The vaccine issue has come full circle. Community, public, and world health organizations have done their job at the population health level to decrease the global incidence and prevalence of vaccine-preventible diseases- even eradicating some. It is now our job at the individual level. Meaning, even if only 1/ 100,000 children has an adverse reaction to a vaccine [the number needed to harm/ NNH]; that one child is still that family's one-in-a-million!!
If vaccinating, delaying/ partially vaccinating or not vaccinating, also have a back-up plan for prevention & intervention. Don't just hope for the best then wonder what to do if the worst occurs. So what does a back-up plan look-like? I can not say for sure, however it surely is a multi-disciplinary effort involving the following 10 points:
1. Seek the assistance of your care providers when creating your action plan. And I highly recommend seeking out a Doctor of Homeopathy (especially for children) on the use of an Influenza Homeopathic Kit. See blog post "Influenza and Cytokine Storm". In Chinese Medicine, there is Wen Bing Xue [WBX], the formidable "Warm Disease Theory" that tackles "Li Qi or Pestilential Qi, which is communicable, febrile and infectious disease. See how WBX was used at the public health level during the SARS epidemic in China. See details of treating WBX (starting on page 8).
2. Know the prodromal and acute phase signs & symptoms of some of the communicable, febrile and infectious disease that, in the past, commonly resulted in death or disability. See simple charts online such as this one.
3. Know the routes by which vaccine-preventable diseases, that once caused bigger pandemics, are spread from person to person [e.g. contact, droplet/cough, airborne, fecal/oral]. And which age groups are most vulnerable to a disease. It is helpful to know when to quarantine and for how long. See simple charts online such as this one. See School systems written policy such as this one.
4. Know which communicable, febrile and infectious disease are reportable in your state: See New Mexico's list.
5. Know which communicable, febrile and infectious diseases are endemic in your geographic region. For example, there was one report of Rubella in Idaho this week. See CDC Notifiable Diseases & Mortality Tables for real-time incidence and prevalence of these diseases by geographic location. (There are many other types of CDC tables other than this one).
6. Know what your state laws are regarding school-entry vaccination exemption. See New Mexico's law.
7. Access the CDC Vaccination Information Statements [VIS] that providers are required to give to patients before vaccination.
8. Self Advocacy: Despite what the media [or even a provider] may lead you to believe, there is a huge amount of protocol surrounding vaccination. See Guide to Vaccine Contraindications and Precautions. OR Guide to Contraindications and Precautions to Commonly Used Vaccines.
9. Seek Out A Specialist regarding...
The MMR controversy was triggered by a "case series" [not research] by Dr. Wakefield. Dr. Wakefield is a pediatric gastroenterologist, not an immunologist/ epidemiologist. So his case series did not focus on the correlation between the MMR vaccine and ASD, but rather upon the relationship between gastrointestinal dysfunction and neurological delay in children. A critical review of the subsequent and current research reveals that there may be a very rare phenotypic variant of autistic spectrum disorder [ASD] that may be triggered by the MMR vaccine. The expression of this rare variant may not be prevalent enough to show statistically significant correlation with the MMR vaccine, even in very large scale studies. All this means is that a rare genetic phenotypic disposition may predispose to reaction to vaccination, depending on various factors in the child's internal or external environment.
...Vaccine Product Integrity?
An original controversy surrounding Dr. Wakefield's case series had to do with the lack of "Ethical Research Methods". It grew into the MMR controversy we know today because a few children in the very small study had recently received the MMR vaccine prior to the study. And according to Dr. Wakefield, issues surrounding the distribution of vaccine products of questionable integrity were subsequently brought to his attention- this became his area of concern.
In Chinese Medicine disease naturally enters and exits the various depth of the body in an orderly fashion. Vaccines introduce Li Qi directly into the deeper levels of the body. Meaning they by-pass all the preliminary and orderly immunological responses (and detoxification responses) that the actual disease would have triggered. How a person's body reacts to this immunological challenge posed by vaccines is multi-factorial (See #10). However, in Chinese Medicine vaccines cause what are termed "Latent Heat, Residual Heat, or Retained Pathogen". These can also occur in circumstances other than vaccination as a factor of constitution/genetics, concurrent illness, co morbidities etc.
10. The “Guide to Vaccine Contraindications and Precautions” (CDC, n.d. a) summarizes recommendations regarding symptoms & conditions that do and do not contraindicate U.S. licensed vaccines (or vaccination with caution):
Blood/ Bleeding Disorder
Neurological or Neuromuscular Disorders
Family/ Household History
Timing and Spacing of Vaccines
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (n.d.). Guide to vaccine contraindications and precautions.
Center for Disease Control and Prevention (n.d.). Vaccine schedule 19 years and older: Adults (27-49), [Android version].
Center for Disease Control and Prevention. (2014). Vaccine information statements. Retrieved from http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/current-vis.html (Links to an external site.).
Immunization Action Coalition. (n.d.). Screening checklist for contraindications to
vaccines for adults. Retrieved from www.immunize.org/catg.d/p4065.pdf (Links to an external site.).
Maciocia, G. (2005). The foundations of Chinese medicine: A comprehensive text for acupuncturists and herbalists (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Churchill-Livingston Elsevier.
Maciocia, G. (2008 ). The practice of Chinese medicine: The treatment of disease with acupuncture and Chinese herbs (2nd ed.). New York, NY: Churchill-Livingston Elsevier.