Prepared Citizens

Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

  • Previous Posts

  • Michael Osterholm Quotes:

    “What we need to be doing now is the basic planning of how we get our communities through 12 to 18 months of a pandemic.”

    “Ninety-five out of 100 will live. But with the nation in crisis, will we have food and water? Are we going to have police and security? Will people come to work at all?”

    “It's the perfect setup. Then you put air travel in and it could be around the world overnight.”

    “We can predict now 12 to 18 months of stress of watching loved ones die, of wondering if you are going to have food on the table the next day. Those are all things that are going to mean that we are going to have to plan -- unlike any other crisis that we have had in literally the last 80-some years in this country.”

  • US Health and Human Services

    Secretary Michael Leavitt

    "If there is one message on pandemic preparedness that I could leave today that you would remember, it would be this:

    Any community that fails to prepare with the expectation that the federal government or for that matter the state government will be able to step forward and come to their rescue at the final hour will be tragically wrong,

    not because government will lack a will, not because we lack a collective wallet, but because there is no way that you can respond to every hometown in America at the same time."
  • Joseph C. Napoli, MD of Resiliency LLC

    "I think a new meaning is evolving for resiliency and resilience.

    In some contexts the words are being used to mean the strength to resist being impacted by an adverse event rather than either the “capacity to rebound” or “act of rebounding” from adversity.

    Therefore, resiliency and resilience appear to be assuming the meaning of fortitude, that is, “the strength or firmness of mind that enables a person to encounter danger with coolness and courage or to bear pain or adversity without despondency” as defined in the Webster’s Third New International Dictionary.

    If so, we are coming full circle with science accepting a religious moral virtue – fortitude – as written in the Bible’s Book of Wisdom"




  • Faith Based Resources

    John Piper
    Jonathan Edwards
    Reformation
    Pink-Saving Faith
    Pink-Christian Ethics

    "Examine yourselves, whether ye be in the faith; prove your own selves"
    (2 Corinthians 13:5).

    Why Faith Groups Must Care

    When the Darkness Will Not Lift by John Piper

    Stand

    Be Not Afraid
    Overcoming the fear of Death
    by Johann Christoph Arnold







    While I am not a professional journalist, I do embrace the code of ethics put forth by the Society of Professional Journalists and the statement of purpose by the Association of Health Care Journalists and above all else I strive to "do no harm".


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  • Definitions

    from Wikipedia



    Pandemic Influenza


    An influenza pandemic is an epidemic of the influenza virus that spreads on a worldwide scale and infects a large proportion of the human population.

    In contrast to the regular seasonal epidemics of influenza, these pandemics occur irregularly, with the 1918 Spanish flu the most serious pandemic in recent history.

    Pandemics can cause high levels of mortality, with the Spanish influenza being responsible for the deaths of over 50 million people.

    There have been about 3 influenza pandemics in each century for the last 300 years. The most recent ones were the Asian Flu in 1957 and the Hong Kong Flu in 1968.



    Seasonal Influenza


    Flu season is the portion of the year in which there is a regular outbreak in flu cases.

    It occurs during the cold half of the year in each hemisphere.

    Flu activity can sometimes be predicted and even tracked geographically. While the beginning of major flu activity in each season varies by location, in any specific location these minor epidemics usually take about 3 weeks to peak and another 3 weeks to significantly diminish.

    Individual cases of the flu however, usually only last a few days. In some countries such as Japan and China, infected persons sometimes wear a surgical mask out of respect for others.



    Avian (Bird) Flu
    Avian influenza,

    sometimes Avian flu, and commonly Bird flu refers to "influenza caused by viruses adapted to birds."


    "Bird flu" is a phrase similar to "Swine flu", "Dog flu", "Horse flu", or "Human flu" in that it refers to an illness caused by any of many different strains of influenza viruses that have adapted to a specific host.

    All known viruses that cause influenza in birds belong to the species: Influenza A virus.

    All subtypes (but not all strains of all subtypes) of Influenza A virus are adapted to birds, which is why for many purposes avian flu virus is the Influenza A virus (note that the "A" does not stand for "avian").
    Adaptation is non-exclusive.

    Being adapted towards a particular species does not preclude adaptations, or partial adaptations, towards infecting different species.

    In this way strains of influenza viruses are adapted to multiple species, though may be preferential towards a particular host.

    For example, viruses responsible for influenza pandemics are adapted to both humans and birds.

