Openness about non-vaxing? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 08:03 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I have been open about not vaccinating my two children. I don't go around wearing a non-vax t-shirt or anything quite so public, but if vaccines come up, I make no attempts to hide my decision and often talk about the problems with vaccines/the CDC vaccine schedule as it exists today.

Lately, though I've been feeling like the debate is so polarized and contentious that I'm starting to think I ought to just keep it to myself so as to avoid anyone attacking me as well as to avoid possible reprisals from health officials.

After watching the Frontline special The Vaccine War, I am especially wary of openness because a mere 12 children got measles in San Diego yet many more were quarantined and one on her way to Hawaii even got stopped from taking her vacation because she had been exposed. It made me wonder what would happen if one of mine happened to get measles or even chicken pox-- should I fear taking them to the doctor for diagnosis (assuming I might not be sure about what they have) because the doctor will then report me to the CDC and I'll have officials knocking on my door questioning me about my whereabouts and then rounding up anyone I've come into contact with??? The officials make me fearful of their intrusion into my life.

Anyone else have different opinions about your openness to not-vaxing? How do you feel about sharing you decisions?

SAHM to DD1 (9/07) ; and DD2 (08/09) . |
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#2 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 08:27 PM
 
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I'm a very big shoot from the hip kinda person, as gently as possible and I have just filed a form 5 with our local health unit for my twins and my 17 year old has had one on file with 2 health boards due to a move since she was 8 and no regrets at all. She is now doing the tetanus vaccines because she is entering manufacturing college and does get metal cuts that I'm not always going to be there to see. Yeah my girls could? get the measles............I'm not going to freak out about it. Generations of people have survived the measles just fine! I just follow the WHO and the movement of certain illnesses and act accordingly. We haven't travelled abroad and there's nothing serious in Canada so I don't worry.

Just remember that you are the mother and you have ultimate say. The cumulative effects of repeated vaccinations are far worse than a case of the measles or chicken pox, etc.

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#3 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 08:31 PM
 
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I feel that private medical decisions are just that: private. I don't go around talking about my kids delayed/selective status except when close friends bring up the subject.
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#4 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 09:09 PM
 
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Strongly suggest that you keep quiet on the subject. It is no one's business.

Why stir up trouble when there is none?
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#5 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 09:35 PM
 
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I don't bring it up, but if it comes up, I have no problem saying we don't vax. How will people know there are normal and intelligent families that are not vaxing if we all keep quiet about it? If you aren't comfortable in a conversation about it, it makes more sense to keep quiet about it. But, if you are comfortable talking about it, I guess I don't see a problem saying something.
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#6 of 23 Old 04-29-2010, 11:37 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by ammiga View Post
How will people know there are normal and intelligent families that are not vaxing if we all keep quiet about it?
This was my thinking. Same for me with home birth. If people aren't aware there are options, then they won't be able to consider them for themselves. I've been open about not vaxing mainly because I wanted to share what I've learned with others in the hopes that they might do some research or reconsider before they vaccinate for everything under the sun. I swear, people spend more time researching a new car than they do making the vaccine decision. I've talked to people who didn't even know what the abbreviations meant and didn't know what their kids were vaccinated for, just that they had their shots. Scary!

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#7 of 23 Old 04-30-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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This was my thinking. Same for me with home birth. If people aren't aware there are options, then they won't be able to consider them for themselves. I've been open about not vaxing mainly because I wanted to share what I've learned with others in the hopes that they might do some research or reconsider before they vaccinate for everything under the sun. I swear, people spend more time researching a new car than they do making the vaccine decision. I've talked to people who didn't even know what the abbreviations meant and didn't know what their kids were vaccinated for, just that they had their shots. Scary!
I think you spend too much time at MDC . There are MANY people on mainstream boards who are ready to protest, threaten, and sue over your child's vaccination status (they watch too much L&O)--these people are someone's neighbors...

"It should be a rule in all prophylactic work that no harm should ever be unnecessarily inflicted on a healthy person (Sir Graham Wilson, The Hazards of Immunization, 1967)."
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#8 of 23 Old 04-30-2010, 01:07 PM
 
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I used to be very mum about it, and I still am for the most part... but most of our friends now know that we don't vax. Its happned gradually one friend at a time, but over the last year since we started going to playgroup and making friends they have all found out.

The last lady to find out was the lady who runs our playgroup (through help me grow)... she's pregnant and was surprised to find out that we don't vax. Then even more surpised to find out that their are exemptions - for both religious and philosoophical beliefs Her response when I explained to her about school and filing exemptions was "You're kidding!". She actually assumed I'd just have to home school.

