those infected find their body aches for a week or so and then clears up. Less than one out of every 1,000 cases become partially paralyzed for a short time. Of those who experience the temporary paralysis, muscle pain and weakness often returns a few decades later.

After the polio vaccine became public, the number of cases fell dramatically and eventually stopped completely. The last reported case of polio happened in 1993 causing the World Health Organization to consider listing the disease as having completely been eradicated from the planet.

There were two types of polio vaccine: Oral and Inactivated. In 1997, the FDA stopped sales of the oral vaccine as it was linked to a few cases of paralytic polio. In the year 2000, many doctors felt the risks of the polio vaccine outweighed the benefits.

Polio vaccination 1

Many doctors do not recommend the vaccine to their patients at all, but if you will be traveling to another country, you may want to check with your doctor about receiving this vaccination.

Currently, the inactivated vaccine is given in three doses two months apart (two, four, and six months for an infant). Boosters that are given every four to six years follow this series.

Common side effects include pain and redness at the injection site. In a rare number of people, allergic reactions can occur. If you have the shot, watch for dizziness, rapid heart rate, and breathing difficulties. If you experience any of those symptoms, contact a medical professional immediately.

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Pneumococci vaccine

Pneumococci vaccine

Pneumococci are a group of bacteria that multiply in the nose and throat. Typically, the disease causes sinus and middle ear infections, but in some cases it can be far more dangerous.

Dangerous Pneumococcal infections (called Invasive Pneumococcal) are more likely to affect infants, toddlers, and the elderly, though there are other risk factors. You are at an even higher risk for Pneumococcal if you are an African-American, Native American, Eskimo, diabetic, or have an immune deficiency. Every year, the bacterial infection progresses into meningitis, bacteremia, or pneumonia.

Every year, 1,400 cases of meningitis develop from Pneumococcal. Meningitis is a bacterial infection that attacks the lining of the brain and spinal cord. 17,000 yearly cases of bacteremia (a serious blood infection) follow a Pneumococcal diagnosis.

71,000 cases of pneumonia (an infection of the lungs) occur from Pneumococcal occur each year. More than five million ear infections are reported as well. These statistics only count the cases diagnosed and reported in the United States.

Pneumococci vaccine 1

There is a vaccine available to prevent against this troublesome disease. It is suggested that every man and woman aged sixty-five and older receive the vaccine for Pneumococcal. Those in the specific high-risk category should also be vaccinated.

The 23-valent PS vaccine is given once with boosters every five years. The other vaccinations are given as a series of four shots spaced two months apart. The vaccine proves to be between 57 and 75% effective depending on the age group and health factors.

Side effects include soreness and swelling at the injection site, low-grade fever, and irritability. In rare cases (1 out of 10,000) allergic reactions to the ingredients may occur. It is essential to tell your health professional of any allergies you may have.

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The military & vaccinations

The military & vaccinations

Members of the military must receive shots beyond what the typical man, woman, and child receive. Beyond, the usual childhood vaccines and adult boosters, military receive vaccines for uncommon illnesses.

The smallpox vaccine includes a series of fifteen needle pricks. Following the injections, the injection site is not to be touched (anyone touching the injection site can become infected). After a week, the doctor inspects the site to make sure there is a clear sign of reaction on the skin.

If signs show the reaction, then the doctor knows the body has created the necessary antibodies from the injection. Common side effects are swollen lymph glands and a moderate fever. 1 of every 10,000 people vaccine develops swelling in the brain or cardiac problems that can lead to death.

Anthrax is a deadly bacteria infection that causes muscle pain, difficulty breathing, rapid heart rate, blood infections, and meningitis. The bacteria can attach to foods, become airborne, or enter through a cut. Currently, the vaccine is 92.5% effective, but it carries many risks.

The vaccine is given in a series of six shots over a span of eighteen months, and then yearly boosters are given. Mild side effects include swelling, painful bumps, and itching at the injection site that lasts one or two weeks. Others have reported migraine headaches, muscle pain, joint pain, nausea, chills, and fever.

