One Mom’s Experience: Vaccine Titers

This story was shared with me, recently,  by a mother who chooses to remain anonymous, about her experience with obtaining titers for her child. In her own words…

I have always wanted to be a mother, for as long as I can remember, having children has always been a non-negotiable part of who I am. My husband and I were fortunate to have a healthy baby boy (all 10 pounds of him!) in 2005. An equally large “little sister” made our family complete in 2008. My husband and I took precautions to keep our children healthy, including vaccinating them on schedule. Our son had all of his vaccinations through age 8 and our daughter had all of them up to age 5. We did yearly flu vaccinations to keep them from getting illnesses that could otherwise be prevented. That changed in 2013, after my daughter had what I believe was an adverse reaction to the Flu Mist vaccine. Read on.

We were surprised when our son began showing signs of motor tics around age 5. Not to worry, said the neurologist, “The best thing is to do is… nothing at all because most tics go away in a year, and you shouldn’t worry about these little things” he continued. It never occurred to us that these tics could be related to vaccination.

But they didn’t wane; in fact they increased. More worrisome was that the motor tics were soon joined by vocal tics. Diagnosis: Tourette Syndrome.

When our daughter started excessive eye blinking, we trotted off to the ophthalmologist and were told that eye blinking was a common occurrence. Furthermore, drawing any parallel between our son’s Tourette’s and her blinking was irrational. Again, no one, including my husband and me, considered that they might be related to a vaccine.

As health-conscious, compliant parents we kept on track with our children’s vaccine schedules, never questioning vaccine safety,efficacy or possible side effects.

In the fall of 2013 we returned to the Pediatrician’s office for well-child visits, and this time chose the Flu Mist vaccine, to avoid a needle stick. We left the office feeling like we had done everything we were supposed to do keep our children in the best possible health. I even got the Flu Mist myself while I was there- I loved how concerned and efficient our pediatricians office was to take care of me in the same visit.

Several hours after we returned home my children were playing in the living room, when I heard my daughter scream, “Mommy! Mommy! I can’t control my leg- make my leg stop!” She was thrashing on the floor, her leg appearing as if an invisible force was causing it to jerk violently in and out. Her foot came up towards her buttock and then shot straight out. This jerking and kicking continued for minutes, and when I could do nothing to stop it, my daughter became increasingly upset. Her leg continued as she were trying to kick something as hard as possible. She was crying and screaming and neither she nor I had any idea what was happening to her body.

I called the pediatrician’s office to see what they had to say- I wondered if it could be a reaction to the Flu Mist. The curt response was, “She has a tic disorder, what do you expect?” I replied, “No, she blinks excessively- that is all that there is to her to her tic disorder.” Why wasn’t the doctor more concerned?

I later learned that tics can be an adverse reaction to a vaccine. I also learned that an adverse reaction can be immediate or delayed, making it difficult to draw any conclusions about cause and effect relationships. Most importantly, I learned that the U.S. government provides a way to report an adverse vaccine reaction through the pediatrician. I asked my doctor to file an adverse reaction report, but was told by the nurse that my pediatrician would not support that action.

My daughter’s leg jerking was my wake up call. It really grabbed my attention. I never wanted to experience anything like it again, nor my daughter.

My journey to help my children be as healthy as possible led my family to a specialist, who, after extensive laboratory testing, found underlying auto immune conditions in both of my children. My son’s immune levels and markers are significantly worse than my daughter’s immune levels, just as his motor and vocal tics are worse than her occasional bouts of excessive eye blinking. My research told me that vaccines are counter-indicated for individuals whose immune systems are compromised, as my children are. Thus, I made the decision to decline the flu vaccine for all of us in 2014. We had a few colds, but not the flu.

Our daughter, age 6, was due for some vaccine boosters. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) vaccination schedule, she should receive another dose of DTap, MMR, varicella and polio by May of this year, in order to remain in public school in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania where we live. I noticed that the extensive blood testing done contained titers on several of these diseases, and that hers were above the levels necessary to show immunity.

In March, we returned to our pediatrician to discuss vaccinations. I was very concerned about continued vaccination with my daughter’s previous vaccine reaction to the Flu Mist, and her underlying autoimmune conditions. Even though I had acceptable titers from the measles, mumps and rubella that were less than a year old, the doctor insisted that he needed to draw current titers. Why?

My doctor’s initial response to my concern about titer testing was, “Insurance won’t cover these tests.” Hmm… I quietly wondered to myself, our insurance DID cover the earlier testing, the results from which I gripped in my sweaty palms. I didn’t confront, I was passive, responding “I don’t mind paying if that is the case.” His next response surprised me, “I don’t think there is a lab in this city (1 million metropolitan area) that can do these tests. I’m not even sure where to send you for this blood work.”

