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Family situation involving my unvacc'd dd

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 

Hi Mamas, I’ve gotten myself into a little delimma for which I need support and a bit of a “Good Job, Mama!”


We are a non-vaccing family. Stepson was dx PPD-NOS the summer after his MMR… so our 3 yr old has had none, though if we’re asked directly, we’ll say we’re on the delayed vaccination schedule approved by her pediatrician (all true).


We’ve been spending a lot of time with dd’s cousins (my dh’s cousin), a very mainstream/very vaccinating family of now 3 kids. The wife is lovely, the husband is a pain, but she defers to some of his parenting decisions (as my dh defers to mine, and vise versa), one being Vaccinations Have Saved The World, Let’s Not Get Off Schedule.


The newborn just came home, and they brought up vaccinations. Unfortunately, I admitted that she’s had none (darn it! Should have shut my mouth until I found out what specifically they were concerned about). They said they were most concerned about Pertussis; the hospital even convinced her successfully to get a booster, “for the baby”. So she asked if dd’s is sick to not come over (we’ve been visiting at least once a week for over a year). While that’s fine, we completely respect her request, here’s my fear: As I understand it, and please correct me if I’m wrong, the pertussis vaccine doesn’t protect against transmission (please send me links confirming or squashing this; I’ve been combing through the archives). But they know dd isn’t vaccinated and are convinced it does protect against transmission. If something were to happen to the baby, all fingers would point to me/dd. I can’t have the whole family (even if falsely) convinced that dd hurt/killed the new baby.


I don’t want to lie (“Got her shot this week, thanks! Not her fault, she was vaccinated!”) but I also can’t control if dd or anyone (the oldest cousin goes to preschool twice a week and brings home germies!) brings WC into the home. Regardless, I fear we’d be blamed.


I am requesting your support and a bit of problem solving. I’m glad I’ve been reading these boards for 4 years (go me!) and so I’ve learned about the vaccinations however, now I’m in an actual situation. I adore the wife and her kids, the husband travels so I won’t even interact with him much so I don’t think this is something to lose a friendship over. I’ve got 6 months until the baby is ‘fully vaccinated’. What would you do?


Would you involve your doctor? He does vaccinate in his office but is supportive of us not vaccinating. 

post #2 of 8

Sounds like a lot of worrying about something that is so unlikely to happen. Im nak, so I cant provide you with any links right now, but the newborn is a lot more likely to get WC from older cousin that goes to daycare than your unvaxed, stay at home 3 yo. Honestly, adults who havent had a booster are way more likely to spread it than an unvaxed 3 yo. Last time I checked 75% of the cases of WC in California for 2010 were people who had been immunized.


post #3 of 8

forum crashing, but if the baby DOES get WC (for whatever reason) and they blame your dd, I would walk away from the friendship.  Thats just not a nice thing to do.  Now, if you know that your dd has been exposed, then you should cancel a few visits (which, I'm sure you would do anyway b/c no one wants a new baby to get sick).

post #4 of 8

Does your cousin breastfeed?  That's her best bet to keep her baby safe, not that the baby couldn't get something but......


I will send you a link about Petussis vax not preventing a subclinical case (it might even be from the CDC website).  Plus Pertussis is one of the less effective vaccines, with efficacy as low as 60%.  There is even a Mom in the forums who got her DC all of the Pertussis vaccines & DC (at 9 mths old) still got Pertussis but recovered fully. The main danger with a newborn is the 1st few months anyway when their airways are especially narrow.  All the of newborns who died in the recent Cali "epidemic" were 2 mths or under (too young to be vaccinated) & were all of Hispanic descent which suggests that cultural influences may have been at play (exposure to a lot of family members), esp. since Hispanics tend to vaccinate consistently.  The pertussis vax also wears off relatively quickly so between that, it's low efficacy & it not preventing subclinical cases means that most people are potential "carriers" of the disease.


Since I'm due in July, I did a lot of research on Pertussis b/c (unlike other many VPDs) it seems to be a real danger to newborns since it tends to be a cyclical disease & is actually present in our society today.  I wouldn't want anyone sick around my newborn whether or not their vax'd.  I feel like breastfeeding & not exposing the baby to tons of people for a couple of months is the best way to go.


I will send the links when I have a few mins....trying to get the house ready for 3 showings tomorrow.

post #5 of 8
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mamas, I'm feeling a bit better now... would love some links though.


Yes, she's bfing so Whew! on that one but they totally drink the vaccine kool-aid so I don't think I can convince her that bfing is protective, that her fully-vax'd son who goes to preschool could be a carrier or any other family member other than my dd.


Thanks, SSMama, I don't think I'd have a choice if they blamed me. I've developed a strong friendship with the wife but her husband spent 60% of my time at my dd's birthday party arguing how bad Wakefield is and how that *proves* there's no link between Autism and Vaccines. Koolaid drinker. She'd have to go with him on this one, I'm sure (let's say it would surprise me if she wanted to argue this with her husband, and if she won). I would cancel visits if dd's sick, regardless of what she'd be sick with. 


Thanks awallrising, I'd love the links. I may pull my doctor in and defer to him: I called for dd's 3rd year checkup, talked to the nurse/doctor who gave me these links that say that vaccing dd now (or even prior) wouldn't prevent her from being a carrier. I don't want to put the newborn at risk, would it be better if we stayed away until you and your husband are comfortable since I can't prevent, even with vaccination (see links), dd bringing it over? Then let them decide. I'm fine either way; if they believe that vaxing will protect the newborn at her 6 month day, so be it. I don't want to cause them undue stress in the first few months of a new baby's life, even if it's not based on good information. 


Thanks Mamas, any current links would be great!

post #6 of 8

PingPong'sMom, you sound like a great friend. You understand the parent's fears for their baby, and you are so supportive. Even though they have different beliefs than you, you are still understanding. I wish there were more nice people like you in the world!

post #7 of 8

Here is a link to more links....even though this is an anti-vax website, they post information that comes straight from the powers that be.



post #8 of 8

From the pertussis vaccine advertisement:


"It is unknown whether immunizing adolescents and adults against pertussis will reduce the risk of transmission to infants."



So if the newborn gets pertussis, it could be from anybody, including the vaccinated mother.

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