The military & vaccinations 1

The Typhoid vaccine prevents against a form of salmonella that is often found in water and foods in third-world countries. Typhoid causes severe stomach pain, fever, headache, and rash. If not treated, the disease can rupture a person’s intestines.

The vaccination is available in both oral and injection. The oral pills must be taken regularly for four days, while the vaccination consists of one quick shot.

Yellow Fever is a virus caused by an infected mosquito. Typically, the disease is similar to the flu. However, in certain cases, it can lead to hepatitis and hemorrhaging. The Yellow Fever vaccination includes one shot and then boosters every ten years.

Finally, the Meningococcal vaccine prevents a deadly strain of meningitis that can also cause severe blood infections. In 19% of those infected with Meningococcal, blindness has occurred. The shot is injected into the muscle. No booster is needed.

Typical reactions include muscle soreness and fever. In one out of 10,000, numbness of the extremities occurs.

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Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) vaccine

Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) vaccine

Recent suggestions by anti-vaccine groups state that there is a link between autism and the vaccination for Measles, Mumps, and Rubella (MMR). Studies by many health organizations have found no solid evidence supporting this statement; so do not panic if you hear that the shot is dangerous. It’s best to look at the statistics.

Measles is a viral disease spread through saliva (sneezing or coughing.) The illness starts with a fever, coughing, runny nose, and pink eye. From there a rash, croup, diarrhea, ear infections, and pneumonia can all occur.

In one out of every 1,000 cases, the virus leads to brain damage. Close to .003% of those infected with the measles dies every year. Measles related deaths are more closely attached to infants and children with underlying health conditions.

Mumps is a viral disease spread by mucus droplets that exit a body though coughing or sneezing. Mumps commonly cause swollen glands and fever, but other symptoms such as enlarged testicles (male), swollen ovaries (women), enlarged pancreas, and deafness can occur. Since the vaccine became available in 1967, the number of people diagnosed with mumps has dropped from 200,000 to less than 600.

Measles, Mumps, & Rubella (MMR) vaccine 1

The virus known as Rubella is transmitted through saliva emitted through a sneeze or cough. Common symptoms include low-grade fever, a rash, and swollen lymph nodes. In a smaller number of patients, symptoms can include joint pain and encephalitis (swelling of the brain lining.) Rubella can be deadly to an unborn fetus.

MMR is one vaccine that offers protection against all three diseases. The MMR vaccine is given in two doses. The first dose is given at the child’s one-year check-up. The follow-up dose is given between the fourth and sixth birthday. Immunity lasts a lifetime following the second dose.

Eighty percent of all children immunized against MMR have no side effects. Approximately five percent develop a mid-range fever (103º or less). In very rare cases, .001% of those immunized suffers an allergic reaction and may have a seizure. If this happens, seek care from a professional. No child has died following the MMR vaccination.

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Meningitis vaccination

Meningitis vaccination

Meningitis is an infection of the brain and spinal cord coverings that is caused by bacteria known as Neisseria meningitides. Symptoms include fever, sore throat, neck stiffness, headache, and muscle and joint pain.

The symptoms can rapidly progress to include seizures, circulation troubles, and neurological troubles.

If circulation decreases enough, gangrene can set in and amputation can become necessary.

Currently, there are 2,600 cases of meningitis every year and most of those cases are in children under the age of five. Typically, college settings and poor areas (third world countries) pose the most danger as the disease spreads rapidly among unvaccinated children, teens, and young adults.

While doctors do not recommend every one receive a vaccination, they do urge the vaccine for all military recruits, college students, and people traveling to Africa, laboratory personnel, and those in areas where meningitis is spreading. The vaccine can cause complications in people who are allergic to latex, so talk to your doctor first.

Meningitis vaccination 1

The Meningococcal vaccine is given intramuscularly between the ages of eleven and fifty-five. Physicians advise against giving children younger than eleven the vaccine to prevent resistance to the vaccination in the future. If it is necessary to vaccinate a younger child against meningitis, do not go for a yearly booster, instead spread it out three or four years between the vaccinations.

