Hoping to get some info about vax/home visitors before the bean gets here (beginning of November). We think we'd like to selectively vaccinate, but aren't sure what our legal rights are, how to request this, and if there is anywhere privately that we could do single vaccines as opposed to the 5in1 and 3in1 (if this is what we decide).
Also, not about vaccines, but would love to pick someone's brain about home visitors. I've been with one of the girls I nanny for during the visit and found the woman a bit um, conventional for my taste. Would rather just not have a visitor than someone who's going to stress me out about vaccines, veganism, not letting the baby cry to sleep, etc.
Vaccines are not mandatory here in the UK, so you have the right to refuse completely, or select only the ones you want to do.
If you want single shots, such as just measles, you will have to pay out of pocket, as you can't get them through the NHS anymore. There is an immunization clinic in London called Baby Jabs where you can get advice and choose the vaccines that you want. I haven't actually been there so can't tell you anything from personal experience.
As far as health visitors - we only had one visit as we moved to the UK when my youngest was almost one. We simply told her that we had chosen not to vaccinate, that we were homeschoolers, that ds was still BF etc and she just said "that's fine". I don't know if you can refuse the home visits altogether.
Thanks for that info! I think we will end up vaccinating to some extent, but the combination jabs and giving babies 6 of them at once just seems ridiculous. The clinic you linked to said that you can work with someone to spread out any vax that you do decide to give, so that's a relief. It also seems that you have some choice between vaccines, and we'd definitely want to avoid any with mercury/thimerosal, which is still around in some vaxes it seems (which is unbelievable to me).
The home visitor thing doesn't bother me too much, but it does seem intrusive (perhaps it's just my American brain :p). I've loved my midwife so far, who's been supportive of our diet/lifestyle, happy to provide info on lactation groups, and even recommends home births for most mothers! Hopefully I'll get a HV who's just as open minded. :D
When did you move to the UK? I'm an American expat too, just moved here in January so I'm glad you made this post as I'm a bit confused as well!
Basically, what I've been told from my midwife is that you can get single vaxes, however you have to pay for them. I'm not sure how you go about getting them or who you have to go through. We're planning on getting the diphtheria/tetanus shot when the baby's a year, so hopefully we'll be able to get that instead of the 5in1. We haven't gotten the lovely visit from the home inspectors yet, my midwife says they're not too bad if you just nod your head and smile when told about vaccines. Hopefully they'll have some information about the single vaccines. I don't think you can refuse the home visits.
We've been here just about five years, but this is only baby number one on the way, so the parenting side is very new to me. :) We're in Oxford, where they run all sorts of vaccine trials, so I'm not sure it's the most friendly place to be into alternative plans, heh. The link above is the first clinic site I've seen where you can get single vaccines, though I hear that some NHS trusts offer them as well. I think it's sort of luck of the draw there though.
I've heard about a place in ********** (turns out they have several locations), which I think was this centre: http://www.childrensimmunisation.com/ where you can get the MMR in separate vaccines. There are several places where you can do this I think, actually, in response to the autism scare a few years ago. That this place also does Botox sets me back a bit, I admit, thinking that maybe they're just in it for the money.
I've been reading different things about the home visitors, but it seems to be all anecdotal. Most of what I can find says that you don't have to accept visits, but then there's a good chance that Social Services will come knocking at your door. Brother. :D The midwife I have through the NHS is fab...down with homebirth, etc so maybe I'll get a progressive thinking HV too?
Whereabouts are you in the UK? If you're in the Southeast, I think it's a lot easier to get access to "alternative" healthcare.