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Non-Vaxing Military families?

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
I'm a military wife and we have an almost one year old who has had no vaccinations and will most likely not receive any.
Are there any other military families on this forum?
I'm looking for support and info.
Are any of your children able to attend day care or school on-post?
Do you use on- post doctors?
When you move to a new state is it the state's laws that apply to you?
I have siblings that don't vaccinate their children but they all live in one state near my dad who is an M.D. supportive of no vax, so they don't have to figure out all these loop holes.
Advice, experience, e.t.c appreciated!

Kate
post #2 of 22
I can give support...we're Air Force. DS has never been to a WBV so we fly under radar. No vaxes. I SAH so we don't worry about daycare on base or anything... I'm not sure about the "state" rules or anything.
post #3 of 22
We have some good threads on dependents dealing with the military.
State law is not helpful on military bases and they are governed by service regulations and the UCMJ.
post #4 of 22
We're Air Force and DS has had no shots... He was assigned to the base peds at Vandenberg AFB and FE Warren, and they always hassle you but in the end cannot do anything about it. We recently obtained a referral to have a civilian PCM off base who doesn't care whether you vaccinate or not.
On base they have to give you religious exemptions, but will give you a hard time about it. If you go off-base, state laws apply.
I'm a SAHM so DS doesn't go to daycare. I know he won't be able to use any base activities since they don't accept waivers for those (it's not like daycare or school, but considered a benefit). But I don't care as the civilian community has all those activities as well...
I can give you my experience with the vax clinic on base - when I was unsure, I asked what brands they have or if they separate shots, allow to nurse my baby during a shot... Well, they are super rude, both in CA and here. They literally hate people who ask questions or skip shots or even delay them. It's hard to explain what went down, but they treated me like I was nuts. When DH said he didn't want the flumist cause it sheds they brought out the Major to tell him it is not true, and he said it's in the package insert and she said that is a lie. Well, it's in the insert, and DH got his sheet to get the flu shot off base, affair done. At any rate, they are super unpleasant to deal with and majorly brainwashed. Avoid them at all costs!
post #5 of 22
Thread Starter 
I should add that I'm a SAHM so I don't have to put her in daycare, and I imagine we'll end up homeschooling. But it does limit things like daycare at the gym and different sports activities, right? So do you all just deal with this, or have you found ways around it? DO any of you have kids enrolled in on-post schools?
Emmeline, What is UCMJ?
Thanks for the replies.
post #6 of 22
Hi. We are Air Force and some of my kids (older ones) are vaccinated and some are not. We don't do WBV at all anymore. In fact, we only went in recently because my kids needed physicals because we are adopting and they thought we had just moved here (been stationed here almost 2 years) because my husband's orders were still in the kids charts. They thought it was so strange that we had not been to see the ped. I said, "well, they haven't needed one". LOL! Anyway, they always give us a lecture about why we should vaccinate, but I just tell them that my 4th child may have had a reaction to his 4 month shots and we are still researching (all true). I was excited to have an older ped. that time thinking he wouldn't be for all the new vaccines, etc., but he was very pro vax! When he knew I wouldn't be catching them up, he said, "well, please get your girls the hpv!!" I about fell out of my chair! I actually told him that I have read of girls dying from that vaccine!! I told him I am researching and he told me that I shouldn't research because I would just get confused and vaccines are perfectly safe! I couldn't believe he said that to me! I asked him about meningitis vaccines and about serotype replacement and he did agree that bacteria are very smart and serotype replacement is a concern.

I stay at home and homeschool so I do not have to worry about getting them in on base daycares or schools.

I do agree with the pp who said to avoid immunizations clinic at all cost. I tried to talk to them and they think you are stupid and evil if you don't vaccinate. I have worried about hib and asked them how many my son (almost 3) would need to catch up and they told me that he would need 4 doses...I already knew he would only need one, but I wanted to see what they said. I argued with them and they actually got down a book and looked in it and then admitted that I was right. That was scary that they had no clue! I told one of them that my unvaccinated son is very healthy and she said that I was lucky. I realized you cannot reason with them because they are so brainwashed!! Oh, btw, my husband has had to have EVERYTHING imaginable vaccine-wise...from anthrax, h1n1, smallpox, etc. He is not allowed to say no, but as dependents, we are...the military doesn't own us!
post #7 of 22
We're USMC here. We're in GA now. I stopped vaccinating last year after getting more into my Bible studies and then comparing my daughters' reactions to those documented. I don't know that one of my doctors gave me a hard time because I stopped vaccinating or because we bumped heads from our first encounter. (I refused a ppd while I was pregnant.) I also homeschool and am a home daycare provider.

