1. Add me to the “cynical and frustrated” list. :shaking head:

  2. Well, I know I’m not in the majority but I definitely think there is a link to childhood vaccines and ear infections. With each vaccine, the immune system is compromised and children are just more sick over all. More colds, more coughs, more croup, more allergies, more ear infections, more lots of things.

    So, a vaccine that could protect what another vaccine could cause. Makes perfect sense!

    (Please note severe sarcasm.)

    I do HIGHLY recommend, if your child suffers from ear infections or other mucous-causing allergies, colds, etc… eliminate dairy and see how they are within two weeks.


  3. I have to agree with the anonymous mom, why not just look at the causes rather than add another vaccine to the list.

  4. Let me translate the PR person’s response: “I’m sorry, your questions indicate that you’re not completely ecstatic about this new vaccine so we’re not interested in talking to you. We wanted you to toss us a softball so that I could write a BS response about how wonderful the doctor and vaccine are.”

  5. How could the Dr. not answer what prompted her to do this research? I can understand being worried about trade secrets or something with the ingredients… but why be told you can ask questions if you can never ask questions that will get answers. Strange.

    I’ve never had an ear infection, but I do know people who have had lots and lots of problems with them. This is interesting research, but I’m not going to worry about it until it’s actually on the market. Who has the time to worry about all this stuff? :)

  6. From what I understand, the existing Pc vaccine, while theoretically intended to prevent more severe forms of pneumococcal disease, is given, in practice, to help prevent ear infections. I don’t know why they need another one, unless they are tired of fielding criticism for the high side effect rate of the current Pc vax “Prevnar”?

    Hm. Well I feel the same way about this as I do about the flu shot and the chicken pox vaccine. The virus itself isn’t typically serious, and is instead quite common. I can’t see risking the short- and long-term side effects over a mainly harmless illness, in which the risk of serious harm or death is negligible in the first place.

  7. Normally I agree with your responses/posts almost 100%; however, this time I have to confess to a disagreement.

    I think that a key point may be the length of time to develop a vaccine. At up to 25 years out they may honestly have NO idea who will manufacture the vaccine and or what the side effects might be. I think the primary reason for the vaccine is that at this time we do not have good treatment options — she is clearly against over using or misusing antibiotics, which is good. She also acknowledges that over using or misusing antibiotics can lead to re-curing ear infections, and it is the severe and re-curing infections that can lead to deafness. So in one sense I think her response answers your questions to the best of their current ability.

    As for the ingredients, if her formula/research has yet to be patented, she would not want to release even an inkling of what she may be doing. Drug companies are notorious for stealing and or infringing on patents — who knows, she just may be in this to improve lives, like many doctors are and she does not want an unscrupulous drug company to jump on a half tested product and run!

    At the same time — I too think that it might be more important/more pertinent to look at the cause of ear infections. So far, I am lucky to say that my son has none, but I have a friend right now whose babe has a double infection that is not responding to antibiotics and she is about at the end of her rope!

  8. Author

    I hear ya, Alison.

    I *now* understand why she was unable to answer some of the questions. But at the time I was told about the vaccine and given the chance to get in touch w/ her, I did not know how early they were in the vaccine development. That kind of information would have been helpful to me so that I didn’t waste so much time coming up with unanswerable questions and asking others to do the same. The time frame for developing a vaccine wasn’t shared with me until after I asked my last set of questions. So, yes, I’m still frustrated that I was encouraged to ask questions, but none were ultimately answered.

    I also get that she couldn’t tell me all of the ingredients, but part of the way I worded my questions was to find out if there were certain things in it (that are found in many traditional vaccines). “Traditional vaccines contain ingredients such as formaldehyde, thimerosal, human diploid cells from aborted fetal tissue, aluminum phosphate, ammonium sulfate, monosodium glutamate, etc. Does this vaccine contain any of those ingredients or ones of similar nature?”


  9. I find it disturbing that she would not answer all of the questions. We have chosen to only selectively vaccinate our son, and have been avoiding most of the new and (in my opinion) unnecessary vaccines. However, for some kids, like my niece, ear infections can be debilitating. She has had numerous surgeries and has a hearing loss (despite every attempt at natural treatments such as dietary changes, acupuncture, alternative medicine, etc.) I feel like we should never take a one-size-fits-all approach to ANY issue.

  10. You know, I’m a pretty laid-back person. Live and let live. Whatever.

    But I have to say NOTHING gets me fired up like Big Pharma.

    I’ll save the vitriol and simply say my feet are firmly in the cynical and skeptical camp.

