Gail Kuwahara: Be Responsible To Yourself And Others, And Vaccinate – September 24, 2012

Monday, September 24, 2012

As the school year begins and students are returning to classes, the question many parents are asking is, what vaccines does my child need? In the past few years these requirements have changed. It is not just kindergarten students who need shots, but also students entering seventh grade and college students.

With the passage of Assembly Bill AB354, all children entering seventh to 12th grade are required to receive a Tdap booster in 2011,. In 2012, all children entering seventh grade are now required to get a Tdap booster (and older students if they missed last year). Tdap is the only immunization available in the United States that protects individuals over the age of 10 against pertussis.

Pertussis, more commonly known as Whooping Cough is a serious disease that can be fatal to infants. This year alone there have been 1,154 hospitalizations in the state of California, three-quarters being infants younger than six months of age. Thirteen deaths attributable to pertussis occurred in 2011, most were in infants not old enough to receive the vaccine.

It is important that anyone who is anticipating contact with an infant under the age of six months be vaccinated for this disease to protect the infant from exposure. In teenagers and adults the illness can include a long convalescence and loss of time from school or work.

It is estimated that one case of undiagnosed pertussis can infect up to 17 other people and that 80 percent of all households will be affected by this disease unless family members get vaccinated.

While August and September are the peak season for outbreaks of Whooping Cough in our area, according to Humboldt County there have not been any reported cases in the county so far this year. Pertussis is a viral illness which starts with cold symptoms, mild cough, runny nose and fever which can last up to two weeks. The infected person is most contagious during this time.

The illness progresses to a severe prolonged cough with the classic whooping sound at the end for which it is named; this stage can last up to three months. It is possible that we can attribute the fact that we have not had any reported cases this year to the efforts of the county health department and our local medical providers to get our population vaccinated last year.

Students starting college this year should also receive a Meningitis vaccination. For many of these young adults it is their first time in a group living situation. Residence hall living some newfound freedoms, like kissing, not getting enough sleep, being exposed to smoke, sharing utensils, glasses and water bottles and being in crowed situations for prolonged periods of time put students at risk of contracting this serious illness.

Meningitis is a devastating viral illness that can progress from no symptoms at all to death or disability in just a single day. Meningitis can present with swelling of the brain or spinal cord or as a blood infection. It is difficult to recognize in the early stages because symptoms are very similar to other viral illnesses. About 10 percent of all Americans who get this disease will die from it, while 20 percent who survive the illness are left with serious medical problems including amputation of arms, legs, fingers and toes, brain damage, deafness or kidney damage.

All students should get an influenza vaccine to protect them from this common illness. The CDC has recommended early vaccination this year and it should be available in most medical offices, pharmacies and the health department now. Influenza (the flu as it is more commonly called) can cause mild to severe illness and is easily prevented by vaccination.

Signs and symptoms of the flu include fever, cough, sore throat, runny or stuffy nose, body aches, headaches and fatigue. It is spread by droplets so always cover your mouth when coughing and sneezing to prevent spreading the disease to others.

Parents please remember this is an exciting time for your child whether they are one of the “big kids now” entering middle school or a young adult heading off to college and getting their first big taste of independence. It is important to keep them safe from illness. Vaccinations are the best defense.

Finally, this is a time of changes for your child and getting established with a local medical provider will give them an opportunity seek needed treatment and discuss physical, emotional and social concerns. A medical provider can be more than someone to visit when you are sick. They can help your child make appropriate health and life style decisions that your child may not feel comfortable talking to teachers or parents about.

Establishing a relationship with a medical provider can assure that your child will continue to make healthy decisions long into the future.

Gail Kuwahara is a mother of four, grandmother of six and has worked at Open Door for 13 years.

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214 Responses to “Gail Kuwahara: Be Responsible To Yourself And Others, And Vaccinate – September 24, 2012”

  1. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    We here in Humboldt are proud of our community's choice to NOT vaccinate our children. We have studied all the info and made an educated choice for our children. I'm not going to go into a big debate but understand this is an informed choice and part of our culture. Home births, organic and free range eating, not immunizing , not going to traditional doctors is all part of our back to the land movement. Its not going anywhere so accept it.