    Recent influenza research into the genes of the Spanish Flu virus shows it to have genes adapted to both birds and humans; with more of its genes from birds than less deadly later pandemic strains.

    H5N1 Strain


    Influenza A virus subtype H5N1, also known as A(H5N1) or simply H5N1, is a subtype of the Influenza A virus which can cause illness in humans and many other animal species.

    A bird-adapted strain of H5N1, called HPAI A(H5N1) for "highly pathogenic avian influenza virus of type A of subtype H5N1", is the causative agent of H5N1 flu, commonly known as "avian influenza" or "bird flu".

    It is enzootic in many bird populations, especially in Southeast Asia. One strain of HPAI A(H5N1) is spreading globally after first appearing in Asia.

    It is epizootic (an epidemic in nonhumans) and panzootic (affecting animals of many species, especially over a wide area), killing tens of millions of birds and spurring the culling of hundreds of millions of others to stem its spread.

    Most references to "bird flu" and H5N1 in the popular media refer to this strain.



    As of the July 25, 2008 FAO Avian Influenza Disease Emergency Situation Update, H5N1 pathogenicity is continuing to gradually rise in wild birds in endemic areas but the avian influenza disease situation in farmed birds is being held in check by vaccination.

    Eleven outbreaks of H5N1 were reported worldwide in June 2008 in five countries (China, Egypt, Indonesia, Pakistan and Vietnam) compared to 65 outbreaks in June 2006 and 55 in June 2007.

    The "global HPAI situation can be said to have improved markedly in the first half of 2008 [but] cases of HPAI are still underestimated and underreported in many countries because of limitations in country disease surveillance systems".





    Pandemic Severity Index


    The Pandemic Severity Index (PSI) is a proposed classification scale for reporting the severity of influenza pandemics in the United States.

    The PSI was accompanied by a set of guidelines intended to help communicate appropriate actions for communities to follow in potential pandemic situations. [1]

    Released by the United States Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on February 1, 2007, the PSI was designed to resemble the Saffir-Simpson Hurricane Scale





    From the Massachusetts Health and Human Services



    Isolation


    refers to separating people who are ill from other people to prevent the spread of a communicable disease.



    Quarantine


    refers to separating and restricting the movement of people who have been exposed to a communicable disease and are not yet ill.
  • Additional Information

    Creative Commons License
    Prepared Citizens by Catherine "Jackie" Mitchell is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.
    Based on a work at http://www.preparedcitizens.org.




    The posts on this site are subject to change. Mostly due to errors in spelling or grammar. I never said I am a professional journalist. I have new appreciation for the job that they do. Also, not all comments made by others will make it onto this site. Comments that advertise a commercial product do not get posted most of the time.


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  • standingfirm

Now that I am on a roll, lets talk about vaccines

Posted by preparedcitizens on November 15, 2008

[this is a changeable post. I keep adding more information as I do research.]

Sufficiently humbled it would probably be a good time for me to approach the difficult, important, and timely subject of vaccine safety and efficacy.

I will take it slowly and carefully.

I was going to write about societal changes that make preparedness crucial, but I will hold off because of the sheer number of stories every day that are being published about vaccines, adjuvants, mercury, and the possible link to autism. I am a fence sitter leaning toward the position of “yeah,no” and more toward no.

But since these are our children I want to protect them.

I want to protect them from deadly diseases that do exist and will come back with a vengeance if we become lax in our vaccination schedules.

And yet, I find myself gritting my teeth over our reliance on them and the ingredients in them, the need for these ingredients, and the possible health effects from these ingredients.

I am the mother of five grown children, and grandmother to one grandchild, I care about children. I care about pandemic preparedness, in large part, because I care about children – they are our future and I want to protect them.

All of my children were vaccinated against all childhood illnesses except on daughter may have had a reaction to her first pertussis shot so she did not have the other two in the series. She ended up getting whooping cough in her mid-teens and she was very ill.

What would be a perfect scenario in a perfect world would be that we wouldn’t need vaccines.

The truth is that prior to the development of vaccines people died from the diseases that we now vaccinate against and not just children. I for one, do not want to go back to a time when most families experienced the death of some of their children and grandchildren.

When vaccines were developed parents were very thankful. Smallpox, polio, diphtheria, measles, whooping cough, these were and are deadly childhood diseases.

I did a vaccine post here and mentioned pneumonia vaccine in a post about this report here.

