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Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney - To COVID-19 Vaccinate or not?

Consider this. Your healthy child was born with a Multicystic Dysplastic Kidney, which leaves them with one functioning kidney. A two kidney person has 8 times the capacity needed, but you also know kidneys are damaged throughout life, reducing that excess. The first years of life keep you on your toes, every fever, cold, and infection is a trip to the doctor or ER. There are many specialist visits, and you worry about giving your child various pain and fever reducers because some are harder on the kidneys than others.

Then COVID-19 comes along, you protect your child, but know they are being exposed from time to time. The vaccines are fast tracked and a year later being approved for your now teenager's age group. You ponder some things - How might the vaccine effect their one kidney? Are they at great risk from a COVID-19 infection or from the Vaccine? Have they already been infected and survived COVID-19? Have they mounted natural immune response to COVID-19?

So, of course you do some research to find if the Vaccines have effected kidneys. You dive into this knowing the data isn't a perfect fit because the vaccinated group doesn't cover the age group, and didn't cover the exact scenario, and the vaccines have only been in use for a few months. Nonetheless, you need be sure there's no glaring negative effects on kidneys. But, of course you find medical reports of Minimal Change Disease (MCD) impacting otherwise health people shortly after receiving the vaccination. You dig in and find that a few of these people never had kidney problems before this flare up of Minimal Change Disease (MCD), and a few did have previous conditions.

Well now what; to vaccinate or not? So, you read up on the latest data on natural immune response and find out that latest studies are showing that natural immune response in healthy non-immune-compromised people is proving to be as good or better than that immunity from vaccination. Which begs the question, has my child already had COVID-19 infection and have the mounted an immune response?

This leads you to a doctor visit to have this conversation. Without much consideration, without knowledge about the MCD reports and without conversation about pre-exposure the doctor is all in on vaccinate, vaccinate, vaccinate. You ask if your child could get an antibody test to see if they have antibodies. The doctor says that's useless and if it comes back negative you have no information. You say, but if it comes back positive, then we have the information that they have had COVID-19 and mounted an immune response. There's a debate about immune response that is based mostly on news coverage earlier in the pandemic versus the latest findings on natural immunity from research studies around the world. In the end, the antibody test is prescribed and low and behold your child tests positive for both IGM and IGG antibodies indicating recent infection and immune response. It makes sense because you know definitively that they've been exposed several times over the 20 month pandemic. And, you now know that since your child has natural immunity they pose no greater risk of spreading infection to others than a vaccinated person; and likely lower risk.

So, does your child move forward for the next several months with natural immunity from previous infection and follow-up later after more is known about the vaccinations and disease, or do they get the vaccine and take on the short and long term known and unknown risks?

The point of this blog is to discuss person conditions, personal risk-benefit, personal contemplation of risk to self and to others, personal decisions about your health.

I believe the choice to take the COVID-19 vaccination is dependent on many factors and must be personal, at least in this early stage of development and approval, I don't feel a local government, local School Board, state government, or federal government can effectively make that choice for each individual. And in doing so they will inadvertently choose death or long term sickness for many. Depending on a person's situation, this choice can be slam dunk easy, or very hard. I any case, for a teenage child it is a choice for the child and their parent. A doctor has a hard time considering the nuances for the individual and School Board or government has no place or position to consider the nuance and make this decision through mandate.

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