Immunizations in newborns...and autoimmune disorders

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
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   Posted 2/6/2008 5:14 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone.
My daughter's baby girl is now 2 months old which is when the first of the immunizations injections are due.Here in British Columbia they are given 4 on their first visit at 2 months. Back in Ontario  during my public health nursing days, the immunizations were law. If a child wasn't up to date on their needles they could not begin school. Here in B.C. it is up to the parents to decide. I am really torn on this one. On the one hand I believe in protecting babies from pertussis, measles etc....but on the other hand...I am worried about the implications in a child that has one parent with juvenile diabetes mellitus, the other parent with asthma and possible CD,a grandmother(myself)who has CD, arthritis, psoriasis, and probable MS.
What do you think....because immunizations trigger the immune system into action, what are the possibilities of triggering an over reaction which would lead to possible diseases the child may already be predisposed to? I don't know if I'm making any sense. As a public health nurse back in Ontario, I never really questioned this whole issue...but I remember some parents being adamant about NOT giving their child these injections. Now that I re-think the whole autoimmune thing, I wonder if its better to leave well enough alone. I guess, the same argument goes for flu shots.
I really need some advice and opinions on this one. What does everyone think?
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

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Date Joined Dec 2007
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   Posted 2/6/2008 5:22 PM (GMT -6)   
There has just been an outbreak of whooping cough in school age children in fairfax county. If an unvaxinated preschooler were to be exposed to this disease it could kill him/her.
To vacinate or not to vacinate?

Most of these diseases are contagious way before the person looks sick.

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Date Joined Apr 2005
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   Posted 2/6/2008 5:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Alot of people argue that they don't need to vaccinate because those diseases aren't around anymore, but if you think about it, they aren't around BECAUSE almost everybody is vaccinated. If we were all to stop the vaccinations, they would all be back.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2007
Total Posts : 298
   Posted 2/6/2008 5:42 PM (GMT -6)   
IMO not immunizing would be wrong. There is no credible evidence that immunization leads to autoimmune disorders, and the link to autism has been firmly disproved. So in my mind, the REAL risk of death from whooping cough, pertussis, measles, etc. far outweighs an unproven benefit. If these are separate injections, not combination shots, it may be possible to space them out so the immune system is not challenged from so many directions at once. But that would mean more doctor visits and jabs.

There is also a suspicion that our modern cleanliness (the "hygeine hypothesis") results in a lack of challenge to the immune system. It says that because we are so clean and don't "exercise" our immune system when we are young, the immune system does not develop properly--ultimately leading to allergies and autoimmune disorders later in life. Basically the opposite idea!

So far I don't think there is enough evidence to not vaccinate, or not keep a tidy house :)


Post Edited (Illini) : 2/6/2008 3:45:36 PM (GMT-7)

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Date Joined Mar 2007
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   Posted 2/6/2008 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for the response. My view has been to immunize rather than take the chance but with all the "autoimmune theories out there" I just thought I'd ask.....I haven't been nursing in over 15 years so I'm out of the recent "loop" . I know that as a grandmother, it isn't my decision to make but I can sure voice an opinion.
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 161
   Posted 2/20/2008 1:35 AM (GMT -6)   
We chose not to vaccinate our child. Her aunt and grandma had bad reactions to vaccines (aunt developed asthma immediately). I feel my health deteriorated after a "required" (it wasn't, they just make it seem like it is) vaccine for college. A cascade of symptoms, culminating in CD diagnosis. I have researched all the diseases and risks and decided at the very minimum to wait and possibly selectively vaccinate later if that seems like the thing to do.
36 year old wife, and mother of a fabulous toddler. Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease July '07. Meds: Asacol 1600 mg, Low Dose Naltrexone 4.5 mg, Sertraline (Zoloft) 50 mg.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
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   Posted 2/20/2008 2:25 AM (GMT -6)   
I might be biased here because I'm a med student, but actually I feel very strongly about vaccinating our kids. I think it is somewhat irresponsible not to, given that it could put the lives of others at risk. If it weren't for vaccinations, there is no way that our steadily increasing life expectancy would be occurring the way it has. I believe in evidence-based medicine, and there is just no real proven research that vaccinations cause long-term side effects other than direly-needed antibodies to a variety of killer infectious diseases.