I also understand the concern that parents have over the possible connection between autism and vaccines because of the immunologic adjuvants in the vaccines themselves.

from wikipedia:

In immunology, an adjuvant is an agent that may stimulate the immune system and increase the response to a vaccine, without having any specific antigenic effect in itself.[1]

The word “adjuvant” comes from the Latin word adjuvare, meaning to help or aid.[2] “An immunologic adjuvant is defined as any substance that acts to accelerate, prolong, or enhance antigen-specific immune responses when used in combination with specific vaccine antigens.”[3]

Adjuvants have been called the dirty little secret of vaccines [4] in the scientific community, as much about how adjuvants work is a mystery.

Known adjuvants include oils, aluminum salts and virosomes.

First, Do No Harm

Aye, there’s the rub.

What would be ideal is to be able to test individuals for the genetic marker that indicates that they have an underlying metabolic condition that predisposes them to autism spectrum disorders before they take the vaccine.

We could then vaccinate all who do not have the marker, keep up our “herd immunity”, and protect those who have the marker.

But not all of us would want to be tested or have our children tested for these markers.

So that leaves us to having to gamble a bit when we vaccinate our children.

When most people were vaccinating the diseases were kept at bay. Now that parents are thinking twice and becoming afraid the diseases are making a comeback.

Far be it for me to tell anyone what they should do for their children. I can just say what I have done for mine and honestly tell you what the results were for us. None of my children have autism.

Some of the questions that I ask myself are

Do the potential damages outweigh the risks?

Death vs. autism – The childhood illnesses that we vaccinate against can often be deadly and life altering. Autism is heartbreaking and life altering but it is a relatively rare disorder.

I cannot answer that for other people. I know that my children are vaccinated so they are protect unless the disease changes so that they will need to be given booster shots as adults. Not that they are adults they can choose for themselves. Personally, I take all the vaccinations that I can that have been out for a few years.

But if my children were small, I would still choose to vaccinate…up to a point but that is a different issue, and a different topic for another time. As parents and as adults we need to educate ourselves and use our discernment.

I do not see any reason for me to not be vaccinated so if asked my recommendation to my children about my grandchildren would be to vaccinate them against all that they can right now. I would also tell them to pay attention to what other parents are telling them.

Questions that I do not have answers to but I think about…

Is autism on the rise, or being aware are we diagnosing it more?

Are we blaming something on vaccines that has a different environmental cause (e.g. if mercury in vaccines is suspected, how about the fish we serve our children, or the plastic bottles that they drink out of)?

As a public, we have the same responsibility to “first, do no harm”.  Not taking vaccines has the potential to do far more harm, to far more people than taking vaccines – which has enjoyed a good level of compliance to this point, and a good track record.

There are so many things that we do as a society right now that may not be in our best interests and we gamble with our lives and our children’s health every day.

We should probably take the cell phones away from our children, not allow them to drink out of plastic bottles, not microwave foods in certain plastics, not ingest melamine tainted products, eat fish laden with mercury, sit in car seats window open while refueling a vehicle, be exposed to second hand smoke, listen to loud music, become obese, or eat diets full of high fructose corn syrup….

Children typically begin to show signs of autism spectrum disorders between the ages of 12 and 36 months. Right when we also vaccinate children. That does not make one a cause and the other an effect.

Do Autism Spectrum Disorders occur at the same rate in non-vaccinated children?

The answer to that question would be most helpful.

 

Resources:

Noel Piper with an excellent blog post regarding the book “Look No Hands“. Here is a quote from her post….

“Brian’s parents hoped they were doing the best thing for him. As a mother, a story like this helps me empathize with parents who agonize over the best thing—is there a “best” thing?—for their child. I am reminded that prayer is essential for families facing medical and therapeutic challenges—prayer for confidence in God far beyond confidence in science.”

One vaccine that I did recommend to my own family members to hold off on taking until more information about the effects were known was the human papillomavirus vaccine – Gardasil.

This vaccine began getting mixed reviews almost immediately after the general population began being immunized. As I said, I am for vaccination on general principles, but I do want to ensure that what we are injecting into our bodies is safe. And I do have questions about Gardasil.

[One question, is every adolescent pregnancy tested prior to receiving this vaccine? The safety and effectiveness has not been established in pregnant women. Experimenting on our adolescents and unborn children by government mandate seems inappropriate to me.]

Some research indicates that the vaccine is now required of immigrants to the U.S.:

Vaccination Requirements for IV Applicants.

