You've Decided Not to Vaccinate -- Now What?


how not to vaccinate your childrenSo, you already know for your own person reasons -- whether religious, safety concerns or other -- that you do not want to vaccinate your children. What do you do next? How do you not vaccinate your children while still allowing them to be a part of a world that in many places still strongly encourages or even requires immunizations?

The key is to get informed, and know your rights. In many cases there are exemptions.

Yes, there are strong opinions about this issue, and as always you are invited to comment -- constructively -- below. But this post is intended more so to help the moms who have already carefully considered and made this important choice, rather than to debate the pros and cons of immunizations.

I asked a few non-vaccinating CafeMoms, Jessy0419 and FiberMama, to share their experiences so other moms can be prepared when the times comes:

How do you find a doctor that will welcome you to his practice? Some doctors refuse to treat non-vaccinated children.

I see a family practice physician rather than a pediatrician, says Jessy0419. We go back and forth, trading information but he doesn't pressure me, he just informs me. I just told him that right now I was going to hold off vaccinating because the ingredients and things made me uncomfortable. I didn't have to fill out anything.

FiberMama says: If they say no, I don't hire them.You hire your doctor to provide you a service, and if they are unable or unwilling to provide that service, you need to find someone else who will.  It's not about hurting their feelings, it's about finding someone you also like who will provide the service you need. My children's health is far more important to me.

Are there resources for finding vaccine friendly doctors?

I look up pediatricians in the phone book and start making phone calls, FiberMama says. And then I ask whether they take non-vaccinated children. If the answer is no, I keep calling. I'm also willing to travel to find the right doc. I also look to other non-vaccinating mothers to provide referrals to good doctors.

Some CafeMom groups where you can turn: Choosing Not to Vaccinate, Moms Choosing A Vccine Free & Natural Lifestyle and Educate Before You Vaccinate.

Jessy0419 adds that Dr Sears has a list of vaccine friendly doctors on his web page. Other people just call and ask whether they will welcome and treat a family who has made this decision.

What if you want to send your non-vaccinated child to day care?

You do NOT have to vaccinate your children for them to attend school. We home school so we're really lucky that this isn't an issue for us, says FiberMama. Legal requirements for public school and public day cares vary from state to state. All states have religious and medical exemptions. There is some good info at the National Vaccine Information Center and Unhindered Living, with state by state laws and form letters.  

Ohio allows for a philosophical exemption, so I would simply write a letter stating that we have opted not to vaccinate for personal reasons and give it to the appropriate person.

What do you need to do to enroll your child in public school?

Every state has different exemptions and processes, Jesse0419 says. For my state, Virginia, I filed a religious exemption due to many of the vaccines being cultured on aborted fetal tissue, and the fact that the side effects listed on the package inserts list "death" as a side effect. 

I got sample vaccination exemption wording from Vaccination Liberation, says Jessee0419. There was a form to print out and include my child's records. I didn't get my 5 year old her scheduled booster shots, so I needed this for her. There was no time involved, other than going to have things notarized. 

The school also has a policy that says in the event of an epidemic (12 or more cases) of a vaccine-prevented illness, I have to remove my child for 21 days, Jesse0419 says. I don't know how this works for Chicken Pox if she's already had it, but I could have a blood titer done to check for immunity and present that to avoid removing her for 21 days.

Is there anything else you do to help boost your child's natural immunity?

Jesse0419 says: There are also people who supplement their children's diets. I basically just stay with a healthy diet full of fruits and vegetables (organic if I can afford it) and keep them as healthy as possible, like any other parent.

Anything else non-vaccinating moms need to know?

My only suggestion would be not to be pushy but BE INFORMED! Jessy0419 says. Non-vaccinating parents need to present their reasons in a smart way and in a way that makes people think about their decision.

FiberMama agrees, and adds: Arm yourself with information! People who tend to get offended about hot-button subjects like this often tend not to be able to support why they have made the decision that they have (and that goes for both sides of this subject). There is so much bias, but if you dig, look at immunology and epidemiology studies, medical journals, the CDC website, talk to your doctors, etc., you will find the information. 

Whichever way you choose to go, have information on why you do it, and then know your rights to follow your choice. If you don't know them, you won't know when they've been taken away either. There are many different ways to vaccinate -- completely on schedule, partially, delayed, partially and delayed, or not at all. Know why you chose it, and how to do it legally.

++Is there anything else non-vaccinating parents need to know?

doctor visits, health, safety


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

StarM... StarMommy77

What a great informative article!

We have not vaxed our children.. 9 and 3 yrs old. They are super healthy.. One thing that was left out of the article is the focus and emphasis on eating healthy foods a balanced diet. We started out slowly and eating healthy has become a normal part of our family.

Our children attend school on Religious waivers. You can use Religious waivers in all states except WV and MS. I suggest you use Religious waivers even if you have vaccinated and stopped.

I wish any mom luck researching vaccines. Mothers must. The controversy is here for a reason.. Be brave and be willing to be your child's advocate, b/c right now.. no one else is but you.

