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FortKnox's Journal: Need a little support... 14

Journal by FortKnox
OK, my son is 2 months old today, which means on Monday he gets 4 vaccines.

One of them being the DPT vaccine (although, I think they may be using the DaPT vaccine?).

I heard stuff about it before, so did a google search on "DPT SIDS". I don't like those results. Can someone find me something that says that it isn't that bad? Or that most of the studies are elaborations or something?

Having a child is a whole new sense of paranoia. I'm not the type the gets scared about stuff, even if my life is threatened, but I'm completely freaking out right now...
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Need a little support...

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  • But I think you have to have special access rights to read it, so here is the abstract for the article that I think my Dad based his decision NOT to innoculate my little sister on.

    Big secret... I am no html guru, so this could be really really messy.

    Diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis immunization and sudden infant death: results of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Cooperative Epidemiological Study of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome risk factors
    Hoffman, H J; Hunter, J C; Damus, K; Pakter, J; Peterson, D R; van Belle, G; Hasselmeyer, E G

    Abstract
    The possible association between diphtheria-pertussis-tetanus (DTP) immunization and the subsequent occurrence of sudden infant death has been examined using data from the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD) Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS) Cooperative Epidemiological Study, a large multicenter, population-based, case-control study. In a preliminary report based on the first 400 eligible singleton SIDS victims and 800 matched living control infants, no temporal association between SIDS and DTP immunization was found. From the final sample of 800 eligible singleton SIDS victims, 95% (n = 757) were defined as definitely or probably having died of SIDS on the basis of pathology data. Data from these 757 case infants and their corresponding control infants (n = 1,514) are presented in this report. Two control infants, both living, were randomly selected for each case infant: an age-matched control A and an age-, race-, and low birth weight-matched control B. Overall, case infants were less likely to have received any DTP immunization. Only 39.8% of case infants had received at least one DTP immunization compared to 55.0% of control A infants and 53.2% of control B infants. Based on maternal interviews and postnatal medical records, 1.8% of case infants (five infants) immunized with DTP died within the first 24 hours following immunization. Similarly, 5.0% of control A infants (n = 21) and 2.2% of control B infants (n = 9) had been immunized within 24 hours of the maternal interview, which represents the comparable time frame for the age-matched control infants. These results confirm the earlier preliminary findings from the NICHD SIDS Cooperative Epidemiological Study and suggest that DTP immunization is not a significant factor in the occurrence of SIDS. [Journal Article; In English; United States]

    CAS Registry Numbers: Diphtheria Toxoid; Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine; Drug Combinations; Pertussis Vaccine; Tetanus Toxoid

    Citation Subset Indicators: Core clinical journal; Index Medicus

    MeSH Terms: Age Factors; Birth Weight; Blacks; Data Collection, methods (MT); Diphtheria Toxoid, * adverse effects (AE); Diphtheria-Tetanus-Pertussis Vaccine; Drug Combinations, adverse effects (AE); Human; Immunization; Infant; Interviews; Medical Records; Pertussis Vaccine, * adverse effects (AE); Risk; Sudden Infant Death, classification (CL), * etiology (ET), pathology (PA); Tetanus Toxoid, * adverse effects (AE); Time Factors; United States

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    Pediatrics
    Volume 79, Issue 4, April 1987, Pages 598-611
    ISSN: 0031-4005

  • If there was a real problem wouldn't they have found something by now?
  • Part 1...DPT: Diptheria, Pertussis, Tetanus.
    These are three NASTY things that make mincemeat of little bodies.

    It's also scary because the shot has side effects. The bottom few points here [drgreene.com] give the overall stats for problems with DPT (and that you should be getting DTaP because of the different Pertussis component, which is belived to have caused most of the problems in the past.

    Part 2...SIDS
    They just don't know. It's scary. SIDS is one of those things where just about any study can be reduced to 'correlation is not causality' Most of the SIDS links talk about the Pertussis part of the DPT vaccine being the link. Again, DTaP uses acellular pertussis, which significantly reduced both the number and severity of reactions. This is a Good Thing.

    Don't Panic. Remember that a Google search for something like this is gonna bring up the horror stories, just like searching for a specific car brings up all the lemons (even if it's a good car)

    Wait 'till he learns to drive...

    • These are three NASTY things that make mincemeat of little bodies.

      I would tend to disagree about how nasty these things really are. The idea of a vaccination is a relatively new concept. We co-exited with DTP before and we can do it again. It can't be that nasty in the long run. Besides, a newborn child is going to have the best chance of surviving a DTP outbreak. When children are born, nature kicks in for these things and gives them a hyper immune system.

      It's also scary because the shot has side effects.

      That reminded me of a book that a friend recommended to me (I don't remember the name, I'll post when I get home). The author showed that there is no strong evidence that a vaccination will prevent an outbreak or illness. In fact, the stats are so bad that most of the time, you can avoid getting the vaccination. While my parents didn't choose this route for me, I don't believe in vaccinations for my children after reading and researching some of the facts.