There are a few side effects that can occur. Forty percent of those immunized experience pain and swelling at the injection site. A smaller number experience a low-grade fever. In extremely rare cases (1/10,000) numbness to the extremities occurs.) This is the sign of an allergic response, and you should seek immediate care.

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Influenza (flu) vaccine

Influenza (flu) vaccine

Influenza (flu) is a nasty illness that can create havoc with a person’s routine and health. The flu is easily spread from person to person through sneezing and coughing. You will certainly know if you have the flu. Common symptoms include exhaustion, fever, coughing, muscle aches, runny nose, and chills. It can be hard to even move from the bed to the bathroom if you get the flu.

Elderly adults and young children are at risk of complications including pneumonia, croup, and myocarditis (inflamed heart tissue.) Typically, the flu causes more than 148,000 hospitalizations and 36,000 deaths every year.

The vaccine is 90% effective in healthy adults and 70% effective for the elderly and children. Those with ailments or conditions will find the vaccination is between 50 and 70% effective.

There are pros and cons to the vaccine for Influenza. First, the pharmaceutical companies have to make educated guesses into which flu strain will hit that upcoming winter.

Influenza (flu) vaccine 1

If different strains are spread, the flu shot then becomes ineffective. Another issue that occurs commonly is the availability of the vaccine. High-risk individuals are always offered the vaccine first before it is given to the remainder of the population.

In many states, the vaccine is never made available to the rest of the public because the vaccines are used on the high-risk individuals first and by the time additional vaccines are available, the flu season is nearing completion (December through March).

Despite the risk, it is essential that children between the ages of six months and two years become vaccinated every year. Elderly adults and those with illnesses (diabetes, asthma, kidney disorder, and cystic fibrosis) should get a flu vaccine every year.

It can help save their lives. These age groups have a harder time fighting off the disease naturally if they acquire it. All it takes is one quick shot followed by a twenty-minute waiting period to ensure there is no allergic reaction to the vaccination’s ingredients.

The most common complaint by those who have received the vaccination is tenderness at the site of the injection. Less than 1% of those receiving the vaccination become feverish and feel ill, this happens more often in children.

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Vaccinations & children

Vaccinations & children

The Center for Disease Control (CDC) suggests all children from time of birth are vaccinated for many potentially fatal diseases. Their guidelines start from the time of birth throughout, up to a child’s eighteenth birthday. Many school districts will not accept children into the school unless they have a complete vaccination record.

Parents opting to not vaccinate their children are usually forced to provide documents citing their religious or ethic reasons for not vaccinating a child, or they must home-school their child.

Before a newborn leaves the hospital with his or her parents, a first dose of the Hepatitis B¹ vaccine is given. Follow-up care with a pediatrician is highly recommended to ensure an infant receives all necessary vaccinations.

During an infant’s two-month check-up, another dose of the Hepatitis B¹ vaccine is given. Vaccinations for Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis², Haemophilus Influenzae Type B³, Inactivated Poliovirus, and Pneumococcal? Are also given many of these vaccinations are given in combined vaccinations reducing the number of shots that an infant must receive.

Vaccinations & children 1

At four months of age, an infant receives another dose of the Hepatitis B¹, Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis², Haemophilus Influenzae Type B³, Inactivated Poliovirus, and Pneumococcal? Vaccines.

At six months of age, a booster for Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis², Haemophilus Influenzae Type B³, and Pneumococcal? Is given.

Between the ages of six and eighteen months, boosters for Hepatitis B¹, Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis², Haemophilus Influenzae Type B³, Inactivated Poliovirus, and Pneumococcal? Are given the first vaccines for MMR (Measles, Mumps, and Rubella), Influenza? Varicella (Chickenpox), and Hepatitis A are given.

The next round of booster shots come between the ages of four to six years. Shots for Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis², and Inactivated Poliovirus complete most children’s vaccination records.