When I was 2, I contracted Haemophilus influenzae type b, which led to life-threatening epiglottitis. The incidence of this disease has decreased to record-low levels in the general population due to the advent of an effective and safe vaccine in the 1990's.

Anyway, I won't continue to ramble on...but we have to think of overall public health here.
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 990
   Posted 2/20/2008 3:06 AM (GMT -6)   
We chose to go on a shot by shot basis, so my kids are only partially vaccinated. In my opinion they've gotten carried away with what they mandate now. For instance, my kids were around age 5 and 7 when the chicken pox vaccine became widely available. A few very short years following that it became mandated for school (thankfully we have religious/philosophical exemption). I happened to be on an airplane of pediatricians headed to a conference when the shot first became available. I asked a large group what they thought about that shot in particular. They were split 50/50 on whether they were going to recommend it to their patients. Why? Because they all dreaded having to "track down all those people who will be in college when the vaccine wears off in about 10 years to get a booster. It means a lifetime of booster shots." No lifetime immunity like when one gets the real chicken pox. My own pediatrician was opposed to the shot at the time, but has since succumbed to pressure to use it for the sake of working parents.

Side note: My nephew lives in the UK and is 3 years old. They came to visit us last summer and I happened to see his list of vaccinations which his mother carries with her when they travel. She had typed them all in 12 font, 1.5 spaced. The list went down one entire page and onto about 1/2 of the second page. 3 years old...

There are some good books out there you can read if you care to research this further. The problem is that there seems to be no information that is *truly* unbiased. It either comes from the medical community or those opposed to vaccinating, so either way, there's a slant. That said, there is data that supports that many of the childhood diseases we vaccinate for were waning before their vaccines came along. There is also plenty of data that supports these diseases would not all be back if the vaccines were discontinued.

As killerzoey said, I believe the best way to go is to research each disease and vaccine, weigh the risks, and then if you wish, selectively vaccinate on your own schedule. There are many, many doctors who advocate waiting, at the very least, until age two when the myelin (a sort of protective sheath around neurons of the central nervous system) is fully formed, thus protecting the child from certain reactions.
Mother to 15 year old boy diagnosed in June, 2007.
Currently taking Asacol, omega 3s, digestive enzymes, probiotics, iron, vit. C, calcium w/D3 and a good multivitamin.
Started The Maker's Diet in early September.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6044
   Posted 2/20/2008 3:18 AM (GMT -6)   
hey marie, i would go for the vacines. especially where you live. with vancouvers asian immigrant population, coming in with all those diseases that have been eradicated here through vacines, it just leaves the child open . i know i may be "insensitive" in my comments, but it is fact that asian and african immigrants are not screened anymore like all immigrants used to be. every year there are incidents of disease being brought back from travel back home. there was recently a measels outbreak here in wa from a chinese vacationioner.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 4219
   Posted 2/20/2008 10:09 AM (GMT -6)   
Just curious since I do not have kids. What opportunities will an unvaccinated child have? Can they go to school? Daycare? Play groups? Residential College? I even had to prove my vaccinations to work in a correctional facility. Even if it turned out to be health wise safer to limit vaccines, will your child still be able to live a normal life or will it be a constant hurdle precluding them from activities?
26 Year old married female.  Diagnosed w/ CD 3 years ago, IBS for over 10 years before that, which was probably the CD.  Currently on Pentasa 4 pills/4x day, hysociamine prn, nexium, and ortho evra.  Good times!!!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
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   Posted 2/20/2008 10:22 AM (GMT -6)   
If a vaccination is a minor assault on the immune system, causing an immune response, isn't the disease itself a major assault on the immune system, causing a major immune response? As I understand vaccines they simulate infection by the disease agent at a level that prompts the body to create antibodies that will then be present to fight off an actual infection. But our bodies come into contact with infectious agents every day and manufacture antibodies for them . . . like every time your child gets a cold or flu. I have a hard time making the direct link to Crohns there . . . even though Crohns is probably an overrreactionby the immune system to some sort of (or numerous) bacterial exposures, with a genetic setup. Seems like if yuo have that setup, you will likely have the response to a vaccine or to the infectious agent itself.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 2/20/2008 12:30 PM (GMT -6)   


There are no compulsory vaccination laws. All are voluntary, and you are held responsible for the adverse results upon you or your children. While all immunization laws have exceptions you can use, the wording in each state differs, and you must know the exact wording for your state to make the proper request of waiver.

