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Necessary vaccinations in HK?

  1. #1
    gumbed is offline Registered User
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    Question Necessary vaccinations in HK?

    Has anyone studied the risk/reward profile of various vaccinations for babies in Hong Kong?

    For example, most Asian countries require mandatory vaccination with the BCG vaccine, yet I was surprised to find out that the WHO, CDC, etc doesn't recommend universal innoculation for TB, maybe because of uncertainty about the effectiveness of the BCG vaccine.

    I'd like to hear from people who have looked at this question, including Hep B, diphteria, tetanus, whooping cough, Hib, MMR, etc.

  2. #2
    shri's Avatar
    shri is offline Administrator
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    Hi Gumbed,

    Sorry for the delay in getting back to you .. have been majorly busy with the shop launch on geobaby.

    Here are some observations:

    Several vaccines recommended in Hong Kong are not on the CDC list because of localised conditions. There could also be problems associated with outdated research -- local institutions are govt run and should not be considered bleeding edge. Hong Kong has a long standing policy which is not proactive and like many things here -- if its not broken lets not fix it.

    Lets take BCG vaccinations.

    The CDC says
    The child is exposed continually to an untreated or ineffectively treated patient who has infectious pulmonary TB, and the child cannot be separated from the presence of the infectious patient or given long-term primary treatment for infection;
    or

    The child is exposed continually to a patient who has infectious pulmonary TB caused by M. tuberculosis strains resistant to isoniazid and rifampin, and the child cannot be separated from the presence of the infectious patient.
    The Hong Kong Govt says

    BCG vaccination is not required if the child has a history of
    proven tuberculosis or is above 15 years of age. BCG
    vaccination is not recommended for children with the
    following health conditions:
    Obviously there is a conflict and Hong Kong govt guidelines are more conservative.

    The chances of getting TB are fairly high (higher than SARS for example) in Hong Kong and Asia, with a total of about 6600 cases reported last year. So -- the decision would mostly be up to you.

    I would really recommend putting your paediatrition on the line. Many of them have studied overseas and have fair exposure to newer theories compared to govt committees who make these decisions.



    Two more thing that I think I should mention.

    American trained doctors tend to be extremely sensitive to malpractise suits and often practise zero-chance medicine.

    The UK schedule (which is what HK is likely to follow) is here

    http://www.netdoctor.co.uk/health_ad...ccinations.htm

  3. #3
    shri's Avatar
    shri is offline Administrator
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    Interesting article showed up in my mailbox.

    Wonder of wonders. The San Francisco Chronicle, usually the bastion of vaccine defense, has broken through with a human-interest story that places vaccines in the unusual light of consumer choice. Titled Vaccination Backlash, the article documents how over 50 percent of entering kindergarteners in the Yuba River Charter School have opted out of vaccinations in an idyllic Sierra foothills town called Nevada City. Their parents refused the kindly entreaties of Nevada County health department personnel, who have quit trying to increase the vaccination rate among these committed parents. This is news, and the San Francisco Chronicle has followed the lead with a six-page weekend magazine cover story. Are the resident parents of this rural community a little flaky, hearkening back to rebellious sixties commune folk? So we are led to believe, since the parents interviewed see naturopathic doctors, homeopaths, midwives, and acupuncturists for their health care, pursue an organic lifestyle, and religiously practice recycling. But wait, aren’t parent groups organizing and refusing vaccination in urban centers all over the country? This article could describe parents in Minneapolis, Nashville, or Washington DC. The grand state of Texas has one of the most vocal and active vaccination-choice parent groups in the country, www.vaccineinfo.net.

    The reporter, Katherine Seligman, and the Chronicle should be congratulated for taking the controversial position that refusing vaccines may be a wise choice for parents. I urge every one of you to read her article at

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...5/CM171959.DTL

    and send her an email [email protected]. It has a matter of fact tone that conveys the confidence of these parents’ decision not to vaccinate. “Many parents say they considered the pros and cons of vaccination and believe that their children are better off without the shots.” The article contains none of the hysteria of other recent depictions, and refuses to become mired in the controversies swirling over mercury, autism, and government shenanigans. It mentions the suspicious vaccine/autism connection, and relates how a quarter of all parents believe that vaccines weaken or damage the immune system. This is a bold article for mainstream media.