Lizy41 Lizy41

What a wonderful discussion....I have always wanted to tell what I have experienced

 Years ago....late 50's my father....a Chiropractor...decided to go against the grain of

society and none of us we vaccinated.  I am in my 60's now and I did that with my children.  You have to be persuaded in your mind that this is the way to go.  It has to be a conviction....not a convience..  You will have stand against most likely your family members.  It is possible to do this and be very healthy.  There are DR. who will agree with you but who cannot say anything for fear of their liscense. Thank you for letting me share.

avasm... avasmom1606

so I understand 1 side effect is death (which vaccine btw cause I've never seen it listed on my child's vaccine info packet) but, diseases could also cause death and they make vaccines to prevent a child to get a disease that could cause death. does this also mean that you won't allow your child to get Tx for certain diseases they may get?like if your kid got cancer (God forbid anyone experience this) cancer could require radiation  which causes your child to feel/get worse before get better, but if you don't do radiation it's a good chance your child won't survive the cancer, what do you decide then? what if a Dr said your child would probably never would have gotten sick or in worse case scenarios, died if you just would've vaccinated w/the risk of death from a vaccine being 100,000,000 to 1 if that? and the risk of death with certain diseases that are prevented from a vaccine being much less, like 1000 to 1 (haven't researced, just saying) I'm not judging parents who choose not to do it & I don't expect anyone to judge me cause I do it. the daycare my child goes to REQUIRES vaccines even though she's only been there a total of 5 times, I've not heard of any daycares in my area that don't require it, or schools for that matter.cause some diseases spread around like chicken pox, measles, mumps, etc. no one wants the school to have one kid start an outbreak just cause no vaccines. just curious about non vaccine parents handling certain situations.

dovet... dovetailthreads

Thank you so much for this article!  Its honestly the first non-biased article with lots of actually accurate information!  Thank you thankyou thank you - most magazines are choc full of misinformation - glad this is there to set the record straight.

I am actually an admin of choosing not to vaccinate and my responsibility is maintaining a list of anti-vax friendly doctors.  There are over 200 on the list currently! : )

tyrel... tyrelsmom

Well, it's pretty easy to figure out things for non vaccinating moms, I think.  We all know about those waivers. What's hard is when you're trying to reduce the risk from both sides by delaying vaxes and selectively vaxing.  You're still vaxing, so you can't get off on a religious exemption, there's no diagnosed medical reason so you can't use that one, so if you can't use the philosophical, you're hooped. Besides which, finding non-biased information on either the diseases OR the vaxes is pretty hard.  Everything seems either hard core one way or the other, Dr. Sears of course being an exception.

mom2b... mom2boys1329

Dear Avas mom. Most of us who choose not to vaccine know that there are otherthings our children can get! But we also know that we also know that just becuz kids get vaccinated does not mean they won't get sick from the diseases that our kids aren't vaccinated agents. I think that's a huge misconception about vaccines. Just because we have them dosent mean we are immune to things. I worked in childcare and we had whooping cough out break in our town. Kids that were vax for it still got it. So I think at this point its all what u feel comfortable with! Our family isn't agents vaccines we jusy chose to research them all and choose which ones to give our boys, and which ones not too! I think they need to GREEN OUR VACCINES! The cdc is nieve to think the vaccines don't effect our kids differently!

mom2-... mom2-2crazyboys

Great article. I think one of the most important things that was mentioned was staying informed! Once the decision is made to not vaccinate, you are confronted with a lot of questions. It is almost a given that any non-vaccinating parent will know a ton about any given disease and/or vaccine! LOL!

As for the daycare situation, it shouldn't be any different than schools. My son attends a daycare, I work in one, and I have helped set up new daycares, and all that is required is a signed waiver just like for the schools.

Lindalu2 Lindalu2

The jury is still out. I read it all... but there have been zero cases of autism in my family or in-laws family. I hope there are no children getting measles and losing their hearing., for example,...I seriously hope there will not be any epidemics of any childhood diseases due to this "no vaccines" trend. Its scary.  BTW, Moms do not vax their kids. Doctors vaccinate children Moms don't do it. Every time i see the phrase "I chose not to vax my kid" it strikes me as funny since you do not actually have access to the vaccine,do you?

auror... aurorabunny

Good article, good PP said I think stuff most of us who don't vaccinate already knew, but good for those curious at any rate.  And just for the sake of public education, I will say again that *most* moms who don't vaccinate don't do it for fear of autism.  My son is already autistic so that most certainly wasn't our concern. :)

simpl... simplyjaneen

A couple of more things to add to boosting immunity naturally:

Breastfeed as long as you can. As long as your child is breastfeeding, he/she is getting immunities from you.

AVOID sugar as much as possible. Sugar decreases immunity by a lot so avoid it as much as you can and feed the child a diet that is as unprocessed as possible.

1-10 of 14 comments 12 Last