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Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Posted by Pauline on 1/01/03 at 22:03 (104511)

Do you think President Bush actually took the Smallpox vaccine or not? If you don't think he did, what proof would you need to make you change your mind?

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

nancy s. on 1/01/03 at 22:34 (104516)

i wish i could answer this, but . . . no tv . . . i'm out of the loop.

paula from georgia, help! was bush taking a smallpox vaccine on the news tonight? you SAID you'd help me.

or maybe i'll try again after the morning paper arrives at 5 o'clock.

nancy
.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

pala on 1/01/03 at 23:25 (104525)

he supposedly took one. i think it was a few days ago. i personally believe everything this administration tells us. now i'm going to watch wrestling. which is also real , by the way.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

nancy s. on 1/01/03 at 23:43 (104527)

i hate to keep repeating myself, but lol! i believe it all too -- and pigs fly.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 11:07 (104553)

Pauline, maybe I've missed the controversy on this (haven't watched the news in days).

What's the big deal if he did or didn't? I personally think he'd be an idiot not to....he'd be a good target for terrorism wouldn't he?

I also thought I'd read somewhere that people who had the immunizations as kids, are much less likely to have the severe reactions. Since even I'm old enough to have had the shot, he evidently lived through it as a kid.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 11:23 (104558)

I have zero doubts in my mind that the President took his smallpox vaccination. As Commander in Chief and a former military pilot he would certainly be out in front on this. I am still amazed at all the negative publicity about this vaccination since for most of my life we took these shot on a rountine basis. I was still taking them up until I retired from the Air Force in 1973. Military people traveling into 3rd world areas have been taking them along with plague,yellow fever,typhus and other exotic diseases for some time. My daughter who works in a hospital is scheduled for her smallpox vaccination soon. I have two shot record books completely filled up with every shot known to mankind. I cannot imagine any President saying he had a vaccination to all the troops he commanded and not really doing so. We know the risk of a smallpox vaccination (2 in one million will die). I wonder what the risk is for flu? Personally I feel no need at this point to get the vaccination but if I were still flying into 3rd wold nations I would be at the head of the line. If I lived in Washington, D.C I think I would have the vaccination as they would be a likely target..

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/02/03 at 12:58 (104575)

Granted, I'm 54 which is somewhat older than President Bush. Maybe that colors my opinion. But to me, getting a smallpox vaccination is trivial. If worries of the world were rated on a scale of 1-10, with taking one asperin rated as a 0.5, crossing the street when the light is red is a 0.7, getting a flu shot as a 1.0, and the possibility of terrorists trying to infect us with biological warfare agents as a 5.0, then I'd rate smallpox vaccination as about a 0.6 .

OF COURSE he took it! He's old enough to remember that it's no big deal. Not only did he take it, I'd take it myself this afternoon if it were available to the population in general.

Carole C

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 12:58 (104576)

John, I don't believe there has been a natural case of small pox since around 1978 (so I don't think the vaccinations have been done even for people travelling to third world countries).

Small pox itself has been completely wiped out, the fear relates to a terrorist attack (it won't happen on it's own).

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

pala on 1/02/03 at 13:26 (104580)

then i'm sure he didn't

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/02/03 at 13:28 (104583)

Do we really know that it's no big deal, though? If the disease has been eradicated, except in some fly-by-night lab somewhere, isn't it possible that our bodies will react badly to a vaccination, due to lack of exposure over the past decades? I was born in 1971 and have no idea if I was vaccinated or not, so I don't know what the whole wave of new vaccinations might mean for me. I'd be very worried about kids who are young enough that they were never vaccinated.

On the surface I think it's an excellent idea, but I worry about the unintended consequences. I heard a few weeks ago that there are concerns about vaccinated health-care workers transmitting the disease to those who have not been vaccinated. I'm not opposed to the idea, especially in light of the terrorist threats, but I don't have a sense that it's been researched especially well, or that we're prepared to deal with potential unexpected side-effects.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/02/03 at 14:04 (104590)

You definitely have a point about catching smallpox from vaccinated health care workers. I couldn't agree with you more. That's one reason why I'd like to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available to the general public.

I sure wouldn't want to hang around newly vaccinated people, touch their vaccinations, and so on, considering that I haven't been vaccinated for smallpox since they last vaccinated people.

The fear is properly attached to the smallpox virus itself, not to the vaccine. Smallpox is a terrible, deadly disease and it's worth every bit of fear that you may have for it and more.

