Why teens may be behind on vaccinations
March 18th, 2013
12:03 AM ET

Why teens may be behind on vaccinations

A new survey finds even though vaccines for certain teenage illnesses are available and are found to be safe, many parents aren't having their teens inoculated. The question is why?

Researchers looked at parent questionnaires collected through a national survey called "Reasons for Not Vaccinating Adolescents: National Survey of Teens, 2008-2010." Investigators wanted to better understand why moms and dads aren't taking their older children in for recommended inoculations.

“These vaccines are safe and effective and people should really have their teens get them," says Dr. Paul Darden, lead author of the study and professor of pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma College of Medicine. “Parents say pediatricians are telling them about the vaccines, yet they just don’t seem to understand why they are necessary or are skeptical about their safety."

When parents of teens were asked why their children didn't receive certain forms of the tetanus, diphtheria, pertussis (Tdap) and meningitis vaccine, some parents noted these shots were not recommended or not necessary, according to the study. Others did not have a reason.

Regarding the controversial and fairly new vaccine that protects against the sexually transmitted human papillomavirus - which has been linked to cancer - some parents also said it was not necessary. In other cases parents noted their children were not sexually active or were not the appropriate age to receive the vaccine.

Concerns of mothers and fathers about the safety of the HPV vaccine grew each year, from 4.5% in 2008 to 16.4% in 2010, according to the study. The number of parents who said they would not vaccinate their children for HPV increased from 39.8% in 2008 to 43.9% in 2010. The main concern was safety.

Investigators were surprised, because the vaccine has been found to be very effective in preventing the virus that causes cervical cancer in young women.

“We thought perhaps many parents would think the HPV vaccine would give kids permission to have sex, and therefore not allow their children to get it. But that wasn’t it,” explained Darden. “They seemed to be skeptical of its safety, which is odd, because it’s shown to be effective with few side effects. We have a vaccine that protects against cancer. Why not vaccinate your child? I don’t get it.”

Although cost was not a major concern, it was a factor for some parents, the study found.

The lackadaisical attitude of some parents when it comes to these kids’ vaccines has study authors concerned. Investigators concluded more doctors need to stress to parents the benefits of these particular vaccines and why it’s important to get their teenagers vaccinated.

The study can be found in this week’s journal of Pediatrics.

soundoff (86 Responses)
  1. augie123

    HPV is NOT safe– over 100 US deaths and tens of thousands of injuries have been reported to the CDC VAERS system. Long term effects have not been studied either. Parents educated in vaccine safety, effectivess and necessity will say NO to HPV and other vaccines. http://j.mp/vaxkits

    March 18, 2013 at 08:05 | Report abuse | Reply
    • da2201

      You're right - HPV is NOT safe. The vaccine, however, is. This is a question of cancer or no cancer. Cancer is much worse than any conceivable side effect to the vaccine. Pay more attention to facts!

      March 18, 2013 at 09:33 | Report abuse |
    • Trevor Price

      I received the HPV shot two years ago (yes I'm a boy, boys get it so they don't give it to girls) and I have had 0 symptoms. Stop living in paranoia land.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:23 | Report abuse |
    • adh1729

      "Cancer is much worse than any conceivable side effect to the vaccine". Wrong. Cancer is not much worse than death.

      March 18, 2013 at 18:28 | Report abuse |
    • doctormelgar

      According to VAERS data which i just viewed directly on the site there have been 82 deaths after the vaccine was administered. That does NOT mean the vaccine caused the deaths. The way VAERS works is that any event which occurs after the vaccine is given can be reported by any doctor, nurse, patient or parent. Most of the adverse events reported involved only one person and most likely had nothing to do with the vaccine. Most of the deaths probably fall into the same category. Death due to a motor vehicle accident which occurred months after the vaccine obviously is not a vaccine induced death but yet it will show up in VAERS if the parent chooses to report it. You have to view VAERS data with a healthy level of skepticism since you would find similar data were you to inject placebo into people and then allow this sort of reporting.

      Nearly 30 million doses of HPV vaccine have been administered in the U.S since Gardisil came out with very few serious side effects directly tied to the vaccine. You need to balance that against the deaths that will be prevented when women who would have otherwise gotten cervical cancer are spared that outcome. Too many anti-vaccine people forget the other half of the equation.

      March 18, 2013 at 20:56 | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Augie

      Well put doc–but at best only 10% are reported said former CDC official. Others say less. Also there are short-term effects not thought to be related but are. And long=term effects have not been studied and are certainly likely. A car wreck can be related if dizziness is a side effect like in the flu shot.

      March 19, 2013 at 05:02 | Report abuse |
    • Mr. Augie

      The risks are small depending on what you call small (1%?) but if it is your child injured it is 100%. The effectiveness has not been shown since the vax has not been out long enough to even tell. The need for all to take this is ridiculous.