    Unfortunately, parents who read the article are left to find their own resources for vaccine choices. She does not mention the national parents’ organization NVIC www.909shot.com or books like The Vaccine Guide and What Your Doctor May Not Tell You about Childhood Vaccinations. Nonetheless, the parents described in the article come across as thoughtful and committed to their children’s health. The exhortations of NIH authorities sound weak and futile. Holding down a child for that dreaded injection sounds much worse, and as one mother puts it in the article, “It doesn’t feel right.” Congratulations to the Chronicle for beginning to question the accepted dogma of the vaccination-manic, medical-media propaganda machine.

    Randall Neustaedter OMD, LAc
    Classical Medicine Center
    1779 Woodside Rd #201C
    Redwood City, CA 94061
    650 299-9170

    View previous newsletter articles
    by clicking on this link www.cure-guide.com

    Author of The Vaccine Guide, North Atlantic Books, 2002

  4. #4
    loupou is offline Baby Guru
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    HK vaccinations

    Certain diseases are far more prevalent in HK than in places like the UK and the USA.

    Tuberculosis, and Hepatitis B, for example are endemic (or close to endemic) here. There are still polio outbreaks in places not so far from HK as well.


    As far as I am aware, unlike in the USA, there is no "opt out" or exemption for parents who wish to send their children to school in HK, you register your kid and they ask for the immunization records.

    Here is the HK required immunization schedule:
    http://www.info.gov.hk/dh/publicat/web/immuni_e.htm

    I have heard that if you have BCG, then in the future you turn up "positive" on some TB screening tests, so make sure you keep records.

  5. #5
    simms is offline Registered User
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    I had a look at that link, and it's interesting that while there are some that are not on the UK schedule (ie BCG and HepB), it does not include some that are (Hib and Meningitis C), and the dates at which some others are given differs...

    It's a complicated issue!

  6. #6
    barbwong_130 is offline Registered User
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    When your child starts school they do ask for your immunization record. However, immunization of your child is not required. It is OK to show a record card with no immunizations - they just want to know what the situation is.

    Apart from the issue of whether immunizations are beneficial or not another big concern in the USA is because you are not allowed to pick and choose. Either your child has no immunizations or it has all of them. This is not the situation here.

    The benefits of every immunization are not the same. Personally I think a tetanus immunization is very important. The vast majority of people in developed countries who get tetanus are people who haven’t been immunized or have allowed their immunization to expire. This is not true for all immunizations.

    The risk of catching the disease in the country that you live (or one you intend to visit) is an important factor. I also think that the risk of death if you catch the illness is a very important factor to include.

    Many people are against immunizations and quote that increasing health and living standards are the reason that less children and adults die and catch these diseases now. But our experience from SARS has thought us that our hygiene standards were not as high as they could have been. (I’m sure I’m not the only person in Hong Kong who now washes her hands more than she did six months ago.)

    The BCG immunization is still given at birth in Hong Kong but since 2001 the government has stopped the re-immunization of primary school children.
    http://www.info.gov.hk/dh/diseases/ph&eb/v9n3.htm#1
    (TB is a serious health concern in Hong Kong. If you immigrate to the UK from Hong Kong you are required to have an X ray taken to make sure that you don’t have TB.)

    This site also has a list of the latest immunizations recommended by the government in Hong Kong. And also the number of people with various illnesses, which are so serious that the government keeps track of them. (You need to scroll down to the bottom.)

    I was looking for a graph of the number of cases of Diphtheria in Hong Kong over the last century. Unfortunately I can’t find one on the internet. This graph show a dramatic decrease in the number of cases as soon as the immunizations were introduced. Dropping to almost zero as the immunization of the whole of the population was completed. The number of cases of Diphtheria in Hong Kong is now zero. In fact, the only person I’ve ever hear of having the disease is a child who hadn’t been immunized and visited relatives in India.

    Good luck with finding information about this issue. I find it very difficult to find unbiased sources.

    Best wishes,
    Barb

  7. #7
    saundra is offline Registered User
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    TB is on the increase many places. Singapore won't let babies out of the hospital with BCG vaccination. When TB started increasing again a few years ago, our company told us to be vaccinated. I had been vaccinated as a baby and as such, there is no proper test to check immunity. You need an x-ray to see if you have it or not! The vaccine is pretty ineffective in adults, which is why it is recommended in infants and young children as it has a higher rate of effectiveness. It has no side effects I am aware of and as long as it is given on the bum, there will be no mark. Better to be safe than sorry - a good friend caught TB in Ireland 8 years ago (she had not been vaccinated as a child) and it took her a long time to recover.

  8. #8
    saundra is offline Registered User
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    Excuse the typo - should have read cannot leave the hospital in Singapore WITHOUT BCG vaccination!

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