If I were personally going to have a reaction to the vaccine I would have had one fifty years ago. Although I have known a number of people who had reactions to the flu shot, I never knew anyone to have a reaction to the smallpox vaccine other than a little knot and pain that some people get sometimes at the vaccination site on the upper arm. When I took my flu shot this year, my upper arm hurt sort of like it used to for the smallpox vaccine.

As kid, I appreciated the smallpox vaccine because it doesn't require sticking you with a needle. All they have to do is just barely scratch the skin.

I remember the first time I went overseas without a smallpox vaccination back in the early 1970's sometime. It was a scary, defenseless feeling to travel abroad without any protection and taking a chance (however miniscule) of catching or carrying smallpox.

Carole C

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 17:30 (104617)

Wendy you may be correct but I looked at my shot record book and I got one in 1973 the year I retired. I agree that smallpox appears to be wiped out but you can never be sure about its return. All you need is one suicide fanatic to infect himself. Get on a commercial airliner and switch planes a few times and you have a big time problem. I am going to ask some of my active military friends what shots they are getting today. I have not heard much about plague, yellow fever or cholera but we received those on a rountine basis. I am like Carole in that a smallpox vaccination is really nothing I would concern myself about one way or the other as I have had so many. I would be more concered about a drunk driver. Lets hope the crazies do not have the ebola virus. I know polio is basically wiped out but there are still a number of cases being reported in various nations.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 18:05 (104619)

One thing about the smallpox vaccination Nancy is you do not have to get it if you do not want it. I would prefer the media present just the facts with a lot less hype so people can make intelligent decisions. The intelligent decision for a GI in the mideast is to get the vaccine. I had at least three vaccinations in the military and I remember two as a child. I do not know what the stats are for deaths per million with the flu shot but I bet it exceeds 2 in one million which is the smallpox stat but the media pays little attention to that because it is not very newsworthy. I remember in the late 70's or early 80's there was a bad production of flu vaccine and we had a number of deaths in the U.S. We now have enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate every American so if it is ever needed it is there for you. I think at the end of WWI there was an outbreak of deadly flu that killed 25 million people. Now that is an attention getter.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Leon S. on 1/02/03 at 18:07 (104620)

Carole. Your comment about being around newly vaccinated people is right on target with a news story I heard yesterday. There is an alert out to blood banks about being careful not to accept donations from people who were recently vaccinated for obvious reasons.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 18:10 (104622)

Carole: There was an article about people receiving smallpox vaccinations not giving blood for a month or so as this could possible effect unborn children in pregnant women who receive transfusions. What gets me when every one routinely got vaccinations you never heard a peep about all the downside but we did manage to eradicate smallpox. My greatest fear as a teenager was polio. Two of my highscool classmates got it and died within 3 days of diagnosis. We were all afraid to go near pools as that was always a suspected place to get it. Now here we are with no more polio. Science can be wonderful.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

pala on 1/02/03 at 18:15 (104624)

medical personnel have been getting vaccinated for hepatitis b for a while now. the rest of us are just getting it in increasing numbers and the heck with us i suppose. medical profession very caring.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 18:32 (104627)

Wendy: From the information I read it seems the U.S. stopped giving smallpox vaccinations in 1973.I could not tell by reading if they were talking about routine vaccinations or not. When you fly into a country it is there health service that determines whether you have to have the vaccine or else you will not be admitted so even though we stopped giving the vaccine in 1973 if you traveled to some country that required it you would have to receive it. By 1983 something like 142 out of 159 nations had stopped giving the vaccine. Last case was in cape of South Africa although some researcher in England was infected in the lab. A very interesting fact that I think the news should point out is that if you contact the disease and before the rash appears about 4 days then the vaccine will protect you even though you have been infected. Problem here might be if you lived in NYC and there was an outbreak can you imagine the hysteria of 12 million people trying to all get vaccinated at once. They would probably trample each other to death. There is no cure or treatment for this disease. Even though you are vaccinated you still can get the disease but with just mild symptoms.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:28 (104639)

I just read that recently too John - it seems there is quite a 'grace period' when you could still be vaccinated (even after getting it).

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:28 (104640)

Our kids have been vaccinated for hep b in grade 5 for several years now.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:30 (104642)

I agree John, sorry - what I meant is that it is not currently 'ciculating' in the world. The only way it could be brought back is if some nut has a store of it and infects themselves (or other people).

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:35 (104643)

Nancy - you would know if you had the vaccine - it casues a small round scar on your upper arm.

When were you born?

