View Full Version : Vaccinations

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Sep 22nd, 2004, 10:38 PM
I was wondering whether other Vegans decide to have their children and/or pets - and themselves(!) vaccinated?
Obviously the vaccines are produced by large pharmaceutical companies, tested on animals and contain animal ingredients. Many also think they pose a health threat.
I had my son vaccinated, but later than the usual times, when he was a bit older than normally recommended. I insisted that he did not have the 'live' whooping cough vaccine - my doctor had to send off to France for the other type.
I was bullied into having him vaccinated as neither the local playgroups or schools were happy to take him without. He had a severe reaction to his MMR jab, and it has set up a type of very itchy excema on his arm which, apparently, will never go now. My doctor says this is 'very rare', but if I could go back, I would have refused the vaccinations.
What do you think?

Sep 23rd, 2004, 04:43 AM
Here, they can not be in school period without vaccinations. I am very against this, but as a teacher...I have to "support" and make sure I am keeping the kids without them out of school at all costs. We had a huge staff meeting this morning about it.

Sep 23rd, 2004, 05:01 AM
I was forced to get an MMR vacine when I was in college. I had already gotten it as a child but I could not prove that I had gotten the last one. I was almost done with school too, so it was kind of pointless. I was a vegan and aware that the vaccines were made from eggs but I got a hepatitis B vaccine also. I did this because I was involved in a sport where sometimes I would have cuts on my body and have possible contact with other people's blood. I figured since I'm being forced to get these shots why not get one more. I resented being forced to get them, though. What can you do?

Sep 23rd, 2004, 05:23 AM
I'm pretty sure my parents had me vaccinated against certain sicknesses, as a child. I remember being vaccinated against rubella and tetnus. However, as an adult, I have chosen not to be vaccinated against anything. I don't really know if this is a good decision or not. I once heard that the vaccinations are actually made up of part of the disease or sickness itself.....so that kind of turned me off.

I can see this could be a difficult issue when it comes to children though. You only want what's best for them - so I imagine there are plenty of pros and cons to weigh up.

Also, what about when travelling to certain countries where certain diseases are very prevelant. Doctors and governments always recommend being vaccinated before travelling to these places. If you choose not to be vaccinated, they say it's likely you will catch the disease and risk death. I guess that's something else to think about before travelling.

Sep 23rd, 2004, 08:22 AM
i was vaccinated when i was a baby with sumthing, i forget what, but i swelled up and had a very bad reaction so my doctor said to not let me get anymore vaccinations. i havent had any for anything since, except the flu (i had to get that one, my mother was dying and none of us could get the flu around her)

Sep 23rd, 2004, 09:58 AM
I won't get flu shots; the shots are made from last year's strain, which is pointless because influenza mutates each year. They try and guess how it will mutate but they can't be right much of the time; I've heard of whole batches that weren't effective at all. Plus you end up sick from it and statistics show that a certain percentage die from it. I'd rather not take the chance. I'd rather pump my body full of vitamin C, garlic, zinc, and other immune boosters during flu season.

Sep 23rd, 2004, 10:51 AM
hmm usually they are pretty effective, and ive never seen anyone get sick from them unless their immune system was bad. they do have egg tho therefor i wont get them anymore.

Sep 23rd, 2004, 12:23 PM
i had my daughter immunised with all the 'recommended' jabs at the appropriate ages.....at the time i was not vegan and did not really understand the full implications of what being immunised, not having the jabs, their content etc, meant. also i must say that health visitors and doctors can use very immotive language and this can be very confusing and make you feel bad when you have babies/small children to consider.

would i still have had her immunised now, having more info??
to be honest i really dont know, i would have to take my husbands point of view into account as well and, as he isnt vegan, may be different to mine.

this can be a tricky situ for some folk :(

- also my husband has yearly flu jabs as he has asthma (as does daughter) and was very ill about 10yrs ago with bronchitis following a chest infection from a bout of flu - its his health so his decision, but i would not like to see him ill like that again. i encourage him to take vit c and echinacea over the winter too.

Sep 23rd, 2004, 02:01 PM
i too have asthma and am supposed to get flu shots. (ive almost died several times from having asthma and getting sick like that) when i dont, i get very ill but im interested to see how it will turn out this winter (i wasnt vegan last winter) im sure my immune system is much higher now tho :)

Sep 23rd, 2004, 04:20 PM
Hmm... I don't know about this one guys. As much as I hate using anything animal derived... I think we need to get vaccinated. If you don't get vaccinated in a population in which almost everyone else got vaccinated, chances are you won't catch the disease because you won't have anyone to catch it from. But if everyone decided not to get vaccinated... Think about it, in densely populated areas such as the cities or suburbs... Epidemics a la plague come to mind.

