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Should post vaccination immunity be verified.
Should the Government regulate this?


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#1 Sif

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:42 AM

We don't vaccinate for medical reasons (amongst others, medical was only the tipping point).

So, yesterday I had a call from kinder saying a child (who is vaccinated) has been diagnosed with Whooping Cough. Mr 4 has already started antibiotics and will be back at kinder on Monday.

However, none of the other kids (all vaccinated), besides the infected child, in his group of 25 children is taking the antibiotics, because they have been vaccinated.

In the general population Whooping Cough vaccine (DTaP) has between 80-90% efficacy. So in a group of 24 vaccinated children, statically 4-5 of those children do not have enough immunity to prevent catching, and spreading the disease.

As well as this, up to 25% of all Whooping Cough cases are thought to by asymptomatic (no symptoms), and most of those cases are found in adults and vaccinated children.

So, theoretically, one of the children who is vaccinated in the group may have contracted Whooping Cough from the infected child, and will not develop symptoms but will spread the disease.

I have long believed there should be annual testing of immunity levels in the vaccinated population. This is commonly done in animals - their antibody titers are tested annually.

So, why is this not done for our children, would that not increase herd immunity? (not that I believe in herd immunity, but for all those people who do...)

If vaccinations are to be treated seriously, surely it pays to make sure children are immune. Many people find out in early pregnancy that they have not developed immunity to Rubella despite repeated immunisation, surely similar testing should be done for all vaccines!

WDYT - please try to stay on topic and resist the urge to lecture me on not vaccinating.

In case you are unclear of the question, I am asking, 'Should post-vaccination immunity levels be tested to prove immunity?'

Edited by Sif, 13 February 2013 - 08:43 AM.


#2 Angelot

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:46 AM

I think it's hard enough just to get everybody vaccinated.  To test seroconversion annually would have massive cost and compliance issues.  Not that I'm saying it would be bad, if we had endless goodwill and resources, but since we don't, I doubt we could make it work.

#3 Cat Burglar

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:50 AM

How would you test vaccination immunity?  Can this be done for all diseases in the same way as Rubella? Otherwise dont you run the risk of spreading the disease instead?

And the non-vaccinated kids still definately wont be immune, even if a few of the vaccinated kids arent

Edited by Soccer Mum, 13 February 2013 - 08:55 AM.


#4 Futureself

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:52 AM

To NOT develop antibodies is the exception rather than the rule so no, I don't think annual testing is a logical option. Being aware of boosters and ensuring teens and adults are actually up to date is what is sorely needed for true herd immunity.
Having said that, in certain scenarios I probably would get DS's immunity checked to particular disease - for example Hepatitis, if travelling to areas where these diseases are prevalent.
I have more of a problem with loading my child with antibiotics every time a peer is sick quite frankly. Antibiotic overuse in the individual and in society has proven repercussions and yet...

#5 Red nut

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:54 AM

What would you do differently with this information?

People that don't seroconvert, tend not to seroconvert. Vaccinated kids already get multiple doses of vaccine. If any of these kids get sick I have no doubt they would be rapidly tested, and isolated pending results.

Are you just miffed your child had to take antibiotics and the others didn't?

#6 Angelot

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:55 AM

QUOTE (Soccer Mum @ 13/02/2013, 09:50 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How would you test vaccination immunity?


It's fairly simple to take a blood sample and test for the presence of antibodies.

#7 Cat Burglar

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:56 AM

Is that the case for all vaccine preventable diseases, such as whooping cough?

#8 Angelot

Posted 13 February 2013 - 08:58 AM

As far as I know.  I used to do it in the lab myself as a student.

#9 Cat Burglar

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:00 AM

In that case the OP raises a very interesting point. In theory it does sound like a good idea.
but it raises a couple of other questions. If somebody isnt immune, can you just vaccinate them again?

#10 Chief Pancake Make

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:03 AM


Testing for seroconversion requires a blood test.  People dont like blood tests. Governmen doesnt like paying for blood tests.  Its a compliance and health economics issue.   You are unlikely to get a lot of people to agree to a blood test that will only be of benefit to a few and the gov wont want to pay for tests that will only benefit a few.

Herd immunity is a fact  - you can believe it or not.



#11 annie13

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:08 AM

I don't think my 2 year old would like to have a 'simple' blood test to see if she is seroconverted. It would be a huge cost with little benefit. How would testing for conversion increase herd immunity? Higher vaccination rates and up-keeping of booster shots would be of more benefit.

Edited by annie13, 13 February 2013 - 09:10 AM.


#12 kaboo

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:08 AM

QUOTE (Ange Vert @ 13/02/2013, 08:55 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
It's fairly simple to take a blood sample and test for the presence of antibodies.


Unless you have a child who has a massive panic attack and the only way they can take blood is to sedate him first...

#13 Sif

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:09 AM

QUOTE
What would you do differently with this information?


