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New to non-vaxxing and looking for info re GA law and more

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hello Everyone,

This is my first post, but I've been lurking here for a few months soaking up a lot of info. My DS just turned 18 mos, and is a Congenital Heart Defects survivor. Before his 12 month WBV, he was fully vaxed, on schedule. Actually, he also had 5 or 6 rounds of Synagis too.

Anyway, as his 12 month visit approached, I started learning more and more about vaccines, and decided not to do any more until I researched them much more than I had before DS was born (I fell hook, line and sinker for the usual scaremongering). The more I've learned, the more anti-vax I have become. I can't say with 100% certainty that no child of mine will ever receive another vax, but that is the direction that I seem to be headed in. Of course I'm continuing to research the subject, and probably always will.

A little over a week ago, we moved from FL to GA. I've seen some recs for some non-vax friendly peds in this area, but haven't had the chance to set up a meeting as of yet.

I swear, I'm getting to the point...

1. How do I handle this issue with the new ped? With my old, very pro-vax ped, I had discussed this issue on several occasions. She knew I had concerns about vax safety (or lack thereof) and I did refuse the flu vax for DS at his 6 month apt (much to her annoyance), and at his 12 month apt (which I put off until almost 15 months b/c of this issue) I said we wanted to delay the MMR and CP until age 2, and refused the Hep A until I could research it more. The ped agreed to wait until 2 on the MMR and CP, but told us if we didn't do them at that point, we'd be asked to leave the practice. I'm betting this info will be in DS's chart. I've read in other posts here that you should never discuss your reasons for not vaxxing with your ped, so I'm wondering if this is going to be an issue. Kind of related, we have a cardiologist visit on the 19th, so I'm sure this is going to come up then as well.

and

2. Assuming DS goes to a public school down the road, I figure we'll need a religious exemption. Will issue #1 hurt us when we seek the exemption? Is there anything I should start doing now to cma? Can anyone help me with exemption info for GA? Does anyone have experience with this state? I'm wondering how big of a battle this is going to be. I'm a really non-confrontational person, but I will do what it takes to protect my baby!

3. What if, on some off chance, I decided DS had to have some vax or another in the future? Can I do that without jeopardizing the exemption?

4. I remember seeing a post a while back about someone being denied care at a Children's Hospital b/c of vax status. Would a religious exemption protect me there? DS will likely need procedures done at CHOA and or Miami Children's in the future, so this is a big issue.

5. Finally, DS was enrolled in the FL SHOTS program (online vax registry). How should I handle that?

I'm sorry this is so long. If you've made it through, thank you! I'm still learning, and I'm very grateful for any help you wise mamas can provide.:
post #2 of 9
Hello and to the vaccine forum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2J View Post
1. How do I handle this issue with the new ped?
You simply state you do not vaccinated. Period. It is your choice. There is no law that says you must.

Quote:
I'm betting this info will be in DS's chart.
Same as above. Should she say but you did vaccinate.... just say "but we will not be vaccinating any more."

Quote:
Kind of related, we have a cardiologist visit on the 19th, so I'm sure this is going to come up then as well.
It may not come up. But again, you simply state that you do not vaccinate. Or that you are researching....


Quote:
2. Assuming DS goes to a public school down the road, I figure we'll need a religious exemption. Is there anything I should start doing now to cma? Can anyone help me with exemption info for GA? Does anyone have experience with this state? I'm wondering how big of a battle this is going to be. I'm a really non-confrontational person, but I will do what it takes to protect my baby!
Well good for your baby. You are his most likely advocate and he depends on your strength. But let me see -
Georgia has a religious exemption so you should be alright.

There is nothing you need to do right now. Vaccines are only mandated for day care and school.



Quote:
3. What if, on some off chance, I decided DS had to have some vax or another in the future? Can I do that without jeopardizing the exemption?
Since you don't need an exemption until he goes to school, you have plenty of time to think about it.

Quote:
4. I remember seeing a post a while back about someone being denied care at a Children's Hospital b/c of vax status. Would a religious exemption protect me there? DS will likely need procedures done at CHOA and or Miami Children's in the future, so this is a big issue.
When my grandson has a minor surgery done at age 3 yo. no one asked about vaccines. We were more worried about the doc not retracting him.

But you can have a religious exemption in place by that time. I am sure Long Island will help you with more information.


Quote:
5. Finally, DS was enrolled in the FL SHOTS program (online vax registry). How should I handle that?
I think you should get him out of that program. Nasty!

Quote:
I'm sorry this is so long. If you've made it through, thank you! I'm still learning, and I'm very grateful ...
No problem. Glad you found this site. You will get a lot of good info and then you can make better decisions for your child.
post #3 of 9
Okay, I'm not going to do a point-by-point because I'm headed to bed, but I'll answer what I remember.

