Oct 242012

“I’ve never heard of that. You need to vaccinate her anyway.” – Pediatrician to mother who explained that her daughter did not have a vaccination because she is allergic to an ingredient in the vaccine.

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 October 24, 2012  informed consent, pediatrician  Add comments

  61 Responses to ““I’ve Never Heard Of That. You Need To Vaccinate Her Anyway.””

  1. I’m having to switch pediatricians soon for this exact problem. My daughter has severe allergic reactions to each and every vaccine and the pedi is trying to bully me into vaxing her anyway.

  2. If you’ve never heard of allergic reactions, perhaps your knowledge of immunology is insufficient for you to be administering vaccines.

  3. First do no harm!!!

  4. THIS is exactly why I hate doctors! My son has a kidney problem that half those ingredients could potentially be fatal and if you look up the ingredient separately, it says not to use in patients with kidney issues. Yet times that amount by 10 and stir it in with other ingredients and doctors tell me it is perfectly safe? This is why more people need to educate themselves, because the doctors clearly haven’t been educated.

  5. Gosh, the doctor is right on this one: http://www.hopkinschildrens.org/most-vaccine-allergic-children-can-still-be-safely-vaccinated.aspx Don’t use allergies as a cop-out for not vaccinating when there is no evidence you have to do without because said allergies.

    • I hope you’re kidding.

    • One, it’s not worth the risk to vaccinate. And two, it’s the fact the doctor said you NEED to vaccinate anyway without doing research. It wasn’t that he was right, he probably didn’t even know about this since he said he “never heard of that.” Dangerous situation because of his want to push vaccines so he can make money.

    • Just because I have the option to trigger a near death experience in my child doesn’t mean I necessarily think it’s a good idea. In a case where a child is allergic, it absolutely should be up to the parent to give informed consent to purposefully subject their child to a serious allergic reaction and possibly death over a shot. It’s not a cop-out at that point, it’s a matter of benefits vs. risks.

    • While I appreciate your link… the Doc’s statement “I’ve never heard of that. You need to vaccinate her anyway.” is not ok. How about this, “I’ve never had a patient with that particular allergy. How about I consult with your allergist about the risks of this particular vax?” If the doc doesn’t know he or she needs to educate him/herself, not dictate that the vax must happen no matter what. Because it doesn’t.

    • http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/vpd-vac/should-not-vacc.htm

      And I quote… ” Anyone who has a severe allergy to any vaccine component should not get a dose. Tell your provider if you have any severe allergies, including latex”

    • A cop out? Are you kidding me? Even the cdc admits there are legitimate reasons NOT to vaccinate some children, allergies included, and there’s where herd immunity comes in. Most vaccinations aren’t against deadly diseases (unless you ignore symptoms) so why would I subject my daughter to a life-threatening allergenic shot against an illness that isn’t life threatening?

    • Tell that to my sister, who lost her first child at four days old due to a reaction from a vaccine. The poor baby died 17 years to the day before my youngest son was born.

    • Huh, who knew that one link constituted proof that there’s “no evidence” that ANY child can be harmed by ANY vaccine. I’m looking in my dictionary under “proof” and I’m not seeing anything like “random internet stranger with one link from one site.”

      Better luck next time.

    • Can =/= should.

      No evidence? This doctor’s astounding ignorance (demonstrated by his declaration he has “never heard of that”) would be evidence enough that his recommendation should be questioned. Perhaps to him a potentially deadly reaction in my child is not worth researching, but to me it is!

    • I love how the article you quoted says you can vaccinate your allergic child in the ICU, so lifesaving equipment is right there on-hand for when the child anaphylaxes.

      Also loved this at the end:
      “Conflict of interest disclosure for Hopkins investigators: Halsey has received research support from vaccine manufacturer Wyeth and is a consultant for vaccine manufacturers GlaxoSmithKline and Merck.”

      What other medication do they recommend giving in the ICU so that when your child’s airway closes, other medical staff can save his life?

      • See all the interesting things you learn when you read past the title! Ethel you are a moron. Jane thank you very much! Michelle, your poor baby with her ear hurting and this jackass on his soapbox demostrating his ignorance! Does the world have enough stupid yet?