Applicants

IMPORTANT NOTICE TO IMMIGRANT VISA APPLICANTS CONCERNING VACCINATION REQUIREMENTS

United States immigration law requires immigrant visa applicants to obtain certain vaccinations (listed below) prior to the issuance of an immigrant visa. Panel physicians who conduct medical examinations of immigrant visa applicants are required to verify that immigrant visa applicants have met the vaccination requirements, or that it is medically inappropriate for the visa applicant to receive one or more of the listed vaccinations:

— Acellular pertussis
— Hepatitis A
— Hepatitis B

— Human papillomavirus (HPV)
— Influenza
— Influenza type b (Hib)
— Measles
— Meningococcal
— Mumps

— Pneumococcal
— Pertussis

— Polio
— Rotovirus
— Tetanus and diphtheria toxoids
— Varicella
— Zoster

In order to assist the panel physician, and to avoid delays in the processing of an immigrant visa, all immigrant visa applicants should have their vaccination records available for the panel physician’s review at the time of the immigrant medical examination. Visa applicants should consult with their regular health care provider to obtain a copy of their immunization record, if one is available. If you do not have a vaccination record, the panel physician will work with you to determine which vaccinations you may need to meet the requirement. Certain waivers of the vaccination requirement are available upon the recommendation of the panel physician.

Only a physician can determine which of the listed vaccinations are medically appropriate for you, given your age, medical history and current medical condition. For more detailed information, please visit the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Panel Physician Technical Instructions for Vaccination.

N.B. Certain waivers of the vaccination requirement are available upon the recommendation of the panel physician.

My concern is with the one vaccine for HPV, Gardasil. It is too new, too untested, for mandatory vaccination requirements.

“First, do no harm”

I am just not absolutely sure that harm is not being done.

Resources:

CDC: Reports of Health Concerns Following HPV Vaccination

CDC: Questions and Answers about HPV Vaccine Safety

CDC: Vaccine Adverse Event Reporting System

CDC: Immunization Schedules

Merck: Gardasil Information

Use in Specific Populations

Safety and effectiveness of GARDASIL have not been established in the following populations:

  • Pregnant women. Physicians are encourage to register pregnant women exposed to GARDASIL by calling 1-800-986-8999 so that Merck can monitor maternal and fetal outcomes (8.1).
  • Children below the age of 9 years and pediatric males of any age. (8.4).
  • Women 27 years of age and older. (14.4).

and

Judicial Watch Uncovers New FDA Records Detailing Ten New Deaths & 140 “Serious” Adverse Events Related to Gardasil

 

 

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4 Responses to “Now that I am on a roll, lets talk about vaccines”

  1. acollage said

    Good piece on it! I’m currently a non-vaccinating parent, and I’m pro-vaccine. I just want the vaccines to not have some of the current ingredients. I have a child with epilepsy, and a child with autism, and two other children (older, many less vaccines) with no health issues. There’s a lot of belief that certain children are genetically pre-disposed towards autism, and something like a toxin (vaccine ingredients? thimerasol? who knows?) is the trigger, which explains why not every child getting the same vaccines ends up with autism. It’s like penicillin — not everyone can take it, yet it’s commonly prescribed and most people don’t know they react negatively to it until they take it. I really don’t understand the concept that all children’s immune systems and systems overall can accept so many shots at such a young age, when not everyone can handle something as innocent as penicillin. Do I blame solely vaccines? No. In fact, we drink from stainless steel canteens and don’t use teflon-coated pans. We use homemade cleaners and do what we can to make our home, and the environment, green. In a perfect world, vaccines could be reconfigured to enable us to keep diseases at bay, without even being a potential risk. But, there’s so much opposition despite there being no studies done on the effects of the toxic-load of a full set of vaccines on children. My kids got their vaccines, but they won’t get anymore unless I know the ingredients and tests prove my kids need it. (Many people don’t realize not everyone needs boosters — a simple test can prove if they’re necessary.) Meanwhile, flu shots still contain thimerasol. The fact that they took it out of some of the flu shots shows there’s enough reason for people to wonder. No flu shots (and no flu) here. Great blog!

  2. acollage said

    Oh, I meant to add – if vaccines do their jobs, those of us who don’t vaccinate aren’t doing any harm to those who get them. Sorry for the extra entry!

  3. preparedcitizens said

    Thank you for the compliment acollage :-)

    But is that true “if vaccines are doing their jobs, those of us who don’t vaccinate aren’t doing any harm to those who get them.”

