When asked about vaccination status.... - Mothering Forums

View Poll Results: How do you answer questions regarding you or your children's vaccination status?
I tell them we do vaccinate, but in actuality we do not 5 83.33%
I tell them we do vaccinate, but in actuality we are selec/delayed 0 0%
I refuse to answer and tell them it is not their business to know 1 16.67%
Voters: 6. You may not vote on this poll

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#1 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 07:06 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What do you say? When my older two were you, so few people even knew not vaccinating or alternate schedules for vaccination was an option thus the question never came up. Recently there have been a few times where vaccination status has come up and with the rising media coverage, there are a lot of ignorant opinions out there.

 

So, when asked, how do you answer the question? Do you answer truthfully, do you tell them to MYOB (even good friends, neighbors, family?), do you tell them what they want to hear?

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#2 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 07:24 PM
 
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I haven't withheld our vax status, BUT, it's never been posed like that in a question.  I've been asked when DD had well baby visits if she cried for her shots or my MIL would often ask what she was getting.  For MIL I got sick of playing nice, and basically said she's not getting any now nor will she ever be, end of discussion. The others, well we did vax at 2 and 5mos and she screamed horribly, and I've explained that to people, I've talked about it being an issue with bran swelling but she's ok now - that one tends to get some people wondering at least.  I'm not sure how I'd react if I was directly asked her vax status, but the sarcastic side of me (if I was quick enough to think of it in the moment) might just turn around and ask them their vax status.

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#3 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 07:54 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Ironically even with 90% of my family in the health care field, it has never come up. I guess they all just assume or have the tact not to ask. Back when dd1 was a baby and MIL felt like she had to fill me in on lots of wonderful advice, she would say "now, she might be just a bit cranky from her shots, you'll have to ask for the tylenol dosage". I just said "mil, we don't do shots" and that was that. Not a word about it 8.5 years later and I'm quite certain she never understood what that meant and/or has forgotten about it. Actually, now that I think about it my kids have told MIL that they have not received shots and MIL insisted they did, they just don't remember. (this came about while playing with a dr. kit that contained a shot, which in their mind is something only used for pets)

 

If it was family, I would tell them where to shove it, I am not worried about my feelings. But when it comes to situation like today, where a neighbor asked when dc 4 who is 5.5 months old had her first shots, I felt wildly unprepared. I do not want my children to be ostracized or treated as if they are some carrier of infectious diseases, an 'untouchable' if you will. Say or do what you will to me, but my children are innocent and do not deserve it. Thankfully, my older children were not with in ear shot and I just said "they start the first round at 2 months" I felt terrible lying, and technically it was not a lie as that is when 'they' recommend but she obviously took it as we do vaccinate. She even then followed up with "You vaccinate!?" Another neighbor chimed in "of course she does, why wouldn't she?' I added "what makes you think we don't?" The first neighbor replied that she thought I might not because I'm a homeschooler. Her step DIL is radical/un-everything, heck I wouldn't be surprised if she were lurking on the board she'd fit right in.  Radical unschooling, free range parenting, no rules, organic everything, vegetarian, you get the idea and it's the complete opposite of said neighbor's views and is quit eccentric and vocal about being so. 

 

I feel terribly guilty about lying and am torn on how to direct my children on how to answer such questions as they get older. I do not want to teach them to lie or give half truths but I do not want them bullied, ostracized or judged against for a decision that (at this time) is not theirs to make. 

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#4 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 07:56 PM
 
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I am very rarely asked.  I occasionally offer up a tidbit, such as my kids have not had the flu or chicken pox vaccine, to test where the waters lie.  IRL I have NO desire to get into it with people, so if they seem shocked or confused, I change the subject and move on.  If they seem receptive or not shocked, we then might get to have a conversation on it.  

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#5 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 08:25 PM
 
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No one's ever asked me except for a dr, and he was told it's against my religion, then he proceeded to ask me what religion, at which point i told him none of his business, and per the Constitution, i don't have to answer that, and he apologized.  He moved onto the next subject and hasn't mentioned it again. 