    • Ethel, while I agree that there are ways to vaccinate with things people are allergic to successfully. However, if my child experiences breathing problems or other life threatening problems as a result of ingredients in a vaccine you’ve got to be out of your mind if you think I’m going to let the doctor vaccinate without furthur research and MAJOR involvement of an allergist. I am currently on allergy shots for a battery of allergens. Some make me sneeze, some can make me go into anaphylactic shock….so guess what?!? The allergist didn’t start me off with the full dose…because it would likely kill me…. Same principle….

    • You are out of your mind if you think I’m going to subject my child to a lifethreatening allergic reaction to protect him from a usually not lifethreatening disease that he has a good chance of never getting anyway. It’s not a cop out, it’s common sense.

    • You sir, are a dum dum… and a witch! How rude of you to accuse someone of opting out because they don’t want to inject their child with something that contains ingredients they are allergic too! How absurd! “Well, I know your child is allergic to peanuts, but this reeses is perfectly safe for them to eat.”

    • It really depends on the severness of the allergy and the component. Some vaccinations are available with different side components, and some really important vaccinations can be given to an allergic child under clinical supervision where you can react fast if there is an anaphylactic shock.

      My guess is that the doctor from this submission did not explain all options, otherwise the poster wouldn’t have felt so offended. Even if you’re right as a doctor (which we don’t know in this case), you need to be competent and explain yourself and the process in a way that the parent or patient will understand… just treating them as an idiot and saying “doesn’t harm, we’re vaccing anyway!” does more harm than good to the whole topic of vaccinating. (I’m personally pro vaccinating most things, but again, there need to be good explanations, and my worries need to be addressed if there are any!)

      Just as there are ignorant doctors, there are also ignorant parents who think that a light rash is a sever allergic reaction (which is a common misconception sadly, same with use of antibiotics, where simple rashes are a sign of sensitivity, but not always a sign of allergy). Put all these combinations together and you get the usual discussion. The doctor from the submission sounds ignorant and uncaring towards the mother’s concerns, and that definitely sucks here!

      • One thing worthy of note is that the severity of an allergic reaction is very unpredictable. If someone has had a reaction before, however mild, the chances of a life threatening reaction in the future go way way way up. Way.

        • Yes, but this is not true of a sensitivity, which is why getting tested is important. I’m *sensitive* to almonds and hazelnuts, not allergic (got tested). So I’m willing to eat something that may have traces of them in it, because I’ve been assured that it will just irritate my mouth (as it has before) at worst, it won’t progress to anaphylactic shock.

          If I were allergic, I’d be a lot more cautious, even if my prior reactions had not been severe.

          (I am allergic to all the hay fever allergens, though, and get allergy shots regularly. Fun.)

          • So is the reverse true–if my reactions do get worse, I am truly allergic? One antibiotic caused a full-body rash. Then a different antibiotic caused a localized rash and I stopped it immediately, before the rash would have had time to spread. Then 8+ years later a third antibiotic–one I had tolerated in the meantime–caused a rash, swelling of my hands, vomiting, etc. and landed me in the ER. I’ve only had antibiotics once since that third reaction (so, once in 4+ years). Safe to assume I really am allergic to several classes of antibiotics?

    • What if the doctor himself told the pt not to get vaccinated?
      Also, in the ICU? Are you freaking kidding me?!
      The ICU doesn’t save everyone, you know. Some people actually die i ICUs. Did they mention that?
      I seriously hope you were being sarcastic.

  6. Not mine, but holy cow, OP, I am RIGHT WITH YOU. My kiddo isn’t getting a flu shot. Egg Allergy. Pretty basic stuff, right? Her ped is fine with it. The other peds we’ve seen for various things (and the hospital docs when she was hospitalized for a virus) have all flipped their crap that she hasn’t ever had a flu shot. Never mind that the paperwork that you get WITH the shot says, “PEOPLE WITH EGG ALLERGIES SHOULD NOT RECEIVE THIS SHOT”. (I have a hard enough time with the real world and her allergies, I shouldn’t have to beat my head against the wall at the doc’s office.)

    • This. *I* have an anaphylactic reaction to raw egg if it touches my skin. There’s no way I’d purposefully inject it into my body.

      When I had my gallbladder removed after my first child was born, the anesthesiologist came in to check my allergy band. He said, “Oo! Good thing I checked! One of the drugs we usually use contains albumin – that could have been a bad thing!” And I would have been surrounded by doctors in that situation. Why would I want to intentionally subject myself to anaphylaxis?