The older kids are partially vaccinated. The cdc didn't have a problem with my kids not being vaccinated, but they hassled me for months about getting myself re-vaccinated (they wouldn't accept my titer for being vaccinated several years ago or religious exemption). I refused and complained across the base until we moved. My baby is almost 5 months, and has never been vaccinated. I was questioned about refusing vaxes, eye ointment and the vitamin k shot while I was in labor and asked to sign refusal papers again (literally about 20 minutes before I gave birth!) They sent a doctor into the room to tell me about how my child could be one of the 4/10,000 children with a blood issues and should get the shot. I got my first "Your child could die!" speech on her third day of life. I get reminders about shots, but I don't go.

I live by the base and haven't scheduled any physicals yet, so I don't know what the doctors are like here. I guess it will be a bit different because we're in an AF area. However, my neighbor from my last station enrolled her daughter in school (homeschooled the year prior). She had to inform them that her daughter did not need shots. Many times, dealing with cdc and schools, you'll have to take paperwork with you stating why you claim an exemption because they just expect everyone to fall in line with what the majority of the people are doing.

In regards to home daycare, if you plan to use it, visit several places. Talk to the providers in person about how they feel about you not vaccinating or delaying after going over policies. She is not required to inform other parents about your child's vax status because that's a violation of privacy. Some providers just need to understand why you'd choose not to vaccinate because they may have never known anyone to do so, and some will use it as a reason to deny you a spot.
post #8 of 22
I am AD Air Force, and we do not vax. My daughter has been in on-base daycare (Family Child Care) with a religious exemption on file. The exemption took a long time, but it came back approved. The services are governed by a joint instruction (AKA regulation) that allows for religious exemption for children attending DOD-sponsored schools or daycare centers - see 3-2.b(4) on page 10 of that document. It says specifically

Quote:
All other age appropriate ACIP–recommended vaccines for children are required unless there is documentation of previous immunization, religious exemption, or medical contraindication.
Each service will likely have a regulation that governs their on-base schools and daycares, so you will need to find that regulation and find the provision in it for religious exemption and how to file/claim it.

We are in an area where some of the medical care is transferred to civilian providers off base, and we were lucky enough to be assigned a ped that is ok with not vaxing. So no experience with on-base docs, although I would imagine it would be quite an ordeal to deal with them. If you have a choice, try to get assigned an off-base doc. If you can't, it will be annoying, but PP is right in that they can't force vaccination on dependents.

State laws regarding vaccination for school/daycare attendance only apply to off-base facilities.

Oh, and UCMJ = Uniform Code of Military Justice, which is the additional set of law that military members must abide by and which govern military installations.

Good luck!
post #9 of 22
We are a non-vaxing military family. My children have never had any vaccinations and we use a philosophical exemption here in Louisiana. When we first had children we always went on base to the clinic until they started in with their misinformed lectures on breastfeeding. I did get grief over not vaxing but I just told them we were opposed and left it at that. We have since dropped to Tricare Standard and go off base for all of our care. We go to a great ped who is pro-vax but is also pro parental choice too.

As far as school goes my children go off base since we do not have a school on base. We just give them an exemption and they file it with their records with no questions. We have done that with on base and off base sports teams and such and no one even says anything. We just present the exemption and let it go.
post #10 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by SaraC View Post
We are a non-vaxing military family. My children have never had any vaccinations and we use a philosophical exemption here in Louisiana. When we first had children we always went on base to the clinic until they started in with their misinformed lectures on breastfeeding. I did get grief over not vaxing but I just told them we were opposed and left it at that. We have since dropped to Tricare Standard and go off base for all of our care. We go to a great ped who is pro-vax but is also pro parental choice too.