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#6 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 10:59 PM
 
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I am interested in y'all's answers. I haven't directly been asked yet, but I have many close friends as well as many acquaintances that are 100% pro-vax. When well-visits and shots come up in conversation I am (so far) able to just slip out of the group, give vague answers, or change the subject. I don't want to lie to anyone but I don't want my baby growing up an outcast! And I don't want to harm my friendships over this either. They already think I'm a little strange because I had a home birth/drink raw milk/don't circ/cloth diaper/co-sleep/etc, but people seem to get WAY more fired up about vaxxing than they do about those other topics. I'd take suggestions and advice!!
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#7 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 11:12 PM
 
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Nobody has ever asked me directly, except my mother, and I lied, saying my kids were vaccinated. I do tell her we don't do the flu vaccine, because skipping the flu vaccine seems to be socially acceptable, and people don't usually freak out about that.

 

Also, when my child had to go to the hospital for an illness, I indicated on the paperwork that all vaccines were up to date. I'm very glad I did that, because it was important that I had a good relationship with the hospital doctor, since I asked him to do a different treatment than he normally would. He might have refused if he had already been biased against me due to not vaccinating.

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#8 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 11:38 PM
 
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Depends on who asks and the situation.

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#9 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 11:55 PM
 
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I tell the truth, but honestly it's hardly ever come up. A few times by medical people; a few times by friends who also didn't vax. Not sure if anyone else has ever asked.

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#10 of 34 Old 04-09-2014, 11:57 PM
 
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In real life I mostly hang out w/pretty crunchy mamas so it's fairly common to talk about vax or no vax or which ones, delayed schedules blah blah. I'm open about my no vax stance and people are cool about it, but maybe they're just blowing me off since I don't have kids yet, but whatever... lol  My bff didn't vax any of her 4 kids and would tell docs or other official types that wanted to know-that the children had all the vaxes they needed (which was none :thumb)  That way she wasn't exactly lying... and I think I'll use that line too when I need it. 


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#11 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 03:53 AM
 
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I didn't vote because there wasn't an option for telling the truth. We don't get asked very much either but it does come up occasionally. When DD1 was a baby, I was asked a couple of times at Mother's Group how she had gone with her vaxes. It wasn't pushy or nosy, it was just Mums chatting about shared experiences. Both or old GP (now retired) and our new one know our vax status. Which is now; DD1, delayed schedule, DD2, unvaxxed for now but will be delayed. In Australia, some vaccines aren't given after a certain age so we are also selective by not our selection, IYKWIM.

DD1's kindy has a copy of her vax records. And, if either of them ever need hospital treatment I'm fine with being honest there too. I'm sure it helps that DH and I are both HCPs. But, based on what I read, Australian HCPs are much less hardcore in there treatment of the unvaxxed. You don't see anyone "firing" patients for example. And it's easier to refuse treatments or ask for alternatives. Which is not to say that people don't get a hard time or get obnoxious lectures sometimes but, yeah, it doesn't seem as crazy here.
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#12 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 10:13 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ma2two View Post
 

Also, when my child had to go to the hospital for an illness, I indicated on the paperwork that all vaccines were up to date. I'm very glad I did that, because it was important that I had a good relationship with the hospital doctor, since I asked him to do a different treatment than he normally would. He might have refused if he had already been biased against me due to not vaccinating.

Haven't had to go this route yet, but with DD being a daredevil it's a very real possibility that we will have an ER visit at some point (but I'm pretty relaxed on most injuries and with DH is an EMT and I've been through the class just never certified, so it has to be pretty severe to warrant a trip to the hospital!). This is my thought of how I would respond - that she has what she needs and leave it at that.  We have a very pro-vax friend who's an ER nurse and in the last 2 years DH and I have each taken a trip while she was working which streamlines it a bit for us so that could go either way - she doesn't officially know we don't vax and I'm sure I'd get a lot of sarcasm from her if I came out with it but whatever, she's not the greatest of friends!

