- Mumps is generally a benign disease of children. Complications of mumps do occur, but an estimated 30 percent of cases go unnoticed.
- Mumps has increasingly become a disease of adolescents and adults since the widespread use of the vaccine.
- Complications of mumps occur much more frequently in adults.
- The vaccine has caused significant adverse reactions, including vaccine associated meningitis, in as many as 1 per 1,000 doses.
- Rubella is a mild childhood disease which requires no treatment.
- A woman who contracts rubella during the first three months of pregnancy risks abortion, miscarriage, or birth defects in her child.
- Rubella incidence has shifted to older age groups since widespread vaccination.
- Rubella vaccine is associated with significant adverse effects, including arthritis and central nervous system disorders (peripheral neuropathies, Guillain-Barré syndrome, and transverse myelitis, a paralyzing disease of the spinal cord).
- Parents have three options: avoid the vaccine entirely; vaccinate their child against rubella; or test girls for antibodies at adolescence or before considering pregnancy, and decide whether to vaccinate then. Since a child's health is not compromised by contracting rubella, there is no advantage to the child from vaccination.
Every adolescent girl and woman of childbearing age should have a blood test for immunity to rubella. If they do not have evidence of immunity, then they should decide whether they wish to have the vaccine. Susceptible women who decline the vaccine should attempt to avoid exposure to children with colds, fevers, and rashes during the first three months of pregnancy. Again, the consideration is whether the possible adverse effects of the vaccine are worth prevention of problems during pregnancy. Avoidance of the vaccine during childhood will eliminate the risk of untoward vaccine reactions in your child.
Haemophilus influenzae b (Hib) Meningitis
- Hib meningitis is a potentially life-threatening disease, and long-term sequelae of infections (hearing loss, learning disabilities) do occur.
- Long-term effectiveness of the vaccines has not been determined, and reports of short-term effectiveness vary considerably.
- Serious vaccine-associated reactions have been reported. These result from autoimmune processes apparently triggered by the vaccine, including Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), thrombocytopenia, and transverse myelitis (a paralyzing disease of the spinal cord).
- The vaccine has been associated with an increased susceptibility to Hib meningitis in the first week following vaccination.
- Hepatitis B is primarily a sexually transmitted disease. Other common sources of transmission include exposure to infected blood, injected-drug use, and occupational or household contacts.
- Infants can contract hepatitis B from their infected mothers.
- Women can be tested during pregnancy to determine if they are infected, and infants born to infected mothers can receive hepatitis B vaccine and hepatitis immune globulin at birth.
- The practice of vaccinating all infants for hepatitis B is unnecessary since only those children exposed to infected mothers are at risk. Antibody levels produced by vaccination will probably decline to non-protective levels before children reach the age when they are sexually active or exposed to other risk factors.
- Hepatitis B vaccine has been associated with severe, debilitating, and life-threatening adverse reactions. These include the typical autoimmune reactions common to other vaccines, arthritis, Guillain-Barré syndrome (GBS), thrombocytopenia, and other paralyzing nervous system disease processes.
About The Author
Dr. Randal Neustaedter
has practiced holistic medicine for more than thirty years in the San Francisco Bay Area, specializing in child health care. He is a licensed acupuncturist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine, as well as education director of the Holistic Pediatric Association www.hpakids.org
, author of Child Health Guide and ...more