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:37 (104644)

Read this article on CNN a while ago - it's an interesting one

http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/conditions/12/20/smallpox.misconception.ap/index.html

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:43 (104647)

Good article with info

http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/conditions/12/20/smallpox.misconception.ap/index.html

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/02/03 at 20:09 (104650)

I was born in 1971. I'll have to look for a scar when I get the chance.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 23:32 (104671)

Nancy - I think you'd know if you had one...you can't miss mine.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/03/03 at 07:36 (104677)

I think I have one. There's a spot on my left arm that looks a little different than the skin around it--the color is the same (but then I'm so darn pale that I'd be surprised if it weren't) but it feels different and looks a little like someone poked it with a pin or two. I wonder if my brother has one, since he was born in 1975. Hmmm...

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/03/03 at 08:39 (104682)

I remember those days too, when we were all afraid to go to public pools, though I was pretty young then. By the time I was 7 the polio vaccine became available (and since my father was a surgeon, I got some version of a different vaccine the year before that hadn't been distributed to the public). Polio was awful, especially because it struck so many little children.

Carole C

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/03/03 at 09:46 (104689)

Carole, isn't it amazing then - that there are a number of parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated from fear of the polio vaccine?

Sad.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/03/03 at 09:48 (104690)

Nancy - anyone a little older than you should be able to show you their scar (so you can compare). They're quite big really...I always knew I had one.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

marie e on 1/03/03 at 10:29 (104695)

It's not so hard to believe President Bush took a smallpox vaccination. Those of us that had vaccinations back when shouldn't have to many worries about a reaction to another one. Afterall we survived the first one. The real risk it seems to me would be to our young people who haven't had one before. I know I was thrilled when my kids were done with all their vaccinations when they were in the 5th grade. It seems we may have one more to go.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/03/03 at 11:31 (104700)

The New York Times ran an article on the opposition to vaccines a few weeks ago. It really blew my mind. The people they talked to, who I think all lived in the same area in Washington State--somewhere near Puget Sound, on an island or some other small community?--gave me the impression that they have refused vaccinations for any and all diseases. I don't remember anymore what their reasoning was (it was not religious, as I recall), but I as I was reading, I thought how devastating it would be to all the kids in that community if one of the diseases they're not vaccinated against broke out. It would wipe out an entire generation for them.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/03/03 at 11:33 (104701)

Wendy--

This area is about the size of a dime. It doesn't strike me as a scar so much as a very slight depression in the skin, and with that pinprick look about it.

Of course, I could always just ask my mom :)

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/03/03 at 12:04 (104706)

Not everyone will get the scar. Having had around 5 smallpox vaccinations I have no mark at all. As a child we wore a big plastic bubble over the vaccination which could get ugly.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/03/03 at 14:07 (104716)

People not vaccinating their children was one of my father's pet peeves when he was alive. These diseases are so horrendous and deadly and/or devastating, that it seemed incomprehensible to him that anyone would refuse vaccination for an innocent, helpless child. I think maybe the vaccines themselves make these diseases so rare and unknown, that people just don't think of them as a real, immediate danger any more.

Maybe they have a point; I don't know. However I wouldn't want to bet a child's life on it. I made sure my own daughter was vaccinated right on schedule when she was little.

Carole C

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/03/03 at 14:08 (104717)

Not everyone scars up from their smallpox vaccination, though most of us did. Some people just don't scar very easily.

Carole C

Re: Scars

wendyn on 1/03/03 at 14:59 (104721)

I did not know that - I thought the scar happened to everyone!

Re: Vaccinations

wendyn on 1/03/03 at 15:07 (104723)

Carole, I think the problem stems from the fact that there _can_ be complications (some severe) from vaccines. Parents naturually want to protetct their kids, and it can seem more real to protect them from a needle that you can opt out of, than to protect them from a disease that you've never seen in your lifetime.

I was with a group of women and we were discussing the menningitis vaccine (we had quite a few cases here about 2 years ago). The shots were optional but recommended for everyone between 2 and about 22.

A few of the moms didn't seem to think the vaccine was such a good idea. I told them that while I couldn't speak to the side effects of the vaccine (since I've no experience in this area) - I did feel pretty qualified to speak on the side effects of mennigitis.

My cousin had it when she was a baby. She almost died. She is about 32 now, and has grown up totally deaf. She suffers from seizures, and lives in an institutuion (she goes home on weekends). My aunt and uncle raised her at home (she went to a special school) until she was an adult.

I seem to recall that they have estimated her intelligence level to be that of around an 18 month old.

Was a real quiet room after I shared that story.

If all you hear about is that bad side of the vaccine, I think it skews your ability to make an informed decision.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/03/03 at 15:51 (104731)

And Carole there are the scars you cannot see---

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Ed Davis, DPM on 1/03/03 at 18:54 (104742)

John:

There are some published stats on the adverse reaction rate to the vaccine.