      March 19, 2013 at 05:07 | Report abuse |
    • BillRubin

      doctormelgar, well said

      March 19, 2013 at 07:37 | Report abuse |
    • peridot2

      Gardasil is very safe. My 23-year-old son decided on his own to be vaccinated. I paid for the vaccine because this was before males were recommended to be vaccinated. He had zero side effects and he's now protected against cancer of the penis.

      What's the treatment for penile cancer? Amputation. Any parent in their right mind would be glad to protect their son OR their daughter from HPV-caused cancer. Anything else is stupid and shortsighted.

      March 19, 2013 at 11:56 | Report abuse |
    • Dean

      Please read an excellent book on the subject, "The Panic Virus" by Mnookin.

      March 22, 2013 at 11:36 | Report abuse |
  2. toto 1

    With NVICP paying out over 2.616 billion dollars since 1989 in damages to US children and their families, it is easy to see the mistrust that parents have with the safety of vaccines. It is easy for the manufacturer of a vaccine to tout it's safety and efficacy, but it is the taxpayers that will foot the bill when there are injuries.

    March 18, 2013 at 08:35 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TheMovieFan

      There should be a very large deductible applied to anyone catching a preventable disease that foolishly refused to get a vaccination.

      March 18, 2013 at 13:48 | Report abuse |
    • adh1729

      But, if they wisely refused a vaccination, the deductible should be zero.

      March 18, 2013 at 18:27 | Report abuse |
    • CM46


      March 18, 2013 at 20:12 | Report abuse |
    • peridot2

      The deductible should NOT be zero if they refused to vaccinate their child or family member. There must be a stupidity surcharge, plus a mandatory pie in the face.

      March 19, 2013 at 11:58 | Report abuse |
    • OvernOut

      You must not be old enough to recall a slower, gentler time when we had to wait for the aunt/uncle/grandparent/cousin/friend to buckle up their leg braces before they could join us on a walk. People did not make fun of the way these people walked, they just looked away, pretended that person wasn't there, and hoped that they didn't get polio, too. Of course, those that could walk were the ones that lived or were not bound to an iron lung.

      March 20, 2013 at 10:41 | Report abuse |
  3. edog355

    Because parents get tired of the endless stream of recommended vaccines. Where and when does it end? When you're supposed to get your kid 100 shots before they hit high school? I can't even count the number of recommended vaccines the peds doc has recommended for my kids – it's ridiculous. Every time we go in they want to jab my kid with more needles and inject more serums.

    So we pick the ones we think may be helpful and decline the rest. Before we decide we look at the odds of contracting the illness, virus, etc. and the likely risk if they do contract the illness, virus, etc. Flu and Chicken Pox? Not getting those. Even if contracted neither isl likely to cause long term problems. Polio? Low risk of contracting but the effects are permanent and catastrophic. Definitely getting that one.

    March 18, 2013 at 10:12 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Trevor Price

      You should really, really, really, get your child vaccinated for chickenpox. Later in life it can result in shingles. I can understand why you won't want your child vaccinated for the flu, but chickenpox can be deadly later in life int he form of shingles.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:30 | Report abuse |
    • drks

      I hate to burst your bubble but you seem to be approaching the cafeteria style vaccination all wrong. If you wanted to skip something, polio makes more sense than any others since we have not had a case of wild polio in North America in years. The chicken pox vaccine does help prevent chicken pox, but I've had pts get shingles as children years after the vaccination – a known complication of this effective live virus. Everyone thinks chicken pox is benign but before immunization several hundred kids a year would die from chicken pox encephalitis (brain infection). We no longer see that. HPV vaccination will likely eradicate cervical cancer in women, but we'll have to make sure the men are immunized as well since they have no symptoms with the strain that causes cervical cancer – they just spread it around. And as for the hundred vaccines we demand before they start school, go back 60-70 years and ask those parents if they would accept a miniscule risk of a side effect in exchange for a good chance at preventing the polio, whooping cough, diptheria, german measles, mumps, etc... Nobody fears these diseases any more since we've done such a good job with herd health and everyone benefits from the risks taken by those who get vaccinated. By the way, payments made to folks with adverse reactions to vaccines aren't always deemed to be absolutely a result of the vaccination – some things just happen coincidentally to vaccination and the shots are the easy thing to blame.

      March 18, 2013 at 13:28 | Report abuse |
    • Chris

      I was vaccinated for chickenpox, came down with chickenpox, and then had the shingles as an adult. Makes one wonder? Sometimes I feel its the amount of vaccines/delivery systems that cause problems rather than the individual vaccines themselves...especially in children. The US "One Size Fits All" is a horrible way to go about medicine.