He then excused himself,and I heard him consulting with another pediatrician in the practice. When he returned, he asked me to contact the developmental pediatrician to ask where they send their patients for blood titers. I left the office with no prescription.

I called to confirm that our local children’s hospital could do all the blood titers required, and called back to report to my pediatrician. “Ok, I’ll write the script and you can pick it up on Monday.” This sounded like a good plan. But after so many phone calls on a Friday afternoon I was concerned that my pediatrician was not very well versed about vaccination after an adverse event or in the case of children who are immune compromised.

Monday I picked up the prescription for blood titers for the required vaccinations from the doctor’s office. It was folded, and in a sealed envelope- I didn’t even open it until I was home. Then that feeling of my blood pressure rising caught me as I read the bold words scrawled across the bottom of the prescription Mother does not want to vaccinate child

 How could he write this? It was a lie! I asked him to draw blood and check the levels of existing immunity in my daughter to be able to see if she even NEEDED further vaccinations. I had NOT refused vaccination!

I calmed down and I googled “Parent refusal to vaccinate.” I was astounded to learn something that I couldn’t believe was real: there are medical processing codes for refusal to vaccinate!

Here are a few of them:

The ICD-9-CM Volume 2 Index entries contain back-references to:

V64.00 Vaccination not carried out because of

V64.01 Acute illness

V64.02 Chronic illness

V64.03 Immune compromised state

V64.04 Guardian refusal

V64.05 Parent refusal

V64.06 Patient refusal

V64.07 Religious reasons

V64.08 Patient had disease being vaccinated against

V64.09 Immunization not carried out because of other contraindication

My husband and I headed back to the pediatrician to find out why he chose these words  and wrote them on the order for blood work. Does this say to the insurance company, “Don’t cover this test?” Is it a code that is sent to the CDC to track my child? Why didn’t he give me a code for “immune compromised state?”

Our long story short, the pediatrician agreed to change the code on the prescription for the titers. We had them drawn at our local children’s hospital and returned a few weeks later to our pediatricians office to find out that our daughter DID NOT NEED another dose of either the DTap, MMR, varicella or polio vaccine because her body had mounted an adequate immune response, that was still present. No need for a booster and no need for unnecessarily putting her at risk for another vaccine reaction.

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30 Responses to One Mom’s Experience: Vaccine Titers

  1. Dawn says:

    Hi, this is very interesting. Please read about titers after vaccinations to see if your kids even need so darn many shots. Very interesting.

  2. Sasha says:

    My oldest only had his 2 month shots and then I stopped vaccinating. Now at age 8 he does the eye blinking thing (started this year). He hasn’t had shots in years–since he was a baby! What other causes could there be for the eye blinking?

    I live in PA as well and I was told that I did not have to vaccinate to have him in public school. This was straight from the principal’s mouth and the school nurse. You do NOT have to vaccinate in order to have your child in public school in PA.

    • Judy says:

      Take him to a Chiropractor for an adjustment

    • Brandy says:

      Please be aware that there is current legislation in PA to remove philosophical vaccine exemptions. The proposed bills are PA HB 883 and SB 696.

    • Peggy Winkel says:

      Some vaccine injuries do not resolve on their own and they are worsened/triggered by other toxic exposures as well. Some chiropractors, homeopaths and naturopaths are very good at working with vaccine injured people to help resolve the immune, gut and neurological damages from vaccination and other toxic events.

    • Lisa says:

      Allergies

    • magnesium deficiency and tics are common. Have your doctor check his magnesium levels… if he has other symptoms such as allergies, eczema, or heart murmur, this could very well be the cause. Magnesium citrate is the cheapest and best absorbed. Please research on the internet before giving any supplementation, and check with your doctors as well.

  3. CJ1954 says:

    Wait until ICD-10 starts in October of this year. ICD-10 is coding on steroids. Instead of these 11 codes, there will be hundreds more. ICD-10 is directly related to Obamacare. Coding will go from a few thousand codes to almost 87,000 codes, and that means we will have to be even more vigilant about medical issues. Also be aware that the gov’t is working on legislation to NOT let parents opt their children out of vaccinations due to religious reasons or personal beliefs.

  4. Mercury certainly causes tics.

  5. sylvia says:

    Your story sounds all too familiar. I too was told not to worry about the tics, just to ignore because they would go away. 4 years later, dramatically worse vocal and motor tics, I too believe my daughter was vacine injured! Working to heal her somehow and praying every day!

