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BCG vaccine, yes or no?

  1. #17
    AmyH is offline Registered User
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    My daughter was born here, so had it at birth. My son was given it at aged 4 when we moved here. I took him to a paediatrician who did the skin test to see if he was already immune, before giving the vaccine (he wasn't). It's not something i would ever risk.

    Both my grandparents contracted it in Ireland when my dad was a child (50 years ago) and they spent over a year in the hospital getting treated. During that time my dad and his brothers and sisters were sent to a childrens home to be looked after by nuns. My grandfather had to have a lung removed so spent most of his adult life with just one lung.

  2. #18
    miran is offline Registered User
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    IMHO - It's cultural. For the longest time richer countries have beleived they are immune from "those" things. Lot of people still do - look at the state of US / Europe economies and look at what their news coverage is.

    I am for BCG vacs too. why only BCG... we are from India. We go to India once a year for 20 - 25 days. We drink safe water and we hardly get time to go for a swim. My son still got his Hep A and Typhoid vacs.

    You and I are reacting with disbeleif because we "know" or have seen people from any walk of life get such diseases. We have also "known" or seen the impact such diseases can have. We find it hard to fanthom that someone could have access to such vaccinations, could afford them and still wouldnt take them because they think that risk is low.

    5 - 10% US population has TB (either as carrier or in active stage) - this is from Wiki so please dont kill me on this. If I read that and I were in US, I would still get BCG.

    HC - all I am saying is I hear you and I am with you. But when you come out so strongly at someone it just gets discounted as hysteria. And do cut those parents some slack - they are really not killing their kids :)

  3. #19
    evgreen is offline Registered User
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    Here is another very useful link about the stats of TB in HK. The rate of infection here is 10 times higher than in most Western developed countries. I've talked to a couple of pediatricians in HK and they both highly recommend BCG as the benefits far outweigh the risks.

    http://www.info.gov.hk/tb_chest/contents/c122.htm

  4. #20
    mumsy is offline Registered User
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    TB is definitely not to be taken lightly and it may not be just a simple case of taking a course of medication for 6-12 months to cure it.

    I contracted TB myself as a 7/8year old whilst visiting Hong Kong on a 2 week holiday back in the 1980's (granted TB was more prevalent back then). I did not present any of the classic symptoms of TB at all upon my return to the UK, then a few months later I had a swollen itchy finger - the TB had spread to my finger bone/joint. To cut a long story short, I had 2 surgeries on my finger and ended up having a piece of bone removed (at one point, the doctors even considered amputating the whole finger). I was in and out of hospital for well over 6 months.

  5. #21
    lesliefu is offline Registered User
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    i would just do it as it's always better to be safe than sorry in my books and the side effects are next to none - scarring would be the only one i can think of one the top of my head, but nothing life threathening that i know of.

  6. #22
    MommyTo3 is offline Registered User
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    I am pro-vax, but do not believe in the benefits or the effectiveness of the BCG vaccin. Does that make me a bad mother? They're parents that don't even give their children a single vaccination! Do I agree, no. Would I do that, no. But it's their decision. I see people putting their young children in the front seat without a proper car seat. Would I do that? No. Is breastfeeding best? Yes. Did I do it? No. There are a lot of personal decisions, you may or may not agree with it. To each their own. We can only educate ourselves and eachother in a respectful way, but it's our own decision in the end.

    Even though BCG is one of the oldest vaccinations around, the effectiveness is highly debated, as high as 80% to sometimes as low as 50-60% or even lower (there have been studies with effectiveness rates as low as 20%). Also when not given at birth the effectiveness decreases even more over time, hence the advice from my HK doctor (and my 2nd HK opinion) not to vaccinate my 4 1/2 yo at the time, and she was on the fence for the almost 2 yo. I decided against it. Please respect my personal decision and I'll respect yours.

  7. #23
    howardcoombs is offline Registered User
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    Quote Originally Posted by MommyTo3 View Post
    Even though BCG is one of the oldest vaccinations around, the effectiveness is highly debated, as high as 80% to sometimes as low as 50-60% or even lower (there have been studies with effectiveness rates as low as 20%). Also when not given at birth the effectiveness decreases even more over time, hence the advice from my HK doctor (and my 2nd HK opinion) not to vaccinate my 4 1/2 yo at the time.
    When faced with a decision which has no practical downside and a possible small, maybe medium and perhaps a big upside, I will pick to go with it.

    I understand you choose the other direction; I'm not about to question a parents decision; its between yourself and your family. Your child, your rules and your decision.

    However, up to now you've told us that famous doctors friend as well as 2 other doctors here in Hong Kong all concurred and decided to advise you against it. Can you please tell me more about what they said. What was the downside they saw in recommending that you not do this?

    I find it very odd and very strange. Its same as if I heard a doctor saying "dont do Mammograms because their effectiveness is under question, it doesnt work for everyone, very few people are saved, the death rate from breast cancer has decreased by almost 30%, women will suffer from significant psychological stress due to false posivitive results etc etc etc" ; those are all true statements and they are backed by studies. Its fine if a doctor tells you about them and lets you make the decision but to advise you and push you in one direction; I would find that very strange and I would question the motives of the doctor.

    Could you please let us know what (if there was anything else) they told you as a downside to cause them to give such advice? Without any major downside, I find such advice to be odd to say the least.

  8. #24
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    erina320 is offline Registered User
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    An interesting side note* I took both of my girls in today to get their BCG vaccines and the doctor told me himself that they may not be necessary and that TB is not that common in Hong Kong any longer. He referred me to a pediatrician so we'll have to wait and see what the specialist says.

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