Thursday, January 21, 2010

HIB Vaccine

Good afternoon! I hope you all are sitting down in a comfy spot, because it is officially time. Time for my brief rundown on the first chapter of The Vaccine Book. If you missed the intro to the book, click here. Otherwise, read on!

***Disclaimer: Everything that is stated in this post came from
The Vaccine Book by Robert Sears. I am in the process of reading the book and I am simply sharing as I learn. I strongly recommend doing your own research before deciding if vaccines are right for your child.***

HIB is a bacteria that causes serious illness such as meningitis (infection of the lining of the brain), blood infections, bone infections and pneumonia. It is transmitted like the common cold (through contact with an infected persons cough, mucus or saliva). Usually when a person is exposed to HIB, the bacteria usually stays in the nose, ears or throat and only causes minor cold symptoms. Rarely do they “invade” farther into the body and cause one of the severe infections. But when that happens, it is very serious.

And now I have compiled a list of oh-so-interesting (and important) facts for you.

Please, for my sake, try to contain your excitement. :)

is diagnosed through blood tests or spinal tap. Which is not done unless a person is sick enough to go to the doctor. Therefore it is very difficult to diagnose.

most cases go undiagnosed, so no one really knows what percentage turns serious.

can be caught more than once.

is treatable, but permanent damage can result.

is not common, but it used to be. Only 25 cases are seen each year, almost all occurring in children under the age of five and most in the first two years.

is VERY rare beyond the age of three.

is NOT a live virus vaccine. That means that it does not contain the entire germ, so there is no way to become infected with the disease from the vaccine.

This vaccine has one of the safest side effect profiles. The standard reactions to this vaccine (which occur in about 5% of babies) include fever, fussiness, redness and swelling.

Reasons to get this vaccine:
Meningitis and blood infections are very serious. Although HIB is now extremely rare, continued vaccination keeps the disease out of our population and will help protect your baby from the rare chance he may catch this germ. This shot also has the safest side effect profile of all the vaccines, and the ingredients are very pure compared with those found in most other vaccines.

Some people choose not to get the vaccine because HIB is extremely rare. A breastfed baby who does not attend daycare is at a particularly low risk of catching this illness.

Closing paragraph from Doctor Sears:
HIB is a bad bug. Fortunately, its also a rare bug, so rare that I haven’t seen a single case in ten years. Ongoing use of this vaccine in our country helps keep it that way. The HIB vaccine is one of the very safest we have. The ingredients aren’t too strange, and the known side effects are minimal. Since the disease is so rare, HIB isn't the most critical vaccine. But its definitely high on the Top Ten list.”

My Opinion:
I could do without this vaccine. Zachariah has had at least two, possibly three doses of it, but I would feel totally fine if he had never received a single does of this vaccine. I do not think it’s a bad vaccine, but when I consider the facts (this disease is very rare, he was breastfed and he is not in daycare), I see no NEED for the vaccine for my child.

(Side Note: This is just my brief summary of the HIB vaccine from The Vaccine Book. If you want more information, I strongly recommend reading the book. Doctor Sears includes important information about how the vaccines are made and what ingredients are included. Very interesting stuff.)

Alright. Well that about does it for the HIB vaccine. If you made it this far, feel free to let me know if you have any questions and I will be back next week with my brief run down on another vaccine!

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