  6. Ellyn Saunders (Lyn) says:

    Also in Pa. My youngest is 19 now. All home educated all titered after initial vaccines and only repeated if lack of response. Only core vaccines given.yes, we have dealt with vaccine reactions possibly because some of my children were born with genetic deletions.

  7. Kim says:

    In addition, you do not need to vaccinate for your children to attend public school in PA. There are philosophical, medical and religious exemptions available. AND, any blood lab can run a titer. My children were all titered right in their doctor’s office! I’m sorry you had to go through this. It would be almost laughable if it weren’t so frightening.

  8. Dee says:

    Good for you! Did your son also get titers checked or did you proceed another route? I ask because my 18 month old daughter is now medically exempt from all vaccinations due to reactions but my 4.5 y/o son has had all his thus far. However, knowing what we know now and his genetics (we tested all of ours) being extremely similar to my daughter we want only titers for him going forward. What code for that one- the sibling that hasn’t gotten a medical exemption?

  9. jackiehorton85 says:

    No words. Other than this confirms why I never took my youngest who is completely unvaccinated to “well baby” appts.

    • Stephanie says:

      Just fabulous. So you put other children at risk (whom are too young for vaccinations or who medically can’t receive a vaccination) for a disease because you’re afraid of what exactly? I’d rather my kid have tics than die from one of these horrible diseases! Yes, I work at a pediatricians office. Yes, we vaccinate. We do not take anyone who refuses to vaccinate their child. Unless it is for medical reasons only! And, no, I’ve never ever seen anyone is my office have any kind of reaction from a vaccination. Besides a low grade fever! Measles, polio, whooping couph, menegitis and a boat load of other diseases are going to be on the rise in the US because people are getting their freak on about vaccinating. Thanks a bunch!

      • Anonymous says:

        Easy for you to say when your child isn’t the one affected by a life long tic or even more severe adverse reaction. And those childhood diseases you refer to are only scary in YOUR head. The only person who owes a child a healthy lifestyle is their own parent. People like you who choose to be rude and condescending, as if someone owes them something, simply astound me. Your ignorance must be quite blissful.

  10. Michele matthews says:

    Please tell this mothers to get a strep test for both children.

    I’m positive both kids have an auto immune disorder called Pandas (pediatric autoimmune neurophsycitric disorder associated with strep) or pans which associated with any infection.

    Have her look up both

    Untreated strep. Some children don’t show signs. Like my 8 year old daughter. The Auto antibodies start attacking the brain and mimic Tourette’s. A few months on antibiotics and a diet change should help.

  11. jmcinvale says:

    Those who have kids who got vaccinated and especially those with a vaccine injured child should google vaccine detox.

    What gets me is many parents of vaccinated children won’t let their kids play with the unvaccinated. If the vaccines work so good then what’s the issue?

  12. Kayla W. says:

    Thank you very much for sharing your experiences! Your story will help many parents and their kids.

  13. LeAnna says:

    I find it interesting that your children had underlying immune system disorders that affected the vaccination outcome. Was there any explanation as to where the immune system disorders came from in the first place?

    Do you know if there are adverse outcomes for underlying neurological disorders (such as autism, Parkinson’s or MS) OR are those created by vaccinations in the first place?

  14. bodhie says:

    Thank you for sharing your experience with vaccine titers. My son had a moderately severe reaction to his MMR at 3 years old. I quit vaccinating after and started testing for titers. I also had resistance from our pediatrician and for the life of me could not understand why. If titers are sufficient then the child is immune, no? I was curious how you obtained titers for the DTaP and Polio and if your school system accepted that as proof of immunity? For some reason our school only will accept titers for MMR, Chickenpox, Hep B and Hep A.

  15. Pingback: T is for Titer | Taking Baby{food}Steps…

  16. D Nantz says:

    Just how many parents even understand Titer testing or know to ask for it? How many children are being over-vaccinated? Also, Auto-Immune issues is contraindicated. Why would this Pediatrician not know this or perhaps care? These are the Doctor’s whom we are supposed to trust? I pray to God these parents reported these ADR’s to VAERS

  17. Joe Gooding says:

    I also live in PA. I’d recommend every parent get titres checked before “boosters” are given. 95% of kids that already have had MMR don’t need the 2nd shot as kids have built up immunity from the 1st shot. The 2nd MMR is given to ALL kids because 2-5% of them don’t respond enough to the 1st shot. And remember, PA and 46 other states offer exemptions to vaccination for school attendance. Don’t be forced into vaccination. Thanks. Joe Gooding PARaven.net

  18. Eunmi says:

    Thank you for sharing. I learned so much from this. Best wishes to you and your family

  19. Linda says:

    Awesome work momma! Doctors don’t know anything about vaccines except to say they save lives and your gonna die if you don’t get them!!!

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