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What would you do? Pro-vax friend requests a "warning"

post #1 of 28
Thread Starter 

A friend of mine asked on Facebook that anyone who chooses not to vaccinate let her know so she can protect her baby, who is only a few months old and is not fully vaccinated yet. I know she is especially concerned about pertussis. I have three children who have never received any vaccinations and have never had any illness more serious than a cold/flu.

 

Of course, I care about her baby and I want it to be safe. But a part of me feels that it is not fair for my friend to ask this of her FB friends. I guess it feels invasive. I never volunteer information about my choice to not vaccinate; I only talk about it if someone asks outright, and even then, I just say, "I researched it a lot and I feel that it's the best choice for our family." I don't know what her idea of keeping her baby safe is, either. Does this mean that she won't want to be around us at all?

 

So my question is, if you choose not to vaccinate, and your friend asked on FB that all her non-vax friends "warn" her, would you feel ethically obligated to respond?

 

In this particular situation, my friend asked me a long time ago if we vaccinate, I said no, and we left it at that. I don't know if I should "refresh her memory" that we do not vaccinate, or if I should just assume that she remembers.

post #2 of 28
Are you sure not to post this here rather than in I'm not vaccinating?

I would either talk to them about it or discontinue the friendship.
post #3 of 28
Thread Starter 

You're probably right; this post might be more appropriate under that heading. I don't know how to move it now, so if a moderator wants to do that, that would be fine with me.

post #4 of 28

Depending on how close you are, I might respond that I was not comfortable discussing my family's vax status and she is free to make whatever decisions she feels are right for *her* family.

post #5 of 28
Thread Starter 

I should say that we attend church together, and it is a pretty small church. We see each other on an at-least-weekly basis.

post #6 of 28

Unless you are going to her home or getting together for playdates, it is none of her business. Surely she knows that taking her child into public is going to expose her to non-vaxxers and people with communicable illnesses many of which have no vax. That is a risk she chooses to take. 

 

If your child were actually sick, had been knowingly exposed and/or you were going to her home then you can deal with it appropriately.

 

Is she also asking if all adults in the church are up-to-date?

post #7 of 28
Thread Starter 

We *have* gotten together for playdates before and (I hope) will do so in the future.

post #8 of 28

Nope I wouldn't. My childrens healthcare is none of anyone elses business. If someone cares that much about protecting her kids she would have to stay home all the time..

post #9 of 28
If she asked you directly, being honest and open might be the right thing, but an open post on facebook isn't a challenge I'd accept. It's passive aggressive of her to try to out her friends like that, and it makes a bold statement which doesn't leave room for nuanced responses. So no, I wouldn't say anything to her at this time.
post #10 of 28

i think if your close enough to have play dates then you should respect her being proactive in what she feels like she needs to do to keep her baby safe. she may have used Facebook to actually be low key about it, it lets you send her a calm message and not force you two into what she might feel is a uncomfortable face to face talk. plus she might just be too busy with a baby to do it in a more direct personal manner.

 

tell her and respect her reaction and based on that you both can decide if play dates are the right things for your families right now or when.

post #11 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by fruitfulmomma View Post

 Surely she knows that taking her child into public is going to expose her to non-vaxxers and people with communicable illnesses many of which have no vax.

 

Is she also asking if all adults in the church are up-to-date?

This. If my child was actively sick then I wouldn't be going out anyways, for a playdate or anything else. Unless she outright asks you, I wouldn't say one word about it...even if she invites your well children over for a playdate.

post #12 of 28

I honestly saw the same kind of FB post, but in the other direction. It was a mom who said "I'd like any of our baby friend families to let me know if you've recently vaxed for flu or rota, since we're concerned about shedding and don't want the exposure right now" kind of thing.

 

I had this whole post written about this, and then I re-read that she ALREADY KNOWS!!! OMG! So, if she's continuing to hang out with you, I'd just indulge her in her hypocrisy. Unless she was trying to send a sneaky message. I suppose you'll find out if she declines playdates and shoos her kids away from yours or starts shooting you with the hand sanitizer if you get within five feet. 

post #13 of 28
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jennyanydots View Post

If she asked you directly, being honest and open might be the right thing, but an open post on facebook isn't a challenge I'd accept. It's passive aggressive of her to try to out her friends like that, and it makes a bold statement which doesn't leave room for nuanced responses. So no, I wouldn't say anything to her at this time.