      March 18, 2013 at 14:08 | Report abuse |
  4. Misty

    A big reason why older children aren't getting their shots updated is because they aren't going to the doctor regularly, unlike the younger children, who doctors are able to keep on what's essentially a regularly scheduled maintenance program of visits. If my teens happen to go in for something, the doctor will let me know if they're behind and we'll get whatever is necessary.

    Except – I have not had my daughter get the HPV vaccine. I think it's too new and I don't want my daughter to end up with side affects 20 years down the road. It's not uncommon for medications to cause serious medical issues and until there's a good 40 years of research, I'm not cool with it. She's 19 so she can decide to get it, but so far she has not. As for the meningitis vaccine, I'd never heard of it until my daughter recently came home from a doctor visit with a paper recommending she get it.

    March 18, 2013 at 10:15 | Report abuse | Reply
    • TheMovieFan

      40 years of research? By that logic the polio vaccine would not have been considered OK until the mid-1990s.

      March 18, 2013 at 13:50 | Report abuse |
    • Certified Peds RN

      You'd rather have the possibility of having your kid die from meningitis? I am a pediatric intensive care nurse, meningitis comes in two forms, viral and bacterial. The bacterial form is more common and tends to be more deadly, and spreads more easily – also the one that you can vaccinate against. And it is a required vaccine for college; or you sign the paper stating that you understand the risks associated with not getting the vaccine.

      Remember that should your child get meningitis – it is not nice, it is horrible to watch someone go through it, even worse when that person/child dies.

      food for thought.

      March 19, 2013 at 02:09 | Report abuse |
    • Tootoot

      there are many strains of the bacterial meningitis, some the vaccine does not even cover. we have had cases of that happen and the vaccine could not have prevented that to begin with.

      March 22, 2013 at 15:45 | Report abuse |
  5. Angus Podgorny

    If teenagers would not oversleep I believe they would not miss there appointments for shots.

    March 18, 2013 at 10:50 | Report abuse | Reply
    • peridot2

      So you're too stupid to make the appointments in the afternoon after school?

      March 19, 2013 at 12:00 | Report abuse |
  6. bibleverse1

    I could understand not wanting to vaccinate a baby or toddler but a school age child or a teenager? I could understand not wanting HPV vac because of its newness but polio, flu, measles, have been around along time and have killed many.

    March 18, 2013 at 11:46 | Report abuse | Reply
  7. maplestaples

    The Anti-Virus movement is a lot more vocal than the medical community. Most doctors and and others in the medical and science fields seem to scoff at these people, but they nothing to alleviate the fears of the people that are reading the thousands of reports that are being generated by these groups. I think it is time that both the US and Canada adopt a program to teach parents the truth about vaccines so they are not tricked by the pseudo-science of these groups. I now have nurses on my facebook saying that kids should NOT get vaccines. This is going to cause a lot of problems in the future!

    March 18, 2013 at 11:51 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Trevor Price

      THANK YOU!

      We really need to start trusting our Doctors & Scientists again as opposed to conspiracy theories on the internet from people who have never taken a basic Biology course.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:25 | Report abuse |
    • drks

      Thank you!! Just to let you know though, we could talk till we're blue in the face, those who want to believe vaccines are dangerous are quite religious about it and don't trust the scientists or even their family docs to be telling them the truth. The paranoia disease is running rampant in North America – education has been the only cure but some refuse to be educated.

      March 18, 2013 at 13:31 | Report abuse |
  8. ConcernedParent

    The Federal Gvt just paid a lot of money to a family stating that the HepB vaccine was the reason why their daughter is dead. JAMA just published a research article that found the children of parents who delayed vaccines had less sick doctor visits and less ER visits. Maybe there is something to the anti-virus movement.

    March 18, 2013 at 11:55 | Report abuse | Reply
  9. Nathalie

    well i always thought they were safe too...until my 18 year old daughter was diagnosed with Narcolepsy and i was told there are links with the HPV and the Flu vaccine (which by the way she got both of about 6 months before her narcolepsy symptoms started...) not enough research on these newer ones i'm afraid...no issue with the polio, etc as they have been around for a longer time......i sure think about it twice now !

    March 18, 2013 at 12:04 | Report abuse | Reply
    • doctormelgar

      Nathalie the link between narcolepsy and the flu vaccine is a tentative one and only applies to a specific H1N1 vaccine that was used in the United Kingdom and never licensed or used in the U.S.. There has been no association between narcolepsy and flu vaccines used here. As far as the HPV vaccine goes there has not been any evidence of an increase in narcolepsy among patients who received this vaccine. There may have been rare cases of narcolepsy among patients after receiving the vaccine but remember that millions of people have received HPV. If you looked at a group of millions of people who weren't vaccinated you would find some cases of HPV also. It is only significant if the condition is seen at a greater rate in people who are vaccinated than in a similar group that did not get vaccinated.