You don't need to worry about what's in his chart. The reason people say not to discuss the reason you're not vaccinating or selectively vaccinating is just because it opens the door for the doctor to start trying to change your mind, not because you have any legal worries. If you just say that it's against your religious beliefs or even just that you aren't going to vaccinate and that the issue is not up for discussion, then simply refuse to discuss it, you've made your point and you won't waste valuable time on the doctor attempting to convince you that all of your reasons for not vaccinating aren't legitimate. It's just to save you the hassle of being harrassed by the pediatrician, that's all.

Legally, you can tell them whatever you want, because HIPAA prevents them from telling anyone else, so it wouldn't endanger your vaccine exemption. HIPAA would also prevent them from telling the state or the school if you had an exemption, but were choosing to selectively vaccinate. Generally when you get an exemption, you have to say that you're refusing ALL vaccines because the practice of immunization is against your religious beliefs. If, however, you really do want to do some of the vaccines, you would just turn in the religious exemption then not inform them whenever you vaccinated. You wouldn't EVER turn in a new immunization card. Since the doctor cannot discuss your medical information with anyone who doesn't need to know it, they can't tell anyone that you're selectively vaccinating. Therefore, as long as YOU don't tell anyone, they won't know and your exemption will be fine.

As far as your previous vax history, it's irrelevant. You are allowed to have a religious epiphany at any point. You can also just not turn in the vax card when he starts school, so they'd never know he was vaccinated at all.

To get out of the SHOTS database, you have to opt out, but if you don't plan on moving back to Florida, you don't have to do it, because it doesn't remove his records. It only means that the information won't be shared with any of the doctors or schools in FL that are authorized to look at it and they won't keep track of his new immunizations. Since you won't be in Florida anyway, they won't be able to keep track of whether or not he has new immunizations. I guess I'd opt out just in case, but be aware that his records will remain in the system, no matter what you do now.

In regards to the child denied care at a hospital, it wasn't the hospital that denied him care. It was one doctor whose practice was located in the hospital. The hospital found another provider for him, who was also located at the hospital.
post #4 of 9
IV. Exemptions

Exemptions: Georgia Law (Section 20-2-771) provides for two (2) types of exemptions from immunization requirements.

B. Religious: For a child to be exempt from immunizations on religious grounds, the parent or guardian must furnish the school/facility with a notarized statement stating that immunization conflicts with his or her religious beliefs. There is not a standard form for religious exemption. The notarized statement must be kept on file in lieu of an immunization certificate. O.C.G.A. § 20-2-771(e).

The notarized statement must meet the following criteria:
(1) State that their religious beliefs conflict with immunization requirements.
(2) The statement must be signed and dated by the parent/guardian.
(3) The statement must be notarized, dated, and signed by a Notary Public.
(4) The statement should be submitted to the school or daycare in lieu of an
immunization certificate.
(5) The statement does not expire.

Reference: The Official Code of Georgia, Annotated, Section 20-2-771(e):
post #5 of 9
I'm sort of in the same predicament...we vaxxed unknowing. Not sure if we will continue when he is two or not (had issues so we delayed from 9mo on). I would definitely call it a religious epiphany if I had to

I don't have to even tell the religious community that sponsors me that he did have some vaccinations right? Nor, in turn would they tell the elementary school since they don't know LOL Will I be struck down by lightning for using the religious excuse? I believe in God - just not organized religion. Oh well, I always figured I would be joining some great people in a fiery place anyway.

Hope I didn't offend anyone.
post #6 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by JenniferKSwan View Post
I don't have to even tell the religious community that sponsors me that he did have some vaccinations right? Nor, in turn would they tell the elementary school since they don't know LOL Will I be struck down by lightning for using the religious excuse? I believe in God - just not organized religion. .
You may believe whatever you want to. You can use a religious exemption even without believing. And you do not have to tell anyone what vaccines your child received or did not receive. It is not a sin not to tell.
post #7 of 9
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mom2J View Post
1. How do I handle this issue with the new ped?
You mentioned CHOA, so are you in the Atlanta metro area? Become a patient of Dr. Kute if at all possible. She is wonderful- there's nothing but love for her from the many Mothering.com mamas who use her services. You wouldn't have to worry about what to say. She did not push or ask any questions when I said we don't vaccinate, and we didn't discuss the issue at all. She's by far your best bet for a ped in this town.
post #8 of 9
I second the vote for Dr. Kute - but you probably saw that on the other thread.

Thanks for your help!
post #9 of 9
Thread Starter 

Belated thanks

Just wanted to say thank you to all who responded. All of the info provided was very reassuring.

I just now set up an appointment with Dr. Kute. While gathering some info from me, the person who answered asked, "Do you immunize?" in a totally neutral tone. I answered , "no" and that was that. :

I am so excited to finally have a Dr. who I don't have to visit in full body armor. :

Thanks again to everyone. I've learned so much here already.
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