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#13 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 11:18 AM
 
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I t
Quote:
Originally Posted by kathymuggle View Post

I am very rarely asked.  I occasionally offer up a tidbit, such as my kids have not had the flu or chicken pox vaccine, to test where the waters lie.  IRL I have NO desire to get into it with people, so if they seem shocked or confused, I change the subject and move on.  If they seem receptive or not shocked, we then might get to have a conversation on it.  
I tested the waters like this at my kid's school with a parent regarding the flu vaccine...ends up she's a non-vaxxing parent, the only other family I know of in the school whose children are vaccine free. Sometimes it's good to 'test'!
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#14 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 12:37 PM
 
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So far I've been very honest and pretty vocal about not vaccinating my daughter further.. She had her first round at 2 mos and had the high pitches screaming for days and we haven't gotten anymore and don't plan to.. I think I am going to stop being so honest from now on... I feel like the time of the discussion is changing. There seems to be a lot more hatred and blame being out upon non vaccinating parents as if we are personally infecting pro vaccinators children.. I think the "she has all the vaccinations she needs" line will be the one I use.. I will continue to be honest with my drs or if we ever need to go to the ER I think..
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#15 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 01:10 PM
 
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I'm one of the truth-tellers, so I couldn't take the poll. The topic came up at a playgroup a couple of years ago. It was my second time with this group, and one of the moms announced that she wanted to know everyone's vaccine status so that she knew her daughter was "safe." The first person to speak up was the lone dad, who said that he wouldn't vaccinate his son because of a history of reactions in his family. He added that if this mom took issue with that, she may need to find another playgroup. love.gif I took his cue and told the truth about our selective schedule. She was stuttered something awkward like, "Thanks for letting me know." Ironically, she stayed in the playgroup.

Here's why I don't mind telling the truth. First, I don't understand the reasoning of parents with immunocompromised children who think that being around the fully vaccinated guarantees absolute safety. There are hundreds more pathogens outside of what vaccines target, and even the vaccine-targeted ones are getting spread among the vaccinated. (Also, have you noticed that while a teensy-weensy portion of people file medical exemptions, a disproportionate amount of your friends and media anecdotes make it seem like oodles of children medically can't get vaccinated? eyesroll.gif Maybe it's just me . . . ) All of that said, even the most misinformed parents have a right to know. If they freak out about my answer, I can then make the case that I did above.

The other reason I tell the truth--and this sort of sounds bad--is to put the burden and problem on them, just like my daddy friend did with the playgroup mom. It gets harder when family and people close to you get over-the-top pushy, but they need to know that you won't be coerced into choosing between vaccine schedule compliance and seeing them. "Hmmm. Well, my unvaxxed toddler naps at noon. Do you want to come over then to reduce the chance of exposure?" Or, "Well, we won't be getting flu shots this year. That's a bummer because we were hoping to meet the baby. Would you like to meet up when it's no longer flu season?"

In a similar vain, I have an asthmatic nephew who can't around be around dogs. My dog is older than he is, and we're not going to get rid of her. So I honor that family's needs and ours by not meeting at our pet-hair house when my nephew is in toe. Make sense?

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#16 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 01:15 PM
 
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Now that I think about it, it would be really tough to tell the truth in an antagonistic setting, but I think I'd still do it and take the bullets. I don't debate super narrow minded people, but I might shut them off with, "I'm sorry you have such a black and white view. It sounds like you have some more research to do."
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#17 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 04:21 PM
 
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Once I used the "we are as up-to-date as we will be" line. I'd probably use it again if we were in a hurry or if someone was genuinely curious. Think that was the only time we were ever outright asked though.  If the question were said with any sort of attitude though, I would have no problem with the complete truth and giving the inquisitor an earful about my personal, immediate family's, and extended family's reactions, plus our other reasons for not vaccinating.

Actually, now that I'm thinking about it, I'd love to think quickly enough to ask if they are up to date on their boosters before giving my answer.

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#18 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 04:39 PM
 
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If you are in an ER with your LO, be careful. Not vaccinating on schedule can be interpreted as child neglect; of course this depends on the attitude of the ER physician who is a legal required informant, but it is something to be fully aware of.


