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To vaccinate or not to vaccinate, that is the question

Nurses Toon   (8,011 Views 144 Comments)
by Joe V Joe V (Admin) Writer Innovator Expert

Joe V specializes in Programming / Strategist / Web Development.

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It's been around for a couple centuries: Anti-vaccination. Words like, "safety and efficacy", "thimerosal", "religious objections", and "violations of personal liberty". Everyone needs to be educated on the myths and facts of vaccination, that's true. But, sending in the ghouls and goblins to threaten us?

What fears and/or objections have you, personally, or as Nurses caring for your patients, encountered when it comes to vaccinations?

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Snatchedwig has 11 years experience as a ADN, CNA, LPN, RN and specializes in Medsurg.

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One of the surgeons said at the nurses station that vaccines cause autism.

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Joe V specializes in Programming / Strategist / Web Development.

9 Followers; 7 Articles; 1,780 Posts; 93,436 Profile Views

Thank you @Feral.Cat.Herder for the winning caption. You won $100!!

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I gave about 10 flu shots yesterday and I think 100% of the patients said to me "I always get sick after I get the flu shot."  When I asked for details, most didn't give any other than "feeling bad."

I did have ONE patient this week whose story was "I never did get the flu shot, until a few years ago when I caught the flu and it was awful.  Now I get the shot every year because I don't want that to happen again!"  I wanted to give him a gold star.

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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1 hour ago, Joe V said:


What fears and/or objections have you, personally, or as Nurses caring for your patients, encountered when it comes to vaccinations?

My fears are people who have drunk the pseudoscience Kool-Aid and don't vaccinate.  I'd love to NOT go back to the days of kids dying of preventable illnesses and being deformed by polio.  

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Here.I.Stand has 16 years experience as a BSN, RN and specializes in SICU, trauma, neuro.

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My fear is polio, tetanus etc. infecting children who didn’t choose to be ignorant about vaccines 

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I've always been an advocate of vaccines. That being said, I do have concerns. There is a lot about immunology that we still don't understand and what frustrates me about the debate is how polarized the two sides are. It's science - why are we arguing? There are legit concerns to investigate - that's good science. Anyone yelling that vaccines are safe for everyone is wrong, and anyone yelling that vaccines aren't safe for anyone is wrong too. Unfortunately this issue has become so politicized that a healthy debate now seems impossible. 

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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34 minutes ago, Coopsalot said:

I've always been an advocate of vaccines. That being said, I do have concerns. There is a lot about immunology that we still don't understand and what frustrates me about the debate is how polarized the two sides are. It's science - why are we arguing? There are legit concerns to investigate - that's good science. Anyone yelling that vaccines are safe for everyone is wrong, and anyone yelling that vaccines aren't safe for anyone is wrong too. Unfortunately this issue has become so politicized that a healthy debate now seems impossible. 

What legit concerns do you have with vaccines that you think need to be investigated?  Genuinely curious.

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nursej22 has 30 years experience as a MSN, RN and specializes in med/surg,CV.

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45 minutes ago, Coopsalot said:

I've always been an advocate of vaccines. That being said, I do have concerns. There is a lot about immunology that we still don't understand and what frustrates me about the debate is how polarized the two sides are. It's science - why are we arguing? There are legit concerns to investigate - that's good science. Anyone yelling that vaccines are safe for everyone is wrong, and anyone yelling that vaccines aren't safe for anyone is wrong too. Unfortunately this issue has become so politicized that a healthy debate now seems impossible. 

No one is yelling that vaccines are safe for everyone. There are always valid medical exceptions. Please don't try to make this some sort of balanced argument in that both sides have equal weight. 

Vaccine research is ongoing. Data is collected on all vaccines given, trends are studied, signals for adverse effects are sought. The Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices meets three times a year to review and update vaccine recommendations. 

I too am interested in what aspects of immunology you think are not understood.

Edited by nursej22

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Hi LibraSunCNM,

ASIA/Schoenfeld syndrome is one of my concerns. 

Hi Nursej22, As far as aspects of immunology that we still don't understand - there are many. For example, autoimmunity. Sure, we know what's happening, but why? Is it genetic, environmental? Both? Neither? There is some genetic component to a lot of autoimmune disorders, but not all. Roles and functions of cells, receptor function and identities are being discovered every day. Even lymph vessels were discovered fairly recently in the brain.

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HiddencatBSN is a BSN and specializes in Peds ED.

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I’ve been getting my flu shot since before I became a nurse and having the flu shot clinics at work makes it easier for me to get them every year. I’ve never had the flu and the only time I’ve had a mild reaction to the shot I think it had to do with injection technique because it was a student-run clinic. 

As far as what we don’t know yet about immunology, the best we can do is use the knowledge we have now to make the best decisions we can and I’m comfortable with decades of evidence supporting the benefits over risks of vaccines. My kids are on the standard schedule and just got their flu shots and when they are old enough we are most definitely getting the HPV vaccine too.

Antivaxxers like to point to VERS as evidence of harm and I think it’s actually very helpful to look through the database. The vast majority of potential (not proven, the database only shows correlation by self report) are minor ones like pain, redness and swelling at the injection site. 

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LibraSunCNM has 10 years experience as a MSN and specializes in OB.

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On 10/22/2019 at 10:17 AM, Coopsalot said:

Hi LibraSunCNM,

ASIA/Schoenfeld syndrome is one of my concerns. 

Hi Nursej22, As far as aspects of immunology that we still don't understand - there are many. For example, autoimmunity. Sure, we know what's happening, but why? Is it genetic, environmental? Both? Neither? There is some genetic component to a lot of autoimmune disorders, but not all. Roles and functions of cells, receptor function and identities are being discovered every day. Even lymph vessels were discovered fairly recently in the brain.

I had to look up ASIA, I've never heard of that.  What I read said the average age of onset is 37 years old.  Your concern is its effect in childhood vaccines, or some other type of vaccine?

Of course there are aspects of immunology that we don't understand!  That doesn't mean that the stacks and stacks of research from the last several decades DON'T support that vaccines are safe for the vast majority of the public and are the greatest advance in public health in the last century.

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