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Every time I see an ad that states, “No shots. No school,” or “No shots. No school. No kidding,” I become incredibly confused. The fact is that this is not true, and never has been. Why would this dishonest information be so visible to parents?

I am not writing this letter to recommend whether parents vaccinate their children or not, with all the mandated and suggested vaccines available. I do, however, want to let people know that they have a choice, because many parents still are not aware there is one.

Georgia and South Carolina have medical and religious exemptions from vaccinating children. Parents should educate themselves regarding the pros and cons of the present vaccine schedule, then decide what they believe is best for the best health of their children.

Maurine Meleck

North Augusta, S.C.

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corgimom
36696
Points
corgimom 08/17/14 - 02:56 am
12
1
People get vaccinations for

People get vaccinations for themselves and their children not just for themselves, but as part of a realization that we all have a responsibility towards others, as to not to spread diseases that can make people very sick or kill them.

If somebody doesn't want their child vaccinated, then please, keep them home so that they don't infect me or my family!

Why anybody would take foolish chances on their child getting polio, measles, mumps, chicken pox, diphtheria, pertussis, tetanus, hepatitis, etc is just beyond me.

Dixieman
16580
Points
Dixieman 08/17/14 - 05:06 am
12
0
Corgimom and I agree, for once

Your unvaccinated kids are a menace to everyone they come in contact with, not just themselves. Get them properly cared for or keep them home. The scientific evidence is in and there are NO harmful side effects!!

KSL
140232
Points
KSL 08/17/14 - 05:17 am
8
3
Good reason to turn away

Good reason to turn away illegals at the border. Why punish immigrants who come here legally and reward those who don't?

Bodhisattva
6835
Points
Bodhisattva 08/17/14 - 06:24 am
12
1
Yes, it's so comforting to

Yes, it's so comforting to know that a handful of people, through their lack of belief in science, or their belief in superstition, quackery, or the rantings of bad Hollywood actors can endanger the rest of us in the entire nation by running the risk of bringing back a plethora of deadly diseases that had all but been eradicated, as well as outbreaks of meningitis and others that can kill or maim millions. We thank you so very freaking much. Leave your kid in the car for 3 minutes when it's 80 degrees outside and you're liable to go to jail for child endangerment or some other crime, but people are allowed to get away with this, that not only endangers their children but all others they come in contact with, as well as the rest of us. It blows my mind.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 08/17/14 - 07:54 am
3
4
Absurdity Alert

Corgimom posted:

If somebody doesn't want their child vaccinated, then please, keep them home so that they don't infect me or my family!

If you really believe that the vaccines actually do what they claim, then you have to believe also that no vaccinated person is at risk from an unvaccinated person.

cphickie
40
Points
cphickie 08/17/14 - 08:07 am
11
0
Maurine Meleck likes to pretend she's confused

As a pediatrician who has seen vaccine rates drop precipitously in my Tucson, AZ practice area (with a subsequent whooping cough outbreak last year), I encounter anti-vaccine propagandists like Meleck online all the time. They feign a phony "confusion" quite often in the hopes of conning/scaring well-meaning parents into not vaccinating their children. Trust me, Ms. Meleck knows very well the school vaccine exemption laws for all 50 states, and it is her dream that vaccines be outlawed and eliminated. To see what would happen if we all stopped vaccinating as Meleck not-so-secretly desires, please see: http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vac-gen/whatifstop.htm . Ms. Meleck and her fellow spreaders of vaccine misinformation still cling to the clearly debunked belief that vaccines cause autism. The overwhelming research showing vaccines are extremely safe, effective and important puts her in same category as people who still think the earth is flat. Unless your child has a medical reason s/he cannot receive vaccines (such as having an organ transplant or being severely immunocompromised), there is no logical reason to refuse vaccines. --Chris Hickie, MD, PhD

cphickie
40
Points
cphickie 08/17/14 - 08:27 am
10
0
Absurdity alert post is itself very absurd

Little Lamb posts:

If you really believe that the vaccines actually do what they claim, then you have to believe also that no vaccinated person is at risk from an unvaccinated person.

