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Immunization?


Evie
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It looks like i will need to get these shots:

1 Tetanus-Diphtheria Booster: Within the past 10 years

2 Measles Immunizations: Dose 1 must be after the first birthday.

Dose 2 must be at least one month after the first dose.

1 Mumps Immunization: Immunized with vaccine after the first birthday

1 Rubella Immunization: Immunized with vaccine after the first birthday

3 doses of the hepatitis B vaccine.

Meningitis immunization or submission of waiver form

I will be consulting my specialist to see if she thinks it will be a risk for me or not. Hopefully if she does think its a risk they will not force me to have them.

It is a bit annoying as i know i have had some shots but i am not sure what they were for (parents dont remember). I know i had rubella at 14 but have no form to proove it so i guess i will need a blood test to show my bodies immunity. I went a bit strange after the rubella shot and i worry that it hurt my body in some way that led to my CFS. I dont know if i am overreacting or not.

Past posts tended to talk mostly about Flu and hep shots. Do tatanus shots make us sick or does it just hurt?

any advice or posting your experiences with shots (or these specific shots) would help. Thanks so much B)

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evie -

i can almost guarantee that you wouldn't have been allowed to be in school up until now without a record of most of these immunizations. i know you're not in the US but i can't imagine that the rules there are so incredibly different. i think it would certainly be worth your while to try to find some old records - either through an old doc, schools you have attended, etc. and if you're still planning on coming stateside (i'm guessing that's why you've been told you need proof of them in the first place) i'm pretty sure that most of them are not up for debate (hepatitis "might" be. and the waiver listed for meningitis implies that that may be optional too?)

re: tetanus i just had ten year "booster" this summer and didn't have a problem. no problem with any in the past either. just a bit of a jab.

i had the hepatitis series as well perhaps around 8-9 yrs ago. no problem there for me but they have to be spaced out just so over a period of months so you do have to keep on top of the scheduling.

i haven't had the meningitis vaccine as it just came into popular usage as i was finishing up my undergrad years so they didn't offer/require it when i was school-bound. (it's usually targeted at those living in college dorms and the like.) i did have viral meningitis though, and while the vaccine is for the bacterial type, which is generally more dangerous, based on my related experience i can say it's something you certainly don't want to have to deal with.

B) melissa

Edited by Sunfish
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Yes melissa its for college in the states B)

In Australia they tend to do the shots at school so its just a given that you have some done. I was supposed to get more in year 10 when i changed schools but didnt get them and the school never buged me about them. The ones i got when i was 4 was i was in england so it may be a bit different. I think they may have been for polio. I do remembre i got more than one set of shots so maybe it was measles as well considering they say they should be at least a month apart.

There was a sentance after they listed the shots saying you dont have to have them if its against your religion or a doctor says you cant have them due to health issues. I am waiting for them to get back to me to tell me if this still stands for exchange students.

I dont want to get them all at once and overload my system so that why im trying to get information now and move speclist appoinments forward so i can get some done in holidays. If we have to get the Hep ones over months i dont know why my exchange unit isnt warning us about it now. It seems i am the only one making a fuss (because i am paranoid heh).

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I have had all of the shots on your list without a problem. The schools in the states are very strict about this stuff because they've had outbreaks of measels and also mennengitis on campus--both of which, in adults, can be quite fatal. Colleges are more susceptible, as there are people coming to one location from all over the US and world, staying in enclosed quaters (dormitories, dining halls, lecture halls). One of my close friends got measels in graduate school and required hospitalization as he was hallucinating and had a very high fever. He'd had measels vaccination in grade school, but no booster.

Nina

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Some colleges will accept lab reports showing that you have a positive titer (evidence of antibodies) for the various diseases. If you have a positive titer, you might not need to get another shot. Of course, it may cost more to run the titer than just to get the shot, and you have to get stuck with needles in either event.