Sep 23rd, 2004, 06:57 PM
Depends whether you beleive that vaccines are really effective, I suppose! I saw a dog die of Parvo once - he'd been fully vaccinated.
Maybe it is better sanitation, etc, that has wiped out a lot of disease?

Sep 23rd, 2004, 07:47 PM
I don't have any children but I get the cats done as (after some discussion with my vet, who I trust) I think it probably does reduce the chance of nasty diseases spreading through the population, even though there are no guarantees that a particular cat will be immune.

No-one has tried to immunise me against anything for decades :confused: Apart from cholera etc if you're going somewhere exotic, which I had.

Sep 24th, 2004, 09:49 AM
When I was at school at 14 everyone had their vaccines, My mum wouldn't let me so I went without (along with about 5 others) lots of my friends were off sick for the next few days, but this is the norm apparently.
I was reading an article the other day about vaccines in Australia it was saying that they aren't tested before they are given because the government doesn't fund it. and only between 1-10% of side affects and sicknesses that occur from the vaccines are ever reported.
I was reading up on this because my 1year old niece had just been jabbed and she has now got a really bad cold/flu and the doctors said that it is normal for babies to get sick when they get their vaccines. I don't really understand why this should be. It is all very tricky, not many people including myself know much about vaccines.

Sep 24th, 2004, 11:21 AM
I just stumbled across a piece on vaccination on www.vegans.free-online.co.uk (http://www.vegans.free-online.co.uk/vaccineF.htm) . Theres a few unpleasent pics though, sorry, and further links.

Oct 27th, 2004, 06:07 PM
on their children?.
My vegan friend is staunchly against it and quite understandable, but as I have said I was a paediatric nurse for many years and therefore I have seen what such childhood diseases can do such as measles encephalitis, a severe whooping cough on a baby that nearly died and a child born blind and deaf because a mother had german measles when pregnant.

So I am in a quandary, her child is vulnerable to these diseases and I do not know the answer. If it was my child and have seen these outcomes I am afraid I would have to give in and have my child vaccinated against these illnesses. Not the MMR though but single vaccines.

Oct 27th, 2004, 06:19 PM
My mother used to be a medical journalist, and my father was an epidemiologist (first person to link high blood pressure to diet). Growing up in this environment made me be very much for vaccinations, and that has stayed with me. Your friend should ask the doctor several times about at least vegetarian alternatives. But she has to consider whether she will risk her child's life for her beliefs. Some people do; I won't. I will happily risk my own life, but I don't feel I have the right to risk the life of someone under my protection.

Some will also claim that vaccinations are more dangerous than not being vaccinated, but I am not (yet?) convinced.

Oct 28th, 2004, 07:41 AM
Just seen these sites. If I had'nt nursed children with severe raections to the diseases, I would totally agree, but although a staunch Ar campaigner, I would have my child vaccinated if I had one. To see a child severly mentally impaired due to having measles is a life time of regret or seeing a newborn baby fighting for breath and ending up on a ventilator through having whooping cough, or a child with luekemia with chicken pox (which can be fatal to them) you never forget.

I think it is fine and admirable to hold strong beliefs against vaccinations but if there is no alternative what should one do?

My friends Doctor, has no time for her and her ideals, yet alone being open to alternative ideas!!.

Jul 13th, 2005, 11:26 AM
I imagine tetanus jabs are tested on animals, but was just wondering how many people on here have them?

My son (aged 5) hasn't had any yet, and I just wondered what other people thought to it?

And does anyone know if you're supposed to have them regularly, or are they only required after you have a particularly bad graze/cut?


Jul 15th, 2005, 03:38 PM
Hi jhodhski

they give kids tetanus vaccinations as part of the childhood vaccination programme. I should think that not only are they tested on animals, they most probably are produced from animal ingredients, you could check by looking in Martindale's Pharmacopeia in your local library. Unfortunately last time I looked, you had to pay to access any info via the Martindale's website.

They also give anti-tetanus jabs for cuts at A&E.