.
How did you drop to Tricare Standard? One of my DH's COs told him that we can't do that because we live too close to base.
post #11 of 22
Proximity to base should not matter. We actually live on base with an on base clinic and any active duty family can drop to Standard at any time. You cannot go back to Prime for 12 months(unless you are dropping during pregnancy) but IMO once you start using Standard and see the difference in care you won't want to go back. I went into my Tricare Service Center right here on base(ours is in the clinic) and told them that I wanted to drop my children and myself to Tricare Standard. If your DH is active duty then he has to stay on their insurance. They gave me a form to fill out and then they stamped it. It was effective immediately. When you are on Standard you do cost share 80/20(except during pregnancy it covers 100%) but you do have the protection of a catastrophic cap of $1000/per 12 months. Meaning no matter what happens(car crash, cancer treatment, icu/nicu stay) you will only be out of pocket $1000/per 12 months. I have never met my cap and it is so worth any money out of pocket to be able to go to ANY doctor who accepts Tricare. We are an enlisted family so $1000 is a lot of money but the cost is worth it if it becomes nessicary. I have an off base OB/GYN for well woman care, an off base Ped, an off base gen Dr. Anytime I need to go to the Dr. I just make an appointment with a doctor who takes Tricare. There are lots in my town simply because we are military friendly town. Sometimes I have to explain to doctors that I do not need a referral and that Standard is different than Prime but most know already. Also your Tricare Service Center should be able to help if you have questions.

You can PM me if you have more questions.
post #12 of 22
We are also a non-vaxing military family. We have had our children in hourly care at the CDC and sports/activities with CYS with no problem - we used the state form for religious exemption when registering them with CYS in all three states we have registered them in so far and they have taken them with little or no complaint. I think it helps that we have taken our exemptions in to the legal office and have them notarized with both of our signatures - or maybe it doesn't. I don't know.

We homeschooled up until this year when the kids did go to school on post. The elementary and middle school on post took the exemption with absolutely no problem as well. To be quite honest, the majority of problems we have encountered hasn't been with the schools or CDC - it's been with health care providers. Since the older 4 kids are past the age of needing immunizations, it's gotten easier, since their PCM just assumes that they are vaccinated, but we opted to take the baby off post to a like-minded pediatrician for his care.
post #13 of 22
@ AFWife: Wow I love when COs give Tricare or medical advice. my hubby's coworker was told by his CO that if you do not vaccinate your children according to the CDC schedule, the active duty member will be dishonorably discharged of the Air Force right away. Who comes up with this BS? Are COs instructed to brainwash their squadron about vaccinations? One really has to wonder.
Ditto to what the others said, you can switch to Standard at any time. I would have done so, but my request to have DS assigned to a civilian PCM was granted. I see flight medicine since family practice is totally overwhelmed, so spouses of PRP personnel can go to flight medicine. We have a really nice family doc there who's happy to treat a non-missilier. He supports breastfeeding and helped finding a breastfeeding friendly antibiotic when I had a kidney infection and never bothered to talk about vaccines. You have to get lucky with on base docs.
If we ever PCS to a place that has maternity on base, I will switch to Standard. Totally.
post #14 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pirogi View Post
The services are governed by a joint instruction (AKA regulation) that allows for religious exemption for children attending DOD-sponsored schools or daycare centers - see 3-2.b(4) on page 10 of that document.
...

Each service will likely have a regulation that governs their on-base schools and daycares, so you will need to find that regulation and find the provision in it for religious exemption and how to file/claim it.
The instruction is exactly the same for each branch of service. That's why it has all of these listed:

Quote:
Army Regulation 40–562
BUMEDINST 6230.15A
AFJI 48–110
CG COMDTINST M6230.4F
Army Regulation is obvious. BUMEDINST is for the Navy (which includes the Marine Corps). AFJI is for the Air Force and CG COMDTINST is for the Coast Guard.

Exemptions for on post schools, childcare, and other activities should be based on this instruction, not on state laws. State laws apply only to anything but school/daycare/summer camp attendance within the state. Military installations are federal property, so they don't really count as being "within the state" for those purposes.