    #64269
  2. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    We here in Humboldt are proud of our community's choice to NOT vaccinate our children. We have studied all the info and made an educated choice for our children. I'm not going to go into a big debate but understand this is an informed choice and part of our culture. Home births, organic and free range eating, not immunizing , not going to traditional doctors is all part of our back to the land movement. Its not going anywhere so accept it.

    #65638
  3. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    We here in Humboldt are proud of our community's choice to NOT vaccinate our children. We have studied all the info and made an educated choice for our children. I'm not going to go into a big debate but understand this is an informed choice and part of our culture. Home births, organic and free range eating, not immunizing , not going to traditional doctors is all part of our back to the land movement. Its not going anywhere so accept it.

    #65886
  4. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    We here in Humboldt are proud of our community's choice to NOT vaccinate our children. We have studied all the info and made an educated choice for our children. I'm not going to go into a big debate but understand this is an informed choice and part of our culture. Home births, organic and free range eating, not immunizing , not going to traditional doctors is all part of our back to the land movement. Its not going anywhere so accept it.

    #67046
  5. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    We here in Humboldt are proud of our community's choice to NOT vaccinate our children. We have studied all the info and made an educated choice for our children. I'm not going to go into a big debate but understand this is an informed choice and part of our culture. Home births, organic and free range eating, not immunizing , not going to traditional doctors is all part of our back to the land movement. Its not going anywhere so accept it.

    #67851
  6. Ian Ray

    To the credit of people who want to move us back in time, the educated choice for not immunizing children has successfully increased Pertussis rates to levels of 70 years ago. Good job.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2012/07/23/anti-vaccine-movement-causes-the-worst-whooping-cough-epidemic-in-70-years/

    #64272
  7. Ian Ray

    To the credit of people who want to move us back in time, the educated choice for not immunizing children has successfully increased Pertussis rates to levels of 70 years ago. Good job.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2012/07/23/anti-vaccine-movement-causes-the-worst-whooping-cough-epidemic-in-70-years/

    #65642
  8. Ian Ray

    To the credit of people who want to move us back in time, the educated choice for not immunizing children has successfully increased Pertussis rates to levels of 70 years ago. Good job.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2012/07/23/anti-vaccine-movement-causes-the-worst-whooping-cough-epidemic-in-70-years/

    #65890
  9. Ian Ray

    To the credit of people who want to move us back in time, the educated choice for not immunizing children has successfully increased Pertussis rates to levels of 70 years ago. Good job.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2012/07/23/anti-vaccine-movement-causes-the-worst-whooping-cough-epidemic-in-70-years/

    #67050
  10. Ian Ray

    To the credit of people who want to move us back in time, the educated choice for not immunizing children has successfully increased Pertussis rates to levels of 70 years ago. Good job.
    http://www.forbes.com/sites/stevensalzberg/2012/07/23/anti-vaccine-movement-causes-the-worst-whooping-cough-epidemic-in-70-years/

    #67855
  11. Kevin Hoover

    When you break your arm, or your child gets pertussis, you’ll be at the hospital demanding traditional medicine as fast as you can get there.

    #64273
  12. Kevin Hoover

    When you break your arm, or your child gets pertussis, you’ll be at the hospital demanding traditional medicine as fast as you can get there.

    #65643
  13. Kevin Hoover

    When you break your arm, or your child gets pertussis, you’ll be at the hospital demanding traditional medicine as fast as you can get there.

    #65891
  14. Kevin Hoover

    When you break your arm, or your child gets pertussis, you’ll be at the hospital demanding traditional medicine as fast as you can get there.

    #67051
  15. Kevin Hoover

    When you break your arm, or your child gets pertussis, you’ll be at the hospital demanding traditional medicine as fast as you can get there.