      I guess I would talk to the doctor before making any decision. I good doctor will listen to your concerns and not push for the drugs. As for the newborn, I wouldn't worry too much. Nature has already equipped them with the tools to survive.
      • Actually, I think the world as a whole existed with DTP, but those exposed usually, err, died.

        Diphtheria necrotizes tissue it comes in contact with. About 5% of adult cases are deadly, based on a recent russian outbreak.

        Pertussis, the whooping cough, has a decently low mortality rate now - 2-5% of infected infants.

        Tetanus, of course, just plain sucks. Lockjaw, muscle stiffness, including that one important one in your chest. Incontenence. It sucks. At least get that one. Unlike the others, it rears its ugly head from time to time.

        And IIRC, most of a newborns immune system comes from its mother. (okay, technically, all of it.) Typically, through close contact with the mother and/or breastmilk does the child gain immunity to new dangers exposed in its environment.

        I am not a doctor (i'd like to be, but dont have the time, money, or stomach for it.) Don't take my word for it. But before you go off making rash decisions about your future offspring on more timely matters, i would suggest raising your concerns to doctors (MD's and DO's..).. and most importantly, ask -why-. Get a couple opinions. Or more. One book never holds all the answers (oh, the arguments that could start.)

  • Okay, first of all, don't worry, relax, HAHB (have a home brew. Sorry. rec.crafts.brewing thing)

    I'd go do the search, but my DNS is hosed, and only stuff with cached DNS entries can be viewed right now. I would guess that the studies are one of a few things:

    First, barely significant statistically. IOW, 1% of population gets this, but 1.5% of the population with the vaccine gets it.

    Second, poor control group. How did they find a control group for these studies? Going before DPT is hard, as the incidence of saying some kid had SIDS waxes and wanes. Tough call.

    Here's the biggie: have you ever seen a kid die of any of those three diseases? Probably not. I haven't either. But I have seen pictures in medical books and heard stories from doctors. It's some seriously nasty stuff. If your child is going to die (sorry for being blunt here, but you can imagine that I'm not much for nicety these days) SIDS is a better way to go than D, P, or T.

    Really the important one is the statistical significance. It's not. Remember that the reason we aren't immunized against smallpox anymore is that that vaccine has REAL complications. The medical community has no wish for your child to die. If the insurance companies (who aren't part of the medical community) found there were problems, they wouldn't pay. Really, it's nothing to worry about.

    There's also a vaccine for... Can't remember. Chicken pox?? That someone thought would cause a kid to be autistic or something. It's total bunk. A Google search may or may not turn up something. The original 'studies' were largely anecdotal. Within the past two months, a proper study was completed that showed that there was essentially zero corollation.

    Let me leave you with this: you are always going to be freaking about something. Always. It's part of the fun. Try to remember that mankind has lasted for 50,000 years in our current state. When in doubt, go on instinct. It's there for a reason. Humans are a little more resilient than we give them credit for. If Afghanis and Somalis (just to pick two ratholes in the world) can breed and increase their population, certainly someone in the US can.

    I'm all for conspiracy theories (for fun, mostly) and being pissed at 'the man'. But when it all boils down, people want other people to breed and be happy. Why? Look at it two ways: 'they' are altruistic and take joy in the joy of others. Or, 'they' want us to be slaves and consumers, and happy slaves are better than pissed off slaves.

    Talk to your pediatrician. They probably know more about it than you or I. And if they are like the ones I work with/for/take my kid to, they will be more than happy to explain things to you. You might have to convince them that you understand how scientific studies, statistical analysis, etc. work. But if you can do that, they'll share the information. (If not, find another doctor).

    One final thing: Joseph just got the varicella (chicken pox) vaccine. It uses a live virus. No problem, you might get a single pox. Well... Not quite. See, daddy had one of the most minor cases of chicken pox in the history of mankind. And has a family history of shingles. So daddy is at risk to get shingles when Joseph gets the varicella vaccine. Too bad. It's better for him.

    Good luck with it. And go ahead and get the damned shots.
    • Sorry, but I don't quite agree with you. I am mostly a risk-neutral kind of person, and although I would probably vaccinate my kids, this is a decision that FK should try to make with as much information as possible, for himself and his children's well-being.

      Chicken pox??

      The one then was actually bad. The one they give today is a lot less effective at actually preventing illness (I teach 3 year old's at church, all of them have had vaccines, and almost all of them got sick when one kid did).

      Humans are a little more resilient than we give them credit for.

      Exactly. Why then do we need to worry about our kids getting super sick with things they will probably never be exposed to?

      Talk to your pediatrician. They probably know more about it than you or I.