There are a lot of anti-vaccination zealots spreading fear by wildly exaggerating the risks associated with vaccinations. Occasionally, you can find someone who debunks the zealots. Here are some helpful resources:

http://www.pathguy.com/antiimmu.htm

http://www.ratbags.com/rsoles/vaxliars1.htm

http://www.childrenshealthcare.org/

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I think i will just get the blood test and hope my body is holding the immunity to some of them. I know the college does accept titer tests. I was more worried about the number of them than if i only had to get a few of them. It seems like alot of shots for my body to have to take in a short time period.

I just did some research and the rubella shot i got at 14 most likely covers mumps and measles too so that will be a huge relief if its the case *fingers crossed*

Thanks for posting your experiences. It makes me feel much better to know that you all did fine after your shots. :)

Just a side note .. i read that some of the shots contain antibiotics. When i take antibiotics i tend to get quite sick. It mostly effects my digestion and that in turn makes my muscles sore. Would it be likely that this would be different as its not going through my digestion tract?

I know that sounds like a strange question. I dont know much about this stuff so i may have worded it incorrectly.

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Actually, a very intelligent question. If you take antibiotics by mouth, then a large dose of the antibiotic is delivered to the contents of the gut. That could kill some bacteria, thus giving others an unfair advantage. So you could get some gastrointestinal upset as a result. If you were to get a shot that contains a teeny amount of antibiotic, that would deliver a vanishingly small dose to the contents of the gut. Personally, I wouldn't worry about it, unless I had had an anaphylactic reaction to a particular antibiotic in the past.

Here's what the CDC says about vaccine additives:

http://www.cdc.gov/nip/vacsafe/concerns/gen/additives.htm

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Hi Evie,

I'm a nurse and I volunteer at a clinic where I give vaccinations.

The tetanus booster is the most likely to make your arm (muscle) sore, sometimes very sore. To minimize this, be sure to relax your muscle when you're getting the shot - do not tense your muscle! If you are able, take tylenol or aspirin. Be sure to move your arm afterward - don't hold it still just because it's sore. Most people get some level of soreness and it goes away in a few days. I wouldn't get it in my right arm the day before I had to write a lengthy exam.

If you think your system will be overwhelmed by many vaccines, you should be able to make the argument for spacing them out.

You might try contacting your last school attended or your doctor's office and see if they have your immunization records.

I can't imagine anyone not accepting the results of a titer test, but they are usually costly, unfortunately. Having a titer is actually BETTER than having the vaccine, as it proves that you responded. Not everyone responds to vaccines, especially the elderly.

IMO, yes there are anti-vaccination *zealots* who blame everything on vaccines (do we really need to resort to name calling of those with whom we disagree?); however, there is no reason to overload your system with unnecessary vaccines either. While vaccines are generally safe for most people most of the time, they do have risks, they are powerful (they do provoke an immune response) and, like all medications, should be used judiciously. I commend you for your caution.

Good luck at school!

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Thank you for your support Lthomas and Momdi!

I remember when i was in england my arm hurt for days and days and nobody believed me after the second day heh. Its funny how kids remember these things, i was so annoyed that all the adults thought i was pretending for attention. Maybe i did get tentanus shots then... but they would be out of my system for sure by now. I will make sure i try not to tense my arm, thanks so much for the tip!

Of course i will ask my dr about this, but yesterday a family friend who had bonemarrow transplant told me she got non-live vaccinations instead of live ones. She said it was much less pressure on the immune system. Does anyone know about non live vaccinations?

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The purpose of a vaccine is to give your immune system exposure to some aspect of an infectious organism so that it will be able to recognize it in the future and mount a timely protective immune response. Thus, vaccines usually contain the very bacteria or viruses that cause the disease (sometimes, the vaccine contains the toxic products produced by the infectious organism).

Some vaccines contain a "live" organism--i.e., something that can reproduce in the body of the vaccinated person but without causing the disease. The classic example is the smallpox vaccine. For centuries, people in Africa and the Near East inoculated people with material from a smallpox lesion by scratching it into the skin. This approach gave a horrific single lesion at the site of infection, but it usually didn't lead to the typical smallpox presentation. And once you recovered from that, you had lifelong protection against smallpox. Later on, people in Britain noticed that dairy workers seemed to be immune to smallpox, and figured out that it was because they had been exposed to "cowpox," which is caused by a related virus (although they didn't know that at the time because viruses hadn't been discovered). So they switched to using cowpox (vaccinia) instead of smallpox (variola) for the inoculation. Thanks to an international effort and the vaccinia vaccine, smallpox has been eradicated.