Well, it might help to further research on why some people do not seroconvert, and some don't the first time, but do the second or third time.

It seems to me that many people are very complacent about this. They aren't really concerned if their child has immunity, they're merely invested in being perceived as having 'done the right thing', if their child happens to be the child who didn't seroconvert (schools contain 1000 students, that's between 100-200 students who potentially can contract and spread disease, despite having been vaccinated), then, 'Oh well, at least we vaccinated.'

I believe my son had Whooping Cough two years ago, however as I have not verified his immunity, he is on antibiotics.

#14 FiveAus

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:11 AM

Rather than titre test, we should be encouraging more children to be vaccinated and more adults to be getting boosters. Herd immunity works when everyone who can be vaccinated, is. If numbers slide, diseases reappear.

#15 Tobias'smum

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:13 AM

We did testing on me for my MMR immunity  - i wasnt immune even though i had the shot 6 months earlier - i genetically dont retain immunity so i have to be careful  but like pp said its a pain - a blood test  - the wait - i was lucky it was fully covered for me but its still cost tax payers money

#16 ILBB

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:14 AM

QUOTE
however as I have not verified his immunity, he is on antibiotics.
Well why dont you verify that information and then he wont have to take antibiotics next time???  Oh that is right - you wont even have your children have one set of needles - but want our children to have multiple sets!!  

And by the way the Govt does do research on the efficacy of vaccination. One of my children was involved in a research study on immunisation and his levels were tested.  This is information I do have - the Govt has it too and it contributes to the understanding of things like - I dont know - herd immunity perhaps!!

#17 Threelittleducks

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:15 AM

I am looking at volunteering in a hospital. At the information seminar this week we were told that all volunteers with patient contact roles must have their immunity tested and have vaccinations updated where required. The hospital pays for this and we were told it costs around $700 per person.

If what we were told is accurate, it is a considerable expense to be rolled out to the entire population.

#18 Sif

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:16 AM

QUOTE
Unless you have a child who has a massive panic attack and the only way they can take blood is to sedate him first...


QUOTE
I don't think my 2 year old would like to have a 'simple' blood test to see is she is seroconverted.


See, this is interesting. My children have hyperimmune reactions to vaccinations. My eldest has viral psoriasis - the worst case his dermatologist has ever seen in a child his age - it's not deadly, but it's painful and socially ostracising when it flairs up. I have been told by many other parents this condition is not a good enough reason not to vaccinate him, but here people are saying their child's fear of needles (I have trypanophobia my so I really do understand what it is like) is reason enough not to verify their child's immunity?

If I said I didn't vaccinated because my child had trypanophobia, there would be an uproar on EB.

#19 Sif

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:18 AM

QUOTE
If what we were told is accurate, it is a considerable expense to be rolled out to the entire population.


Perhaps if it was done on a massive scale the cost would be reduced.

Also, vaccination schemes cost a lot of money, shouldn't their efficacy be verified, particularly in small children?

#20 Red nut

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:21 AM

So Sif, why didn't you test your DS for whooping cough at the time? And why don't you do so now?

And it seems strange to say people aren't worried about if their kids are immune. Firstly they wanted them to be, which is why they vaccinated. And secondly the reason people get cross at those who don't vaccinate, is because their kids can pass it on to those who don't seroconvert, as well as those vulnerable babies to young to have been vaccinated. If you've given your kids the vaccine, there is not much more you can do,  so how will testing help? And how do you know if the antibodies are low, your child still couldn't produce them if exposed to the pertussis bacteria again?

#21 ILBB

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:21 AM

QUOTE
shouldn't their efficacy be verified, particularly in small children?
They are - or didnt you read my post???

#22 Red nut

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:23 AM

And Sif, did you just imply there is no evidence about efficacy of vaccines? And there is no ongoing research into them now?

#23 Mpjp is feral

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:24 AM

My two children who were adopted were required to prove their immunity through titer tests.

Its not terribly easy to get blood out of a screaming, distressed, traumatised child.

Sounds good in theory but the reality is not so nice. And quite expensive. Adoptive parents are required to pay.....but can you imagine birth parents being required to do the same? Who else should fund this?

#24 Cat People

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:25 AM

I think Sif raises a good point.  If we're serious about preventing diseases such as WC, we will look beyond vaccinations.  If you think the latest outbreaks of WC are solely due to non-vax'ers - a common assertion on EB - you are delusional.  

If your kid is afraid of needles, what do you do with vaccinations?  You just get on with it I assume.   So why not a blood test if your serious about prevent common diseases?

#25 Red nut

Posted 13 February 2013 - 09:31 AM

Just because you believe in vaccination, doesn't mean you don't want to look at other methods as well. I would have thought it would mean you considered prevention in general important. Your point makes no sense to me, Madame Protart.

A quick jab into a muscle is easy, even in a wiggling kid. Getting blood out of a tiny vein, in a moving target? Not so much.




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