      March 18, 2013 at 21:20 | Report abuse |
    • peridot2

      For myself, I'd prefer my child to be protected from disease and alive with narcolepsy and dead from measles, polio or chicken pox. In case you were wondering, my son IS protected from disease (including HPV) and alive with autism.

      Just FYI. It isn't vaccines, Nathalie. Stop blaming yourself.

      March 19, 2013 at 12:12 | Report abuse |
  10. Crystal

    I am a parent who chose to NOT have my daughter vaccinated. I didn't do it because I find it hard to believe that a vaccine can prevent an STD, which prevents cancer, yet there isn't a cure yet for cancer. Come on FDA?! I mean... why aren't there more "Cancer Free" vaccinations out there? And, why are schools requiring that these kids to get vaccinated?? The only way an STD is contracted is via Sex... not by sneezing or breathing on someone.
    Let's focus, collectively, on REAL issues with our kids. Because from a parental perspective, there are to many inconsistencies and to many unanswered questions about the long term side effects associated with this vaccine. Parents aren't vaccinating because they're not ignorantly naive to what they're told any more. It's not 1960, incase the FDA or our Gov't was wondering. If the Gov't/FDA wants us to trust them, then they need to be consistently trustworthy (what a concept). Make me, the parent, trust that you are looking out for my child's best interest by focusing on regulating Gun Laws, Mental Health issues, and Video Game violence before you start preaching to me what I should be putting in my child's veins. Protect them [teenagers], by taking an interest in the violence they're subjected to on a daily basis.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:18 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Trevor Price

      There's no "cancer-free" vaccine because cancer is not a virus. Cancer is the uncontrollable mitosis (or cell division) of cells, meaning that cells keep multiplying without stopping resulting in a large growth able to be seen by the naked eye.

      I wish it was that simple too to have a "cancer-free" shot.

      March 18, 2013 at 12:27 | Report abuse |
    • Crystal

      Trevor, the advertisement associated to this vaccine is that it "Prevents Cancer". It's very misleading. I get how cancer forms... hence the "Cancer Free" comment. But thank you for the comment. -Crystal

      March 18, 2013 at 12:33 | Report abuse |
    • drks

      Preventing the infection can prevent the chain of events that leads to the cellular changes causing cancer. Once cancer is present, you can't go back in and change the cells. That's why it's called cancer prevention.

      It's not hard to believe, and the scientific community isn't hiding anything from you.

      March 18, 2013 at 13:33 | Report abuse |
    • Quixoticelixer

      The human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine is used to decrease the chances of getting cervical cancer in young women. Doesn't seem like much, but with a high incidence of young women and men having unprotected sex in our country, this kind of technology literally does have the capacity to save lives. Don't be too quick to dismiss a treatment simply based on outside, biased propaganda from different sources. Have sincere faith in your doctor that they are educated in medicine. If you aren't, then you need to find yourself a new doctor in whom you can trust.

      March 18, 2013 at 14:00 | Report abuse |
    • PLZ

      Alright, looks like the usual suspects here. Quix talking hypocrisy again..."based on outside, biased propaganda" What do you think that the drugs you push are? Not biased with an agenda? Not fueled by profit? Give me a break, how do you even type these sort of comments and want to be taken seriously? Western medicine is a corrupt, greed filled industry that even snows over well educated Dr's like yourself.

      March 18, 2013 at 16:47 | Report abuse |
    • Quixoticelixer

      PLZ, maybe because unlike the stereotypical outlook on all physicians being "greedy and profit driven" I actually went into medicine to better the lives of individuals. Cut aside all of the politics and propaganda that you see. There ARE good people in medicine that try to help people. I love medicine and I love the beauty of using science to explain how medicine works. To be able to use the discipline of science to help people with disease is the greatest job to me. I'm sorry you don't feel the same way, as I believe your doctor SHOULD be the one individual you should be able to trust (in an ideal world).

      March 18, 2013 at 21:16 | Report abuse |
    • doctormelgar

      Crystal it may seem difficult to understand at first but the concept makes a good deal of sense. The HPV virus inserts its DNA into the cells that line a womans cervix. Many viruses do this as they reproduce inside our bodies. Sometimes the genetic code that the virus inserts turns on dormant genes in our cells which can then lead to uncontrolled cell division which is what leads to cancer.

      There are hundreds of types of types of cancers. While they all develop as a result of changes to DNA these changes come about by different methods so they can;t all be prevented with a vaccine. Cervical cancer is one of the few that can though. 80-90% of sexually active women in their 20's have HPV. Nearly all cervical cancers are a direct result of HPV infection. No HPV means no cervical cancer. This one cancer that doesn't need to happen if we can get more boys and girls vaccinated

      March 18, 2013 at 21:32 | Report abuse |
  11. KS

    Maybe if doctors didn't come off as snake oil salesmen and drug pushers people would be less wary of them.