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#19 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 04:56 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by applejuice View Post
 

If you are in an ER with your LO, be careful. Not vaccinating on schedule can be interpreted as child neglect; of course this depends on the attitude of the ER physician who is a legal required informant, but it is something to be fully aware of.

 

The ER can be a dangerous place to tell the truth about not vaccinating. In a addition to the reason above, there is a high likelihood of it taking attention away from the medical emergency at hand.

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#20 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 05:06 PM
 
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On the other hand, if they think you're vaccinated against measles, they will not even consider the possibility that you have measles (if that's what you have), and you will be misdiagnosed, possibly delaying proper treatment.

 

Darned if you do, and darned if you don't.

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#21 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 05:23 PM
 
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On the other hand, if they think you're vaccinated against measles, they will not even consider the possibility that you have measles (if that's what you have), and you will be misdiagnosed, possibly delaying proper treatment.

 

Darned if you do, and darned if you don't.

 

But I wouldn't take my children to the hospital just for a fever and a rash. If there were any complications, they could diagnose and treat those separately. There's nothing the hospital can do to treat measles itself.

 

Besides, if my kids had measles, I think I would strongly suspect it. If there was a reason for me to want the hospital to test for it, of course I would divulge the lack of measles vaccination. But if there weren't any complications requiring treatment, I'd rather stay home, not risk exposing others, and avoid the health department getting in our business.

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#22 of 34 Old 04-10-2014, 05:43 PM
 
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This really angers me. Every exam room, emergency or not, needs to be a safe haven for people. Nobody should ever be made to feel afraid of seeking basic or emergency care. Nobody should have to second guess a trip to ER out of fear of bullying or maltreatement. irked.gif

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#23 of 34 Old 04-28-2014, 07:51 PM
 
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#24 of 34 Old 04-28-2014, 08:05 PM
 
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I say I'm selecting/delaying, they don't have to know I select none and delay forever.

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#25 of 34 Old 04-29-2014, 05:06 AM
 
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#26 of 34 Old 04-29-2014, 05:55 AM
 
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We got the chicken pox and my husband was freaked out because he thought we would be outcasts in our community.

 

First - everyone, including the health department and doctor, assumed that we had a vaccine failure because they see it so much. Second - all it did was encourage mama's to tell me they don't vax either. Well, except for our friends with MD's or who work for pharma companies who decided to post endless links about Jenny McCarthy duh.gif - because that is why all non-vaxers decided against vaccinations

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#27 of 34 Old 04-29-2014, 10:38 AM
 
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Our families know, and they are all totally fine with it. One time, a friend asked (not sure why), and I told her the truth. She seemed to take it well, but we don't hang out that often anymore. Hmmm...LOL!

 

I've been in the ER for a few minor things like stitches and they've asked. I said no we don't vax, and the nurse try to warn me about a measles outbreak, and I didn't say much. (funny, when I was in the ER for a cut, they never asked me if I was up to date on all my vaccines...) In the future, if we're ever in there again, I told my DH that he can do the check in.

 

Regarding everyone else, it will depend on the person and situation. I think a good answer to someone you want to blow off would be "we did a lot of research and just do the ones we feel are necessary".

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#28 of 34 Old 04-29-2014, 02:33 PM
 
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I always am honest and tell them we don't vax. Weirdly there is not an option for that on the poll?
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#29 of 34 Old 04-29-2014, 02:37 PM
 
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In an ER situation I don't love the reaction, but I do always tell the truth. I would VPDs to be part of the differential dx if applicable. Weirdly enough of all our ER/urgent care trips (we've had our share) they rarely ask about vax status and even if so don't say anything about it when I say "never been vaccinated by choice." Except the one time we brought DD1 in with a head injury (nothing bleeding, just worried about concussion.)...The ER doc got all pissy about us not trusting vaccines. I finally said "this has nothing to do with why we are here today." And he calmed down.
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#30 of 34 Old 04-29-2014, 02:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nukuspot
...The ER doc got all pissy about us not trusting vaccines.

Not


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