I will say that I haven't had really awful experiences as far as not vaxing goes. I've had a couple docs be a tad bit rude about it, but it was mainly just of the "You're the parent and you're allowed to make those decisions," said in a, but I think you're very stupid tone of voice. That's about what you're going to get anywhere, unless you have a super awesome doc close by. Now I have had other issues with base docs, but honestly, none of it has ever been bad enough to make me consider switching to Standard. The only thing that's made me consider switching is the PITA it is to have to get a referral if I want to see a specialist, but that has nothing to do with the doctors.
post #15 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by Plummeting View Post
The instruction is exactly the same for each branch of service. That's why it has all of these listed:
Yes, that is a joint instruction which gives information on "immunizations and chemoprophylaxis" for all aspects of military life, including active duty, civilians who work in the military, and children/workers who attend school or daycare on base. It does indeed provide for religious exemption for children in DoD school/daycare. What I was referring to was the specific instruction for each service that describes the daycare system, for example, if that is the age of your children. The Air Force has two different AFIs for daycare-aged kids, one for the CDC (on-base daycare), and one for the FCC (in-home care option on some bases). These two instructions give more information on how and where to claim the religious exemption for your child. Although I haven't looked into it, I assumed that the other services have similar regulations that will give more information on the exemptions available for children in DoD care. But even if they don't, the joint instruction does outline that religious exemption is available.
post #16 of 22
I am AD Air Force and so is my Husband. My two children are non vaxed, exept my first child recieved the part of the first set of vaxes, (because at first I was going to do delayed before I really did the research)
I have both my children in the base CDC. I filed a religious exemption, but let me tell you, it was a battle, it took six months and an IG complaint to get it done. But bottom line It's in the regs and you are allowed to do it. Just know your rights and don't let them just tell you no.
I also have both my kids in base peds. I tried to get them off base but I was turned down for that. My two kids do have differnt doctors, I've had three total for the time I've been here, the first lady that I tried to do delayed vax was very rude. "Why", and "I don't see the point" but ultimatily she agreed, and then I'd have to explain it again to the techs doing the immunizations that the docotor said it was ok to only do two shots instead of six and such. (Luckily that doctor left) But my sons doc now, doesn't really pay attention to it, he casually asks if he's up to date, I just say yes, (because he is for me) and there is no discussion about it. My dd doctors has been totally cool with it. She just looks for the shot records and then I say we don't vax and she just says oh, ok and moves on.
So I guess it's hit or miss with the base doctors, If you can go off base though I would jump at the opportunity. The doctors are definitly prescription pushers. My dd had her one year well baby check and the doc said it looked like she might have a slight (or be getting/or getting over) an ear infection, She had no other symptoms and nothing bothering her and she was still trying to give me antibiotics. Other than that she's is all for BF, and cloth diapering.

I also agree that the state laws will not apply on base, but once your child is of school age if they are going off base for school, then ofcouse the statelaws apply.
post #17 of 22

Army wide no vax?

I see this is a pretty old thread. We are running into this problem here in Ft. Hood, TX. It is new...the Army is not allowing the vaccine excemption form. I just wanted to get in touch with other Army moms across the country to find out if the laws have changed for ALL military bases, or if this is a Ft. Hood only thing.
Thank you!!
post #18 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainspring View Post
I see this is a pretty old thread. We are running into this problem here in Ft. Hood, TX. It is new...the Army is not allowing the vaccine excemption form. I just wanted to get in touch with other Army moms across the country to find out if the laws have changed for ALL military bases, or if this is a Ft. Hood only thing.
Thank you!!
A good friend of mine is a medic at Ft. Hood. I'll ask her what you need to do.
post #19 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by mountainspring View Post
I see this is a pretty old thread. We are running into this problem here in Ft. Hood, TX. It is new...the Army is not allowing the vaccine excemption form. I just wanted to get in touch with other Army moms across the country to find out if the laws have changed for ALL military bases, or if this is a Ft. Hood only thing.
Thank you!!
Update: I was wrong, she's at Ft. Sam not Ft. Hood. However, I asked anyway and she said she'd check for me. I'll let you know ASAP when I get a response.
post #20 of 22
Thanks. I found one other Ft. Hood mom who is very upset about CYSS here not accepting non-vaccinated or partially vaccinated kids. I'm going to do something about it. It's just not right. We should be allowed our rights. We military families have enough stress without having to spend time on these petty things...but someone has to do it, so I'm in.
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