There are individuals who definitely should take the vaccine. As far as the general public, there is some disagreement in the medical community as to how to deploy the vaccine for maximum effect. Some have proposed that it is best to have a supply ready and waiting for rapid immunization in an area that has been contaminated by bio-warfare as opposed to mass immunization. That would make best use of a limited resource, allow focus of treatment in an area of need and limit the numbers of potential adverse events.
Ed

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Kathy G on 1/04/03 at 09:19 (104791)

I had the smallpox vaccine three times! My first pediatrician left town with his nurse and destroyed all his records! My seconcd pediatrician didn't want to trust my mother's records so he gave me all the childhood shots, along with the vaccination, a second time! I was not a happy camper! Then I got it again when we went to Europe back in 1972. I had no adverse reaction but my husband got quite sick from his vaccination. And Nancy, I don't have a scar from any of them!

I believe that the benefits far outweigh the risks and I am glad that the President got the innoculation and hope that all health-care workers get them. Then, when enough of it is available, I believe it should be available to those in the general public who want it. I'll advise both my kids, who are adults, to get it.

The link between autism and smallpox vaccine has been pretty much disproved and the substance with which they mixed it (I don't remember what it's called) isn't used in any of the childhood vaccines anymore. There are those rare individuals, though, who will react badly to the vaccine and it can, in rare instances, lead to death. It's a calculated risk.

It's a definite threat that terrorists are well aware of. During the anthrax scare, it was interesting to listen to the experts on NPR talk about the risk factors if one person comes down with smallpox. They have a definite protocol they follow if that happens and one of the good things about smallpox is that you can be effectively vaccinated against it even if you've already been exposed.

Scary - did we ever think we'd be talking about something like this?

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/04/03 at 09:27 (104794)

I sort of agree with having the supply ready Dr. Ed and wait and see but I am curious how you would administer say 12,000,000 or so doses in short order in a city like New York or L.A. if smallpox were introduuced into the area. You know there would absolute panic.

Re: Question for Wendy

Kathy G on 1/04/03 at 09:37 (104798)

Wendy,

Does the government provide for the Hep B innoculations for fifth graders? Here in the US, they give them to infants, before they even leave the hospital. But my daughter, who's 22, got hers when she was eleven or twelve (I'd have to check her baby book.). She was the first of her friends to get it and she thought I was an idiot to insist that she do so. Back then, most of the insurance companies didn't cover it. As I remember, our's did but I can't really recall.

It was kind of funny. We decided that my son, who was at college by then, should come home and get the shot, too. (Well, as you all know, it's a series of shots, but you get my drift.) Anyway, my daughter has no problem getting shots but my son turns white at the sign of a needle and has to sit down. It's really funny. So my daughter, who got her shot first and loves to razz her big brother, said, quite seriously to him, 'Man, you should have seen the size of the needle. It was the biggest one I've ever seen! But you shouldn't worry, it didn't hurt all that much.' Mr. Macho-home-from-college waited until she left the room and then turned to me and said, 'She was kidding, right?' I was tempted to lead him on but he was so paranoid, I told him it was just your normal shot. She really had him going!

It figures that the Canadian government would have realized years ago that kids should get the innoculation. The US is always a few steps behind!

Re: Scars

john h on 1/04/03 at 10:40 (104806)

Wendy only sissy girls scar.

Re: Question for Wendy

wendyn on 1/04/03 at 10:45 (104807)

Kathy - I'm not sure who pays for the shot (municipal, provincial, or federal government). They were only introduced for kids in grade 5 about 7 years ago (my older son was in one of the first years).

I know that we don't directly pay for it. In the past, the only people who were immunized against hep b were those in high risk groups (like health care workers). As a result, I've never been immunized against it.

I think the idea with doing it in grade 5 is to get at them before they become sexually active.

I'm not sure if they give it to babies now or not (since I have no more babies!)

Re: Question for Wendy

john h on 1/04/03 at 10:56 (104811)

In the 70's we got gamma gloubulin (spelling) shots for what I think was some sort of hepatitus. do they still use this?

Re: John

wendyn on 1/04/03 at 11:43 (104818)

I don't thinks so John - I'm not sure what that would be.

Re: Question for Wendy

Carole C in NOLA on 1/04/03 at 12:17 (104821)

John, I think the gamma globulin shots are a last ditch measure to prevent you from getting hepatitis if you've already been exposed to it, maybe? I am pretty sure they don't give gamma globulin to just everybody because I don't think it works for very long. I could be wrong about that.

