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DS starting kindergarten next year & not happy with catch-up

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

I just looked at the CDC catch-up schedule for my 4-year-old and am finding it overwhelming.  I always intended (or thought I did) to selectively vax and then ensure that by the time he started kindergarten (when he'll be nearly 6 years old), he would essentially be caught up.  Now I realize how far behind I am.  DS #1 has only had 3 doses of HIB, 3 doses of DTAP and 1 dose of IPV before I stopped vaxxing at 6 months.  He was breastfed until 10 months of age and has been attending day care since 15 months and I got a religious exemption eventually since I live in FL and there are no philosophical exemptions available.  I just simply was not going to vax my son according to the CDC/FL schedule. 


Now I see all the Hep B shots he has to get, 1 DTAP, 1 HIB, the MMR, 3 IPV, and the list goes on and on and I'm not sure if I can subject him to this even in a year and half's time.   I also staunchly do NOT want to give him the varicella vax.  Frankly, I was against Hep B as well, but given all of his activities on the playground and getting scratched by equipment and other preschoolers on a few occasions, I'm rethinking that.  I really have a problem with live vaxx and the human/animal tissue ingredients bother me a great deal. 


I realize that I can lose my exemption if the public school he will be attending discovers that I am selectively vaxxing but I seem to be between a rock and hard place.  I would like to start kindergarten with little drama but I am anticipating it if I bring in that exemption.


Btw, I will be going through this again with DS #2 who also has an exemption but he's been vaxxed more regularly because he started daycare much earlier (4 months old). 


Thanks for any guidance on this, particularly any South Florida moms!



post #2 of 7

I’m not in Florida, but I am going through something similar. 


I’m also not sure of what specific questions you’d like answered.  But here are a couple of thoughts.


  1. Do you worry about your children contracting HIV through scratches and pen jabs in the classroom?  Your LO’s chances of getting Heb B are pretty similar.


Prior to the routine administration of the vaccine, hep B in children was exceedingly rare.  Based on census records, there were 36,000,000 kids ages 0-9 in the U.S (I’ll double check on that; I can’t find the link!)  In 1990, 0.9 out of 100,000 had a diagnosis of Hep B.  This would amount to fewer than 360 children in the U.S. with Hep B….one year prior to the vaccine’s routine administration. 


In light of those numbers, you can determine whether a scratch on the playground is likely to make your child one of those 360.  (Less, in fact, according to that chart!)



  1. You don’t have to answer this here, but it’s something to keep in mind.  Do you profess to any faith or religion, organized or not?  If so, Florida doesn’t have any laws requiring you to belong to any established faith.  Anybody of ANY faith can say that they have a spiritual duty to protect and make decisions for their children! 


If you’re atheist or agnostic, are you ethically comfortable with lying to protect your kids?


I think the biggest issue with religious exemptions is not to specify any religion, elaborate on your beliefs, or allow any officials to press you or thought-police your so-called “sincerity.”   


It looks like Florida doesn’t make its exemption form viewable online, so no one knows what it looks like or contains until physically picking it up from the county health department.  You’ve probably heard of KNOW Vaccines?


They have a page detailing what to expect in each Florida county.  (Note what they say at the top about the Immunization Bureau.  That’s an important resource!)  Actually, I would contact KNOW Vaccines anyway, especially if you don’t hear from any Florida moms here.  They may have some advice for your situation as a selective vaxer.


Not sure if any of this helped, but I'm wishing you an easy, drama-free journey!  (Or a move to a state with philosophical exemptions!  winky.gif)

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks Turquesa!


I am agnostic (my DH calls himself "a recovering Roman Catholic") but it was interesting that the topic came up with my homeopathic pediatrician this morning, during what was supposed to be a well visit for DS#2 which turned into a sick visit due to a low-grade fever and overall grumpiness (amazingly, the health insurance system can't have the doctor cover both visits so i had to pick the sick visit!). 


The pediatrician asked me if we were doing shots at well visits and then she remembered, "Don't you have an exemption?"  Now in the past, I never let on to my pro-vaxxing pediatricians that I had an exemption and just let them fill out the blue form, but I decided to be honest with this doctor (at my peril?).  I told her that because there's no philosophical exemption here in FL, I got a religious exemption because I do have a serious issue with certain vaccines, not all, and wanted a selective schedule so I could decide when and which vaccines my sons would get, if any.  I also told her that due to the fact that DS#2 (who is 18 mos) was in FT daycare since he was 4 months, I felt it important to get some vaccines as an infant (DTap, HIB, Prevnar).  She seemed to accept that fine...although she did ask me if I had homeopathic remedies at home for fever vs. using Tylenol... I have to figure that out because I'm not sure what she meant...


I will definitely check out the link you sent me because I want to stick with my selective schedule with both boys (quite frankly, DS#1, and I need to know if a religious exemption is going to get my boys "marked" as "problem children" by the admnistrative staff in Palm Beach County.  I want to be prepared (and now that you mention it, one of my research points when we talk about moving out of state will be the philosphical exemption! thumb.gif)



post #4 of 7

Hib isn't usually required for Kindergarten, only preschool.  It's not typically given past the age of 2-3yrs.  Also, if the last IPV is given at 4yrs old, you only need a total of 3 doses.

post #5 of 7

I selectively vaccinate and I fill out the philosophical expemption as if I don't vaccinate at all.  I didn't want to raise any red flags and frankly it is none of their business.  I would do the same if I were you.  Don't show them their vaccination cards and just turn in a religious expemption.  The philosophical expemption does make things easier.

post #6 of 7

Also, in some states less vaccines are required for school then the CDC recommends. I would look into that. Oklahoma has it listed on the Department of Ed website, maybe Florida does too. Good luck :)


post #7 of 7

I would do the exemption for the time being and vaccinate on a schedule I wanted. I know any vaccine can cause issues,but the hepB was the one that did me in as an adult. I would recommend only one vaccine at a time,and do not continue with that HepB if the first one causes problems.I was sick after the first,but let them talk me into a second before I wised up. Best wishes.


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