This is a common anti-vaccine trope that ignores some key points. First, it ignores the herd immunity that comes from having high (typically >95%) vaccination rates in schools that is critical for preventing spread of vaccine preventable diseases in the community (FYI, herd immunity was important for the smallpox vaccine being able to eradicate smallpox, one of the greatest health accomplishments ever). In places with increasing elective non-vaccination rates, such as California, which currently has a pertussis (whooping cough) epidemic, 3 infants too young to be vaccinated have died from pertussis in 2014. In the 2010 California pertussis outbreak, 10 infants died. They died because there were enough unvaccinated children to maintain the spread of pertussis in communities. Herd immunity is also critical for the second point--which is that some older children medically cannot receive vaccines (such as those with organ transplants or those who've had chemotherapy for cancer). Again, these children rely on vaccine-induced immunity being high in their classmates at school to protect them from infection. Finally, even in well vaccinated communities, not vaccinating your child still puts them at much higher risk for contracting diseases that maim or kill, such as pertussis, measles and meningitis. For instance, studies have shown that unvaccinated children in well-vaccinated communities are 9-23 times more likely to contract pertussis than vaccinated children. Why would you take that chance for your child??? Parents, please don't fall for the con job that anti-vaccine lobbyists are trying to put on you. --Chris Hickie, MD, PhD

gcap
290
Points
gcap 08/17/14 - 08:41 am
8
0
Before vaccines

Life expectancy was about 40 years. Enough said.

Bodhisattva
6835
Points
Bodhisattva 08/17/14 - 08:42 am
9
1
Little Lamb: You obviously

Little Lamb: You obviously have zero medical training. Look up titers and herd immunity.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 08/17/14 - 08:48 am
2
6
Unvaccinated

I did not see in Dr. Hickie's post anything that refuted my assertion. In his post he talked about unvaccinated people becoming sick. Corgimom, Dixieman, and Bodhisattva were trying to convince us that unvaccinated people are menaces toward vaccinated people. If that is true, then vaccines indeed are not effective.

MattCarey
28
Points
MattCarey 08/17/14 - 10:06 am
6
1
Ms. Meleck calls vaccines a mandate when it suits her

Ms. Meleck frequently posts comments on vaccine related stories on the internet. When it suits her, she calls vaccines a "mandate". Scaring parents that they are losing choice.

It took me a minute to find this comment:

"Stop mandating vaccines and give up personal choice."

http://host.madison.com/lifestyles/health_med_fit/dr-zorba-paster-link-b...

As the parent of a multiply disabled autistic child, I've been looking at vaccines intently for many years. Ms. Meleck is part of a team keeping the failed idea that vaccines are why we have autism. She's wrong. Believe me, I can go into details, but the simple answer is she's wrong. And scaring people about vaccines is irresponsible.

Now she takes a "just sayin' " approach. Well, she's correct. Vaccines are a choice. A choice between protection against some very nasty diseases or take a very small risk (as one does with any medical procedure). There is, of course, the third choice: let everyone else be responsible and hope that they protect you from an outbreak.

Ms. Meleck is part of the team that JB Handley (founder of the blog that represents the orgs Ms. Meleck is associated with) wrote about when he said

With less than a half-dozen full-time activists, annual budgets of six figures or less, and umpteen thousand courageous, undaunted, and selfless volunteer parents, our community, held together with duct tape and bailing wire, is in the early to middle stages of bringing the U.S. vaccine program to its knees.

http://www.ageofautism.com/2010/03/tinderbox-us-vaccine-fears-up-700-in-...

I guess this letter is more duct tape and bailing wire.

MattCarey
28
Points
MattCarey 08/17/14 - 10:11 am
8
1
Yes, for some people vaccines don't work

Some fraction (Depends on the vaccine) of the population does not respond. They don't get immunity from the vaccine. It's typically small (say 10%). And we don't know in advance who those people are.

The one way we will know for sure is when they are exposed. Then they learn that even though they acted responsibly, they still got sick.

I find it odd how the "little lambs" of the world present themselves as being so well informed about vaccines, but don't understand that simple point. Even though this point comes up over and over whenever vaccine related stories are published.

