TEOTWAWKI Medicine – Vaccinate Your Kid or Not?

Whether it was nuclear war, avian flue with obscene kill rate, meteor strike, or 12/21/2012 when the ancient Mayan Long Count Calendar comes to an end -pick your Doomsday scenario, but whatever the case, imagine it’s The End Of The World As We Know It (TEOTWAWKI). The initial mass die off happened, and the survivors are forming into roaving bands of thugs or hunkered down communes of survivors. Medical help is sketchy – at best.

Doctors and nurses are in high demand, as some not-so-nice groups took physicians hostage for their own benefit, and seized what medicines remained after the cataclysm. Now you’ve learned – measles are spreading. Have YOU received a measles vaccination? Have your kids?

The debate over whether to vaccinate – or not – is now all rage. As this recent news article indicates, school exemptions from immunization requirements are on the rise across the country. Parents are becoming increasingly skeptical of the government’s mandates and skepticism is rising about possible links to asthma and/or autism, particularly with mercury content (thought few people realize that it was removed in vaccines used on children in 2001). Doctors meanwhile almost uniformly support vaccinations, saying the benefits far outweigh any risks. From the article:

“When more than 10 percent of a community opts out of vaccinations, it leaves the entire community at risk because germs have a greater chance of causing an epidemic,” said Dr. Ari Brown, an Austin, Texas, pediatrician who represents the American Academy of Pediatrics.

On Thursday, government health officials reported that the number of measles cases in the U.S. has reached its highest level in over a decade, with nearly half the cases involving children whose parents object to immunizations.

In the first seven months of this year, 131 cases of measles were reported to the CDC, compared to 42 cases in all of last year. Of that total, 112 were unvaccinated or had unknown vaccination status, the CDC said. Some were too young for vaccination, but in 63 of those cases the patient or their parents had refused the shots.

This is one thing when the grid is up and all is good, quite another when SHTF. More:

Two years ago, the New England Journal of Medicine recounted the case of a 17-year-old Indiana girl who returned from a trip to Romania and sparked a measles outbreak. Of 500 people attending a gathering the day after she got home, 50 were susceptible to the disease. Of those, 34 came down with measles in the next six weeks, mostly children who had not been vaccinated. Three of the youngsters were hospitalized and the cost to contain the outbreak was estimated at nearly $168,000. Only a vaccination rate of about 95 percent in the surrounding community prevented an epidemic, researchers said.

Every new parent is faced with the “to vaccinate or not to vaccinate” decision. Well, some people don’t decide, they just go along with whatever the doctor says, but a growing number of parents are thinking this through, and many are opting to have their kids NOT get vaccinated against diseases like measles, mumps, diphtheria, whooping cough and polio. Parents are citing concerns about pumping their kids immature immune systems with “known toxins”.

It’s one thing, of course, to make a decision for your own child, but what if the decision not to immunize affects other kids as well? This seems to be happening as a critical mass of vaccinations is required in order to protect the population – even those who have had immunizations. Though serious reactions can occur from an immunization, the CDC estimates it happens in less than 1 in a million doses. People aren’t trusting the government, however. This is one mother’s story (Margulis):

Margulis said she worked hard to boost her children’s own resistance to disease. She nursed two of her kids past the age of 4 and said she makes sure they eat healthful foods and get regular exercise. She believes her children’s systems are strong enough to tolerate disease — and even hopes that they’ll get the chance to gain natural immunity.

“I would love for my children to have measles,” Margulis said. “Please get me chicken pox and get me measles.” She rejects the idea that her decision endangers others. “People say, ‘You’re putting my kid at risk, but that doesn’t make any sense at all,’” she said. “If the vaccine works, I’m just putting my child at risk.”

Then the other side:

Part of the problem rests with the very success of vaccines, noted Peg Crowley, the director of the Community Health Center where Isabella Parker got her shots. This generation of parents doesn’t recall how sick a toddler can be with measles, so they focus on the very small risk associated with vaccines.