    #67856
  16. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    A broken arm yes, wooping cough ,no. I have know a few people whos kids have had it and beat naturally. Its only really dangerous in very young infants. Some people die of flu so now they say that the flu shot is a must, Now they want you to get chicken pox shots, hpv shots. Where to you draw the line? How many shots is enough? I have 2 kids, one is a teen one is 6. Neither one has ever been to the doctor and have rarely gotten sick. This is because they have strong natural immunity from not ever taking shots, antibiotics or over the counter fever reducers.All those thing compromise the immune systems natural function. There is tons of science supporting either side of the debate and Im not gonna start posting links,adI dont want to convince you not to give your kids shots, I just wanted to state that most parents who choose not to, do so after much study, its not some uninformed choice Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. Once you meet a parent who has suffered the loss of a child within 24 hours of vaccines being givin as I have, you will think twice before going that route.

    #64276
  17. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    A broken arm yes, wooping cough ,no. I have know a few people whos kids have had it and beat naturally. Its only really dangerous in very young infants. Some people die of flu so now they say that the flu shot is a must, Now they want you to get chicken pox shots, hpv shots. Where to you draw the line? How many shots is enough? I have 2 kids, one is a teen one is 6. Neither one has ever been to the doctor and have rarely gotten sick. This is because they have strong natural immunity from not ever taking shots, antibiotics or over the counter fever reducers.All those thing compromise the immune systems natural function. There is tons of science supporting either side of the debate and Im not gonna start posting links,adI dont want to convince you not to give your kids shots, I just wanted to state that most parents who choose not to, do so after much study, its not some uninformed choice Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. Once you meet a parent who has suffered the loss of a child within 24 hours of vaccines being givin as I have, you will think twice before going that route.

    #65644
  18. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    A broken arm yes, wooping cough ,no. I have know a few people whos kids have had it and beat naturally. Its only really dangerous in very young infants. Some people die of flu so now they say that the flu shot is a must, Now they want you to get chicken pox shots, hpv shots. Where to you draw the line? How many shots is enough? I have 2 kids, one is a teen one is 6. Neither one has ever been to the doctor and have rarely gotten sick. This is because they have strong natural immunity from not ever taking shots, antibiotics or over the counter fever reducers.All those thing compromise the immune systems natural function. There is tons of science supporting either side of the debate and Im not gonna start posting links,adI dont want to convince you not to give your kids shots, I just wanted to state that most parents who choose not to, do so after much study, its not some uninformed choice Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. Once you meet a parent who has suffered the loss of a child within 24 hours of vaccines being givin as I have, you will think twice before going that route.

    #65892
  19. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    A broken arm yes, wooping cough ,no. I have know a few people whos kids have had it and beat naturally. Its only really dangerous in very young infants. Some people die of flu so now they say that the flu shot is a must, Now they want you to get chicken pox shots, hpv shots. Where to you draw the line? How many shots is enough? I have 2 kids, one is a teen one is 6. Neither one has ever been to the doctor and have rarely gotten sick. This is because they have strong natural immunity from not ever taking shots, antibiotics or over the counter fever reducers.All those thing compromise the immune systems natural function. There is tons of science supporting either side of the debate and Im not gonna start posting links,adI dont want to convince you not to give your kids shots, I just wanted to state that most parents who choose not to, do so after much study, its not some uninformed choice Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. Once you meet a parent who has suffered the loss of a child within 24 hours of vaccines being givin as I have, you will think twice before going that route.

    #67052
  20. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    A broken arm yes, wooping cough ,no. I have know a few people whos kids have had it and beat naturally. Its only really dangerous in very young infants. Some people die of flu so now they say that the flu shot is a must, Now they want you to get chicken pox shots, hpv shots. Where to you draw the line? How many shots is enough? I have 2 kids, one is a teen one is 6. Neither one has ever been to the doctor and have rarely gotten sick. This is because they have strong natural immunity from not ever taking shots, antibiotics or over the counter fever reducers.All those thing compromise the immune systems natural function. There is tons of science supporting either side of the debate and Im not gonna start posting links,adI dont want to convince you not to give your kids shots, I just wanted to state that most parents who choose not to, do so after much study, its not some uninformed choice Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. Once you meet a parent who has suffered the loss of a child within 24 hours of vaccines being givin as I have, you will think twice before going that route.

    #67857
  21. Kevin Hoover

    All of that is anecdotal and testimonial. It's not science.

    Refusal to vaccinate compromises herd immunity and spreads disease. It is responsible for the spike in pertussis.

