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AIBU about vaccinations?

(48 Posts)
Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 09:55:26

If you were setting up a playgroup and had chosen to only vaccinate your child in the first year and nothing beyond that, do you think the other parents should be informed of your child's vaccination status?

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 09:56:05

(Assuming your child would be there.)

HollyBerryBush Sat 15-Dec-12 09:57:10


If the other children are vaccinated, their risk is considerably lower than that of the vaccinated child.

The unvaccinated child is the one at risk.

Therefore one would assume, the playgroup setter-upper is aware of this

honeytea Sat 15-Dec-12 10:02:40

If any of the children have immune issues I think their parents should be told, I am not sure if you can legally tell parents about the vaccinations other kids have had though.

OddBoots Sat 15-Dec-12 10:05:01

I think at any playgroup/nursery/school you go to you should probably assume that there will be one or more children either unvaccinated or for whom the vaccine was not 100% effective. I don't think it needs to be explicitly stated.

RightUpMyRue Sat 15-Dec-12 10:06:26

The policy on whether the group allows non-vaccinated children or not should be available to all parents so they can make their minds up about sending their children to the group but the information about specific children's vaccination status should be completely confidential.

Whilst a very good idea vaccinations aren't compulsory.

Yama Sat 15-Dec-12 10:15:33

I didn't know the vaccination status of all the other children at dd's nursery. Same at the moment with ds.

So, if you are the one setting up the playgroup - YANBU.

If you are judging someone for setting up a playgroup with an unvaccinated child - YABU.

Theicingontop Sat 15-Dec-12 10:35:48


lljkk Sat 15-Dec-12 19:27:48

I assume we're talking about a toddler group, here, parents+under school age children?

I would think it was H&S gone mad if the organiser felt obliged to tell all visitors their child's vaccination status.

I know 2 groups run along all the best practice guidelines, policies for everything per PLA advice: they drive me completely bonkers. Cannot relax. Visitors are always breaking rules & being gently told off for something. Can't have pushchairs in building. Can't have bags on chairs. Can't have hot drinks here or there. Can't have this or that food. Can't Can't Can't. Don't get that item out. Don't go in here. Don't go in there (big notices). Doors must be shut if not actually locked just so. Notices up everywhere "YOUR CHILD IS YOUR RESPONSIBILITY". Don't do this. Don't do that. Someone jumps every time you don't shut the door just right. There's a rule for how many breaths you're allowed to take each minute, I reckon. Artificially friendly.


Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 20:30:37

I think I'd like to know, personally. I know it's not compulsory but I'd like to make an informed decision about who my child mixes with. We don't have any immune issues but my neice does and couldn't be vaccinated fully herself yet due to lung damage. To expose a child like that to an unvaccinated child can't be a good idea I suppose.

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 20:32:35

Hollyberrybush apart from the unvaccinated child being at risk, aren't they then also at risk of passing it on to someone else?

Welovecouscous Sat 15-Dec-12 20:33:12

No one's business - you are mixing with un vax children on public transport etc as well.

BUT If there was a child cancer sufferer in the group that would be different - that child's parents should be told.

RubyGates Sat 15-Dec-12 20:35:04

Nope. None of your business.
And it would be a data protection issue.

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sat 15-Dec-12 20:38:00

If you have a child with a seriously compromised immune system, it's down to you to talk to the organisers of any group you attend, so other parents can be extra aware eg not to bring their DC to the group if DC are ill. Though TBH there's always going to be some risk as a lot of diseases are most infectious before anyone's aware that the disease is present.

While I think it's stupid not to vaccinate, it's still not (yet) a legal matter and therefore people shouldn't have to disclose their vaccination status to everyone else.

lifeintheolddogyet Sat 15-Dec-12 20:57:49

Holly what about younger siblings that go along who are not old enough to be vaccinated? My friend's baby caught measles this way and ended up in hospital.

But no, it isn't legal so the group can't make people disclose.

Welovecouscous Sat 15-Dec-12 21:01:52

I would hate it to become mandatory to vaccinate.

WelshMaenad Sat 15-Dec-12 21:03:02

You do know that being vaccinated doesn't guarantee you won't contract an illness, right? I had the single measles and rubella vaccines as a child and still managed to catch both diseases.

crashdoll Sat 15-Dec-12 21:10:12

I think if a child is severely immunocompromised, they should be told that there is an unvaccinated child in the playgroup.

Well if you're going to do that then you should be insisting on checking the immune status of every child. DS1 caught rubella from a vaccinated child.

The playgroup has no right to see medical records btw.

And you should keep away from adults as loads of them are not immune to whooping cough due to waning immunity (see current outbreak). And teenagers :ditto:

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 21:27:18

There will always be people for whom vaccines don't "work" but there's something about setting up a group in which each and every attendee will unknowingly be exposed to one unvaccinated child because of a personal decision of the group leader.

I do know a severely immunocompromised child who was invited on a special trip to the theatre. They asked his doctors about the risk and were told that his greatest risk was from himself (i.e. those viruses we all carry that don't usually make us ill) rather than anyone else.

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 21:29:49

Well quite, saintlyjimjams, but there's almost nothing anyone can do about concomitant viruses and bacteria whereas being exposed to an unvaccinated individual in this situation, is avoidable if given the option.