    Are we safe to assume this?
    And do we stop vaccinating until the studies are conducted? I would say “no/no”, but that is my best guess. I claim no authority.

    Commercials on television have to be up front with documentation, we should expect the same with vaccines that are mandatory if we want our children to go to school or participate in sports, or go to camp, or daycare, etc.

    In my day we complied or our kids stayed home. I never had a problem doing this either but I did vaccinate them, in part, to put the needs of others ahead of our own needs but I expected others to pull their weight too. The good old days, were they good? Have the adjuvants changed over the years? When were they introduced into the vaccines by year? Did the numbers of autism syndromes disorders actually increase exponentially with the population increase? Did more awareness account for the rise (or fall)? If the children who develop the syndrome for purportedly a vaccine receive, chelation therapy, for lack of a better way to put this type of detox, do they recover? If there is a treatment, could parents then find themselves without a choice?

    As for us, as far as being forced into disobedience, we will not cross that line unless there is a compelling reason. We haven’t been faced with that situation.

    Kids now are in day care, in school at an earlier age, they come in contact with each other more at an age when hygiene probably isn’t at its best. They share toys, put things in their mouths, sneeze on each other.

    Unvaccinated? What a choice.

    Do we want our unvaccinated children and grandchildren walking around with all the other unvaccinated children? Are we THAT afraid of the ingredients that we want to allow these serious childhood illnesses to come back in full force? And they will.

    While we are at all of this we also have not been good stewards with antibiotics, allowing for more resistance to them as a result of starting courses of treatment and not completing them, and over prescribing. Now, physicians are holding back on their use. When our children do become ill and develop secondary infections from childhood illnesses that we have allowed to become rampant because we don’t vaccinate as much, referring to a future time, will our arsenal of antibiotics even work?

    We may have to tough out these old fashioned illnesses the old fashioned way.

    It seems that our world is more complicated than we thought and we didn’t anticipate some of these rebound effects. I still trust that God is in control, old fashioned as that may sound. I want to make wise decisions for all concerned.

    The increased hype (either way) can and will impact many people.

    Based on the first-hand information that I have, I trust vaccines up to my flu shot a few weeks ago. I have also had three pneumovax in my life and my husband has also. No problems that we can tell so far, so far, so far, so far.

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist a little levity.

    One other question that I think about…

    Do we fuel viral antigenic drift by not vaccinating?
    It would make sense to me that the more potential “mixing bowls” of unvaccinated individuals walking around the more opportunity for circulating viruses to encounter each other as people are co-infected with what is in the environment. A question from possibly some faulty understanding of the science, but it is what I think about.

    It seems to me that we need to keep in mind the entire picture of what is ahead of us in this world when we consider what we do. Not that we haven’t done that in the past, and it is inevitable that we won’t see all of the repercussions but when something is wrong we should admit it and correct it.

    People are afraid of vaccines and this may be a needless over-reaction because of the relatively rare occurrence of the disorder. One child harmed is too many, and a heartbreak to be sure. Does the question also come down to the amount of potential harm?

    If 10 people will be harmed by approach A and 100 people will be harmed by approach B, which approach do we take, making allowances for those who are truly convinced that approach B is wrong, but there are repercussions, though not “punishment”, for opting out. I think that this is the situation that we have now.

    There always should be a choice, but there has to be more information and honest discussion.

    As a parents with grown children I am doing more to encourage them to reason through these great debates.

    Moral and ethical considerations will increase, I suspect, when the world is infused with science and technology.

    These adults will be taking the helm soon enough.

    And I just thought of one more question…

    Those who do not vaccinate, are they potentially causing harm to the aging population who cannot vaccinate any longer but have been lifelong users of vaccines. As we age our immunity wanes putting again at some risk for childhood diseases. Do we owe something to the older generation?

    I think that when we come right down to it the question becomes, do the rights of a few outweigh the rights of the many? And without knowing what is in the vaccines, do we have a right to demand to know? I think “no/yeah”

    The older I get the more I question what “rights” I can truly claim.

    So I just keep asking questions.

  4. Cerebral Palsy…

    MARTIN MITTELSTAEDT July 6, 2007 at 9: 28 AM EST But a U. S. researcher is advancing a controversial hypothesis: that autism is related to vitamin D deficiency during fetal development and early childhood. The evidence for such a link is circumstantial…

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