      I agree. But most pediatricians that I know are delighted that you would take an interest and they give you all of the necessary information to make these decisions yourselves. It does involve a lot of reading; if you don't want to do it you can always just trust the pediatrician's recommendation.

      Finally, in all actuality, I would be less worried about SIDS as a result of a vaccine than the effects of live vaccines and the risk your child has of contracting an illness due to a live virus being injected into their system. That's just my opinion. Like I said, I would still probably vaccinate my kids if I had any, but it's a decision you should make on your own based upon the credible information you gather and are given by sources you trust.

      • Your last line is actually where I'm really coming from:

        but it's a decision you should make on your own based upon the credible information you gather and are given by sources you trust.

        Problem is, many people place their trust in the wrong places. The local news coverage of health stories is one such place. That's why people complain about "First you say cholesterol is bad, then there is good cholesterol, blah, blah, blah". The trick is, that is how the popular press covered these stories. The medical journals are amazingly consistent.

        The biggest problems are many of the internet sites. Frequently they are based on anecdotal evidnece that in no way bears up to close scrutiny.

        I'm not saying that FK shouldn't try to become more informed. What I am saying is that I have seen scant, quality evidence that indicate their is a significant chance of problems due to immunization. (Quite honestly, it would be an interesting read if such information did exist.)

  • Ask the doctor/clinic/hospital who will administer the shots. At the very least, they'll have a brochure, if not someone who can talk to you.

    I know nothing about the specific issue you're addressing, but when I have done my own medical research online I have found that pieces of misinformation vastly outnumber the reliable information. If you don't know the source to be reliable (e.g., off the top of my head, the Mayo Clinic or Johns Hopkins), then I would disregard it. Even if the source passes muster, you need to distinguish between things like a report of a single study of 100 people vs. stats from the population at large.

    You should find one or a few general sources of medical information that you trust and stick to those. If you look at all sources for every question, you will find every possible answer and be worse off than when you started

    Anyway, after writing the above, I checked out the US National Insitute of Health [nih.gov] site (another excellent resource). I found info on the DPT vaccine [nih.gov] and info on reaction to vaccines [nih.gov]. While the latter is understandably more scary, it does indicate that no correlation with SIDS has been found.

  • I can't offer much advice in the infant area (my wife and I haven't had kids yet, but we'd like to someday..). However I do think it is interesting how there are so many resources out on the Internet. I think a lot of it can be good, but it also seems like a lot of it can be taken out of propotion and cause some unneeded anxiety. I agree with Turg's earlier post.. I think your best bet is to ask the doctor about it- what the concerns and risks are, and what it would mean to not get it, etc. Usually they are the best and most accurate source of information since they know the most about your baby.
  • Not me, but my friend recently had a baby, here is what she had to say:

    Everything I've ever read about DTaP has said that the DTaP is better than the older DTP. Kevin [her baby] did have DTaP, and he had a mild fever and soreness where the shot was. He has had that reaction to every shot he's ever had though. I wouldn't be worried about the shot at all. Nothing I've ever read, including the material the doctor gave me before he got the shot said anything about SIDS. It's better for the baby to have the immunizations because Pertussis (whooping cough) is one of the most contagious diseases known to humans, and it's very hard on babies. Tetanus and Diptheria are also very serious illnesses.
    BabyCenter.com [babycenter.com] is a really good website for all baby questions. Talk to you later on. T

    I hope this helps.

  • and they were no problem whatsoever. I don't remember the original ones of course, but the boosters every few years were a normal fact of life and were (minus a bit of complaining) trouble free. Don't have kids now but if/when I do I will certainly go with the vaccines.
  • Within the vast mess o' knowledge that you have to sort through to decide how you want to immunize, here's some other things to think about

    1. What does the local school system/ school you want to send your kid to require? I might be wrong, but I do recall places requiring you to have tetanus shots. Just because it might be easier on the body to start younger...something to look at.
    2. Planning on leaving the country any time soon? He might need certain immunizations. Again, it's more of a timing thing -- it might be easier on a younger body.
    3. Personally, I wouldn't immunize against things like chicken pox (because the best immunization is to get it) - so you might also want to sort out what you immunize for based on the seriousness of the illness.

    *shrug*..up to my $.04 now...
  • I got a lot of those vaccines before I went to kindergarten. They weren't required until then, so I somewhat remember it. The tetanus shot hurts, so be careful around the area that they do that. I dont know if they still make you get this, but I also got the mmr (measles, mumps, rubella) at the same time. It's no wonder I didnt get one of those strange illness's. One other thing, the lyme's vaccine (please refer to my journal) DOESNT WORK. They dont tell you to get the booster every four years, and my dr. even said it doesnt work. My mom can testify to this seeing as how she got the vaccine, and then earlier last week got lymes. Just my opinions here.

"Life sucks, but it's better than the alternative." -- Peter da Silva

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