“One of the biggest issues is that parents think they’re safe to make this decision,” said Crowley, who recalls quarantines from her own childhood. “There’s no memory of the consequences of these diseases. We take our protection sometimes for granted.”


Let’s see exactly what the kids could face if they’re not vaccinated against a particular disease and they can’t access medical care in the post-apocalyptic world.

Measles (also called Rubeola): a rare – but highly contagious – respiratory infection caused by a virus. Total body skin rash hits with flu-like symptoms. The rash includes reddish brown blotchy action – everywhere. Sneezing or coughing can spread the virus through the air. It’s rare, however – due to immunizations. Prior to 1950, however, there were thousands of cases each year. The kids getting it these days (and the numbers are increasing) haven’t received an immunization. A child with measles needs to be watched carefully for fever and symptoms that could indicate other complications such as croup, bronchitis, bronchiolitis, pneumonia, pinkeye, and other not-so-nice stuff.

Mumps: oooooh, another nice virus that spreads through saliva. Before vaccinations (1967) 200,000 cases happened each year in the U.S. Since then it’s fewer than 1,000 a year. The upside is that once you’ve got mumps – you won’t get it again. Children usually recover in 10-12 days after a fever, loss of appetite, and swelling and pain in the parotid glands. Mumps in adolescents could lead to inflammation of the testicles (balls, nards or “family jewels”) or pain and tenderness in female ovaries and/or abdomen.

Diphtheria: bring on the bacteria, this one spreads easily and quickly mainly hitting the nose and throat. Children under 5 and those over 60 are most at risk. It’s rare in the U.S. and Europe where kids have been getting immunizations for decades, but common in other countries. People confuse it with a bad sore throat, but the bacteria leads to a thick coating in the nose and throat. This may lead to difficult breathing, double vision, slurred speech, and possibly even shock. If it moves beyond throat infection, the toxin moves to the heart and kidneys creating an inabilit to pump blood or clear waste, possibly even causing nerve damage. 40-50% of those that don’t get treated – die. Got antibiotics?

Whooping Cough (also called Pertussis): highly contagious disease marked by severe coughing that starts with cold or flu-like symptoms for 2 weeks. A fever, if present, is mild. Then the signature “whoop” in the cough is heard as the kiddo struggles to breathe and thick mucus comes out with a cough. Lips turn blue from a lack of oxygen and the kiddo becomes exhausted from coughing. A mild case may not include the “whoop” and may just last a few days. Young infants are at the highest risk resulting in seizures, swelling of the brain, severe ear infection, restricted food intake and dehydration. Pneumonia is a common complication and it can be life threatening. Got antibiotics? You’ll need ’em.

Polio: Eek! You don’t want your kid to get this one. It’s contagious and devastating. Its biggest outbreak happened in the early 1900s before the 1955 vaccinations. It’s a viral disease and actually produces no symptoms at all in 95% of cases, because they are mild cases. The other 5%, though . . . meningitis, sensitivity to light, neck stiffness, and in up to 2% of the cases – muscle paralysis and even death. The virus may case never damage in limb muscles, breathing muscles and possible paralysis.

Vaccinate or not?
Hey, I just ask the questions.

– Ranger Man

BTW: Check your state’s rate of vaccinations by going here.

11 comments… add one
  • theotherryan September 23, 2008, 11:52 pm

    Not vaccinating your kids is just about the stupidest thing a parent can do. Vaccinations are consistently ranked in the top few major healthy improvements of the 20th century. An absolutely unproven risk of some questionable disease is far less of a concern then common dangerous diseases.

    Don’t bet your kids life on random conjecture.

  • Kipper September 24, 2008, 5:10 am

    theotherryan: But But But, the government puts mind controll chips in the vaccines ;)

  • Mama Squirrel September 24, 2008, 5:50 am

    The paranoia surrounding vaccines is based in fact, but most people don’t have access to the full facts, and thus run away screaming when their children are more than likely not at risk. Having had two children who were adversely afficted by vaccines, I’ve done my research.