MattCarey
28
Points
MattCarey 08/17/14 - 10:24 am
8
1
How about a single story from Ms. Meleck?

Where would parents reading the Augusta Chronical get the idea that vaccines are mandated?

From Ms. Meleck, of course. Here's one of her comments

"It's simply that the only ones you read and that are reported in the media are the studies that have been carried out by the very same persons that mandate vaccines, or have a lot to lose if the present vaccine program isn't followed."

http://chronicle.augusta.com/news/health/2012-11-03/study-finds-possible...

When it suits her narrative, she scares parents with "vaccines are a mandate by people who have injured your children". When she wants to appear more reasonable, she writes a "I'm confused. Why do people think vaccines are mandated?"

Vaccines are a choice. For the vast majority of us, it's the clearest choice we will ever get. For some people, like those on immune suppressing chemotherapy, it isn't a choice. And those people rely upon the rest of us for protection.

cphickie
40
Points
cphickie 08/17/14 - 10:47 am
7
0
I did refute your assertion, Little Lamb

I refuted you. You need to read up and understand herd immunity. Also, Matt Carey's post above answers your question as well. You are also exhibiting another common anti-vaccine trope--the "perfect world" argument. You argue that since vaccines have no value because they are not absolutely 100% perfect. It's a rather ridiculous argument which you take to levels of absurdity. By your false logic, you should not wear seat belts, either--since they aren't perfect either.

WalterBradfordCannon
1490
Points
WalterBradfordCannon 08/17/14 - 11:35 am
6
0
Little Lamb, the level of

Little Lamb, the level of titer in the blood is dependent on the proportion of people who may be infectious. At standard immunization levels, as long as VERY FEW people are infectious, the odd infection here or there will not lead to "an event". When the number of people getting vaccinated decreases, more people are at risk. This can lead to a high enough exposure rate THAT EVEN VACCINATED CHILDREN BECOME AT RISK.

People act as though vaccinations are some sort of conspiracy. In few areas of medicine are the costs and benefits so clearly delineated, and is so much care given to the recommended standard schedule of vaccines.

At many places, you will be denied access if you are not vaccinated. For example, any university in the University System of Georgia (including UGa, GaTech, and GRU) have a mandatory requirement for vaccination schedules. Emory has essentially the same policy. So does every major medical center. Do you want your child to be able to go to college? Make sure they are up to date on their vaccines. There are no religious exceptions that allow you to decrease the safety of other people.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 08/17/14 - 11:57 am
1
4
Imperfect World

Dr. Hickie posted (speaking to Little Lamb):

You are also exhibiting another common anti-vaccine trope--the "perfect world" argument. You argue that since vaccines have no value because they are not absolutely 100% perfect.

Again, I did not make the "perfect world" argument. And I was not arguing against vaccines or vaccinations. I was pointing out the fallacy of Corgimom's, Dixieman's, and Bodhisattva's arguments that unvaccinated people are threats to vaccinated people.

Now, of course, we live in an imperfect world. No one expects vaccinations to be 100% effective. But from a public health standpoint, people who receive vaccinations themselves, and people who have their children vaccinated should not fear the tiny minority who do not receive vaccinations.

This tiny minority should not be vilified. They should not be coerced. They should not be bullied.

And Ms. Meleck is correct in saying that schools should not impart false information to parents about vaccination laws. All people should be informed about medical and religious exemptions that are available when applicable.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 08/17/14 - 11:56 am
1
3
Safety

WalterBradfordCannon posted:

There are no religious exceptions that allow you to decrease the safety of other people.

Is this a fact or an opinion?

Ms. Meleck says there are religious exemptions that allow unvaccinated children to attend public school. WalterBradfordCannon appears to say otherwise. Who is correct?

msitua
132
Points
msitua 08/17/14 - 01:15 pm
1
2
Re" rules at GRU

GRU does not deny patient access to its facilities if one is not vaccinated nor do any other of the universities in the Ga. system. If you want to be a student at any of them, you cannot be denied access
based on your vaccine exemptions

burninater
9799
Points
burninater 08/17/14 - 01:42 pm
4
0
"This tiny minority should

"This tiny minority should not be vilified. They should not be coerced. They should not be bullied."
------
No, they shouldn't.