Carole C

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

nancy s. on 1/01/03 at 22:34 (104516)

i wish i could answer this, but . . . no tv . . . i'm out of the loop.

paula from georgia, help! was bush taking a smallpox vaccine on the news tonight? you SAID you'd help me.

or maybe i'll try again after the morning paper arrives at 5 o'clock.

nancy
.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

pala on 1/01/03 at 23:25 (104525)

he supposedly took one. i think it was a few days ago. i personally believe everything this administration tells us. now i'm going to watch wrestling. which is also real , by the way.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

nancy s. on 1/01/03 at 23:43 (104527)

i hate to keep repeating myself, but lol! i believe it all too -- and pigs fly.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 11:07 (104553)

Pauline, maybe I've missed the controversy on this (haven't watched the news in days).

What's the big deal if he did or didn't? I personally think he'd be an idiot not to....he'd be a good target for terrorism wouldn't he?

I also thought I'd read somewhere that people who had the immunizations as kids, are much less likely to have the severe reactions. Since even I'm old enough to have had the shot, he evidently lived through it as a kid.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 11:23 (104558)

I have zero doubts in my mind that the President took his smallpox vaccination. As Commander in Chief and a former military pilot he would certainly be out in front on this. I am still amazed at all the negative publicity about this vaccination since for most of my life we took these shot on a rountine basis. I was still taking them up until I retired from the Air Force in 1973. Military people traveling into 3rd world areas have been taking them along with plague,yellow fever,typhus and other exotic diseases for some time. My daughter who works in a hospital is scheduled for her smallpox vaccination soon. I have two shot record books completely filled up with every shot known to mankind. I cannot imagine any President saying he had a vaccination to all the troops he commanded and not really doing so. We know the risk of a smallpox vaccination (2 in one million will die). I wonder what the risk is for flu? Personally I feel no need at this point to get the vaccination but if I were still flying into 3rd wold nations I would be at the head of the line. If I lived in Washington, D.C I think I would have the vaccination as they would be a likely target..

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/02/03 at 12:58 (104575)

Granted, I'm 54 which is somewhat older than President Bush. Maybe that colors my opinion. But to me, getting a smallpox vaccination is trivial. If worries of the world were rated on a scale of 1-10, with taking one asperin rated as a 0.5, crossing the street when the light is red is a 0.7, getting a flu shot as a 1.0, and the possibility of terrorists trying to infect us with biological warfare agents as a 5.0, then I'd rate smallpox vaccination as about a 0.6 .

OF COURSE he took it! He's old enough to remember that it's no big deal. Not only did he take it, I'd take it myself this afternoon if it were available to the population in general.

Carole C

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 12:58 (104576)

John, I don't believe there has been a natural case of small pox since around 1978 (so I don't think the vaccinations have been done even for people travelling to third world countries).

Small pox itself has been completely wiped out, the fear relates to a terrorist attack (it won't happen on it's own).

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

pala on 1/02/03 at 13:26 (104580)

then i'm sure he didn't

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/02/03 at 13:28 (104583)

Do we really know that it's no big deal, though? If the disease has been eradicated, except in some fly-by-night lab somewhere, isn't it possible that our bodies will react badly to a vaccination, due to lack of exposure over the past decades? I was born in 1971 and have no idea if I was vaccinated or not, so I don't know what the whole wave of new vaccinations might mean for me. I'd be very worried about kids who are young enough that they were never vaccinated.

On the surface I think it's an excellent idea, but I worry about the unintended consequences. I heard a few weeks ago that there are concerns about vaccinated health-care workers transmitting the disease to those who have not been vaccinated. I'm not opposed to the idea, especially in light of the terrorist threats, but I don't have a sense that it's been researched especially well, or that we're prepared to deal with potential unexpected side-effects.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/02/03 at 14:04 (104590)

You definitely have a point about catching smallpox from vaccinated health care workers. I couldn't agree with you more. That's one reason why I'd like to get vaccinated as soon as the vaccine becomes available to the general public.

I sure wouldn't want to hang around newly vaccinated people, touch their vaccinations, and so on, considering that I haven't been vaccinated for smallpox since they last vaccinated people.

The fear is properly attached to the smallpox virus itself, not to the vaccine. Smallpox is a terrible, deadly disease and it's worth every bit of fear that you may have for it and more.

If I were personally going to have a reaction to the vaccine I would have had one fifty years ago. Although I have known a number of people who had reactions to the flu shot, I never knew anyone to have a reaction to the smallpox vaccine other than a little knot and pain that some people get sometimes at the vaccination site on the upper arm. When I took my flu shot this year, my upper arm hurt sort of like it used to for the smallpox vaccine.