    First of all, if there is any family history of allergy to certain foods and food additives…msg, eggs, wheat, or milk…your child is at risk. Secondly, there are people who are adversely affected (allergic) by the thimerosol, which is also in many eye-solutions, whether or not it has mercury in it. When these allergins are injected at the same time as live virus’ (and mercury) the entire body system goes haywire, including swelling of internal organs and the brain during a time when speech and behavior are at their crucial development stage. And I’m sorry to say, but the vaccine manufacturers were already busted for claiming to remove the mercury, but they didn’t….and when the entire immune system goes kablooey, it leaves an infant more susceptible to the heavy metals within some vaccines.

    Some doctors understand this, but only give these warnings for the flu vaccine. Yet even many doctors themselves have trouble understanding this complication. (Yes, we’ve had those arguments with doctors and employers every flu season).

    If there is no family history of such allergies, then your children should be just fine, and I highly recommend you DO get them vaccinated. It will provide what is known as “HERD IMMUNITY” to those who are unable to utilize them.

  • Marine 83 September 24, 2008, 7:13 am

    Polio is being kept alive in the world because ignorant muslim clerics in Nigeria and Pakistan, and India are telling thier follower that the vacine is designed to make muslims steril. Way to go islam.

  • Angry Mike September 24, 2008, 8:24 am

    Well RM, you have brought about a topic that has been a discussion in my camp. The Mrs. thinks breast milk is a cure all. I am not so hip to the idea. She doesn’t think all vaccines are needed and doesn’t want to “pollute the children with diseases”. Again, I’m not so hip to it.

    My argument and I feel a very valid one at that is simple. If it’s so damned good, why the hell do we have or need vaccines? It’s not like these diseases are a thing of the 90’s unless you are talking about the 1890’s. I think vaccines should be a requirement and not an option. I understand some people can be affected by vaccines and that all well and good but there are serious risks. I can’t take a shot of tetanus without being extremely ill for a week. I only take it when I have to.

    There a many, many reasons why but I will only list the few that shake my innards and strike a personal chord.

    1. When I am not placing orders or doing some type of consulting in a business that I absolutely love: http://www.mresource.net I am researching diseases and cures for them. We have the full run of all the bad stuff under one roof. Radiological, Biological, chemical…we got it all. I will only say that we have numerous cancer types and cancer causing agents, toxins, viruses and some wickedly strong chemicals as well as unknown compounds. It sounds worse than it actually is in my opinion.

    Please don’t ask me where it is, who I work for or what exactly I do as it is very much classified. I simply can not elaborate further. Thanks. Onwards…

    We are offered vaccines for some not mandated as a “precautionary measure” and forced to take others. We are also checked regularly and have physicals twice a year. Our training is exemplary throughout our industry.

    Part of our training is viewing slides or video of what happens when things go wrong, when you’re not vaccinated. Folks if you have a weak stomach or can place yourself or your child in the person’s place you would have a very, very hard time watching these videos or slides. These things keep us in check, keep us very focused.

    We have diseases/chemicals that can kill you in 3 long days in the right dose and some as long as 3 weeks. Most of them have “flu like” symptoms. Suffice it to say I pretty much shit my bag when I get a cold.

    I wear a setup similar to a “space suit” most days at work to protect me. The picture on this site of the woman injecting the egg shows the same hood I wear daily. It is attached to a Racal Air Purifying Respirator. Anyway…

    The chance of taking something home with me is pretty much non-existent. If I did the good thing is it will only affect me. All of our diseases and viruses have been altered so they do not reproduce or mutate. They will only remain in the host (Me) and most can be treated if noticed in a fair amount of time. The chemicals and nuclear stuff…not so easy.

    Why do we do all of this? To eradicate diseases. To make the world a healthier and safer place. We risk our lives everyday. We could loose it all (personally) in a micro second. And educated, rational people refuse vaccinations or deny their kids them daily. When SHTF disease will run rampant. The only thing that might save your hide could be a vaccine you got when you were 6 months old.

