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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?

Groovee Fri 13-Jul-12 12:39:24

I used to be a baby room supervisor with babies as young as 3 months who obviously haven't had their MMR. One christmas we returned to one child having mumps and one having measles. Both were in the 2+ room and had had their MMR's. No one else in the nursery caught either but one mum had a tantrum about the fact we allowed unvaccinated children in to the nursery. We then pointed out her 14 month old hadn't had his MMR yet as she kept cancelling the appointment.

My friend never had the whooping cough vaccine due to how many of her family had seizures after having it.

ChunkyPickle Fri 13-Jul-12 12:47:39

I think you're giving Louise a hard time, I know, that if I was pregnant then I would favour for my older son a nursery that could assure me that their vaccinated children percentage was above herd immunity over one that couldn't. You are perfectly at liberty to not vaccinate your child either by choice, or medical need - but I would like to be able to make an informed decision so I can judge the risks for my family too.

I am vaccinated, DS1 is vaccinated, but for quite a while, the new baby wouldn't be and I would prefer to minimise the risk of exposure.

Yes, I will still be taking the risk when around town, or at mother and baby groups etc. but if DS is spending 4 -8 hours with a group of children a few times a week that is a much more likely vector - for the exact same reason that they require vaccination at a cattery - close, extended proximity.

hellsbells77 Fri 13-Jul-12 12:51:29

Bumbleymummy, on the other side, I do not understand the logic of not vaccinating. Apart from Maples personal example, noone else has put a real reason for not doing so. Louise's logic is not about being worried about a very few individuals but the growing number of individuals that aren't vaccinating making pockets or small communities of those who don't. This in turn creates a higher risk for all, both vaccinated and non-vaccinated, to get diseases that as a society we have taken for granted that we don't get anymore or are no longer about. They are about and there are an increasing number of cases of them because of this resurgence in the lack of uptake.

The vaccines only work if the vast majority have them but there is a tip over point where if the percentage of those not vaccinating reaches a certain point the vaccines are no longer effective and this puts all at risk, and, as a country, we are heading towards this point.

Unless there is a specific or family medical reason for not vaccinating I personally do not understand why one would choose not to. The risks involved with not vaccinating far outweigh having the vaccine and possible side effects or risks of it, of which they are still arguing over whether vaccines actually cause or not.

Justme23 Fri 13-Jul-12 13:03:20

Hardly arrogant as I can't see where I have declared the team that treated your tumour as the cream of the medical crop. You forget, medical professionals are only human and are faced with tonnes of paperwork, regimes, cuts and changes to procedures every time some money grabber complains that the doctor who legally can not tell them what to do gave them a choice and they chose wrong and are now suing the doc, practice, the NHS, etc etc.
Highlighting the PROVEN FACT, that vaccinations SAVE LIVES is hardly arrogant.
This "discussion" is very one sided it seems.

bumbleymummy Fri 13-Jul-12 13:15:28

"The vaccines only work if the vast majority have them but there is a tip over point where if the percentage of those not vaccinating reaches a certain point the vaccines are no longer effective and this puts all at risk, and, as a country, we are heading towards this point. "

Hellsbells, are you suggesting that vaccines only provide protection when a certain percentage of the population has been vaccinated?

The logic behind some people not vaccinating has already been explained on this thread. Also, it is accepted that there is a risk of vaccine damage which is why the government pays out compensation (although not enough!) to the families of vaccine damaged children. The side effects and risks of vaccines are very real for some people.

bumbleymummy Fri 13-Jul-12 13:16:36

Justme, it's one sided because the OP is trying to understand why people don't vaccinate so people are trying to explain that.

Pagwatch Fri 13-Jul-12 13:31:40

My DD isn't vaccinated.
Would you like her to maybe get a tattoo or ring a bell ?

The vaccination programme is voluntary. Starting to be sniffy about whether children attending nursery have been vaccinated or not is just an attempt to make it compulsory via the back door.

maples Fri 13-Jul-12 14:08:06

Just me it really isn't that simple. Most patients understand errors are made. I informed pals both times about my incorrect treatment, but my concern was to protect other patients because the errors were systemic not one offs. I have never sought any cash or even an apology. I have friends who are drs and I understand how over stretched resources are.

Recently a dr gave me another patient's consent form to sign for an op and this revealed the whole consultation had been carried out on another patient's notes and my medical history and notes had never even been read. I did not complain because I understand he is human and errors are made. He was a very good, caring and kind dr otherwise.

Of course vaccines save lives, but the patient has to be able to make an informed choice about when and which to accept.

As you say, drs do not know everything and the medical profession told mothers thalidomide was safe. There are a lot of 'unknowns' about the human body and so many questions to which no-one yet knows the answer.

As best I can I have decided for my DS because I believe he is at higher risk from mmr side effects than average.

ChunkyPickle Fri 13-Jul-12 14:10:06

It's not about individuals, but about population. Measles for instance is 90% infectious given exposure if you're unvaccinated - that would tear like wildfire though a majority unvaccinated nursery - your one infected child quickly becomes most of the class (unvaccinated portion + the vacced but susceptible child) because it's all but impossible to keep it isolated when a majority of the children have the infection.