As kid, I appreciated the smallpox vaccine because it doesn't require sticking you with a needle. All they have to do is just barely scratch the skin.

I remember the first time I went overseas without a smallpox vaccination back in the early 1970's sometime. It was a scary, defenseless feeling to travel abroad without any protection and taking a chance (however miniscule) of catching or carrying smallpox.

Carole C

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 17:30 (104617)

Wendy you may be correct but I looked at my shot record book and I got one in 1973 the year I retired. I agree that smallpox appears to be wiped out but you can never be sure about its return. All you need is one suicide fanatic to infect himself. Get on a commercial airliner and switch planes a few times and you have a big time problem. I am going to ask some of my active military friends what shots they are getting today. I have not heard much about plague, yellow fever or cholera but we received those on a rountine basis. I am like Carole in that a smallpox vaccination is really nothing I would concern myself about one way or the other as I have had so many. I would be more concered about a drunk driver. Lets hope the crazies do not have the ebola virus. I know polio is basically wiped out but there are still a number of cases being reported in various nations.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 18:05 (104619)

One thing about the smallpox vaccination Nancy is you do not have to get it if you do not want it. I would prefer the media present just the facts with a lot less hype so people can make intelligent decisions. The intelligent decision for a GI in the mideast is to get the vaccine. I had at least three vaccinations in the military and I remember two as a child. I do not know what the stats are for deaths per million with the flu shot but I bet it exceeds 2 in one million which is the smallpox stat but the media pays little attention to that because it is not very newsworthy. I remember in the late 70's or early 80's there was a bad production of flu vaccine and we had a number of deaths in the U.S. We now have enough smallpox vaccine to vaccinate every American so if it is ever needed it is there for you. I think at the end of WWI there was an outbreak of deadly flu that killed 25 million people. Now that is an attention getter.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Leon S. on 1/02/03 at 18:07 (104620)

Carole. Your comment about being around newly vaccinated people is right on target with a news story I heard yesterday. There is an alert out to blood banks about being careful not to accept donations from people who were recently vaccinated for obvious reasons.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 18:10 (104622)

Carole: There was an article about people receiving smallpox vaccinations not giving blood for a month or so as this could possible effect unborn children in pregnant women who receive transfusions. What gets me when every one routinely got vaccinations you never heard a peep about all the downside but we did manage to eradicate smallpox. My greatest fear as a teenager was polio. Two of my highscool classmates got it and died within 3 days of diagnosis. We were all afraid to go near pools as that was always a suspected place to get it. Now here we are with no more polio. Science can be wonderful.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

pala on 1/02/03 at 18:15 (104624)

medical personnel have been getting vaccinated for hepatitis b for a while now. the rest of us are just getting it in increasing numbers and the heck with us i suppose. medical profession very caring.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/02/03 at 18:32 (104627)

Wendy: From the information I read it seems the U.S. stopped giving smallpox vaccinations in 1973.I could not tell by reading if they were talking about routine vaccinations or not. When you fly into a country it is there health service that determines whether you have to have the vaccine or else you will not be admitted so even though we stopped giving the vaccine in 1973 if you traveled to some country that required it you would have to receive it. By 1983 something like 142 out of 159 nations had stopped giving the vaccine. Last case was in cape of South Africa although some researcher in England was infected in the lab. A very interesting fact that I think the news should point out is that if you contact the disease and before the rash appears about 4 days then the vaccine will protect you even though you have been infected. Problem here might be if you lived in NYC and there was an outbreak can you imagine the hysteria of 12 million people trying to all get vaccinated at once. They would probably trample each other to death. There is no cure or treatment for this disease. Even though you are vaccinated you still can get the disease but with just mild symptoms.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:28 (104639)

I just read that recently too John - it seems there is quite a 'grace period' when you could still be vaccinated (even after getting it).

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:28 (104640)

Our kids have been vaccinated for hep b in grade 5 for several years now.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:30 (104642)

I agree John, sorry - what I meant is that it is not currently 'ciculating' in the world. The only way it could be brought back is if some nut has a store of it and infects themselves (or other people).

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:35 (104643)

Nancy - you would know if you had the vaccine - it casues a small round scar on your upper arm.

When were you born?

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:37 (104644)

Read this article on CNN a while ago - it's an interesting one

http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/conditions/12/20/smallpox.misconception.ap/index.html

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 19:43 (104647)

Good article with info

http://www.cnn.com/2002/HEALTH/conditions/12/20/smallpox.misconception.ap/index.html

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/02/03 at 20:09 (104650)

I was born in 1971. I'll have to look for a scar when I get the chance.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/02/03 at 23:32 (104671)

Nancy - I think you'd know if you had one...you can't miss mine.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/03/03 at 07:36 (104677)

I think I have one. There's a spot on my left arm that looks a little different than the skin around it--the color is the same (but then I'm so darn pale that I'd be surprised if it weren't) but it feels different and looks a little like someone poked it with a pin or two. I wonder if my brother has one, since he was born in 1975. Hmmm...