They also shouldn't be allowed in a setting as conducive to contagious disease transmission as a public school unless they take the responsibility for self-vaccination.

amdachel
72
Points
amdachel 08/17/14 - 01:46 pm
0
5
Here's what parents should

Here's what parents should know about vaccines:

Neither the doctor nor the vaccine maker has any liability for vaccine damage -- they've been protected by federal law. Instead victims have to appeal to a federal program where they're up against government lawyers defending the government's vaccine schedule, using government money. Few people ever receive compensation. Those that have report it took between seven and fourteen years.

The current vaccine schedule has more than tripled since 1983 without a single study on the cumulative effect, http://www.vaxchoicevt.com/2013/03/26/cdc-mandatory-vaccine-schedule-198...

http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/parents/downloads/parent-ver-sch-0-6yrs.pdf

Each of the 20 studies used to debunk any link between vaccines and autism has been shown to have ties to the vaccine industry,

http://www.cbsnews.com/videos/how-independent-are-vaccine-defenders/

There are over 150 studies by well-credentialed experts showing serious risks from the current vaccination schedule,

http://www.greatergoodmovie.org/news-views/doctors-and-scientists-with-c...

Many thousands of parents attest to the fact that their child was healthy and normally developing until they received certain routine vaccines that caused them to regress into autism. In 2011, researchers announced that the federal government had compensated 83 children for vaccine injuries that included autism,

http://video.foxnews.com/v/4687300/law-school-links-autism-vaccines-in-r...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXp4hM3eQuI

In 2008, it was announced that medical experts at Health and Human Services had conceded the vaccine injury case of Hannah Poling, the young Georgia girl who regressed into autism immediately following routine vaccinations,

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/vaccine-case-an-exception-or-a-precedent/

Parents need to educate themselves. See the National Vaccine Information Center http://www.nvic.org/.

Anne Dachel, Media editor: Age of Autism

Bizkit
34338
Points
Bizkit 08/17/14 - 01:49 pm
3
0
We are naturally "vaccinated"

We are naturally "vaccinated" each time we get sick-our bodies immune system reacts with B cell making antibodies and cellular T cells fighting a pathogen-now you get sick from the pathogen because it takes a couple of weeks for the response but after the initial response you have memory B and T cells which will prevent you from ever getting sick from that pathogen again-because the memory cells are ready to fight it off immediately. A "vaccine" is just a pathogen killed, neutralized, or less virulent so you don't get sick but build up the memory cells to fight off the pathogen. Your body does it every time you get sick so a vaccine gives you the benefit of immunity without getting sick. It is the most natural medicine there is-because your body does it all-the vaccine just induces a natural body response.

Bizkit
34338
Points
Bizkit 08/17/14 - 01:57 pm
4
0
I know that parents have been

I know that parents have been prosecuted for not providing medical care for a child, but I have never heard of parents prosecuted when their child dies from a preventable disease because of a lack of vaccination. I personally think it is criminal, but then again a child dying from a preventable disease seems punishment enough-especially when I gather the naive parents are trying to help their child. I know some pediatricians refuse to honor the religious exemption and ask the parent to find another doctor.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 08/17/14 - 02:12 pm
0
6
Coulda, Woulda, Shoulda

Burninator posted about unvaccinated children:

They also shouldn't be allowed in a . . . public school unless they take the responsibility for self-vaccination.

But can't you see that the only ones who can actually catch the disease are the unvaccinated ones, that tiny minority who claimed the religious exemption? We've had this religious exemption for a hundred years now, and our schools are not rife with smallpox, polio, mumps, measles, chickenpox, etc. The religious exemption from vaccination has not caused public health risk.

msitua
132
Points
msitua 08/17/14 - 02:13 pm
2
2
A vaccine

does not induce a natural body response. It is an artificial response and that's why there are so many booster shots to all of them-months later, years later. The vaccine is artificial and so is the response. The actual disease itself is the only thing that induces a natural response and then you cannot get the measles again, for example.

burninater
9799
Points
burninater 08/17/14 - 02:41 pm
4
0
"But can't you see that the

"But can't you see that the only ones who can actually catch the disease are the unvaccinated ones, that tiny minority who claimed the religious exemption?"
-------
This clarifies the common misunderstanding of this issue.

