Keep Your Unvaccinated Kid Away From my Child!

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Flickr photo by alvi2047
A measles outbreak in San Diego has parents who decided not to vaccinate their child as a toddler to credit (or should that be blame?).

An article in the upcoming issue of Pediatrics that took an in-depth look at the infectious disease outbreak back in 2008 estimates 839 people were exposed to measles because a boy's parents purposely opted not to vaccinate.

He contracted the disease in Europe, then brought it back to the US.

Of the 800 people, at least 11 were unvaccinated children who got sick. A number were simply too young to yet be taken to the pediatrician for their shots. One of the youngest, an infant, was hospitalized for three days and suffered a 106-degree fever.

Measles, is of course, one of the components of the controversial MMR vaccine, the one that one in every four parents still believes is linked to autism, despite mounting evidence to the contrary.

Traditionally administered to toddlers in two doses, the regimen should be complete by the time toddlers are ready for big kid school. But this boy was 7, and he was attending a charter school where 11 percent of the kids were unvaccinated.

With the importance of what they call herd immunity -- essentially a safety in numbers produced by more and more kids getting their vaccines -- the risk of infection in that school building became greater with each child whose parents opted against the shots. Likewise younger kids -- be they babies who were too young for their first shot or toddlers who had yet to receive the second dosage -- and the immuno-compromised were put at a heightened risk by this set of parents' selfish decision.

Why selfish? Because as the study's authors are quoted in Business Week, "It's ... a reminder that people who choose not to vaccinate don't just put themselves and their children at risk, but also their communities, which includes infants who are too young to immunize."

Based on the immense amount of scientific evidence that vaccines are safer than no vaccines, parents need to think in the broad spectrum when they make their children's health decision. Because, frankly, if you don't want to vaccinate your kid, I don't want them sitting next to mine in kindergarten.

Do you worry about how the non-vax crowd might affect your family?

health, in the news, vaccines

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APeve... APeveteaux

When my son was two months old, and obviously way too young for any vaccines, there was a measles outbreak in Brooklyn. I don't know if I've ever been angrier at my fellow parents. You put my baby at risk. And no matter what flawed logic you use -- that's wrong. Selfish and wrong.

NDesmond NDesmond

I worry about stuff like this, and this is exactly why I choose to vaccinate! Luckily, my toddler son attends a daycare that requires shots be up to date for children to attend.

BaisMom BaisMom

Don't go to Europe then. Problem solved.

ethan... ethans_momma06

Wait... even if EVERYONE got their shots on schedual- infants would still be at risk and INFANTS could be passing this disease on to others, like those who are not protected (but recieved) a vaccine. Does that mean we should innoculate at birth now? Just in case?

The immense amount of vaccine information does NOT point to vaccine saftey, OR to how 'effective' vaccines are supposed to be. That information is conveluted at best. The fact remains that (if what YOUR informantion says is correct) YOUR child (who is vaccinated) is way more likely to pass on a disease (especially when inoculated with a live vaccine) to my unvaccinated child, then the other way around.

ethan... ethans_momma06

You are welcome to shoot whatever crap into your child in the name of 'safety', but please- Let me be the parent when it comes to the health and well being of MY child, obviously my childs health is not what is in YOUR best intrest. I really think that maybe YOU need to look into the 'broad spectrum' before decideding that non-vaccinated (by choice) children pose a risk.

Keep in mind when you give your child the chicken pox vaccine (or varicella vax) that I would really appreciate it if your child weren't allowed next to mine. Since it is a 'live' vacc. theres a good chance your child will give the virus to MY child. Oh, and after you have injected that into their bodies- keep them in a closet would you? There's an increased risk of shingles associated with that vaccine, and shingles cause chickenpox in children who have never had it.

Mommy... MommySteph06

Call me selfish all you want but I will call you uneducated.

auror... aurorabunny

If you believe that your poisonous vaccines work so well then why are you even worried about it?

cooki... cookiedough100

I applaud the comments of ethans-momma06, mommysteph06, and aurorabunny. My kids are no longer vaccinated, especially since my son is currently being evaluated for autism. And i don't care what "evidence" is there to say MMR doesn't trigger autism. My son changed when he got the MMR, and it wasn't for the better.


You choose what's best for your children, and I'll do what's right for mine.

nonmember avatar katekilla

It's strange to hear people who refer to vaccines as "poisons" go on to refer to themselves as "educated." I mean, I guess Googling things and listening to Dr. Jenny McCarthy provides some kind of education, but clearly not enough.

@Aurorabunny, the reason many parents who do vaccinate their kids worry about exposure is quite simple -- no vaccine is 100% effective on 100% of the children who receive it. That's why doctors and scientists refer to "herd immunity" -- it means that a community is protected once a certain (high) proportion of its children are vaccinated, but once that number slips below a certain percentage, then kids -- even vaccinated kids -- are at risk. Naturally this also means that adults and babies who may not be protected by vaccines are also at risk -- in the case of measles, this can lead to devastating birth defects if a pregnant women were infected.

All of these risks are real and proven, in actual scientific studies. Just like the studies that have repeatedly and incontrovertibly failed to find any link whatsoever between vaccines and autism. I'm very sorry for any parent facing autism or any other scary diagnosis for her child, I really am. But when it comes to educating yourself, I sure wish people would put their faith in folks who actually know a thing or two, not quacks trying to make a buck or celebrities desperately seeking relevance.

jsben... jsbenkert

I hate that this topic so quickly disintegrates into name-calling and accusations that the "other side" is uneducated.
Many of us, including myself, have decided that the risks associated with vaccines are small compared to the benefits. I say this as a parent who has had both her children vaccinated (after many discussions with our pediatrician as well as doing our own research) and as a parent of a child who has autism. I do not believe that vaccines had any role in her disorder.
Some parents read or interpret studies that cause them to doubt the safety and efficacy of vaccines and decide that the risk is too great for their comfort and choose not to vaccinate their children. That is their choice, I believe.
However, if parents choose not to vaccinate their children, they do carry a certain responsibility to use caution when they bring their children to places where there will be infants or pregnant women. At very least, they owe it to others to disclose the possible risk. If there is any chance that their children have been exposed to diseases like chickenpox or measles, they must keep their children away from children who are too young to be vaccinated, and women who are pregnant, or those whose immune responses have been compromised, as exposing those groups of people to preventable disease can be very dangerous and sometimes fatal. It's not a judgement; it's just common sense and responsible behavior.

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