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/03/03 at 08:39 (104682)

I remember those days too, when we were all afraid to go to public pools, though I was pretty young then. By the time I was 7 the polio vaccine became available (and since my father was a surgeon, I got some version of a different vaccine the year before that hadn't been distributed to the public). Polio was awful, especially because it struck so many little children.

Carole C

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/03/03 at 09:46 (104689)

Carole, isn't it amazing then - that there are a number of parents who refuse to have their children vaccinated from fear of the polio vaccine?

Sad.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

wendyn on 1/03/03 at 09:48 (104690)

Nancy - anyone a little older than you should be able to show you their scar (so you can compare). They're quite big really...I always knew I had one.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

marie e on 1/03/03 at 10:29 (104695)

It's not so hard to believe President Bush took a smallpox vaccination. Those of us that had vaccinations back when shouldn't have to many worries about a reaction to another one. Afterall we survived the first one. The real risk it seems to me would be to our young people who haven't had one before. I know I was thrilled when my kids were done with all their vaccinations when they were in the 5th grade. It seems we may have one more to go.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/03/03 at 11:31 (104700)

The New York Times ran an article on the opposition to vaccines a few weeks ago. It really blew my mind. The people they talked to, who I think all lived in the same area in Washington State--somewhere near Puget Sound, on an island or some other small community?--gave me the impression that they have refused vaccinations for any and all diseases. I don't remember anymore what their reasoning was (it was not religious, as I recall), but I as I was reading, I thought how devastating it would be to all the kids in that community if one of the diseases they're not vaccinated against broke out. It would wipe out an entire generation for them.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Nancy N on 1/03/03 at 11:33 (104701)

Wendy--

This area is about the size of a dime. It doesn't strike me as a scar so much as a very slight depression in the skin, and with that pinprick look about it.

Of course, I could always just ask my mom :)

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/03/03 at 12:04 (104706)

Not everyone will get the scar. Having had around 5 smallpox vaccinations I have no mark at all. As a child we wore a big plastic bubble over the vaccination which could get ugly.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/03/03 at 14:07 (104716)

People not vaccinating their children was one of my father's pet peeves when he was alive. These diseases are so horrendous and deadly and/or devastating, that it seemed incomprehensible to him that anyone would refuse vaccination for an innocent, helpless child. I think maybe the vaccines themselves make these diseases so rare and unknown, that people just don't think of them as a real, immediate danger any more.

Maybe they have a point; I don't know. However I wouldn't want to bet a child's life on it. I made sure my own daughter was vaccinated right on schedule when she was little.

Carole C

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Carole C in NOLA on 1/03/03 at 14:08 (104717)

Not everyone scars up from their smallpox vaccination, though most of us did. Some people just don't scar very easily.

Carole C

Re: Scars

wendyn on 1/03/03 at 14:59 (104721)

I did not know that - I thought the scar happened to everyone!

Re: Vaccinations

wendyn on 1/03/03 at 15:07 (104723)

Carole, I think the problem stems from the fact that there _can_ be complications (some severe) from vaccines. Parents naturually want to protetct their kids, and it can seem more real to protect them from a needle that you can opt out of, than to protect them from a disease that you've never seen in your lifetime.

I was with a group of women and we were discussing the menningitis vaccine (we had quite a few cases here about 2 years ago). The shots were optional but recommended for everyone between 2 and about 22.

A few of the moms didn't seem to think the vaccine was such a good idea. I told them that while I couldn't speak to the side effects of the vaccine (since I've no experience in this area) - I did feel pretty qualified to speak on the side effects of mennigitis.

My cousin had it when she was a baby. She almost died. She is about 32 now, and has grown up totally deaf. She suffers from seizures, and lives in an institutuion (she goes home on weekends). My aunt and uncle raised her at home (she went to a special school) until she was an adult.

I seem to recall that they have estimated her intelligence level to be that of around an 18 month old.

Was a real quiet room after I shared that story.

If all you hear about is that bad side of the vaccine, I think it skews your ability to make an informed decision.

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/03/03 at 15:51 (104731)

And Carole there are the scars you cannot see---

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Ed Davis, DPM on 1/03/03 at 18:54 (104742)

John:

There are some published stats on the adverse reaction rate to the vaccine.