Vaccinations do not provide one hundred percent immunity -- the statement "the only ones who can actually catch the disease are the unvaccinated ones" is false.

This was the MD's point above about herd immunity: vaccines are not 100% effective, but by vaccinating an entire community, the chances that a contagious disease can establish a continuous presence in that community become negligible.

Unvaccinated children DO put vaccinated children at risk. They also undo decades of disease eradication work, as they provide a new, readily susceptible host community that otherwise could be eliminated with widespread vaccinations.

The claim that unvaccinated children or adults pose no threat to vaccinated children or adults is simply false. It presumes a 100% vaccine immunity that does not exist in reality.

jimmymac
45719
Points
jimmymac 08/17/14 - 03:05 pm
1
0
LITTLE LAMB
Unpublished

One of the few times I think you're way off base. I think your argument is with the posters rather than what they're posting.

Sciencemom
16
Points
Sciencemom 08/17/14 - 04:48 pm
2
3
Nobody seems to notice that

Nobody seems to notice that the conversation has become one of whether someone is "vaccinated"--as in COMPLETELY vaccinated, with every vaccine the pharmaceutical companies want to sell in this country--as opposed to "unvaccinated"--as in having decided that some vaccines, like the flu shot, are not worth bothering with.

One has to wonder about both the understanding of the science and the motivations of people who insist that all people should be vaccinated with all available vaccines. A thorough examination of the science tells us that some vaccines, like Gardasil and Cervarix, have neither proven safety record nor proven efficacy. Others, like the flu shots and DTaP/TDap, do not necessarily prevent the spread of the diseases they are meant to control.

Under those circumstances, it is not ethical to require anyone to risk adverse reactions for a shot that may not even work.

Also, the honesty of the industries selling these products MUST be taken into account. To fail to do so is, well, unscientific, to say the least.

Ms. Meleck is correct in saying that everyone has the right to weigh the risks for their own bodies, and for their own children, and decide accordingly.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 08/17/14 - 06:54 pm
0
4
Sigh

Burninater chose to ignore my 12:57 post up above, where I plainly stated that I realize vaccines are not 100% effective. Nothing in the physical world is 100%. There is always a little error here or there.

The point about public health is acceptable effectiveness, and acceptable failure rates, and acceptable risk, and limits to coercive intrusion into peoples’ lives.

I stated plainly that the tiny minority who claim the medical exemption or the religious exemption to the vaccination policies pose no threat (perhaps I should have said “allow no meaningful threat”) to society at large, as demonstrated by a hundred years of observation.

I am a person who desires tolerance of ideas out of fashion in the mainstream. Bodhisattva is a person who desires coercion of those who disagree with him.

Bizkit
34338
Points
Bizkit 08/17/14 - 06:59 pm
2
0
Yes msitua a normal response.

Yes msitua a normal response. Let's say you have twins-now one you vaccinate against a deadly pandemic strain of influenza (the deadly outbreaks that happen so often and kill millions like the 1918 Spanish flu) and the other you don't. Now the kid vaccinated is injected with a deadly virus made non-lethal (by a number of mechanisms) so the body responds with a primary and secondary immune response-producing memory cells that provide immunity. Now both kids are exposed to deadly strain of influenza statistically studies indicate the one not vaccinated will likely die and the other vaccinated will likely live. The pandemic deadly strains occur irregularly but we are due and with today's transportation it could be billions rather the 1918 pandemic that infected 500 million and killed about 75-100 million of them. The kid that dies body's immune system responds but too little to late to prevent death from a pandemic strain. Children and elderly are most susceptible to death from influenza. I got the flu in the 80's and one time was enough-and I've gotten vaccinated every year since.

Little Lamb
47950
Points
Little Lamb 08/17/14 - 07:15 pm
0
3
Flu Vaccine

Interesting, Bizkit. I got the flu vaccine shot three or four times in the late 80s and early 90s, then I stopped. I guess I can be the "control" to compare with your test subject.

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