Category Archives: Children’s Vaccines

Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor


There are far too few children’s books on vaccines. Too many children are scared and confused about vaccines and it’s time we start the dialog. Our little ones are curious creatures who could benefit from knowing more about why they have to roll up their sleeves for vaccines.

Today, there’s a new children’s book on the shelves that discusses the topic of vaccination: Judah Maccabee Goes to the Doctor.

Author Ann D. Koffsky offers lots to talk about in this interesting children’s book beautifully illustrated by Talitha Shipman. Continue reading

HPV Vaccine – Gardasil, Cervarix

Human Papillomavirus (HPV) is a nasty virus. Actually, it’s a group of 150+ different related viruses (called types or strains). 
Papilloma means wart. HPV can cause warts to appear in bumps–raised or flat, small or large–and sometimes in formations that can look cauliflower-like. These warts love to hang out in mucous-membrany areas such as the mouth, throat, genitals, and anus, but it’s not at all uncommon to find them on your hands (common warts) and feet (plantar warts), as well. In fact, sixty of the 150+ types cause hand and foot warts.
My guess is you’ve had one. Am I right? I have. In fact, I get them on the soles of my feet all the time.
HPV is so common that nearly all men and women get one type at some point in their lives. Don’t freak out.
So how do you get it?
You get warts through other people who have warts—skin-to-skin contact. Most often the spread comes from intimate contact. And in many cases, the infected person doesn’t even know they have it because they show no signs or symptoms. Sometimes the symptoms don’t develop until years after being infected.
So, why is it important for me to talk about warts?

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MMR Vaccine Rash

My son got his first Measles, Mumps, and Rubella Vaccine (MMR) a little over two weeks ago. This vaccine has gotten a lot of negative press lately, but it really IS a great vaccine. One reason why it’s so great is because it contains weakened live viral particles. Live vaccines create the strongest immune response because they are most like the disease-causing virus. The not so fun part about a live vaccine is that, because they are most like the wild virus, the body often displays some of the symptoms of the disease. Many children experience these mild symptoms with the MMR vaccine:IMG_4870


  • Fever (up to 1 person out of 6)
  • Mild rash (about 1 person out of 20)
  • Swelling of glands in the cheeks or neck (about 1 person out of 75), which occurs less often after the second dose.
  • Temporary pain and stiffness in the joints, mostly in teenage or adult women (up to 1 out of 4)

Because it takes time for the body to create an immune response (that we can see), many of these symptoms do not show up until around two weeks after the injection. And to the DAY, my son developed several of these mild symptoms.

I’m sure my kids don’t appreciate this, but I always find their symptoms fascinating. That’s why you see a lot of pictures of my children’s symptoms–they get everything, by the way. And I’m often happy to see these signs as I know that their bodies are making the proper response to the injection. (I know, that’s odd.)

Anyway, he ran a fever for several days about two weeks after the injection, and then he developed the measles-like rash. The rash was red and raised, mostly on his torso and face. I am including a picture of his tummy.

I wanted to post this because so many people come to me wondering if this is a serious problem or a vaccine allergy. But, in the case of the above problems, no treatment is needed, and the symptoms should go away in several days. If the child is getting worse, however, it might be wise to consult your child’s doctor.





Hepatitis A Vaccine (HepA)

Worldwide, there are an estimated 1.4 million cases of hepatitis A every year.

The word “hepatitis” means “inflammation of the liver”. When someone gets hepatitis, the liver’s ability to function becomes compromised.

If you’ve been walking this planet for the last decade, you may have heard of the term “hepatitis” thrown around followed by a letter. There are actually several different viruses that cause several different types of hepatitis diseases–hepatitis A, B, C, D, E, F (unconfirmed), and possibly G. Some symptoms are similar, however there are different modes of transmission for these viruses and they can affect the liver in different ways. Hepatitis A, hepatitis B (HepB vaccine), and hepatitis C, are the three types you hear about the most often. While the two latter forms more often cause a chronic condition, hepatitis A tends to appear more often as an acute (short-lived) disease. Continue reading

Inactivated Polio Vaccine (IPV)

Screen Shot 2014-04-12 at 11.37.54 AMYou may think polio is a disease of the past, and here in America, it sort of is. However, without the polio vaccine, America could easily see polio again.

Polio was once the leading cause of disability in the United States. It was also considered one of the most dreaded of the childhood diseases. During the mid twentieth century there were more than 25,000 cases of polio reported each year.3 (And probably a high number of unreported cases, as well.)

The polio vaccine was introduced in the U.S. in 1955 and by 1960, the number of reported cases had dropped to about 3,000 and in 1979 to about 10 cases.3

Today polio is considered eradicated in the United States. However, polio is still very common in some developing countries. And the effort for world-wide eradication of polio is still underway.

All it would take for polio to enter the United States is for an unvaccinated person to travel to a place where polio still exists. That person could easily carry polio back into the U.S. and begin to infect unvaccinated individuals. And those people would infect more people, and so on. This has happened several times in the past fifty years since eradication, but thankfully the cases remained isolated due to the high numbers of vaccinated individuals.

But, polio could easily make a come back, so don’t believe that if you or your children are not vaccinated that they are safe. Just because we don’t see the disease every day doesn’t mean that it doesn’t exist and that we shouldn’t protect ourselves and our children.

So what’s so bad about polio, anyway?

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