  7. As a mom who’s watched my children go through 2 and 3 adverse reactions to vaccines each, I have to say this doctor was very wrong to say this! All vaccines should be researched by the parents and discussed with the child’s doctor. Watching a baby or child go through an adverse reaction is HORRIBLE!! The benefits don’t always outweigh the risks!

  8. I’m assuming egg allergy here, but I could be wrong. Egg allergies are pretty common. I’d be a little horrified at a doctor who’d never heard of an egg allergy and a wanted to vaccinate anyway.
    I’ve got a shellfish allergy that doctors seem to take very seriously. I guess there’s some relation to iodine allergies so I never get iodine. I’d be really pissed if a doctor said I had to use it anyway.

  9. Reminds me of the third pelvic exam I’d had in my life. Ever.

    I reminded the office staff, nurses, AND the doctor that I’m allergic to latex. I even asked the doctor if the gloves were latex AS SHE PUT THEM ON. She said no, they were not latex.

    They were.

    I had hives, swelling, and itching on my labia, vagina, and cervix for days.

    • Been there. It’s bad enough to have a reaction anywhere, but *down there* is particularly bad.

    • I think at that point I’d start bringing my own box of non-latex gloves or demanding to inspect the box of gloves the doctor is pulling from. Yikes! One of my sisters is allergic to latex- I can only imagine!

  10. This is mine. We had chosen not to give my daughter the DTaP vaccine because of her dairy allergy. (She had already had a bad reaction to a vaccine, too.) Her old pediatrician was fine with this, totally supportive. But then we moved out of state, and shortly after coming back my daughter got an ear infection. We tried a new doctor who was recommended by a family member, and instead of focusing on the actual reason for our visit, he just wanted to chew me out the whole time about her vaccinations. He acted like the very idea of being allergic to one of the components of a vaccine was ridiculous, like I was just some crazy nutjob who clearly didn’t understand how medicine works. AND he barely even looked at her ear!

    • I feel like an idiot but DTaP has dairy?! I wonder if THAT is why my daughter reacted to it. :(

    • The doctor was so upset about the DTaP vaccine because as we all know, if your child had that vaccine, she’d never again have an ear infection.


    • Orry you had to go through that. I hate that a lot of doctors do not realize these can cause deadly reactions in some kids. I was allergic to the MMR vaccine unknowily when I got it as a kid, and my mom got chewed by our ped at the time because there was no way a little could be allergic to it, even though I ended up in the hospital and was fine 12 hours earlier before the shot. You would think things have changed by 2012, but they havn’t.

      • Is DTaP the diphtheria, tetanus and whooping cough one? Cause I can attest that the whooping cough part of it is evil as heck! 35 years later I cross my fingers that it doesn’t make a huge come back because the vax about killed me back in the day. Doc still won’t give it to me due to the reaction I had. :( Poor kiddo!

  11. Okay, when those of us who are very pro-vaccine say that all who can be vaccinated should for the sake of those who can’t, this is exactly what we’re talking about! Doc, if you’re going to spout on abut herd immunity and the greater good, shouldn’t you know your own freakin’ rhetoric about vaccinating so that those who CANNOT vaccinate don’t need to?
    Come on!

    • exactly! i am pro-vaccine, until, you know, it can cause life threatening reactions! seriously doc, if you haven’t heard of people being allergic to ingredients in vaccines, what are you doing??

      • THIS.

        Now, if you really want to see this child get this vaccinee, Doc – go do your research and see if there’s a version made that lacks that component. Otherwise? Knock it off.

    • Exactly! We have no major allergies in my family, no reactions to vaccines in the past. I will selectively vaccinate my child to protect those who can’t vax or chose not to. I will, however, agree to them one at a time and spaced out to fully evaluate reactions, I will know the ingredients, choose the least risky brands, etc. It’s called being an informed patient, Doc. Maybe you should look into that.

    • Exactly! I vaccinate because we have high exposure risk (military family), but I’d never in a million years tell a mom whose child has a serious allergy that she needs to vaccinate anyway!

      A really evil part of me almost wishes the mother had been a brainless prat who’d go along with anything her doctor says, then leave him to deal with the aftermath of a seriously injured baby. Of course I’m glad mom was more informed in this case; still, I wonder what he would’ve done.