Boosters for Diphtheria/Tetanus/Pertussis² are received at a child’s sixteenth birthday.

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Vaccines & immune disorders

Vaccines & immune disorders

Vaccinating your child can be a difficult decision for the average parent. If your child has an underlying condition such as allergies, diabetes, cancer, or an immune disorder, vaccinations can be deadly. It is essential to know which, if any, versions of a vaccination are safe.

If you are a part to a child with allergies, many vaccinations contain allergy-prone ingredients. Milk, eggs, and gelatin are only a small sampling of the ingredients. If your child is allergic to common antibiotics (streptomycin, neomycin, or polymyxin B), avoid the polio and chickenpox vaccines.

Children who are allergic to eggs will need to skip vaccines for Yellow Fever, Influenza, and some versions of MMR. Check with your doctor as some MMR vaccines contain a miniscule amount of egg and are considered safe. Allergies to gelatin may be aggravated by vaccinations for MMR, chickenpox, and Yellow Fever.

Finally, a number of vaccines contain a small dose of mercury, though the FDA is making efforts to ban this practice. Check with your doctor if mercury is an issue to your family, as there are alternatives available.

The vaccine for DTP is safe for all underlying conditions usually. It is suggested that if either parent or a sibling has had an allergic reaction to a DTP vaccination, the shot be avoided.

Vaccines & immune disorders 1

The vaccination for Hib is not recommended for anyone who is ill for any reason. The effectiveness of this vaccine in sick children is not high, including those with diabetes. If your child has an underlying condition, it may be a good idea to skip this shot.

Vaccines for Hepatitis A and B appear to be safe for everyone. It is suggested that you talk with your child’s doctor first to choose a suitable version of the vaccine.

The Influenza vaccine is considered safe for most everyone. If your child has a cold or fever, it is important to reschedule the appointment. Also, those with Guillian-Barre Syndrome should check with their doctor, as the HAIV version can cause complications.

MMR is not recommended for those with gelatin allergies. It is also essential that those children who receive blood transfusions do not get this vaccination.

The vaccination for meningitis is not recommended for anyone under the age of eleven. It is also not recommended to seriously ill people or anyone allergic to latex.

The vaccine for Pneumococcal is relatively safe for everyone. Although, doctors recommend discussing the different versions with them, especially if your child has cancer.

The vaccine for chickenpox should not be given on the same day as the vaccine for MMR. Children with certain types of cancer should not receive this vaccine.

Currently, there are many rumors regarding the ill effects of all vaccines on children with Type 1 Diabetes. There is no proof supporting these rumors, however. Regardless, it may be an excellent idea to raise your concerns with your doctor before your diabetic child receives his or her vaccinations.

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Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for children

Hepatitis vaccines

Did you know that doctors are now recommending that girls as young as the age of ten be given the HPV vaccine? It is outrageous, yet it is happening frequently. To take a good look at this issue, one needs to understand what HPV is and why doctors feel children need the vaccine.

HPV (Human Papillomavirus) is a contagious virus that is linked to at least half of the recorded cases of cervical cancer. HPV is spread through sexual contact and there are no warning signs. In at least 90% of all people who contact HPV, the virus goes away without any issue. In others, it can lead to cervical cancer. For this reason, the HPV vaccine is highly recommended to any sexually active woman.

Statistics show that children as young as ten are becoming sexually active. For this reason, a simple check-up is bringing up a serious question for parents of those from the age of 10 to 16: Is my child sexually active? Does she need the vaccine?

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine for children 1

Most doctors are suggesting that a child receives the vaccine by the time she reaches her twelfth birthday. The vaccine is potentially going to be listed on the list of vaccinations that are required by state governments before a child can start her school year.

To any sensible adult, a new problem appears. By telling a child that their peers are sexually active and that we feel they may become so in the very near future so they must have this vaccine, are we then giving a child permission to become sexually active? It is a topic that is weighing heavily on many parents’ minds.

Perhaps this is the time for parents to stand up and speak their minds.

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