Polio will be the next disease to be eradicated. When the first polio vaccines came out, there was considerable debate about whether to use the oral or injected vaccine. The oral vaccine was an attenuated or "modified-live" vaccine. The injectable vaccine contained only "dead" viruses. (Viruses don't completely fit the definition of a living organism, so purists refer to "killed" viruses in vaccines as "inactivated." The "modified-live" viruses are "attenuated." Either the oral or the injected vaccines could protect you from paralytic polio, but the oral vaccine could also give you "mucosal immunity," so the polio virus couldn't survive in your intestines and you wouldn't be an asymptomatic carrier. However, you could transmit the vaccine virus, which did make some people sick. Polio was nearly eradicated, but some Muslim clerics in Nigeria in 2003 told their followers that the polio vaccine was part of an evil American plot to sterilize their women. Consequently, the eradication effort stalled, and some infected people spread the infection when they went on pilgrimage to Mecca. From there, other pilgrims took it back home to Indonesia, which had been polio-free since 1995. Tragic.

In general, live vaccines are used because they provide more robust, longer lasting protection than killed vaccines. However, only killed vaccines are given to pregnant women and people with compromised immune systems.

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Wow thank you so much for all that information! :) Now i will know a bit about it when i ask my dr.

That is really sad to hear about polio. Unfortunately it seeems as we nearly rid ourselves of one disease more seem to pop up... I suppose thats life and we will all die of something

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  • 2 weeks later...

military... so yes i have had a lot of vaccines and at first i thought that it was the vaccines that caused my problems because i wasn't diagnosed with anything until i had been experiencing them for a little over a year.

Edited by Sunfish
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Immunizations, a necessary evil. I'm grateful on many levels that we have immunizations to protect us from some of the horrible viruses that lerk.

I think that often it's the preservatives in immunizations that have been a problem and I know drug companies have been working on this for years as they have eliminated or decreased the use of Mercury in the vaccine.

Reaction from immunization is an individual response and there is no way to predict who is going to have complications/side effects from vaccination.

BTW, my experience with Meningitis vaccine has been this - When my eldest son went off to college in Washington State I called his peditrician and talked to them about him getting the meningitis vaccine, especially since it's the West coast that is hit pretty hard by outbreaks of Meningitis. They told me that the vaccine they were using (this was 3 years ago) wasn't very effective and they Recommended NOT getting it.

Personally, I had a reaction from the Hepatitis series. Then in late October of 2001 when I got my flu shot I had an immediate reaction from it, I was sick for over 3 weeks before the tachycardia hit me. I reported my vaccination reaction to the national reporting center here in the US and made a report at work. Eventually I saw an allergist doc that told me that my reaction to the flu shot was probably Guillain-Barr? reaction. 6 months after my symptoms started a doctor hinted to me that they thought I had something called POTS.

The doctors have tried since to give me a flu vaccine by giving it to me in half dose one week and the other half the next. My system can't tolerate it and I've been advised not to get it anymore.

So was it the flu vaccine that pushed my body over the top? Who knows and I'm tired of speculating especially since there are other members of my family with POTS. I stopped trying to figure out if it was genetic or environmental.

I didn't tell you any of this to scare you and I'm not an Immunization Nazi, I think that some vaccines are necessary to protect us from worse. I think the more information you have the better you will be and get them well before travel so you have time to deal with any side effect you might possibly have. Who knows things might go well and the worst thing you'll experience is a little soreness from the injection itself.

Good luck!

Steph

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I hate the idea of vaccines. blech. BUT I've had them all... all the ones on your list anyway. I can't say for sure whether they hurt in the long run, but they didn't cause any immediate adverse reactions at any rate.

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