The forms just came home today for Grade 7 vaccinations which include Hep B, Meningococcal and HPV Vaccines. My daughter was diagnosed with T1D during the summer of Gr. 7 and my brother has MS, so we have some autoimmunity trouble running down the line. I am seriously considering opting out of all of these vaccines for him for fear they will mess with my sons immunity and trigger T1D in him. The Menactra is the only mandatory one - unless I go to an education session and sign a form exempting him (which I will if I decide to go this way). Does anyone else feel this way about vaccines? He has all of his other childhood immunizations, I am just very hesitant to go ahead with this lot of vaccines.
It’s hard to know what to do as a parent. It’s hard to predict things. Have you thought about asking your child’s doctor?
I got Type 1 at 17 and didn’t have any of these vaccines as a kid. I did have chicken pox as a kid and have wondered if that could have been part of my developing Type 1. Also, I actually did know someone that was 18 who died from Meningitis. She was sick for only a few days and then passed away. Very scary. So I definitely wanted that vaccine for my child and the chicken pox vaccine.
We delayed some vaccines and opted for less at a time.
Took more trips to the doctor but we felt better about it.
No idea if it had any impact or not. But there is something to be said about feeling to have more of a say in something.
Ultimately, we have gone with all state recommended vaccines. Just on our schedule. And made the Doc do a little more legwork (ie - had to order in single doses instead of mixed).
Nice to be able to have a say and not actually be forced. Even if the ultimate end result is the same.
BTW - I personally would have no serious concerns about any vaccine causing Type 1 Diabetes.
So, I can tell you as a scientist who does some work in epidemiology that scientific evidence to support the idea that vaccines can trigger onset of autoimmune disease (Type 1) is non-existent. There have been many studies because of anecdotal reports and speculation that vaccines are associated with disease onset.
As a scientist and a dad (my son is just turned 2), I’m getting him every vaccine that is available and recommended. We have a terrible history of autoimmune disease in my family as well, but HPV, meningitis, and Hepatitis B are terrible diseases to acquire at both the individual and population levels. It is about weighing risks, and my education, training, practical experience, and deduction suggests that the risk of acquiring diseases vaccines are meant to protect from is WORSE than the risk of acquiring Type 1 and other autoimmune disorders.
Autoimmune diseases might occur after immunization because proteins on microbial pathogens are similar to human proteins (“molecular mimicry”) and could induce immune responses that damage human cells. However, wild-type viruses and bacteria are much better adapted to growth in humans than vaccines and much more likely to stimulate potentially damaging self-reactive lymphocytes. Consistent with critical differences between natural infection and immunization, well-controlled epidemiologic studies do not support the hypothesis that vaccines cause autoimmunity. Flaws in proposed biological mechanisms that explain how vaccines might cause chronic diseases are consistent with the findings of many well-controlled large epidemiologic studies that fail to show a causal relationship.
This makes it very clear for me (scientifically): there isn’t even weak evidence to support the idea that vaccines cause autoimmune disease. So, my calculus is supported by evidence, which I find comforting.
We all have to make hard choices as parents, but I personally feel that vaccines are not a hard choice. There is a ton of misinformation out there in social-media world about vaccines, and I’ve never seen any credible evidence to support any of it. Yes, individuals can have bad reactions. Sometimes they can even be life-threatening reactions. However, the risks from getting measles (or cancer from HPV or permanent liver damage from Hep B or death from meningitis) are far greater than the risks of having an acute or chronic bad reaction from a vaccine dose.
Ultimately, we have to choose what to do in the best interest of our kids. I’m definitely getting my son all the vaccines I can. They are proven to work, and the risks are small! You have to do what you think is best. Thank you for asking others for information!
Thank you for taking the time to offer a great reply.
Several children in Australia have died of meningococcal. including the daughter of an acquaintance who was a teenager at the time. It seems that it is almost untreatable once diagnosed, although I could be wrong on this. Please do not omit this vaccination.
Thank you everyone these are some very thoughtful responses. Much appreciated. I will definitely have him get the meningitis vaccine at school and I also like the idea of staggering these vaccines a little further apart than what’s proposed in the one year - whether that makes a difference or not I don’t know but it may make me feel a bit better about it all.
I think the meningococcal can technically be treated but the realistic problem may be the speed of onset. It is so rapid that the window for treatment is often passed before a person receives proper diagnosis and treatment. This can be measured in hours, not days.
Ultimately its your decision, of course. But vaccines dont cause T1D. Or autism.
The chicken pox vaccine was not available to me as a kid either. I remember at one point there was some discussion that my getting chicken pox at 8 months old, severely, may have triggered the development of T1.
I just have always believed read as much as possible when making any significant decisions. So that you make your own choice whatever it be! I firmly believe all vaccinations should be a choice that a person gets to make. This is an overall unpopular theme nowadays, but I personally knew someone that their child died from a vaccine 30 years ago. And don’t ask me which one, I don’t remember! It was heartbreaking and from that point on of course she never got another vaccine for her other child. While overall they are safe, it should be a choice.
I opted for the one injection for Meningitis and declined the two for Hep B and the two for HPV (fall and spring). I just received a note home with the dates of the vaccines and they are doing all 3 vaccines the same day for those who opted in!
I will do the Hep B ones as well, but I decided to proceed with a good time span in between vaccinations.
I’m not a doctor or a scientist, but if a treatable disease is a “possible” result of being vaccinated against the three known killers, I know what I’d do.
Friends of mine lost their 7 year old in just this way (meningitis). Hours.