I've actually been fairly surprised at just how little people really care that we don't vax, and also very, very surprised at how easy its been to register ds1 for preschool - I just turned in an exemption paper I printed out and signed online, and zero questions were asked. This from a very, very rural, very conservative part of Ohio.
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#9 of 23 Old 05-01-2010, 12:08 PM
 
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I really waffle about this. I have always kept quiet in "the real world" about us not vaxing, but have been very vocal about it online. What I fear IRL is my daughter being shunned by those who would think she is dangerous to be around. SHE is why I am quiet in IRL. I couldn't care a less about the backlash on me, but I do care about my daughter.

However, the other night at a block party I did fess up to her being unvaxed. I was talking to our neighbor who is a nurse and another neighbor. Surprisingly the nurse had no qualms about my dd not being vaxed (neither did the other neighbor). In fact, nurse, who works at a peds office says that the doctor she works for suggests vaxing but will not push and is ok with non-vaxers. I can say I was HAPPY about this because our current dr (naturopath) is a 2+ hour drive!

And, on top of it I got to share info with the nurse and other mom who had no idea about some things.

So far the few people that who do know we dont vax don't seem to care. I'm sure sooner or later we will run into someone who does care, but since I dont advertise it, it may never come up.

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#10 of 23 Old 05-01-2010, 04:22 PM
 
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I kept my non-vax DD's status a secret for a long time. Finally, last Fall, I just snapped. I saw my facebook friends posting about getting that stupid swine flu vaccine and I had to let people know where I stood on the issue so if they had questions they could search me out. I posted a NOTE on the story of how I first heard about the dangers of vaccines. Then over time I posted a few more notes with information for all to read, links to peer-reviewed literature, etc. never a youtube video or non-peer-reviewed link! That way, people know that my decision was based solely off the cdc and who's own information, as well as full studies I read off pubmed.

It was LIBERATING!!! I was so nervous, but I got almost NO negative responses, just positive ones from others who I already knew would be supportive and a few people I wasnt expecting. That being said, there are a lot of nurses on my friend list, im sure they are appalled (especially that one girl from high school, whose photo is of her in a third world country giving a kid a vaccination- heh). But I figured, scr*w it! I need this out there. And if people hate me, I really dont care. Acting like its a secret makes me look guilty of something.

So, Im out of the closet now and will happily debate with anyone on the subject. Until someone says, "your endangering other children," at which point my response turns emotional and I say, "I dont care about other children. I care about my child. Other children are not my responsibility. Sorry."

Ive even changed a few minds. So, ultimately, the more of us that come out saying, hey, these are dangerous and unnecessary, the more main stream it will become, until some bizarre mandatory vaccination will be physically impossible for the government to pull off. And this, of course, is my biggest fear. No need for quarantines if only 30% of people got the shot hehe.

Lauren , DH , DD 02/2007 and expecting #2 (12/7/10)! We
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#11 of 23 Old 05-01-2010, 04:32 PM
 
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If it comes up and I'm asked I tell them. I usually do not bring it up, because I'm a horrible debater and also I find most don't realize they have an option, or are spouting facts from their pediatrician anyhow and are just not open something not pro-vax at all.
Oddly enough, out of all the people who have found out we do not vax, only 2 people have taken issue with it. One a family member who now thinks I'm completely nuts and uneducated, and one a friend who keeps wanting me to vaccinate-and both only tell me the facts from the cdc/WHO/the Today show etc It has caused a rift between the family member and I though. She'll just have to get over it. Oddly enough, if I were a dr, or scientist or some sort, she'd believe me-lol.
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#12 of 23 Old 05-01-2010, 06:59 PM
 
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We don't discuss it except with other non-vaxing parents, and those discussions center around our lifestyle choices to ensure our kids are developing and maintaing strong immune systems.

However, if someone brings it up, I don't hesitate to mention DS's vax injury and what we've been doing to help heal him. (We did alternative schedule, but DS suffered injury at 7 months).

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#13 of 23 Old 05-02-2010, 01:47 AM
 
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I used to bring up this topic and push it. At least to make my friends understand some mechanisms ...
However, the majority of people surrounding me - posessing a typical "consumer mentality". Therefore I never bring up this topic first, but when it arises for some reason - right away I state shortly, but very firmly that I am absolutely posolutely against vaccinations.
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#14 of 23 Old 05-02-2010, 02:09 AM
 
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I don't announce it to strangers, but when it comes up I'm honest. In doing so, I've left several people thinking about it who might not have otherwise.

-Angela
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#15 of 23 Old 05-02-2010, 06:09 PM
 
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I used to be very open about it, not shouting from the rooftops but anytime a vax conversation came up I would share that we didn't and why. It totally bit me in the butt years later. We got pertussis, it was very well known in my community. DD2 was a newborn, and was seriously ill, it is a small town, everyone knew. Then a large number of people did not want my children around them, like we were constantly haboring diseases. I am very selective about who I tell now, during vax conversations I say nothing usually.

