2nd Trimester

Friend Who Doesn't Vaccinate

I have a friend who has a daughter my daughter's age.  We met at our birthing class 2 years ago and have been friends ever since.  She is not a close friend, but someone we hang out with maybe once every two or three months.  We got together a few days ago and she mentioned to me that she has chosen not to vaccinate her daughter, she was never vaccinated as a child/adult and believes strongly that this is what is best for their family. 

This is troubling for me since we have a new baby on the way.  I don't worry about me or DD so much because we are fully vaccinated and thus protected.  But a newborn baby certainly would be at risk.  DH and I have decided that we do not want her or her daughter to be around our baby until he/she is older (not sure how old at this point).

I guess I'm just wondering if anyone has been in this situation, what did you say, how did they react, are you still friends, etc?  Please understand I'm not trying to turn this into a vaccine debate and whether we are being over protective or not our minds are made up.  We have to do what we think is best for our family same as my friend does.     

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Re: Friend Who Doesn't Vaccinate

  • I have a few people in my social circle who have made this choice - luckily, all of them have facebook. I made a "general" announcement to everyone on my page that out of concern for our boys, we will not be allowing visits with the babies by any individuals who are not 100% up to date with their vaccines - including boosters for Dtap and influenza - until they are 6 months of age and have completed most of their first series. We didn't make a big deal about it, but we made it very clear that our children's health is the top priority for our family. We respect their choices for their own families, and we expect them to have the same respect for ours. 

    I know a couple of them were offended, but it's one of those things that I'm not going to spend hours and days debating with them. Most of them are still enjoying our ultrasound updates and talking about the babies - some of them will choose not to visit us for those first six months (they may even make a point to show us that they're not coming over just to prove how important they think it is to be anti-vax and make a statement....) - but that is their choice. Once I know that my boys are protected, they are welcome to enjoy visiting with them. 

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  • ^ I like that solution.

    It's a touchy subject, I don't touch it with a ten-foot pole when my FB friends talk really nasty about people that vaccinate, but that's easy when I know they are out of state. I don't have any friends IRL with children so it hasn't come up, but if I found myself in your situation I would tell them my concerns and that I respect their decision and would hope they respect mine.

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  • Honestly, I think your friend is going to encounter this in her lifetime from people other than you because I know I would personally feel exactly the same.  Your baby won't have any defense against those illnesses so I think it makes sense that you'd be concerned and hopefully she'll understand. I would just be honest and direct, but put it like you did here--not judgemental, not saying what she did is or isn't right. You and your hsuband are making the decision you feel is best for your family, just like she did for hers.  You respect her decision and she should respect yours. If she doesn't, she's not a very good friend.

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  • We do not vaccinate and in all honesty I would expect this from any of my friends with children that young. I personally would not be offended and I agree with PP that they will encounter this from more people than just you so they better get used to it. I always warn people with very young babies that we no longer vax, that way they can decided what kind of visits they're comfortable with.


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  • image cdelano:
    We do not vaccinate and in all honesty I would expect this from any of my friends with children that young. I personally would not be offended and I agree with PP that they will encounter this from more people than just you so they better get used to it. I always warn people with very young babies that we no longer vax, that way they can decided what kind of visits they're comfortable with.

    Yes

    This is how good friends (and people, in general) react, in my experience. 

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  • image cdelano:
    We do not vaccinate and in all honesty I would expect this from any of my friends with children that young. I personally would not be offended and I agree with PP that they will encounter this from more people than just you so they better get used to it. I always warn people with very young babies that we no longer vax, that way they can decided what kind of visits they're comfortable with.

    This. (Except we eventually do vaccinate, just on a very very delayed schedule.)

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  • image cdelano:
    We do not vaccinate and in all honesty I would expect this from any of my friends with children that young. I personally would not be offended and I agree with PP that they will encounter this from more people than just you so they better get used to it. I always warn people with very young babies that we no longer vax, that way they can decided what kind of visits they're comfortable with.