I agree. I also think it's unreasonable for anyone to expect all their friends to read & respond to their FB status at any given time. What if you just didn't happen to see this FB post she made? I certainly don't always read and respond to every single one of my friends' FB posts! And I wouldn't be posting my child's medical information on FB anyway.

You already told her once, and that's plenty, even if it was a while ago. If she asks you again, either be honest or politely state that it's none of her business -- either response would be entirely appropriate. I don't volunteer DS's vax status, it's a private decision.

I would be extra cautious about warning her if your kids are even a teeny bit sick, since it seems like she'd appreciate that. "Hey, do you still want to get together tomorrow? DD has a slight runny nose."
post #14 of 28

I have a feeling this issue is why I haven't seen one of my "best" friends since her baby was born a year and a half ago. Honestly, I feel sad about it, but sometimes it's better to move on and develop closer relationships with those who respect your decisions. I'm still looking eyesroll.gif  Anyway, I would not post any information about health status on FB. I find it discouraging and often incomprehensible how much private info some reveal on FB and how much others expect this information to be revealed. I hope people begin to push back. If you choose to keep the friendship, I would just keep my kids away if they are sick. I think that is the responsible thing to do anyway and I would appreciate it even though I don't vax my kids.

post #15 of 28

I wouldn't volunteer the information when asked that way. I might consider mentioning how that could give a false sense of security, because someone who has been vaccinated against pertussis could still be a carrier if they were exposed, and wouldn't show any symptoms, and since they would be symptom free, they wouldn't have any reason to avoid touching, cuddling, breathing on little babies.. 

post #16 of 28
Just to clarify, both vaccinated and unvaccinated people have asymptomatic infections. Vaccinated people are less likely to have any pertussis infection, asymptomatic or otherwise. According to one study I recently read the group most likely to have them are people with waning natural immunity.

I wouldn't want to remain friends with someone who felt this way without discussing it. In a perfect world you could discuss how your children weren't really a serious threat to hers, but sounds like she may not be in a place to hear that.
post #17 of 28

I wouldn't respond to a facebook post asking for health information period.  Facebook is becoming way overused and should never be used for private information.  However, if she asked in person I would be hones, she is just trying to do what she feels is best for her children.  I ask a lot of questions of friends of mine now that I have a child.  yes, I did ask about vaccination status before my son was completely vaxed.  I don't anymore because it isn't an issue, but I do ask questions about other things, like pesticide use if we are in the yard playing, gun ownership and if applicable how they are stored if we are staying in the home (no I am not equivicating vaccination with pesticides or guns just giving other examples).  I wouldn't ask via facebook but I would ask if we were going to be in close personal contact.  As far as other risks, of course a strip the store poses some risks, but not as many as playing one on one with another child. 

post #18 of 28

No way Id respond to this. First of all you have already shared that you do not vax with her. If she doesn't remember she can ask you directly. Such a bizarre use of FB IMO!

post #19 of 28
I would not respond online either. But I might try to talk to her in person about how and why your kids are no risk to hers as long as they don't catch any of the VPDs they have not been vaccinated for. smile.gif
post #20 of 28

I wouldn't respond to someone's request for vax status info on Facebook.

 

I wouldn't discontinue a friendship over this either, though, because I've been in situations where it's TOTALLY a reasonable request.  My daughter was born early, and had RDS, and knowing which people were and were not vaccinated for flu and (even more) pertussis would have been a huge reassurance to me.  I was trying to protect my baby so hard that I was barely going out at all, ever, and as a result I was going nuts.  People who were willing to say things like "You should come to our party.  I know stuff is hard with the baby, but we've all had flu shots and pertussis boosters, and no one's sick right now, so it's as good as it'll get." were a huge help.  People who said things like "I have a cold, I shouldn't come over" or "I may have been exposed to whooping cough last week" were also hugely helpful.  I didn't get to hang out with them right then, but I could see them caring and helping to keep DD safe.  Conversely, I had chemo this fall, and had to delay all the kids' vaxes until I was done with it.  Friends who copped to vaccination schedule and status once again helped my family be safe and sane.

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