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
*~* *~*
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 2/21/2008 12:36 AM (GMT -6)   
Thanks everyone....lots to think about. I think my daughter has decided to go it one injection at a time, rather than having the typical (in B.C.) 4 initial injections. I agree that our asian population is large here in Victoria, thus lots of asian visitors over the course of the high tourist seasons.
As a PHN I totally agree with proctecting our children. Here in Canada, iti is the law in Ontario, but not here in British Columbia. So it is up to public health nurses and doctors to educate and encourage new parents to see to baby's immunizations. With my own daughter who is 18 , it is best if someone ELSE advises her as she tends to the exact opposite of what I would like her to do....typical teenager. She is a very good little mom and I am confidant that the PHN and family doctor will convince her .
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20552
   Posted 2/21/2008 1:37 AM (GMT -6)   
I think it is and should be a personal choice when it comes to vaccinations but I know where I live in Alberta, when your kids start kindergarten you have to bring their immunization records to proove they've been vaccinated because there are some pretty deadly diseases that are still around (likely because of the many who don't vaccinate their kids) and the debate will likely always be ongoing but think of all the diseases that used to kill small villages/towns of people back in the day when vaccines did not yet exsit compared to nowadays.

Nothing's perfect and it wouldn't surprise me if by doing one thing to save your life you may compromise something eles like your immune system.


My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Post Edited (pb4) : 2/20/2008 11:40:30 PM (GMT-7)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 900
   Posted 2/23/2008 6:14 AM (GMT -6) is the same in a PHN my job was to ensure everyone was up to date with their immunizations. People who refused to vaccinate their children HAD to home school them. ...which happned very rarely. Back when I was vaccinating was one shot only for diphteria, tetanus, polio and pertussis at 2 months old..again at 4 months....6 months and then one 2 shots at 12 months for dpt and another for measles...then the child was good until he/she was 5 years old...then 15 etc every ten years.
but here in b.c. the first series is 4 shots....DPTP, meningitis, pneumoccol, and hepatitis........but none of it is compulsory. I can't understand why there is such a difference in mandate accross the country...why is it so important in one province and not in another...I guess it boils down to the all mighty dollar and what the provincial govt deems important enough to spend it on. ?'I think for the general population, everyone should be up to date.... and for the over active autoimmune systems out there, I still think the benefits outweigh the risks.
Good discussions....I'm glad I brought up this topic...thank you everyone for your replies.
50 yr.old retired RN,Crohn's D for last35 yrs..severe esophagitis, migraines,strictures,urethral stricture,depression,probable MS.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 2/23/2008 11:05 AM (GMT -6)   
As a Pediatric RN,I strongly agree with vaccinations. The "old"diseases" aren't being seen much,because of t he vaccinations.However,we are seeing some of the "whooping cough",we had two kids admitted last year and they were very sick. I totally agree with Sarita,about the responsibility part,kids need these shots,my one little patient almost died last year.

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 235
   Posted 2/23/2008 11:13 AM (GMT -6)   
The small chance of something going wrong from a vaccination, be it an autoimmune disorder or a reaction to the vaccine, are grossly outweighed by the benefits. You only have to see *one* child sick from one of these diseases to realize that.
Just trying to be a "Regular Member".
Entocort 9 mg/day, Pentasa 4 gm/day, started Humira 1/22/08, started 100 mg of Azasan (Imuran) 2/20/08. I'm convinced that Prednisone is the root of all evil, and primarily responsible for global warming.

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