My kids are 20, 17 and 12 and they're all life vegans. They haven't been vaccinated against anything. I was concerned about this whole issue and I spoke to Bill Bingham of Animal Aid, who did an impressive study published by NAVS (when my eldest child was little), about vaccines. He said that the best thing to do is wash any wounds very carefully with soap and water. The main danger from tetanus comes with deep, puncture type wounds, because the tetanus bacteria can only survive and thrive in anaerobic conditions, so it's much less likely to be a problem with surface wounds which are exposed to the air and can be thoroughly cleansed.

Also, because tetanus is a bacteria, not a virus, it can be killed by treatment with antibiotics, which were not developed through vivisection, unlike vaccines, although they're probably also tested on animals. So if I was concerned that tetanus might be a problem, I'd go to my GP and ask for antibiotics, rather than the tetanus jab. The symptoms of tetanus are caused by toxins produced by the metabolic processes of the tetanus bacteria, and can take up to six weeks to manifest, by which time it may be too late for treatment. Apparently also the early symptoms can be very similar to a common cold...before the lockjaw sets in.

Tetanus is much less of a problem nowadays, as horses are no longer the main form of transport, so the roads aren't covered in manure anymore (horse manure being the main vector for tetanus, although it can also enter wounds from ordinary soil), but if you live where there are lots of horses and your child may suffer cuts which could become infected from their manure, it's a harder decision, I should imagine.

So far my kids have been perfectly OK, despite a couple of scary incidents, like when my oldest kid got a deep puncture wound from treading on a nail on a demolition site. The main thing is to make sure they understand their unvaccinated status, so they know how to deal with any wounds and they can inform doctors if they need to.

Jul 15th, 2005, 03:53 PM
Oh lordy.

Well, tetanus is a bacteria, and so like many vaccines works on the principle or neutralised or killed pathogens, so usually fine.
However, if you cut yourself and have a tetanus shot, that contains tetanus immune globulin (TIG), and to be honest, I don't know what kind of globulin that is. Although, a lot of prophylaxis medication comes from bovine sources.
So maybe in this case prevention is better than cure?

Basically though, seeing as tetanus can be fatal, even if it wasn't vegan, it's one of those things a lot of people would bend on, especially for their children.
I had anti - D, knowing full well it came from a cow, but the other option was a large chance my baby would die in the womb.

Jul 15th, 2005, 06:57 PM
Difficult this one. As a paed nurse for a few years or so, I have seen some nasty cases of such as whooping cough in very young babies that had to be on a ventilator (breathing machine) and I have nursed a child who is blind and deaf through contracting german measles (rubella) from mum whilst in the womb. I have also nursed children that have become brain damaged through measles encephalitis.

Although I am totally against vivisection and animal products in medication as a vegan, I would have to have my children (if I had any!!) vaccinated. Knowing what I know I would not take the risk putting my ethics before safety of children, its just not worth the risk.

Those who have never had their child vaccinated and come through it without a scratch are dammed lucky.

I just wish there was an alternative. :(

Jul 15th, 2005, 09:45 PM
I wasn't up to date with the tetanus jabs but I did get one after sustaining a dog-walking injury (cut myself on her collar) as the nurse thought a deep wound in contact with doggy objects might carry a risk of tetanus. I'm afraid I didn't think about whether it was vegan or not in the circs.

If you are thinking of skipping it unless it's needed, I imagine you would be fairly safe, as it is easy enough to get one if and when you get a cut etc - just long as you're not planning plan any holidays away from immunisation facities.

According to this you may have immunity for life if you received more than a certain number of jabs in childhood: http://www.patient.co.uk/showdoc/23068839/

Jul 16th, 2005, 02:22 AM
Probably not. The vaccines which I have received were grown within chicken eggs. Did they ask you if you are allergic to eggs? BTW, there is a "vaccines" thread.

Jul 16th, 2005, 02:38 AM
That's it.

Jul 16th, 2005, 02:43 AM
I have had vaccines... when I was a child and 3 or 4 years ago there was some vaccination in the Netherlands against something... I hadn't thought much about it... but now I am a vegan I read some things about vaccination and I read that is dangerous to have vaccins because viruses can become resistent against the vaccins and can transform in much dangerous forms. There are some sites about vaccins and why not to have it... also I don't trust medicines/vaccins anymore because they are animal tested. Also I don't want to have vaccins because they use animals to grow the vaccins on...

When I have children I think I will not give them vaccinations. Maybe only when there are no animals used to make them... but that will not happen I think..
And it is also a good reason not to put them in danger... I heard that some children die because of serious side effects of vaccination.