Moms' idea of acceptable -VS- the CDC's version of acceptable

So, I went onto the CDC site searching for the link to the online reporting area where you are supposed to go to report adverse reactions. I still haven’t found it yet, but I know it’s out there. I once attempted to report an adverse reaction and the difficulty of the form prevented me from completing it. I wanted to offer you guys a challenge. Tat’s for another blog though, because I was shocked when I came across something else on the CDC’s site.

You won’t even believe this.

Pull up a new window and read along with me if you want. The link to the page I’m going to be talking about is here.

Alright, so it’s a list of vaccines along with counter-indications for getting the vaccine again in the future as well as “precautions” for future vaccines. As far as precautions go, the CDC says, “Events or conditions listed as precautions should be reviewed carefully. Benefits of and risks for administering a specific vaccine to a person under these circumstances should be considered. If the risk from the vaccine is believed to outweigh the benefit, the vaccine should not be administered. If the benefit of vaccination is believed to outweigh the risk, the vaccine should be administered.”

I want you to look at the DTP/DtaP row.

So, since you’re following along with the chart, notice that if your baby has previously experienced, “Encephalopathy (e.g., coma, decreased level of consciousness, prolonged seizures) not attributable to another identifiable cause within 7 days of administration of previous dose of DTP or DTaP,” then you should not administer them a second dose of it. Um… that goes without saying right moms?

However, the bizarre thing, is the things that they claim shouldn’t necessarily stop you from getting your child a second dose. There’s a secondary column of the chart that is titled “Precautions.”  So, you should still give your child a second dose, but you should do so with caution if your baby got  a temperature of 105° F or higher within 48 hours after vaccination with a previous dose of DTP or DTaP. Are you kidding me?!?!? As if any mother with half a brain would find giving a second dose acceptable after that!

Oh but it gets better.

Your doctor may proceed vaccinating for the DTP/DTaP with caution if your baby experienced collapse or a shock-like state (i.e., hypotonic hyporesponsive episode) within 48 hours after receiving a previous dose of DTP/DTaP. No, it seriously lists a shock like state under “precaution” category rather then the “never let that vax near my child again or I will shoot you” category.

I want to know how any of the precautionary reactions I mentioned would not be considered riskier than the diseases this vaccine is meant to prevent given that:

  • There are fewer than five cases of diphtheria a year in the United States.
  • Tetanus shots can be given separately. Plus in the whole entire United States, only 50-100 people become infected with tetanus each year anyway. And with proper treatment, less than 10% of those 50-100 patients die.
  • Currently, given that people are choosing not to vax more, there are about 25,000 cases of Pertussis each year in the US. Out of those cases, the average number of deaths is less than 30.
  • Given that more than 200 little boys die of circumcision each year, and that is considered “very very low risk” by most of our pediatricians, these numbers don’t seem to ever outweigh the risk of having previously experienced such horrible reactions for those babies in question.

Clearly, the CDC’s version of acceptable is MUCH different than my version of acceptable.

What about you? Would you be cool with proceeding to vaccinate for the DTP/DTaP with caution if your baby experienced a hypotonic hyporesponsive episode within 48 hours after receiving a previous dose given the risks you’d be taking by not vaccinating against Diptheria, Tentanus and Pertussis?


  1. My son had reactions all the time and I never researched exactly why (almost 10 years ago) and he was diagnosed with Autism at 15 months. I was shocked and upset at the same time and then I found out later that it was most likely shots that could have caused it, (the very 1st ones he received had the mercury in them.). I recently had another baby and I have not yet given any shots to her. I am too scared to go through that again and watch another ones light go out. Thank you so very much for sharing this…I think parents should arm themselves with information.

  2. Natalie M.

    Actually, the link between autism & vaccinations has been found to be false. It was recently discovered that the doctor who was doing the research actually fabricated his evidence (although I’m not sure about the mercury connection). In any case, I think vaccinations have done very well to prevent a lot of sorrow and death. I firmly believe that we should absolutely vaccinate against the most serious diseases.

    That having been said, I do think we vaccinate much too early and often. Vaccinations should be spread out more and not administered to infants as they are now. We should also split them up into individual vaccines, rather than lumping several together at once. They should also be limited to the most serious of diseases. This vaccinating children against things like chicken pox is nonsense.

    I also believe that widespread use of vaccinations in the past has cushioned our current generation. We never saw the misery and sorrow that wreaked havoc on our grandparents’ generation. The fact that disease levels are so low in the U.S. is because of vaccinations, so of COURSE it doesn’t seem like a big deal if we don’t vaccinate against polio or measles. Nobody gets those anymore anyway. But those of us who are healthy and able to tolerate vaccinations ought to be vaccinated to help protect those who are unable to receive them. As with all forms of medical treatment, they must be understood and used responsibly.

    • And also, it should be noted, that just because this blog had a little complaining to do about vaccine policies at the CDC, it’s not an anti-vax blog. Some people shouldn’t get vaccinated FOR SURE. I’d think a state of shock with a previous shot should be an absolute no-no for getting any more.

      Also, in regard to how we didn’t see the horrifying things that our grandparents endured, that’s true, but when you DO take the population for example of people who got pertussis, because we have so many treatments and medicines, the proportion of complications and death now is people who contract it are MUCH lower than the percentage of people who suffered complications or death 80 years ago.

      So that has to be taken into context too when deciding if a child should be vaccinated after a bad reaction to a previous vaccine.

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