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#16 of 23 Old 05-02-2010, 08:11 PM
 
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I was open about it on another message board, and I was really surprised by the reaction I got, and not in a good way. The attitude was pretty much, "If you don't vax, you should be arrested for child neglect, and your children should not be allowed to leave the house so they won't infect others." No one was receptive to hearing any of the scientific evidence that we considered when our son was born. It was rather disheartening.

I am happy to talk about it if someone asks, but I don't really bring it up a lot.
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#17 of 23 Old 05-02-2010, 09:01 PM
 
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I am lucky in 2 ways.
1 - i live in a very nonvax/alt vax friendly place. In dd's charter school they keep the exemptions in the office because so many of the kids are "non compliant". Our ped does not do vax at all.

2 - I love to debate and can keep so many facts stored in my head.

I dont just randomly tell strangers but pretty much all my huge extended family knows and all my friends know. DD has had chick pox and measles and possibly pertussis. If someone asks i have no problem telling them our stance and why.
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#18 of 23 Old 05-03-2010, 07:01 PM
 
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Originally Posted by SFam View Post

After watching the Frontline special The Vaccine War, I am especially wary of openness because a mere 12 children got measles in San Diego yet many more were quarantined and one on her way to Hawaii even got stopped from taking her vacation because she had been exposed. It made me wonder what would happen if one of mine happened to get measles or even chicken pox-- should I fear taking them to the doctor for diagnosis (assuming I might not be sure about what they have) because the doctor will then report me to the CDC and I'll have officials knocking on my door questioning me about my whereabouts and then rounding up anyone I've come into contact with??? The officials make me fearful of their intrusion into my life.
I don't talk about it all the time but if someone asks me then I'm honest. I also occasionally post things on facebook.

I hear you about being nervous about the "officials." I'm very nervous about the way our government is going and do worry that one day I'll be rounded up for not vaxing.

.
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#19 of 23 Old 05-04-2010, 11:21 AM
 
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We haven't really shared this decision at all; except online. I am surprised that not one of our babe's age-mates' parents have asked, so how has Gabe done with his needles? If they asked, I would just say we are not vaxing him right now. (we are not ever, but this is slightly more diplomatic).

it did come up while we were pregnant - that blasted swine flu shot - and that was emphatic - NO! we aren't. I haven't even ever had the flu and all of those I know that did have the "swine" flu were fine within 3 days. Our ped is at least ok with us not vaxing though gives us a little chat at each WBV, though they neglected to set an appt up for his 6 month visit at the 4 month visit (maybe because they feel, as we do, if he's not getting jabs, it's really unneccesary?)

If I were asked, I'd be honest, but not go into alot of detail unless asked. same thing with the circumcision. (DS is intact). I just don't feel the need to volunteer that sort of thing. Now, breastfeeding I have become way more . . .of a Lactivist than I thought I'd be!

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#20 of 23 Old 05-04-2010, 07:15 PM
 
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If I'm asked directly I am honest, but honestly, I see no reason to broadcast my kids' vaccination status. Do vaxers go around telling everyone that their kids are vaxed?


 

 

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#21 of 23 Old 05-05-2010, 02:16 AM
 
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Do vaxers go around telling everyone that their kids are vaxed?
I hear about it all the time actually: "My son is cranky today because he just had his xyz vax," followed by a chorus of "Oh yeah, we did that last week/yesterday/look at my dc's arm!/dc screamed bloody murder," etc...

Anywhere we've been where there are lots of children- the rec centre, playgrounds- and parents sitting/standing around talking, if I am there for longer than a few minutes, it comes up- most especially at the end of summer.

I don't talk to people I don't know in general about personal decisions (extreme introvert), but I do love to hear the rare conversation diverted to non-vaxing by someone who whose dc are not vax'ed.

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#22 of 23 Old 05-13-2010, 09:59 PM
 
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No, I'm not very open about it. The only people that know are my parents & one of my sisters, and our doc (and obviously everyone online but no one IRL knows me on here). I don't really see the reason to share that info with anyone else. I will still discuss vaxes and I'm sure some might guess/assume he is not vaxed or partially vaxed, and others might assume he's fully vaxed but I just don't love the idea of vax'ing or something. I guess I don't really care what assumptions people make but I don't know what I'd say if someone asked directly, it has never come up, it would probably depend who's asking.

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#23 of 23 Old 05-13-2010, 10:05 PM
 
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I'm pretty open about it. I like to learn what others are doing so I can shape my plans and do more research. There's Nothing like knowing someone who has already done all the leg work, who won't pressure you either way.
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