Hep B

This is a post written by two District 11 volunteers after they were asked to share their cost-benefit analysis for not vaccinating their children. The cost benefit table can be found here with all links/references:

We are not writing these posts to begin arguments, but to explain our rational, be honest about our thinking, and share our cost-benefit analysis. We are also hoping to raise awareness about the movement in NJ and across the country to remove vaccine choice

For each vaccine, starting with Hep B, I’ve prepared a table that outlines (1) the risks of contracting the infection, (2) the severity of the infection and complications, (3) the vaccine details, (4) the vaccine ingredients, and (5) the adverse reactions to the vaccine using CDC documents and the vaccine inserts included with each vaccines.  All references are hyperlinked for ease of verification in the table that can be found on Google Docs here.

The Hep B vaccine is given on the first day of life despite the risk of contracting HBV being very low to non-existent (sex, needles, blood exchange).   HBV can be very serious (chronic HBV) in the young (0-1 and 1 -5 year olds). After 5 years of age, when the chance of contracting HBV may increase, the disease is much less dangerous as 95% in that group recover from an acute HBV infection without developing the chronic condition. This is so much the case that the CDC does not even recommend getting a Hep B booster unless you are in a high-risk group.

There are adverse reactions to the vaccine cited by the CDC and vaccine manufacture based on the clinical trials that observed individuals for only 4 days after vaccination.  It is contraindicated for anyone with a severe allergic reaction to a previous Hep B vaccination or who has a yeast allergy. Mercury has been removed from the infant vaccines, but aluminum is still used as an adjuvant.

The potential of aluminum as a neurotoxin and the inability for us to know if our one-day old child has a yeast allergy, or will have a reaction to the vaccine, was enough of a risk for us to delay administering the vaccine. Consequently, we were able to forgo the vaccine altogether because we are almost certain that Audrey will not be having sex, using dirty needles, or exchanging blood during the time when the risk from chronic HBV is greatest. Our thinking is consistent with public health data that shows no pattern of healthy children, not in a high-risk group, contracting Hep B at increasing rates prior to mandatory vaccination of infants starting in 1991.

The choice to vaccinate your newborn for Hep B is yours and yours alone. Your cost-benefit analysis may look very different from ours.  There are risks on both sides. However, what should be clear is that our daughter, who does not have Hep B, is not putting your child at risk.

There will be other children at our daughters school who have Hep B and their rights will be protected by HIPAA, as they should be.  There is almost zero risk of those children transmitting Hep B to our daughter or any other child.  I’ve been a public school teacher for 20 years, in elementary schools for the last 10, and I have never seen a case where blood to blood exchange has happened in the school setting. I am sure it has happened, but it is very uncommon.  Having it happen between a student that is Hep B positive is even more unlikely. Furthermore, each year staff are trained on blood borne pathogens. Whether you agree or disagree with our position, if you feel each parent has the right to make this determination on the Hep B vaccine please contact your State Senator and two Assemblymembers asking them to protect vaccine choice and reject A3818/S2173.