    • agree here, no matter how many times ive had the MMR vaccination i have limited immunity to rubella, so i rely on the fact that its a very rare disease these days to protect me and my unborn/ too young to be vaccinated babies.

    • I’m seriously pro-vaccine. Herd immunity is a wonderful thing – so that people who CAN’T get vaccinated, like people who are, oh, I don’t know, ALLERGIC TO IT, won’t get the thing they can’t get vaccinated against.

  12. Just. What.

    If my child has a life threatening allergy to something, you bet I’m not vaccinating them. (Otherwise, we do on a modified schedule as I have had reactions to many of them. Luckily my son hasn’t!)

    The stupidity…

  13. “So you readily admit that you’ve never heard of a reaction, show no interest or initiative in looking it up but still want me to trust you to make health related decisions for my child? ::insert four letter word here:: Bye now!”

  14. I had a Gardasil shot.

    Well, I can say that a few days later, I declared the first symptoms of a pericarditis.

    Before going to the cardiologist, things went so bad that I self medicated myself with aspirin and rest. Before even knowing the diagnosis (it was very tricky to diagnose), even GP didn’t suspect such a stuff.
    Cardiologist said that I did well to self medicate with aspirin and rest because otherwise, I would had suffered from heart failure.

    I was 23 years old, and I say “no, thank you for a heart failure at 23 years old”.

    GP realized that the Gardasil was the culprit for my pericarditis.
    I learnt that I was not the only one either.

  15. I’m allergic to tetanus vaccine — last one I got put me into shock.

    I’ve had a doctor seriously suggest that I should go into the hospital to get another one so they can resuscitate me if I go into shock again. No, thank you. Should I be exposed to tetanus, I’ll take my chances with antibiotics.

    • Only to correct you, but tetanus is not treated by antibiotics (despite being a bacterial disease).
      It’s treated by anatoxin and not only it’s far from being 100% efficient, it has also a lot of side effects.

      I’d rather go to hospital for the vaccine and being resciucitated should it need than risking the tetanus.

      • That’s worth knowing; thanks. Having two kids I’d like to see grow up, though, I’m more comfortable taking the small risk of possible exposure to tetanus than I am the definite exposure to shock. :}

        • Incidentally, the last time I wounded myself doctors recommended prophylactic antibiotics, presumably to kill the C. tetani before it could produce any toxins, so I took them. If you know of any research showing this approach to be ineffective, I’d be grateful for pointers.

          • I’ve never heard it. I’ll go to bed after learning something. I didn’t say that it was ineffective.
            Only I’ve always learnt that to treat tetanus, you inject an anatoxin and it’s far from being 100% effective.
            Plus the side effects like high fever.

    • Well, the good news is that tetanus canNOT live when in oxygen. So if you bleed, tetanus dead. If you can get peroxide in it, tetanus dead. If you cut your foot on a rusty nail.. no biggie (the biggest fallacy of tetanus scare tactics!) because Rust= Oxygen! The only time to seriously worry is if you have a puncture that does not bleed, was exposed to feces and that you cannot get peroxide INTO. My son cut his forehead on a screw that was sticking out of our gate (stupid maintenance men left several sticking out). The hospital flipped OUT because he was going to have tetanus. It bled (a lot). It was not sitting in feces (it was actually so high it would take EFFORT to get feces on it lol).

      Also, you might look into the TIG shot. I don’t know if it would cause the same allergy risk, so that’s why I say you might look into it.. It’s a tetanus immunoglobin shot. Because say you got a puncture wound or had a TRUE tetanus risk, if you got the tetanus shot THAT DAY, it wouldn’t do any good. You would want the TIG shot. The tetanus shot can take up to 30 days to be fully effective. If you do wind up in a tetanus risk, you don’t have 30 days, you need the TIG to keep yourself healthy and safe :)

  16. The risk is not that small however.

    When you are injured and come in contact with dirtiness like rust, your garbage, the ground… you can veryeasily catch the tetanus.
    The risk is far from being low. Especially on the country side.

    After, it’s up to you.

  17. And I’d suppose you’d tell me that even though my daughter has a peanut allergy, she should eat a peanut butter sandwich cause it’s “good” for you?

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