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Response to PoindexterOglethorpe (Reply #5)

Sat Dec 2, 2017, 11:22 PM

7. I expect to get smacked down royally

and called anti-science (even though my primary educational background is science).

Alcohol (the main ingredient in hand sanitizers) kills most bacteria and virus - so especially when I don't have a bathroom handy (or I need to handle something that can't easily be cleaned with soap and water) I use them as a back-up.

As for handles - that was the single most consistent behavior change from pre-2009 to post-2009.

The natural immunization/cross-over from similar strains of flu is one of the main reasons I don't get an immunization. If there's something going around I haven't been exposed to directly (or to a viral next of kin), I would still prefer not to have it - but if the choice is between creating immunity via vaccine or illness, my second choice would be to create immunity via the illness. If the disease is non-fatal, the immune system response creates more robust antibody response to an illness than to an immunization. The last time I was tested for antibodies to certain illnesses, I had antibodies to everything we tested for that I actually had as a child, but no antibodies to diseses for which I'd merely been vaccinated.

So, while it is absolutely critial that we not try to create immunity through illness to life-threatening diseases (like polio, tetanus, hepatits, etc.) even those vaccinations may create a false sense of security because the immunity is often not permanent. And decades after they were introduced, we're still just realizing that it doesn't last as long as predicted.
https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/to-your-health/wp/2017/10/25/rise-in-mumps-outbreaks-prompts-u-s-panel-to-endorse-3rd-vaccine-dose/?utm_term=.b49a17ac6f53

I actually had the mumps as a child, and it is one of the viruses to which I still had antibodies 3 decades later (I have not been tested recently). Nearly 3/4 of the people in this outbreak who never had the mumps, but were vaccinated (and believed they were safe) apparently had no (or insufficient) antibodies in as short a time frame as 2 decades post vaccination (college age),

At a minimum, we need more knowledge about the duration of the vaccine-created antibodies, and a better education system targeting young adults - college age or early parenting - to remind them to get boosters for life-threating illnesses they are likely to be exposed to (or at least to have an antibody titer run) to be sure they still have sufficient protection.

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