    Unfortunately, this sort of superstitious folklore is resulting in a measurable body count. It is inexcusable in the modern age.

    #64277
  22. Kevin Hoover

    All of that is anecdotal and testimonial. It's not science.

    Refusal to vaccinate compromises herd immunity and spreads disease. It is responsible for the spike in pertussis.

    Unfortunately, this sort of superstitious folklore is resulting in a measurable body count. It is inexcusable in the modern age.

    #65645
  23. Kevin Hoover

    All of that is anecdotal and testimonial. It's not science.

    Refusal to vaccinate compromises herd immunity and spreads disease. It is responsible for the spike in pertussis.

    Unfortunately, this sort of superstitious folklore is resulting in a measurable body count. It is inexcusable in the modern age.

    #65893
  24. Kevin Hoover

    All of that is anecdotal and testimonial. It's not science.

    Refusal to vaccinate compromises herd immunity and spreads disease. It is responsible for the spike in pertussis.

    Unfortunately, this sort of superstitious folklore is resulting in a measurable body count. It is inexcusable in the modern age.

    #67053
  25. Kevin Hoover

    All of that is anecdotal and testimonial. It's not science.

    Refusal to vaccinate compromises herd immunity and spreads disease. It is responsible for the spike in pertussis.

    Unfortunately, this sort of superstitious folklore is resulting in a measurable body count. It is inexcusable in the modern age.

    #67858
  26. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    U should move to a place where the danger is not so high 4 you n yours cause Humboldt immunization rates are gonna go up anytime soon.

    #64278
  27. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    U should move to a place where the danger is not so high 4 you n yours cause Humboldt immunization rates are gonna go up anytime soon.

    #65646
  28. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    U should move to a place where the danger is not so high 4 you n yours cause Humboldt immunization rates are gonna go up anytime soon.

    #65894
  29. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    U should move to a place where the danger is not so high 4 you n yours cause Humboldt immunization rates are gonna go up anytime soon.

    #67054
  30. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    U should move to a place where the danger is not so high 4 you n yours cause Humboldt immunization rates are gonna go up anytime soon.

    #67859
  31. Kevin Hoover

    I'm not personally worried, as we are all immunized.

    Further, there is no link between vaccination and child mortality. You are confusing causation and correlation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

    #64279
  32. Kevin Hoover

    I'm not personally worried, as we are all immunized.

    Further, there is no link between vaccination and child mortality. You are confusing causation and correlation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

    #65647
  33. Kevin Hoover

    I'm not personally worried, as we are all immunized.

    Further, there is no link between vaccination and child mortality. You are confusing causation and correlation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

    #65895
  34. Kevin Hoover

    I'm not personally worried, as we are all immunized.

    Further, there is no link between vaccination and child mortality. You are confusing causation and correlation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

    #67055
  35. Kevin Hoover

    I'm not personally worried, as we are all immunized.

    Further, there is no link between vaccination and child mortality. You are confusing causation and correlation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Post_hoc_ergo_propter_hoc

    #67860
  36. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Look Kevin, I dont wanna debate you, Those of us with older kids already did this topic when the kids were little and we made our choice and are sticking with it. My kids have gone to multiple schools in the county with very low vaccination rates and no wooping cough has ever broken out and if it were ever to happen, im confident we could beat it. You do know you can get it even if you are vaccinated? its not 100% effective.The vaccine industry is a multi billion dollar a year industry and they hire their own scientists and produce there own results. Even those who deny global warming have scientist who will back them. There are scientists who say immunization is dangerous or ineffective. My main reason to post was just to say, we who choose not to immunize do so with a clear understanding of the risks and benefits and that we are doing what we think is best for those we love dearly. take care.

    #64280
  37. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Look Kevin, I dont wanna debate you, Those of us with older kids already did this topic when the kids were little and we made our choice and are sticking with it. My kids have gone to multiple schools in the county with very low vaccination rates and no wooping cough has ever broken out and if it were ever to happen, im confident we could beat it. You do know you can get it even if you are vaccinated? its not 100% effective.The vaccine industry is a multi billion dollar a year industry and they hire their own scientists and produce there own results. Even those who deny global warming have scientist who will back them. There are scientists who say immunization is dangerous or ineffective. My main reason to post was just to say, we who choose not to immunize do so with a clear understanding of the risks and benefits and that we are doing what we think is best for those we love dearly. take care.