    March 18, 2013 at 12:27 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Quixoticelixer

      Then find a doctor that you can trust. We live in a free world. You have the power to find an individual that you can trust.

      March 18, 2013 at 21:16 | Report abuse |
    • Tootoot

      we have a great doctor we trust. he says stay away from vaccines. he doesn't even vaccinate his own children. there are more and more doctors out there who can clearly see what is going on, it is not just parents, but doctors, pharmacists, chemists, etc.

      March 22, 2013 at 15:49 | Report abuse |
  12. Greg

    The fact that the authors of this study are surprised by these results baffles me – not because I think vaccines are unsafe but because doctors have been losing the PR battle going on about vaccinations for years because they've chosen not to engage in it, especially in social media and on the internet. They can’t possibly hope to combat the onslaught of pseudo-science online just by issuing a report or telling someone in an office visit that they think vaccines are a good idea. They have to be involved in the discussions happening that influence those opinions. Hearts and minds in this fight aren’t won in the doctor's office, they’re won in the virtual spaces where the anti-vaccine movement thrives because there isn’t an authoritative voice offering an contrary opinion.

    March 18, 2013 at 14:05 | Report abuse | Reply
  13. Jane

    I would have mine vaccinated,but I don't get any information on what is new. I asked the nurse once were there any updated vacs my children may need to get and she said "Oh I don't know about that." So there you have it. That right there is a big reason. Parents need an update on what's new!

    March 18, 2013 at 14:07 | Report abuse | Reply
    • toddflanders

      Stop listening to nurses and actually ask a doctor

      March 18, 2013 at 18:21 | Report abuse |
  14. Sandy

    Many parents are not vaccinating their children due to the ingredient in the vaccines themselves. These vaccines have to be grown in a live medium. Many of which contain animal DNA and human DNA. Find a different way to grow your vaccines and I'll think about vaccinating my child.

    March 18, 2013 at 14:56 | Report abuse | Reply
    • doctormelgar

      Sandy there is no DNA in most vaccines. Even so, I am not aware of any research that demonstrates a disease or illness brought on by animal DNA injected into human beings.

      March 18, 2013 at 21:09 | Report abuse |
    • Tootoot

      SV40 was brought on by being in the polio vaccine and now infects most people with cancer. breast cancer tissue has been examined and found SV40. the drug company even admits this. two dead girls from the HPV vaccine, they did post mortem on them and found the HPV strains in their brain. how did it get there? gee I wonder, the vaccine.

      March 22, 2013 at 15:51 | Report abuse |
  15. Dr. Amy

    Children born since 2000 got 30 – 36 shots before they were 6 years old. Their parents, mostly born before 1983, got only 6. So while researchers don't understand it personally, and parents may be embarrassed by it, now 63% of children fear needles. (Taddio 2012) This is pretty close to the number who have not completed the HPV series. Coincidence? If you got one bee sting as a kid, you might feel differently than someone who got 6 stings. Or 36. In 2005 Dan Salmon published a similar study that compared full immunizers to partial immunizers. While the parents of partial immunizers cited fear of the vaccine and fear of harm to the immune system, guess what the least refused vaccine was: Polio. And why? It was the one vaccine that could actually spread polio to immunocompromised people, and had just as much immunogenicity. Why? At the time the study was done, for the parents surveyed, their children would have gotten the vaccine pre-1999...when it was an oral vaccine. If the issue of needle fear isn't addressed, in 8 years when these kids are driving themselves to the doctor, they may not.

    March 18, 2013 at 17:12 | Report abuse | Reply
  16. MysteriaKiito

    I am hoping there will be sufficient research done on the HPV vaccine by the time my daughter is a teenager. I would be leery about it now if her doc recommended it, since it is still new. But if it's researched a little more thoroughly I think I would vaccinate her.

    March 18, 2013 at 17:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • toddflanders

      What's the appropriate amount of time to wait and see if it's safe?? 10 years, 20 years?? In the meantime, plenty of people suffering from diseases that are preventable. If you understood how these vaccines were developed and tested perhaps you would not have such fears.

      March 18, 2013 at 18:24 | Report abuse |
    • adh1729

      "What's the appropriate amount of time to wait and see if it's safe?? 10 years, 20 years??" Longer. You will not find something unless you look for it. If your net has 6 inch holes, don't be surprised if you catch only fishes larger than 6 inches in size.

      If you stop your study after 30 days, you will not find any long-term adverse effects of the vaccine, because you did not look for them.

