Author Topic: Should we get vaccination boosters?  (Read 255 times)

Offline LvsChant

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Should we get vaccination boosters?
« on: March 26, 2019, 11:02:21 AM »
So... I live in a border state and we do have a veritable flood of people pouring across the border from central America and Mexico. Many of them have had no vaccinations at all, so I have a concern about exposure to diseases that haven't really been on my radar for awhile.

(There was a recent incident at a local hospital when one of the "migrants" was brought in to the hospital because of an infection. It was apparently so contagious and difficult to treat that they ended up shutting down an entire wing of the hospital for awhile at huge cost. The hospital personnel told volunteers to please call them in the future so that they could send out medical personnel -- yes, a housecall -- and not have to incur such a huge cost and inconvenience in a future occurrence.)

Many of the local churches, including my own, are accepting these "migrants" and helping them once they are "caught and released". The church provides clean clothing, food, showers, toiletries, and assistance in getting travel arrangements made so that they can get wherever they are going from here. Many of the adults are completely illiterate, and sometimes don't even speak Spanish -- only a local dialect from their region. In those cases, sometimes a child will be able to translate into Spanish and facilitate communication.

When we were starting the program of setting up a system of moving these people in and out with parish volunteers, it occurred to me that we could be at risk of contracting or transmitting diseases from being in contact with these folks. I wasn't able to find anything online that was a guide to recommended vaccinations for working with these migrants, so I found the recommendations for healthcare personnel and have been trying to update my vaccinations according to those recommendations.

Does anyone here have information/recommendations on this?

For healthcare workers, they recommended:

HEP A
HEP B
(Hep A/B is typically combined here and requires 3 doses in series)
Flu vaccine (annual)
MMR (if born in 1957 or later, 2 doses of MMR 28 days apart recommended)
Varicella (if haven't had chicken pox, 2 doses 4 weeks apart)
TdaP (every 10 years)
Meningococcal (if routinely exposed to... one dose)

Unfortunately, there isn't a vaccine against TB, which is also a common ailment, so testing periodically may be necessary?

Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Should we get vaccination boosters?
« Reply #1 on: March 26, 2019, 02:42:06 PM »
The recommendations for healthcare workers is an excellent list to work from in your situation and a similar list is used for prison guards. It’s common among those workers to get a lab test, referred to as a titer, to verify sufficient immunity and then boost or fully immunize as needed, so that’s an option for some of the diseases you may already be immune from and could save some worry, time, and shots. 

There is a TB vaccine called BCG that is used in other parts of the world, but it isn’t effective enough to be worthwhile in the US, plus it also tends to give people a false-positive skin test, which interferes with the screening process we use for detecting TB.

Fortunately TB requires prolonged close exposure to someone with pulmonary TB who is actively coughing to spread. It’s harder to contract then you’d think. When I was training at the county public health clinic twenty years ago, they’d never had any employees develop a positive skin test despite treating hundreds of active TB cases per year. The main way of dealing with it was to put a surgical mask on everyone treating a coughing patient and minimizing their movement within the clinic.

Offline surfivor

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Re: Should we get vaccination boosters?
« Reply #2 on: March 26, 2019, 02:44:06 PM »

 That's what I heard on the alternative news is migrants are bringing in various diseases. I guess that doesn't matter as long as they may somehow help the democratic vote.

 No news coverage on this, no doubt it would be politically incorrect.

 In the old days I think people where quarantined and examined on Ellis Island before being allowed in. I suspect this could have more to do with the rise of various diseases but no difference. The medical industry will just use it to push more vaccines and medicines

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Should we get vaccination boosters?
« Reply #3 on: March 26, 2019, 03:37:47 PM »
The recommendations for healthcare workers is an excellent list to work from in your situation and a similar list is used for prison guards. It’s common among those workers to get a lab test, referred to as a titer, to verify sufficient immunity and then boost or fully immunize as needed, so that’s an option for some of the diseases you may already be immune from and could save some worry, time, and shots. 

There is a TB vaccine called BCG that is used in other parts of the world, but it isn’t effective enough to be worthwhile in the US, plus it also tends to give people a false-positive skin test, which interferes with the screening process we use for detecting TB.

Fortunately TB requires prolonged close exposure to someone with pulmonary TB who is actively coughing to spread. It’s harder to contract then you’d think. When I was training at the county public health clinic twenty years ago, they’d never had any employees develop a positive skin test despite treating hundreds of active TB cases per year. The main way of dealing with it was to put a surgical mask on everyone treating a coughing patient and minimizing their movement within the clinic.

+1 Freelancer

Thanks for the info. on TB. That is good information to have. I had never had the HEP vaccinations, so it was probably good to get that going anyway (still waiting to receive the 3rd shot in the series). Because the MMR is a live vaccine, it is slightly less easy to obtain... some drugstores stock it, others not. Also, although I had mumps as a child, since the vaccine is combined with rubella and measles, I may have to receive it anyway if I need rubella and/or measles.

I'll go to an urgent care clinic to be tested for immunity, I suppose? Is that the easiest way to take care of that? I really don't want to have to make an appointment for something like this...

Offline LvsChant

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Re: Should we get vaccination boosters?
« Reply #4 on: March 26, 2019, 03:45:40 PM »
That's what I heard on the alternative news is migrants are bringing in various diseases. I guess that doesn't matter as long as they may somehow help the democratic vote.

 No news coverage on this, no doubt it would be politically incorrect.

 In the old days I think people where quarantined and examined on Ellis Island before being allowed in. I suspect this could have more to do with the rise of various diseases but no difference. The medical industry will just use it to push more vaccines and medicines

I don't know if there is any data on whether or not this is actually proving to be a problem for the US citizens who volunteer and work with these people. As you say, I'm sure the topic is a hot-button issue for some. In fact, when I have asked the question among church personnel, it is not even discussed as an issue to be considered, so the church is not providing any guidelines for volunteers at all.

I know that our border facilities for housing these people is completely maxed out (which is why they are being "caught and released"). Whether or not any medical exam is being made prior to this release, I have no idea.

One other thing to consider is this: Although they are arriving in places like El Paso and are then disseminated throughout the region to various churches and volunteer organizations, it is amazing to see the destinations of these people. They are being bussed, flown and driven all over the US!!! Every week, our little church handles 30 family groups, with their destinations written on a huge white board... this isn't just a problem for those of us down here on the border. Probably all prepping families should consider whether or not their own vaccinations are sufficient...


Offline FreeLancer

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Re: Should we get vaccination boosters?
« Reply #5 on: March 26, 2019, 04:35:37 PM »
I'll go to an urgent care clinic to be tested for immunity, I suppose? Is that the easiest way to take care of that? I really don't want to have to make an appointment for something like this...

Maybe.  Most UC facilities do occupational medicine, too, so they're used to checking titers for employers they contract with (like police or fire).  However, they may charge you through the nose for labs and shots, depending on whether they take your insurance, and may not stock all the vaccines, as well.

You might check if your county public health department has a clinic.  Usually that's the cheapest if you're going cash pay. 

But if you have insurance, going through your primary care doc will probably be the least out of pocket, because even money-grubbing insurers understand an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.