    I just wanted to say that I think it's really considerate that you let your friends know.  The only reason I found out was because I asked how her daughter's two year visit was and she said she still hasn't taken her.  She went on to explain that she dreads going because the doctor gives her such a hard time for not vaccinating.  As I said we have been friends for two years and this is the first I'm hearing of it, I'm not sure if she would have told me if it hadn't come up in conversation.      

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  • I agree with those who said that this will not be the first time that they encounter this.  I was reading a nursing journal the other day and it had a big article on the fact that a lot of pediatric offices are starting to decline to see children who are not vaccinated.  They are doing this for the safety of their newborn pts, as well as those who cannot be vaccinated due to allergies.  There was a big whooping cough outbreak in my state not too long ago and it was traced back to a small community that generally does not vaccinate.  Young babies and kids who could not be vaccinated for medical reasons were catching pertussis from these kids and it made quite a few of them very sick.  There is no doubt that vaccines prevent serious illness,so I would definitely not want my newborn around children who have not been vaccinated.
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  • With DD#1 we went through a similar situation, but with my parents. Whooping cough has been bad out here on the west coast, particularly in our area, and no matter how hard I begged and pleaded with my mom and dad, they would not go get their pertussis vaccine. My dad is older and needs a prescription for it now, mom is at the tale end of the age bracket and this is her last year she can get it without a prescription, but neither will go this time either. It wasn't they were oppose to getting the vaccine, it was just that my mom was too scatter brained to ever remember to get it and my dad refuses to go to the dr. for anything unless hes dieing. Selfish yes, but thats my folks.

    So, I put my foot down and said "as much as I want you around your grand daughter, I just can't chance her getting whooping cough when so many babies have died from it this year. So until shes vaccinated, I can't bring her over." They were bummed, but understood my reasons. I was able to bring her around again at around 2 months.

    My cousin is just not leaving the house for the first 2 months of her newborn's life right now and has told everyone that isn't vaccinated to please understand she is doing what she feels is right. So anyone not vaccinated is not allowed to be around baby right now. It sounds mean, but I'd rather people think me an over protective b*tch than have my child suffer with diseases that could be prevented.  

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  • image SaraRN12:
    I agree with those who said that this will not be the first time that they encounter this.  I was reading a nursing journal the other day and it had a big article on the fact that a lot of pediatric offices are starting to decline to see children who are not vaccinated.  They are doing this for the safety of their newborn pts, as well as those who cannot be vaccinated due to allergies.  There was a big whooping cough outbreak in my state not too long ago and it was traced back to a small community that generally does not vaccinate.  Young babies and kids who could not be vaccinated for medical reasons were catching pertussis from these kids and it made quite a few of them very sick.  There is no doubt that vaccines prevent serious illness,so I would definitely not want my newborn around children who have not been vaccinated.

    Our school districts here in Oregon have some pretty tight policies about it, too. The only exemptions you can take to send your child to school unvaccinated are 1) Religious exemption - if they take this exemption, your child will be prohibited from attending school if any known outbreaks, epidemics, etc occur - 2) Medical exemption - i.e. child is allergic to components, has known reactions, has a medical complication, etc - or 3) Proof of positive immunity titer showing that immunity already exists. Oregon does not allow for "personal" exemptions if you want to enter your child into any public school.  

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  • image Rynleigh:

    image SaraRN12:
    I agree with those who said that this will not be the first time that they encounter this.  I was reading a nursing journal the other day and it had a big article on the fact that a lot of pediatric offices are starting to decline to see children who are not vaccinated.  They are doing this for the safety of their newborn pts, as well as those who cannot be vaccinated due to allergies.  There was a big whooping cough outbreak in my state not too long ago and it was traced back to a small community that generally does not vaccinate.  Young babies and kids who could not be vaccinated for medical reasons were catching pertussis from these kids and it made quite a few of them very sick.  There is no doubt that vaccines prevent serious illness,so I would definitely not want my newborn around children who have not been vaccinated.