      March 18, 2013 at 18:37 | Report abuse |
    • adh1729

      "plenty of people suffering from diseases that are preventable": I know, preventable by old-fashioned morality in this particular case.

      March 18, 2013 at 18:38 | Report abuse |
    • peridot2

      She will not qualify for the vaccine forever. Do you comprehend the vaccine only protects her BEFORE she's exposed? She MUST be a virgin to be vaccinated. PLEASE protect your daughter from this cancer. If you love her, get her this vaccine!

      I suffered from HPV cervical dysplasia. My first husband gave it to me. By the time I was engaged to my second husband I was dealing with the extremely painful treatments. A cautery needle burns off the surface of your cervix. There are NO pain meds, no anesthesia is given to you. I couldn't climb the steps to my apartment. My fiance had to carry me upstairs home. I fainted.

      This treatment was repeated 3 times. It only extended my fertility by several years. I had to have a partial hysterectomy. That procedure was followed by ovarian cancer. Did HPV cause my PCOS? Who knows? It could have exacerbated it. All I can say is that all my life I had GYN issues. It certainly didn't help.

      Vaccinate your daughter.

      March 19, 2013 at 12:29 | Report abuse |
  17. Sci0n

    How are you to trust Doctors in a for-profit system, there are a number of lies that parents get told from their pediatric doctors for their young children, from what vaccines to jab you child with, to circ-umcision. All recommended in the name of profit that are with out any kind of real benefit other then to line the pockets of doctors and health care facilities. Parents should question everything, and not trust the word of any of these so called professionals until they start living up to their Hippocratic oath to first do no harm, not first make me wealthy.

    March 18, 2013 at 19:16 | Report abuse | Reply
    • Quixoticelixer

      Empower yourself to find a physician that cares. It is your decision to see your doctor, and it is your decision to CONTINUE to see your doctor. We went to medical school to learn how to treat disease, but we also became physicians to educate patients. A doctor should be more than someone who "towers" over and their patients and commands them to take specific medications. Find a doctor that will sit down with you and explain things. More than anything, a doctor is equally a teacher as well as a clinician.

      March 18, 2013 at 21:24 | Report abuse |
    • Tootoot

      and exactly how much time did you spend in medical school learning about vaccines, other than them telling you they are good and must be given? last i heard it was around 10-12 hours max?

      March 22, 2013 at 15:53 | Report abuse |
  18. CM46

    There have been really only two major things that improve the overall health of a population: clean water and immunizations.

    March 18, 2013 at 20:17 | Report abuse | Reply
    • RM

      Sanitation erradicated most diseases, not vaccines. I was a human pin cushion both as a civilian and in the military. I have neurological issues. Were they caused by the vaccines? Who knows for sure. There are so many poisons in our environment it's hard to tell.

      March 25, 2013 at 15:42 | Report abuse |
  19. Mikey

    I love my doctor and the vaccines I've gotten. I LOVE not being sick! When one of your kids die from NOT getting a shot, because YOU were too scared to let them have it, what do you say for yourself? If your kid is over 18, let him/her decide, but INFORM them, NOT coach them – Conspiracy Theories are better left to Hollywood to mock and make movies from, NOT your child's health!!! Meanwhile, I've enjoyed years of NO flu, nothing else weird – occasional cold and allergy crap – but, otherwise GREAT! PS – I did get a reaction to my last few shot, my arm got a little red for a couple hours and it hurt a little when they injected me with a needle. If I wanted to complain about it, I can report the "DUH" side-effects, and be a statistic to scare the rest of you, LOL.

    (I really want to know how many of these people inject themselves with meth and heroin CAUSING the paranoia and conspiracy theories!)

    March 18, 2013 at 21:36 | Report abuse | Reply
  20. Greg

    Autism a few decades ago was 1 in 10,000, now it's 1 in 88. Vaccine courts continue to compensate for damages leading to autism. Hundred of thousands of parents report that their healthy babies dramatically descended into autism after vaccination. Autism is linked to other immune dysfunctions such as seizures and brain inflammation that vaccines are also known to cause. It's a good thing pharma funded studies have found vaccines to be safe or I would not know what to believe.

    March 18, 2013 at 22:13 | Report abuse | Reply
    • peridot2

      My son was autistic prior to being vaccinated. I observed him in the newborn nursery and reported his behaviour to the nurses. He was hyperactive in his sleep. I tested him. Most new parents are not observant. Later my son was diagnosed as having ADD, ADHD and Asperger's Syndrome. It was not a surprise to me.

      Vaccines are not given to newborns, Greg. Your theory in this case is worthless.

