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Contagious after live virus vaccines? How long?

Posted by on May. 22, 2008 at 4:14 PM
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We were thinking of having some friends over for a cookout this weekend, but one of our friends just had his kids vaccinated with a live virus yesterday. He didn't want to but he is in the middle of a custody battle and is afraid the state will take the kids away, if he doesn't. Anyways, my question is how long are they carriers? My son is 3 months and has not had any vaccines. We are not completely opposed to him developing natural immunity, but would prefer to wait until he is little older. Also, could their dad be carrying? Should we keep our distance from him as well? I am new to all of this and am not certain of the best protocol when its comes to how my ds should be around and when. Thank you in advance! Any information is greatly appreciated!

by on May. 22, 2008 at 4:14 PM
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by Bronze Member on May. 22, 2008 at 4:16 PM
I thought it was for a week or two.... but I forget.

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by Bronze Member on May. 22, 2008 at 4:19 PM - FAQ section:
4. My child was not vaccinated. How do I protect him from other children who were recently vaccinated?

Q. I just had some visitors to my house and after about an hour of their kids playing with mine, they informed me that the 17 month old just got his shots this afternoon. I was panic-stricken! I have heard of people contracting diseases from others who are immunized. Is this true? What are the risks of exposure to my children? Any other stories like this? Then again -- if there is a high risk associated with not immunizing and contracting something by being around others who have, do you just stay home and live in a bubble, never going anywhere for fear of 'catching' something? Please respond and let me know if there is anything to be done now. Thanks.

Q. I have not vaccinated my son. I am planning on providing daycare services this fall. My question is: If one of the daycare children was vaccinated the day before or within a range of a few days, is my son at risk in any way? Do vaccinated children "carry" the disease they are being vaccinated against? I guess my concern would be the live viruses like the oral polio vaccine. Any information you can provide would be greatly appreciated.

A. Recently vaccinated children do carry the disease germ and are able to spread it to other children. Many so-called epidemics are initiated and spread in this manner, even though the unvaccinated are blamed. On the other hand, a passive immunity to the disease may also be gained in this manner. In fact, some "authorities" argue that parents who do not vaccinate their children reap the benefits without taking the risks -- a curious argument since they also argue that such parents are irresponsible by unnecessarily exposing their children to greater risk by choosing not to vaccinate.

Some daycare centers do not permit non-vaccinated children to enroll. Wouldn't it be ironic to see the authorities' reactions if they discovered a daycare center that does not permit vaccinated children to join!

Q. I am the mother of nine children, and none of them have ever been immunized. My husband is a chiropractor and his mother had not believed in immunization for the last few of her 8 children. I come from a traditional medical oriented family but that has had little effect on my attitude concerning immunization. I have had moments of stress concerning whooping cough and the fear of tetanus infection. But the one real problem that caught me totally off guard was when my girls began to babysit. I am concerned about them babysitting children who have just received the DPT shot. I have probably over-reacted by not letting them babysit any such child for 3 weeks following the shot but I have never seen any information about how long that child might infect others. I have read that the cases of polio stem from the shot, and of some people getting it by being in contact with a recently immunized child. I don't know if this is a valid concern or an over-reaction on my part. People don't think to tell a babysitter that their child has just had shots because it is such a normal thing in our society. I look forward to an informative response.

A. Whooping cough is generally not a concern in older children; it may pass as a simple cold. Children under a year old are the main ones likely to experience complications.

Every year -- until the oral polio vaccine was replaced with the inactivated "dead" vaccine -- about 10 people in the USA contracted polio by coming into contact with a recently vaccinated child. These cases generally occurred in people with compromised immune systems. For example, a grandmother with a weakened immune system may contract it by changing the baby's diaper. Simply stated, it is unlikely that your daughter is in danger.

Q. I have a question that I have not been able to find the answer to. With our baby girl not having been given any shots, we were told we would need to keep her away from any age children that have recently been vaccinated. How true is that? And if so, for how long? Until she is what age? How do we know what children have been recently given any shots? If this makes any sense at all, could you please provide us with some direction?

A. You can't possible know who has been recently vaccinated, so I don't know how you could "protect" a child from such exposure short of isolating him or her from society. Some researchers make the claim that non-vaccinated children gain protection from disease by being exposed to vaccinated children. (They also claim that non-vaccinated children are at risk of contracting these diseases.) If you are concerned, and know that a friend or playmate was recently vaccinated, you might consider keeping the kids outdoors to play for a few days. Otherwise I wouldn't worry too much.

Q. Where can I find more specific information about the dangers of an unvaccinated child around vaccinated ones? This has always been a source of tension around other family members and their children as well. Two other family members consulted with their pediatricians and were each told something different. So now our family has three different doctors' opinions. One says it would be good for our daughter to be around a recently vaccinated child, the second says it doesn't matter at all, and the third says she is in danger because of her unvaccinated status. Could you help me please? Thank you for your time.

A. You heard three different stories regarding whether your child is at risk when exposed to a recently vaccinated child. Some doctors say yes. Others say your child will gain "contact immunity" from being exposed to vaccinated children. And still others don't know what to say. If you are particularly concerned, ventilate the house (open some windows), or let the children play outdoors. But I wouldn't worry about it too much.

by Member on May. 22, 2008 at 4:32 PM

I have a cousin who is HIV positive. Her and her husband decided to have a child knowing the risks. They had some special procedure done to reduce the risk to the baby. She was born without the virus and is still free of it today 6 years later. However, each time she recieved a live vax she would have to stay with relatives for 2 weeks due to her parents compromised immune systems. Now I know that Does not help much considering our children do not have compromised immune systems. I do know that for whatever reason the live vax put her parents at risk for 2 weeks. I am really not sure if it would be the same for our children or not. Then again it really would not be that big of a deal depending on which vax it was. If by chance my children were to get, let's say chicken pox or measles I have the confidence they would come through it just fine and then thay would have immunity for life.

by Silver Member on May. 22, 2008 at 10:52 PM
If your baby is only 3 month old I would keep them away for at least 3 weeks. It is very possible for unvaccinated kids to contain the virus from children that have been recently vaccinated with a live virus. I am too all about natural immunity but I think 3 month is to young to get the measles.
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