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Vaccinations and nursery schools

(564 Posts)
Louise1010 Fri 13-Jul-12 00:04:37

This is my first post so forgive me if I do anything wrong!

I am just beginning to look at nursery schools for my 15 month old son, and I am a bit surprised that they don't seem to care whether or not he has been vaccinated. I expected it to be a requirement.

It seems incredible to me that I have to provide evidence of my cat's jabs to the cattery but when it comes to children anything goes.

Has anyone come across a nursery school in the UK that does require it?

RevoltingChildren Fri 13-Jul-12 00:19:37

My children's school wanted the kids to have had their tetanus jab as it saves hassle if they have an accident but in the uk schools and nurseries are not able to discriminate Against an unvaccinated child.

Ds was not fully vaccinated until he was about 6. Some children for various reasons never are. It's parental choice

At catteries/kennels kennel cough spreads like wildfire so it's a totally different thing.

Accuracyrequired Fri 13-Jul-12 02:23:16

If your concern is about your vaccinated child mixing with unvaccinated children I shouldn't worry. I'm sure you feel confident that he is protected by his immunisations.

Louise1010 Fri 13-Jul-12 07:21:31

I guess partly I feel there's a principle at stake, and also no vaccine is 100% effective in everyone but we are protected by the 'herd immunity' of everyone else being vaccinated. 'Parent choice' puts other people's children at risk.

I know the risk is relatively small but I feel very strongly about it and wanted to make this a criteria we used when choosing a nursery. It seems I don't get that choice.

bumbleymummy Fri 13-Jul-12 09:16:38

Louise, what principle is that? You realise that your 'criteria' would discriminate and take away freedom of choice don't you?

Louise1010 Fri 13-Jul-12 09:31:10

For me it's a public health issue rather than freedom of choice. Parents who choose not to vaccinate are putting my child at risk. I don't think that is right. But other than keep him in a bubble there is nothing I can do about it!

LadySucre Fri 13-Jul-12 09:35:24

If you want to vaccinate your child, go ahead, but don't expect to decide for other parents. If you feel vaccination is worthwhile to give your child the best chance of being protected, then I don't see the problem. It would be the unvaccinated child whose parents are taking a bigger risk. Such as myself.

bumbleymummy Fri 13-Jul-12 09:38:10

Louise, maybe you should take a little time to think about why that child isn't vaccinated.

I'm not sure why you think your child is at risk if they have been vaccinated. Unless you think the vaccine hasn't worked, in which case, your child is also capable of putting people at risk.

LadySucre Fri 13-Jul-12 09:39:05

I may be putting my child at risk by vaccinating him. We all have our own reasons for vaccinating or not. You do not decide what I feel is best for my child. Likewise I do not decide what is best for yours.

LadySucre Fri 13-Jul-12 09:39:34

great post bumble.

Louise1010 Fri 13-Jul-12 09:47:03

I just can't understand, no disrespect, why you would take that risk? I genuinely can't see any other side to the argument. I have tried! Please don't think I am being rude, I am genuinely trying to understand.

Parents who don't vaccinate are making a choice for me by increasing the risk of diseases within the general population. It's not just their children that can be affected. And the risk they take is hugely reduced by the parents that do vaccinate. It all seems mixed up!

bumbleymummy Fri 13-Jul-12 09:52:03

Louise, for some children, vaccines are the bigger risk. You do know about vaccine damage don't you? (not being patronising, some people genuinely haven't)

I'm still not sure why you think you/your child are at increased risk if you have been vaccinated.

Louise1010 Fri 13-Jul-12 09:53:10

bumbleymummy, I agree that there are sometimes medical reasons why a child cannot be vaccinated, as well as no vaccination being 100% effective. It is my understanding that the way vaccines work is by protecting most of the population, which then protects the few that aren't protected. If the vaccination rate drops below a certain rate then the risk of disease goes up by a lot. People who don't vaccinate for anything other than a medical reason are helping to create that situation.

bumbleymummy Fri 13-Jul-12 09:55:45

Yes, Louise it's a theory called herd immunity.