      March 19, 2013 at 12:35 | Report abuse |
    • Tootoot

      where have you been? yes vaccines are given to newborns. the hep b is given hours after birth. then at 1.5 to 2 months is the first big assault on the immune system and brains. when your child teeths, you open the blood brain barrier for all those toxins to get in if you have shots given during teething.

      March 22, 2013 at 15:56 | Report abuse |
  21. Tracy

    The following is reason enough


    March 18, 2013 at 22:29 | Report abuse | Reply
  22. k

    As a teenager, my dad let me handle everything health related in my life when I hit high school. Until I got my drivers license I was dropped off at the office and went in alone, handling things by myself. He made no health decisions for me – if the doctors wanted me on a certain medication or to get a certain shot I have decided what I'm okay with. Usually if it's a vaccine for an illness that isn't particularly life-threatening, I'll risk getting sick. I got a meningitis and an HPV shot. The meningitis shot hurt a lot and made my arm sore after, but I have felt no ill side effects.

    March 18, 2013 at 23:03 | Report abuse | Reply
  23. sanityrules

    This is why we will continue to have the poor, the ignorant and a host of other social problems. Government can't fix stupid with any amount of public spending. Of the people that won't do what's right by their children, there's a yet crazier minority of folks out there that think vaccines are some kind of government plot to either control them, sterilize them, or worse.

    March 19, 2013 at 07:27 | Report abuse | Reply
  24. Lucy

    Look at the ingredients in the vaccines. The CDC has them listen on their website. Chick embryos, aluminum, THIMERASOL (which is STILL in the flu shot that they recommend for young children and pregnant women). I know too many people who have kids who have had reactions to vaccines. WHY did I only need 6 shots in the same time frame that my kid needed 30? We're eradicating these diseases, so why more vaccines? It doesn't make sense. The pharmacy companies have a lot of people fooled. Common sense should tell parents, something is not right with how many shots are "required" these days.

    March 19, 2013 at 10:42 | Report abuse | Reply
    • peridot2

      The reason, Lucy, is the same as the reason puppies and kittens require so many vaccinations during the same comparative time: their immune systems are growing and developing. If you ever bothered to take a biology class you would have learned this.

      'WHY did I only need 6 shots in the same time frame that my kid needed 30?'

      Because you aren't growing and developing, that's why. God help me, you're what qualifies as an adult. Your body is finished in size and weight...just like your mind is closed off and shut down. If you take some time and think about it for one single moment, kids and their bodies are changing and growing, and THEIR IMMUNE SYSTEMS CHANGE, every few months they replace themselves, THAT'S WHY THEY MUST RECEIVE VACCINE BOOSTER SHOTS! As fast as you replace their clothing and shoes, that's how rapidly their immune cells (white blood cells) die off and replace themselves. Therefore their white blood cells(WBC) no longer recognise invaders (tetanus, measles, chicken pox, mumps, rubella), so we have to put in new dead invader cells (tetanus, measles, chicken pox, mumps, rubella) so their immune cells (WBC) will recognise the bad guy cells and they'll still be protected. That's the reason for the schedule and the multiple booster shots. Childrens' immune systems grow out of remembering the invaders. How do we know this? They've been studied in the past and the schedules were developed to protect them from those studies. Protect them from what? FROM INFECTIOUS DISEASES!

      It's NOT pharmacy companies fooling people. It's YOUR lack of knowledge of how human (and animal) immune systems grow and develop. That's right, it's your own ignorance of science, not common sense, it's YOUR lack of education that makes you feel you're being lied to about these things. For God's sake, read a biology textbook from college. That will explain everything you want to know. YOU should have learned all of this in grade school. Bill Nye the Science Guy explains it on television on PBS. It was ALL there in the red blood cell, white blood cell stuff. Were you absent that week?

      'We're eradicating these diseases, so why more vaccines?' Now you're just being STUPID.

      People like YOU who don't vaccinate your children are making these diseases stronger and more resistant to VACCINES! NEW and STRONGER VACCINES have to BE DEVELOPED to protect us every year so the diseases don't kill our kids!

      THERE IS NO POSSIBILITY THAT THE FLU CAN BE ERADICATED! THE FLU IS A DIFFERENT VIRUS (or viruses) EVERY SINGLE YEAR! You don't understand the first thing about viruses or vaccines or how they work. Lucy, I'm begging you. For God's sake, no one's trying to fool you. For your children's sake, get some education.

      Learn something, please. Take a course, read a book about biology. It's all available free online.

      Here's an even better idea: your 'common sense' is worth a pound of puppycrap in a bag. Use Google and look up the science. Thimerosol is NO LONGER PRESENT in child vaccinations. Do some actual research rather than depending upon your own prejudice and 'feelings,' for God's sake, and most important of all, for the sake of the love you bear for your children. Send inquiries to the CDC. ASK THEM about the vaccination schedule. They have to answer questions honestly. They are civil servants; we taxpayers pay their salary.