    Our school districts here in Oregon have some pretty tight policies about it, too. The only exemptions you can take to send your child to school unvaccinated are 1) Religious exemption - if they take this exemption, your child will be prohibited from attending school if any known outbreaks, epidemics, etc occur - 2) Medical exemption - i.e. child is allergic to components, has known reactions, has a medical complication, etc - or 3) Proof of positive immunity titer showing that immunity already exists. Oregon does not allow for "personal" exemptions if you want to enter your child into any public school.  

     

    our state has these rules as well, but the religious exemption is really easy for parents to use because no proof is required.  

     

     

     

  • Honestly I would not be around her and her DD once my LO was born. We had a friend who vaccinated on a very, very delayed schedule and I did not have DD around them until they were all caught up on vaccines. It's worth potential hurt feelings to protect my child, IMO.
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  • I would stick to with what you feel and just let them know honestly that it's fine if they choose that but you can't risk your new baby until x age (I'd think after the baby has all it's vaccinations) and if you're friend is a true one they will understand and if they're all up in arms about it they can buzz off. 
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  • I think if she was a good friend she would understand where you're coming from. I think it's pretty crappy of her to not make it known to everyone that she isn't going to vax, at least for her daughter's safety so others can stay away if they are sick. 

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  • image MelissaRae1525:
    I think if she was a good friend she would understand where you're coming from. I think it's pretty crappy of her to not make it known to everyone that she isn't going to vax, at least for her daughter's safety so others can stay away if they are sick. 

    Agree. 

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  • I personally cut ties with people who do not vaccinate. It's just something I can't get past. It is unacceptable 99.9 to not vaccinate.
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  • My mother in law mentioned a couple weeks ago about studies that show vaccinations can lead to autism and said something about us not doing it, but I plan on my child getting vaccinations.
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  • It has been a touchy subject in my family in the past. Two of my sisters do by vaccinate their kids. When I had dd two years ago one of them just didn't ring her kids around my LO until I invited them slew never had to have a conversation about it. She and I are very close and I respect her decision and she respects mine.my other sister on the other hand had her two year old over to my house with a week old baby. We usually butt heads so this is just one I those things. Luckily she is pregnant too and we are due right around the same time so I am hoping we just won't be out and about till my LO harsher shots. We rarely see each other anyways.
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  • Does anyone know of any resources that cite how much more dangerous it is to have your young, unvaccinated baby around other unvaccinated people/children? I don't mean it how it probably sounds... I'm genuinely curious! We're 100% vaccinating on schedule (I even get my flu shot every year, and DH has to because of the military!) but I know that, maybe just with some diseases, that just because you are vaccinated doesn't mean you aren't still carrying. Is it because an unvaccinated person has a chance to have moved from carrier to active sufferer and therefore increasing the risks of spread to others? I am sure the mode of transfer is different for each disease, but I am just honestly curious as to how much of a risk there is in bringing your baby around unvaccinated people. I've heard of "herd immunity" and I've also heard both that it's legit and that it's complete BS, and I just don't know what's accurate anymore... @_
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  • To add to pp... I'm wondering if you are exclusively breast feeding in those two months before the nb is vaccinated, does that help with potentially being around unvaccinated people/children? From my understanding, during those two months the baby is getting immunities from the mother....is this correct?
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  • I have a similar situation.  A girl at my work who I just got to know lately is VERY anti-vaccination.  She posts every day on fb about how horrible and toxic vaccinations are etc.  I however, am appauled by any healthcare worker who refuses to get vaccinated or get their child vaccinated.  In the hospital, we are exposed to E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G and I certainly will not run the risk of bringing that home to my child or endangering my unborn child. She has mentioned that we should hang out some time with our kiddos, and I don't know how to tell her that I probably won't bring my kiddos around her and her baby until at least after flu season, and who knows how long after that. 
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  • image luckymom3:
    To add to pp... I'm wondering if you are exclusively breast feeding in those two months before the nb is vaccinated, does that help with potentially being around unvaccinated people/children? From my understanding, during those two months the baby is getting immunities from the mother....is this correct?