There are individuals who definitely should take the vaccine. As far as the general public, there is some disagreement in the medical community as to how to deploy the vaccine for maximum effect. Some have proposed that it is best to have a supply ready and waiting for rapid immunization in an area that has been contaminated by bio-warfare as opposed to mass immunization. That would make best use of a limited resource, allow focus of treatment in an area of need and limit the numbers of potential adverse events.
Ed

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

Kathy G on 1/04/03 at 09:19 (104791)

I had the smallpox vaccine three times! My first pediatrician left town with his nurse and destroyed all his records! My seconcd pediatrician didn't want to trust my mother's records so he gave me all the childhood shots, along with the vaccination, a second time! I was not a happy camper! Then I got it again when we went to Europe back in 1972. I had no adverse reaction but my husband got quite sick from his vaccination. And Nancy, I don't have a scar from any of them!

I believe that the benefits far outweigh the risks and I am glad that the President got the innoculation and hope that all health-care workers get them. Then, when enough of it is available, I believe it should be available to those in the general public who want it. I'll advise both my kids, who are adults, to get it.

The link between autism and smallpox vaccine has been pretty much disproved and the substance with which they mixed it (I don't remember what it's called) isn't used in any of the childhood vaccines anymore. There are those rare individuals, though, who will react badly to the vaccine and it can, in rare instances, lead to death. It's a calculated risk.

It's a definite threat that terrorists are well aware of. During the anthrax scare, it was interesting to listen to the experts on NPR talk about the risk factors if one person comes down with smallpox. They have a definite protocol they follow if that happens and one of the good things about smallpox is that you can be effectively vaccinated against it even if you've already been exposed.

Scary - did we ever think we'd be talking about something like this?

Re: Pauline's "C-spam" question for the day.

john h on 1/04/03 at 09:27 (104794)

I sort of agree with having the supply ready Dr. Ed and wait and see but I am curious how you would administer say 12,000,000 or so doses in short order in a city like New York or L.A. if smallpox were introduuced into the area. You know there would absolute panic.

Re: Question for Wendy

Kathy G on 1/04/03 at 09:37 (104798)

Wendy,

Does the government provide for the Hep B innoculations for fifth graders? Here in the US, they give them to infants, before they even leave the hospital. But my daughter, who's 22, got hers when she was eleven or twelve (I'd have to check her baby book.). She was the first of her friends to get it and she thought I was an idiot to insist that she do so. Back then, most of the insurance companies didn't cover it. As I remember, our's did but I can't really recall.

It was kind of funny. We decided that my son, who was at college by then, should come home and get the shot, too. (Well, as you all know, it's a series of shots, but you get my drift.) Anyway, my daughter has no problem getting shots but my son turns white at the sign of a needle and has to sit down. It's really funny. So my daughter, who got her shot first and loves to razz her big brother, said, quite seriously to him, 'Man, you should have seen the size of the needle. It was the biggest one I've ever seen! But you shouldn't worry, it didn't hurt all that much.' Mr. Macho-home-from-college waited until she left the room and then turned to me and said, 'She was kidding, right?' I was tempted to lead him on but he was so paranoid, I told him it was just your normal shot. She really had him going!

It figures that the Canadian government would have realized years ago that kids should get the innoculation. The US is always a few steps behind!

Re: Scars

john h on 1/04/03 at 10:40 (104806)

Wendy only sissy girls scar.

Re: Question for Wendy

wendyn on 1/04/03 at 10:45 (104807)

Kathy - I'm not sure who pays for the shot (municipal, provincial, or federal government). They were only introduced for kids in grade 5 about 7 years ago (my older son was in one of the first years).

I know that we don't directly pay for it. In the past, the only people who were immunized against hep b were those in high risk groups (like health care workers). As a result, I've never been immunized against it.

I think the idea with doing it in grade 5 is to get at them before they become sexually active.

I'm not sure if they give it to babies now or not (since I have no more babies!)

Re: Question for Wendy

john h on 1/04/03 at 10:56 (104811)

In the 70's we got gamma gloubulin (spelling) shots for what I think was some sort of hepatitus. do they still use this?

Re: John

wendyn on 1/04/03 at 11:43 (104818)

I don't thinks so John - I'm not sure what that would be.

Re: Question for Wendy

Carole C in NOLA on 1/04/03 at 12:17 (104821)

John, I think the gamma globulin shots are a last ditch measure to prevent you from getting hepatitis if you've already been exposed to it, maybe? I am pretty sure they don't give gamma globulin to just everybody because I don't think it works for very long. I could be wrong about that.

Carole C