So are you saying that you don't mind unvaccinated children who have medical exemptions going to your nursery? I thought your concern was that they are putting your (vaccinated) child at risk.

maples Fri 13-Jul-12 09:58:48

Louise I am generally a very responsible mum - good 'professional' job, school governor for 6 years, have done a lot of voluntary work, but I will not be giving DS his mmr until he is 4. He will have a single measles jab at 18 months.

My reasoning is as follows. We have a family history of autoimmune conditions. I have several myself and just had a benign tumour removed which was probably auto immune in origin. My DS has previously had pretty bad reactions to jabs.

As his mother I have to do what I think is right for him and I think the mmr with 3 live vaccines is too much at this age (he is 12 months). He will have mmr later and measles soon. Mumps and rubella are generally mild if caught below puberty.

saggarmakersbottomknocker Fri 13-Jul-12 09:59:05

So you have an issue with people who don't vaccinate for social or religious reasons then?

And you think the nursery should ask parents if they've vaccinated, and if not why not?

And then refuse those children a place at nursery.

Or is this not really about nursery, more about non-vaxers in general.

maples Fri 13-Jul-12 09:59:37

I would be very against any legal requirement for parents to vaccinate.

maples Fri 13-Jul-12 10:00:18

I know they have vax rules in the us like that.

Louise1010 Fri 13-Jul-12 10:07:10

Yes, herd immunity.

Yes, I wouldn't mind unvaccinated children with medical exemptions at the nursery, as their numbers should keep the balance within herd immunity remaining effective. I do happen to have an issue with those who don't vaccinate for social or religious reasons, but that is besides the point atm.

Maples your case is very interesting to me, thanks for your point of view!

I am beginning to see the practicalities the nursery issue working. Within a small nursery, one child is a large percentage of the 'population'. So with medical exemptions and children form whom the vaccination happens to not be effective, the percentage could swing greatly.

Whilst I still feel strongly about vaccinating being the right thing to do, I can see some of the reasons nursery schools not being ale to require it.

Thanks so much for your input everyone!

LadySucre Fri 13-Jul-12 10:35:00

What about if your child is just playing with friends who have not been vaccinated? Would you stop that?

What if an unvaccinated child had a birthday party? Would you stop yours from atending?

What about primary school. Will your child not attend if there are other unvaccinated children there?

Will you go shopping with your vaccinated dc just incase? Catch a bus, plane, train?

It goes on, you may as well wrap your child up and live in that plastic bubble, because you will always come across unvaccinated children and adults.

LadySucre Fri 13-Jul-12 10:38:16

And how would you 'police' this? Will you carry a book and request personal information from others?

Life is a risk. I have weighed up the pros and cons about vaccination with one of my dc. I decided against the MMR. God forbid if he is permanently damaged by the tiny risk of actually developing the illness. Yet, I am satisfied I have made the right decision.

bumbleymummy Fri 13-Jul-12 10:42:26

Louise, I'm not sure that I understand your logic because I thought you were worried about the risk posed by an unvaccinated child to your own child and others and surely that risk doesn't change depending on the reason for them being unvaccinated.

I'm glad you've taken on board people's reasons for not vaccinating though.

LadySucre Fri 13-Jul-12 10:47:51

my last post doesn't read well. God forbid if my son caught measles and suffered brain damage as a side effect. But looking at the chances of that happening it is extremely slim. But a chance i have taken nonetheless.

Justme23 Fri 13-Jul-12 12:25:08

I look at this from the medical perspective, that measles alone can be a very dangerous and life threatening illness that was once almost completely wiped out, an achievement to celebrate, only to be reversed because choice was given to a group of parents who, with no disrespect intended, think themselves better qualified to make the decision than their doctor.
Universal vaccinating saves lives and protects future communities. This is a proven fact.

maples Fri 13-Jul-12 12:34:01

Just me what an arrogant post. With respect, I have been on the receiving end of medical negligence twice from the medical profession.

Doctors do not know everything and patients have a right to refuse treatment they do not believe to be right for them.

I am sure the team who failed to diagnose my neck tumour by doing an outdated test instead of the more expensive correct test thought as you do. sad angry

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