      Remember: feelings are NOT facts and the only disease that has been eradicated in the last 60 years is smallpox. The future of your children is in YOUR hands.

      March 19, 2013 at 13:04 | Report abuse |
    • Mikey

      Lucy, you're not very bright, are you? How do you think eradicated diseases get eradicated? PS – common sense says that as technology and research continues to develop, it's no wonder why we have more vaccines! I know why we can't make it a law, but it should be called child-endangerment when a parent is so ignorant that they'd rather have their child contract a potentially life-threatening disease because you're afraid of a <1% chance of a reaction. Don't let your kid go to school, there's a much greater chance that they could catch the flu by being in public school!

      March 19, 2013 at 15:19 | Report abuse |
    • lola

      Lucy makes a valid point....you missed it! Why did we only need fewer vaccines when WE WERE rather children than the onslaught we are given now, if the vaccines were "working?" Provaxers do not get the reasons why we question the safety of vaccines. Side effects are quickly dismissed as coincidence. Not all cases of autism are vaccine induced, but many may be. Myself having a child who has neurologic problems after having a severe reaction from his vaccinations really makes a parent sit back and research. Many nonvaxing parents are very well educated on the subject. And yes, HPV vaccines have been found to be contaminated with live virus. Definitely not what we want to be injecting children with. Incidence of cervical cancer is very low as well to begin with. Is this vaccine really necessary? Let it be a personal choice, not forced upon us. I love how provaxers argue against intelligence and resort to namecalling...go ahead keep getting your shots. They are not completely safe and should not be forced upon people.

      March 22, 2013 at 19:59 | Report abuse |
  25. toonah

    Here's a reason: the CDC and the pharmaceutical companies are rife with corruption, lies, propaganda, and disinformation. There's no reason to think these vaccines are safe because the approving doctors are bought and paid for. There is no hard data from a neutral source for vaccine safety, and the CDC refuses to do valid studies with control groups.

    March 22, 2013 at 09:52 | Report abuse | Reply
    • lola

      I agree completely!

      March 22, 2013 at 20:00 | Report abuse |
  26. cassileigh16

    As a 17 year old female, I have quite the experience with these. In regards to Gardasil, I have done my research, and it is related to side effects which, if left untreated,will cause death. Things like blood clots in legs. It has also not been recommended by my doctor; if my doctor is not recommending it, and I am not comfortable with the side effects which do happen in many cases, I am not getting it. My parents are even worse about it. Sure, it will be a good thing considering I am at risk for various types of cancer, but I am not sexually active. I am not at high risk for HPV, and this vaccine is not worthwhile to me at this point.
    I did not get the chickenpox vaccine until I was in 6th grade, my brother who is 3 years younger than me got it way before I did. The chickenpox vaccine is one of the safest vaccines out there, and although you may get chickenpox, it is MUCH safer to get the vaccine rather than just say "Oh, you'll get it anyway, just get it and be done with it." Chickenpox can cause death, and it is more prominent than you would think. There are at least 100 deaths each year from Chickenpox, and the vaccine prevents half of all possible cases, hospitalizations, and deaths each year.
    In regards to the flu shot, it's your choice, you can get it or not, but personally, I get it. I recommend looking it up each year and see if a local health clinic or hospital is offering it at a low price or free. I live in northwest NJ, so I go to Dorney Park each year where a local hospital provides volunteers and vaccinations to the community, and just asking for a donation of non perishable food items to benefit a fund set up by a family that lost their son to the flu. Something like this gives out THOUSANDS of free vaccines every year. Make yourself available for the flu vaccine, it does save lives.
    Now, I'm going to college in September and I have to go to the doctor's office next week to get a ton of vaccinations so I can be allowed to attend; I'm so behind it's not even funny, I'm lucky I am as healthy as I am. Vaccines are a good thing in most cases, but in regards to the Gardasil vaccine, it is fairly new, and we do not really know any long term side effects.

    March 24, 2013 at 17:57 | Report abuse | Reply
  27. RM

    HPV vaccine does not cover all strains of the virus. Maybe 30% if I'm not mistaken.

    March 25, 2013 at 15:44 | Report abuse | Reply
  28. CLP

    Re: The HPV vaccine.... My discomfort with it is the fact that it currently only provides proven coverage for 6 years, while more research is being done to see how long it may truly last and if boosters are necessary. HPV is a lifelong concern and issue... and I'm not comfortable spending money for a multiple injection vaccine if it's only going to provide protection against the most seen and known strains of the virus. To me, it's just like how people still get the flu, regardless of getting the flu shot. It only protects against some strains, but others exist and are still able to fester.

    March 28, 2013 at 19:47 | Report abuse | Reply
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