    2. While in the military I was vaccinated for everything, and I mean everything known to man kind. The cesspool countries we were deployed to were breeding grounds for all of it. The insects had germs, the water had germs, the people had germs, the air was full of germs and the germs had germs that were killing other germs. Bad shit.

    I have seen the effects of these things first hand. SHTF for these people the first time they took a breath. They don’t have the option of refusing a vaccine because they aren’t offered one. The mortality rates for infants (and people in general) around the world outside of the US and Europe are extremely high due to diseases that we have long had vaccines for. Expect these things when SHTF.

    There may be a day that I opt out of a vaccine. Unlikely, but hell anything can happen. I will not deny my kids a vaccine of any kind. I have seen kids afflicted with these diseases and there is absolutely no way I will allow that to happen to my kids if I have a say in it. I wouldn’t be able to live with myself.

    Shit could hit the fan tomorrow. Bio-Terrorism, Dirty bombs, a tanker full of chemicals, an outbreak, you name it. So what is a prepper to do to protect themselves? There are some very pricy items, devices and gadgets out there that will save your ass…if you have the cash to cough up.

    Want an NBC environmental system for your Bug Out Vehicle or home? No problem if you have a couple hundred grand to drop on it. Personally, that set up is well, well beyond my reach and unrealistic. How to prep depends on what you expect to encounter. I know, everything, but that is just impossible to do on the average person’s salary.

    Here are a few things that you can do to help you along:

    Nuclear: I hate this one. A radioactive blast isn’t only hot, it is full of contaminated minerals such as Iodine, Potassium, Calcium and every thing else you can think of. If your body is deficient in any minerals, it will absorb these contaminated minerals. To protect your self the easiest, cheapest and one of the most effective ways it to make certain you have enough minerals in your body so you don’t absorb the bad ones.

    Use Iodized salt on your food. It has Iodine. Make sure your Calcium and Potassium levels are up by drinking/eating dairy products and Bananas. You get the idea. Supplements are marvelous too.

    Can’t afford or find a military NBC suit? It may not be as effective but a Tyvek jump suit worn under rubberized rain gear is better than just your blue jeans any day. Don’t forget at least 2 pair of latex or nitrile surgical gloves under thick rubber gloves. Heavy rubber, slip over rain boots should round out your set up. Don’t forget to buy them is several sizes as you may need to put them on over heavy clothing for winter time use.

    Depending on what you are up against you may want to duct tape your wrist and ankles to seal off those areas. If you find your self using this set up, make sure you view it as disposable. You will need to chuck it when you are done, as soon as you feel you are safe. It’s not perfect, but it’s certainly better than nothing.

    Can’t afford a gas mask? It may be less effective but you can purchase disposable “dust mask style” respirators. Make sure they are rated for at least N95 or N100. Do some home work on 3M’s site and see what you can come up with. If you think you will encounter an airborne contagious disease, respirators with an exhaust valve are not recommended. if not, they are easier to breathe while walking or performing strenuous tasks.

    Your eyes need a little lovin too. Swim goggles or other types that form a seal around your eyes worn under splash goggles or safety glasses could work famously.

    You should try to cover any exposed skin if possible as well. Tyvek hoods or jump suits with hoods on them could help. You will sweat your ass off in your fancy plastic outfit, but it might save it.

    None of these are perfect solutions and maybe I’m wrong but I think its better than nothing at all. If you can afford or find the “good” stuff, get it. If not, role the dice and try an alternative.

  • t September 24, 2008, 2:30 pm

    you can print most public non © works at lulu.com
    its cheap and you wont beat up your printer. you also get a nice bound book that will last far longer than some printouts

  • Stephanie in AR September 27, 2008, 11:15 am

    Certainly know a hot topic button – lol. The vaccine makers were given an *out* as the gov. did mandate no more thimerisol in vaccines BUT that did not affect vaccines already in the pipeline. Have a smaller Drs office? State buy in bulk? Thimerisol is a possibility.