    #65648
  38. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Look Kevin, I dont wanna debate you, Those of us with older kids already did this topic when the kids were little and we made our choice and are sticking with it. My kids have gone to multiple schools in the county with very low vaccination rates and no wooping cough has ever broken out and if it were ever to happen, im confident we could beat it. You do know you can get it even if you are vaccinated? its not 100% effective.The vaccine industry is a multi billion dollar a year industry and they hire their own scientists and produce there own results. Even those who deny global warming have scientist who will back them. There are scientists who say immunization is dangerous or ineffective. My main reason to post was just to say, we who choose not to immunize do so with a clear understanding of the risks and benefits and that we are doing what we think is best for those we love dearly. take care.

    #65896
  39. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Look Kevin, I dont wanna debate you, Those of us with older kids already did this topic when the kids were little and we made our choice and are sticking with it. My kids have gone to multiple schools in the county with very low vaccination rates and no wooping cough has ever broken out and if it were ever to happen, im confident we could beat it. You do know you can get it even if you are vaccinated? its not 100% effective.The vaccine industry is a multi billion dollar a year industry and they hire their own scientists and produce there own results. Even those who deny global warming have scientist who will back them. There are scientists who say immunization is dangerous or ineffective. My main reason to post was just to say, we who choose not to immunize do so with a clear understanding of the risks and benefits and that we are doing what we think is best for those we love dearly. take care.

    #67056
  40. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt

    Look Kevin, I dont wanna debate you, Those of us with older kids already did this topic when the kids were little and we made our choice and are sticking with it. My kids have gone to multiple schools in the county with very low vaccination rates and no wooping cough has ever broken out and if it were ever to happen, im confident we could beat it. You do know you can get it even if you are vaccinated? its not 100% effective.The vaccine industry is a multi billion dollar a year industry and they hire their own scientists and produce there own results. Even those who deny global warming have scientist who will back them. There are scientists who say immunization is dangerous or ineffective. My main reason to post was just to say, we who choose not to immunize do so with a clear understanding of the risks and benefits and that we are doing what we think is best for those we love dearly. take care.

    #67861
  41. The immunization rate is going to go up because they are going to tighten the exemptions.
    http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_21532703/bill-toughens-vaccine-opt-out-option-proposed-law
    If I had my way not immunizing your child would be a criminal offense, possibly even a felony.

    #64281
  42. The immunization rate is going to go up because they are going to tighten the exemptions.
    http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_21532703/bill-toughens-vaccine-opt-out-option-proposed-law
    If I had my way not immunizing your child would be a criminal offense, possibly even a felony.

    #65649
  43. The immunization rate is going to go up because they are going to tighten the exemptions.
    http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_21532703/bill-toughens-vaccine-opt-out-option-proposed-law
    If I had my way not immunizing your child would be a criminal offense, possibly even a felony.

    #65897
  44. The immunization rate is going to go up because they are going to tighten the exemptions.
    http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_21532703/bill-toughens-vaccine-opt-out-option-proposed-law
    If I had my way not immunizing your child would be a criminal offense, possibly even a felony.

    #67057
  45. The immunization rate is going to go up because they are going to tighten the exemptions.
    http://www.times-standard.com/localnews/ci_21532703/bill-toughens-vaccine-opt-out-option-proposed-law
    If I had my way not immunizing your child would be a criminal offense, possibly even a felony.

    #67862
  46. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt
    " Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. "

    Name a name or I do not believe you.

    #64282
  47. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt
    " Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. "

    Name a name or I do not believe you.

    #65650
  48. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt
    " Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. "

    Name a name or I do not believe you.

    #65898
  49. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt
    " Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. "

    Name a name or I do not believe you.

    #67058
  50. RasMike Wilmeth Cmt
    " Its funny that this article is from open door clinic and thats where I have gone and my doctor who works there does not give her kids shots either. "

    Name a name or I do not believe you.

    #67863

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