    Yes, BFing would certainly help provided the mother has the immunity.  I BF DD until she was 21.5 months, so I know I will be BFing this one as well, but I don't want to count on that as being his/her only protection.  Which is to say that I'm not going to knowingly allow the baby to be around people who are not vaccinated simply because I am BFing.  

    Here's a good link if you want to read more about the protective qualities of BM:

    http://www.llli.org/faq/prevention.html 

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  • image luckymom3:
    To add to pp... I'm wondering if you are exclusively breast feeding in those two months before the nb is vaccinated, does that help with potentially being around unvaccinated people/children? From my understanding, during those two months the baby is getting immunities from the mother....is this correct?

    Yes, BFing would certainly help provided the mother has the immunity.  I BF DD until she was 21.5 months, so I know I will be BFing this one as well, but I don't want to count on that as being his/her only protection.  Which is to say that I'm not going to knowingly allow the baby to be around people who are not vaccinated simply because I am BFing.  

    Here's a good link if you want to read more about the protective qualities of BM:

    http://www.llli.org/faq/prevention.html 

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  • image j&mmadison:
    We have a good reason. I went into convulsions and almost died from the Diphtheria, Tetanus, Pertussis vaccine.  My little brothers haven't had the vaccine and neither will my child. Too much of a risk. 

    You have had a personal experience which was a negative reaction to the vaccine--but this is an anecdote.  It is commonly known that vaccines do have very rare negative reactions, including death; it is also well-documented that having the majority of the populace vaccinated prevents massive outbreaks, which would kill a far greater (far FAR greater) number of people than the ones having negative reactions to the vaccine.  What about that risk?

    A single anecdote is not data--even when it happened to you personally.

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  • image cdelano:
    We do not vaccinate and in all honesty I would expect this from any of my friends with children that young. I personally would not be offended and I agree with PP that they will encounter this from more people than just you so they better get used to it. I always warn people with very young babies that we no longer vax, that way they can decided what kind of visits they're comfortable with.
    This.  Most people have been cool with it so far but I definitely understand and respect when they are not. 
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  • image cdelano:
    We do not vaccinate and in all honesty I would expect this from any of my friends with children that young. I personally would not be offended and I agree with PP that they will encounter this from more people than just you so they better get used to it. I always warn people with very young babies that we no longer vax, that way they can decided what kind of visits they're comfortable with.
    This.  Most people have been cool with it so far but I definitely understand and respect when they are not. 
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  • image bndaidbuny414:
    My mother in law mentioned a couple weeks ago about studies that show vaccinations can lead to autism and said something about us not doing it, but I plan on my child getting vaccinations.

     

    You can tell your MIL that the study done that says vaccinations cause autism, consisted of 11 children. Also, all of those children were from 1 school that I believe specialized in autism. Also, it his been disproven multiple times since then, and the dr. who did that study lost his license. At least that is what my nursing professor told our class last week.

  • image xpromise1thingx:

    image bndaidbuny414:
    My mother in law mentioned a couple weeks ago about studies that show vaccinations can lead to autism and said something about us not doing it, but I plan on my child getting vaccinations.

     

    You can tell your MIL that the study done that says vaccinations cause autism, consisted of 11 children. Also, all of those children were from 1 school that I believe specialized in autism. Also, it his been disproven multiple times since then, and the dr. who did that study lost his license. At least that is what my nursing professor told our class last week.

    The journal that published it also printed a retraction and the doctor who wrote it admitted to falsifying results because he wanted to create HIS OWN vaccines to market. So it wasn't even an anti-vaccine study.

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