    I no longer trust the report data on adverse reactions. A son received his shot on Friday midmorning, reaction set in that evening, called Drs office & visit Saturday given standard meds/cold packs and watch carefully. Visit on Monday morning early better that because it was a reaction to avoid that vaccine in the future & delay with other future children. When I reported it to the health department (which gave the shot) I was told that too much time had passed for reporting yet how can a reaction be reported when the office is closed? How accurate are the statistics when reports can be discarded at will?

    Another family had a chronic cough that would not entirely respond to medicaton. Did curtail it enough to move to Chile (as missionary/teachers). A trip to the hospital where an older Dr. diagnosed (from the hallway) whooping cough. Seems that the vaccine immunization is not as long lasting & doesn’t provide as much proction as thought. (high failure rates). Because his is an ‘second world’ country and he is older he recognized the cough. Seems younger Drs. believe that immunizations are the end of the problem and do not even consider whooping cough as a diagnosis. Most of his whooping cough patients were visitors from first world countries who had already seen a dr in their home country. Scary on several levels: vaccination failure rates are higher than reported as Drs are not reconizing the disease, poor & more costly treatment, but even more they flew on a plane!! Imagine the potential for spreading a serious disease as it is ‘just’ a cough & have a prescription to prove its safe to travel.

    Lastly. Does anyone else find it odd that most preppers believe government needs to stay out of people’s life, doesn’t know everything, and has too many regulations – that people need to stop being sheeple, to make their own decisions & face the results – can in the next breath state that government needs to pass a law forcing families to vaccinate! Part time sheeplehood for others is alright if it suits our personal beliefs & choices? Most families that avoid or delay vaccinations have done their research and know the possible consequences. Is it really in anyone’s interest to be forced to receive a vaccine? Who decides what is necessary? When these disease were common children could wait months before receiving a vaccine but now must get them as hours old infants – what changed?

  • Bill in NC September 28, 2008, 2:09 pm

    Real preppers understand what “herd immunity” means and understand not everyone can get vaccinated (too young, or have other, rare conditions that contraindicate vaccination)

    And real preppers are committed to doing everything they can to ensure their family’s health.

    Which includes getting vaccinated so themselves and their family don’t have to worry about nasty diseases such as pertussis (even with antibiotics, it will be weeks or months before you fully recover) in a TEOTWAWKI situation.

    Yes, some vaccines do not offer lifetime immunity – like smallpox (I’ve got the scar, but odds are little immunity at this point) or pertussis (that’s why it’s in the TDaP booster)

    So we get boosters as adults – I certainly don’t want to die from tetanus from a scratch working around the homestead after the balloon goes up.

  • TimeSmack September 29, 2008, 9:47 pm

    Yo yo- wanted to recommend a book- loaned to us by our friend (who is a doctor). We’ve researched the subject for years now, and find that this book provides the most balanced information that we have seen yet.
    Lock n load, homie.

    “Vaccinations, A thoughtful parent’s guide”, by Aviva Jill Romm

  • connie January 8, 2009, 12:05 am

    All 4 of our pastors kids who were home schooled and never vaccinated upon entering college needed to be vaccinated? Our pastor had there blood tested first for antibodies, guess what? All four kids had antibodies to all the childhood diseases they never had. So maybe, left to its own our body develops them anyway. Why blindly vaccinate, do a test first to see if the shot is even needed.

  • Sara January 9, 2009, 2:32 pm

    Why do you worry so much about what you put in your body, but shoot your kids up full of crap! I am not saying vaccines are not good, but they are not good for people that want to live a WHOLE life. I am one of those people. I don’t eat fast food, I don’t eat wheat and I don’t eat dairy. OH Yeah, I don’t eat preservatives either. Why in the world after three months before pregnancy and nine months of pregnancy watching what I eat would I ever just blindly shoot my little 2 mo. old baby up with CRAP!? She gets the same shot a 9 mo. old would get or 2 yr. would get and she only weighs 9lb. Please help me understand your madness?


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