If the nursery is largely vaccinated, then the chances are much better that the infected child will not bump into the vaccinated but not protected, or an unvaccinated child, and the outbreak will fizzle there.

Again, it's not about unvacced children being plague carriers, or wanting them branded - I have no desire to know the vaccination status of your child, but I want to be able to make an informed decision about the risks my child is taking by knowing the general stats - just as you are able to about your decision not to vaccinate.

CatherinaJTV Fri 13-Jul-12 14:13:27

I think nurseries should have the information about the vaccination status of the children who attend. Waldorf nurseries, for example, close down for a couple of weeks when certain diseases circulate, because pertussis and measles do spread like kennel cough among unvaccinated children.

maples Fri 13-Jul-12 14:24:01

Children's medical history is private though, isn't it? You wouldn't be told if a child had HIV / hep b, even without that child being named.

Bunbaker Fri 13-Jul-12 14:29:40

I'm being a bit thick here, but what social or religious reasons are there against vaccination?

I am fully aware of medical reasons.

maples Fri 13-Jul-12 14:31:42

I'm interested in that too bun baker. I am a believer in vaccinating. All I am doing is spreading DS's out a bit.

ChunkyPickle Fri 13-Jul-12 14:33:10

But I would expect to be able to access how many accidents had happened at a nursery - without the details of who had them.

I think that throwing HIV and hep b in are red herrings - they are both very hard to catch, especially given toddlers tend not to engage in the high risk activities for them. Basic hygiene deals with the risk from both - unlike measles.

How about if we said drug resistant TB - something that is easy to share between people during normal, day to day behaviour - wouldn't you want your nursery to inform you that your child had been exposed so you could go and get them checked/treated? (assuming you don't live in an area with early BCG)

bumbleymummy Fri 13-Jul-12 14:37:45

I know my friend wasn't give her rubella vaccine when we were teenagers because aborted foetuses were involved in the development of the vaccine. Just one example...

maples Fri 13-Jul-12 14:46:22

Apparently tb is also quite hard to catch, but I agree HIV and hep b are very different.

Chicken pox might be a better example. - we don't get told how many children have not already had it and so are not immune.

LadySucre Fri 13-Jul-12 14:46:56

Chutney - you would be informed if there was any 'outbreak' anyway.

Nits, measles, d&v, influenza etc etc . The nursery would be duty bound to inform you that you could get your child checked, stay away, close down for however long.

maples Fri 13-Jul-12 14:46:59

Bumbley interesting - didn't realise it was that kind of objection

ChunkyPickle Fri 13-Jul-12 15:01:53

Chickenpox is an alternative - you would expect to be told if children had it though (thus sharing their medical information).

For chickenpox you have to live with the worst-case scenario. For measles/mumps/diptheria/whooping cough/whatever though I know that there is a better case scenario - that most children are vaccinated so an outbreak is unlikely - given the choice, why wouldn't you want to go with the best case scenario.

I think it's hard to compare though really, because chickenpox in children is annoying, but generally mild, and rarely life-threatening (not the case in adults or compromised patients) whereas measles and mumps have a higher rate of serious complications (which I would presume is one reason that we don't vaccinate against it in the UK)

bumbleymummy Fri 13-Jul-12 15:05:28

Mumps doesn't really have a high rate of complications in children. Neither does rubella.

ChunkyPickle Fri 13-Jul-12 15:06:28

LadySucre - that's good, but the outbreak is more likely the higher the number of vaccinated children. If DS is unlucky, and is that 5% child who's not protected despite being vaccinated, then in a nursery class of 10 vaccinated children he's very, very unlikely to meet with another 5%er who has caught it.

If however he's in a class of 10 unvaccinated kids, 90% of which will catch measles from one exposure, he has 9 more chances to get infected - ie a 10 fold increase if he licked every member of his class.

Yes the maths is a touch dodgy, but it's still a very serious increase, and one I can avoid simply by knowing what proportion of vaccinated children are in his class.

ChunkyPickle Fri 13-Jul-12 15:07:57

higher the number of unvaccinated children

Accuracyrequired Fri 13-Jul-12 15:11:27

"a group of parents who, with no disrespect intended, think themselves better qualified to make the decision than their doctor."

quite a lot of them are better qualified than their doctor to make the decision about their own children, because the doctors are thinking on the population level

often the parents have done an exceptional amount of reading and research and if as you say you are looking at it from a "medical perspective" then you'll know how much time is spent during medical training on immunisation (not a lot)

LadySucre Fri 13-Jul-12 15:12:15

Yes, I can see what you are saying. But, when you look at the bigger picture, your child is vaccinated. The chances of your child not getting the immunity are quite small. So, he has to be unfortunate enough to not get the immunity, unfortunate enough to be exposed to a disease, unfortunate enough to catch the disease and even more unfortunate enough to dedvelop a major complication.

Looking at it that way, I would say it is extremly bad luck if it happened to him, and also extremely unlikely.

Accuracyrequired Fri 13-Jul-12 15:12:49

that was for justme

why are there so many vaccination threads at the moment, it's like a disinformation campaign to distract attention from the whooping cough outbreaks in highly vaccinated populations, the GSK abuse of trust and so on and so forth

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