    And yet, that’s easy for me to say. My oldest only had one ear infection in her life and AJ has had none. I think if my children were prone to chronic ear infections, i might have a different perspective.

    Great article, Amy. Thanks for researching it and putting it together for us!

  11. I have to agree with some of your commenters that mentioned let’s find out the “why” some kids get ear infections and others don’t before another vaccine is produced.

    My youngest son was breastfeed until 3, never had a bottle, and rarely ate dairy products, and had tubes twice in his ears since his ear infections were so bad. Any clues why?

    Great article.

  12. My children have both been vaccinated according to the traditional schedule and both have received vaccines for chicken pox and the flu. It’s a decision we made after much research and personal reflection. And while I understand the “what’s next?” point, I do believe there can be value in developing ways to treat and/or prevent something that strikes a large percentage of children. For example, while my son was too old to receive the rotavirus vaccine, my daughter got it, and our pediatrician said the vaccine has drastically reduced the number of sick children they see per winter with persistent diarrhea and drastically reduced the number of children hospitalized for dehydration/organ failure from diarrhea.

    But while a large number of my friends have children with recurrent ear infections and/or ear tubes, I’m uncomfortable with the idea that a new ear infection vaccine could be required in the current parade of vaccines. My older child has had one ear infection in his 5 years, following a nasty cold as an infant, and my younger child has never had one. Ear infections seem to run in some families, and they seem to NOT run in mine. So how would I handle such a vaccine when my kids don’t really need it? How will doctors identify children who ARE at risk for repeated infections and those that could benefit from a vaccine?

    A coworker recently took her 7 month old baby to the doctor, and since she had been ill and was behind on her vaccines, the doctor gave her SIX vaccines all at once. I was shocked!

    Plus, with each new vaccine, I feel like a parents ability to choose what level to vaccinate their children is eroded. I’m definitely in favor of many of the vaccines, but not at all in favor of the HPV vaccine being required for school, as some states have tried to do.

  13. I can totally understand people being hesitant and wanting to know more information. I can also understand parents not wanting a new vaccine.
    I have a child with a hearing loss. She has lost all hearing on one side and has a mild loss on the other. She has had three set of tubes. We have done everything that I know how to do to keep her healthy. I breastfed for 18 months, we limit dairy, etc. Her ears are still a major issue. While a bit leary, I am excited about the possibility that the vaccine can bring. It may not be for everyone. I think all vaccines should be optional, and that parents need to be informed. This one excites me!

  14. Oh for heavens sake! What else are they going to create a vaccine for? Bad breath? Bad aches? Give me a break.

    One needs to know WHY children/adults have ear infection… get to the source… don’t try and cover it up with a needless vaccine.

    In my case it was an overgrowth of candida… something so simple. Change of the diet and it all went away.

    But for months these MD’s gave me antibiotic after antibiotic and it only made matters worse.



  15. No matter what age, I hate to see my daughter get shots

    ?Hope you’re having a sunshine ? filled Sunday!?

  16. We find that chiropractic care eliminated our 2 year olds frequent ear infections, which then never came back and he’s now 4 yrs old. (Doctor in the states would only prescribe amoxicilian which we won’t touch)….The adjustments were mild and easy on my son.

    Our 5 year old daughter suffers from terrible allergies and asthma (my other 2 children have zero problems with these)…, and our chiropractor is treating her for those ailments. I live in England with National healthcare now, and our Family Doctor prescribes the chiropractic care versus prescribing pills, which I found myself amazed at.

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  18. My good friend’s son had chronic ear infections. He was always sick. Always. They tried everything–antibiotics, stronger antibiotics, dietary changes for her (she did breast feed for 1 year, and her son has a twin sister), dietary changes for him, and tubes at the end. The first three years of his life were a living hell for him and for her. He suffers speech and hearing issues. She lost one job and had to quit another because he could not stay at day care. The culprit in his case–and in the case of many children–was horizontal tubes. He was structurally prone to bacterial overgrowth.

    I’ve never heard of an ear infection killing a child. However, multiply the economic impact of ear infections and you have a billion-dollar problem. Having a vaccine against the bacteria that grows in the ear, and a non-systemic vaccine at that, could offer relief to millions of children, reduce infection-caused developmental issues and the costs on our government, our schools and our families for solving those issues, not to mention keep kids in school and parents at work.

    I highly doubt that this vaccine will ever be required. But to make it available for children who would benefit from it is a critical public health issue.

  19. The worst part about all this is that vaccines become mandated and we get forced to give them in order for kids to go to school.

    I’m just waiting for the law to say girls “have to” get the HPV vaccine.

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