Well that could happen anywhere tbh. What are you expecting the unvaccinated child to be spreading? If measles I take your point but if whooping cough is the big worry then you should be staying in because lots of vaccinated people are spreading it at the moment as well. Rubella, well see my earlier post about ds1 catching it from a vaccinated child.

But what are you trying to avoid? I mean polio isn't that likely vaccinated or not. Tetanus? No problem. And so on and so forth.

crashdoll Sat 15-Dec-12 21:30:59

saintly I understand that but it's another risk. If my child was severely immunocompromised, I'd want to know so I could ask their doctor and make my own decision. People with compromised immune system (mine is but not severely) make their own risk assessments every day. It's safer if they have all the facts. Why deny someone that?

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 21:30:59

Anything that they could have been vaccinated against, and weren't!!! Take your pick!

But wroughtiron see my earlier point. Measles outbreaks do tend to centre around unvaccinated populations (although they also occur in vaccinated populations) but whooping cough and mumps not so much. Other factors seem to cause those outbreaks.

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 21:36:35

There will always be those who don't serum convert, but that's not an argument to a) not vaccinate in the first place and b) keep quiet about it when exposing other children to the unvaccinated child.

And here's the full list of nasties which the uk schedule attempts to avoid:
The vaccination schedule covers the following diseases:

whooping cough (pertussis)
Hib: vaccination against the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae type B, which can cause meningitis, pneumonia, blood poisoning and infection of the epiglottis (back of the throat)
rubella (German measles)
meningitis C
pneumococcal: vaccination against the bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae (known as pneumococcus), which can cause meningitis, pneumonia, severe ear infections (otitis media) and blood poisoning

TBH most of the kids we see regularly are unvaccinated, or at least half of the family is (younger siblings of disabled kids), or they're partially vaccinated, so I presume it's pretty similar elsewhere.

I do get annoyed with people who send vomiting kids back to school too early, or ill kids to school/playgroups.

OddBoots Sat 15-Dec-12 21:38:10

Why would a leader's child being unvaccinated be any more of a risk than any other unvaccinated child?

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 21:39:59

I think with respect it's a mistake to assume that all areas have the same level of vaccinations. In my locality it's pretty rare to find an unvaccinated child and they are mainly (in my experience) the children of people recently moved to the area, who have missed the schedule or from overseas, or less so, the children of those who object to vaccines.

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 21:41:08

Oddboots they wouldn't, obviously. But perhaps there's an implied duty of care.

Yes but wroughtiron which ones are you worried about? The current outbreak of whooping cough for example is not being driven by unvaccinated individuals. (Even the dept of health says this). So if I had a 4 week old and was worried about whooping cough I just wouldn't be going out much at all until they'd had their jabs. If I was worried about measles with a 4 week old I wouldn't be so fussed because I had measles so would expect a baby of mine to have pretty god passive immunity.

Mumps likewise - when the outbreak was occurring a few years ago you needed to keep away from teenagers and those in their early twenties.

Incidentally iirc a mumsnetter who can't vaccinate her child (doctor's advice) did have a child in the school with immune problems. She asked the consultant and he said it wasn't a concern and she wasn't increasing the risk to the child.

How do you know wroughtiron or do you check every person you meet?

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 21:52:31

I don't think I'm in a position to pick and choose between each disease! My question originally was whether it should be disclosed that the leader of a group will be bringing an unvaccinated child with them. No more than that. And my point is that although vaccinations and disclosure of immune status isn't compulsory, there is a knock on effect to the wider community if people don't vaccinate and perhaps there's a duty of care implied, when an individual firms a group and then exposes that group to a non vaccinated child, which may pose some risk to the group itself or it's associations.

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 21:56:20

FWIW I really don't think anyone's medical status is anyone else's business and whilst I don't support those who refuse vaccines, I do support their right to do it. But there are situations where that decision can impact markedly on the wider community and in those circumstances disclosure may be the way forward. (And anyway if the individual has the courage of their convictions then it's a non-issue.)

SolidGoldFrankensteinandmurgh Sat 15-Dec-12 21:58:51

Do you have a particular grudge against this group leader? There may be other regular attendees who are unvaccinated but have not disclosed it (as they are under no obligation to do so). Is the group leader a loopy hippy anti-vaccination PITA who never shuts up about it?

Oh well, no I don't. It's no different from school, where no-one knows who is vaccinated and who isn't.

If you have a reason to be concerned about your own immunity you have to assume anyone you meet is capable of spreading any disease really. And whilst no you can't pick and choose, different diseases have different methods to best avoid them/different risk groups so if you have a particular concern then you should know how that one spreads. If you were particularly concerned about measles then I could see the point of questioning people on their vaccination status, but not if you were worried about w/c.

Wroughtiron Sat 15-Dec-12 22:01:30

Solidgold no, not in the slightest.

Ok another example.

My friend gave her son the MMR. Decided she didn't want to give him the booster unless he really needed it so she had his immunity checked. Hadn't worked at all against measles. So she vaccinated him again, then had his immunity checked. Hadn't worked at all again, so she gave up, although presumably he'll get the MMR whenever his next booster is due (and who knows whether it will work this time). Should she disclose that her child is not immune from measles (and measles is particularly relevant is pockets of non-immunity do contribute quite strongly to measles outbreaks because of the way it spreads).

This is an interesting thread for me cos we're in the usa and DS (2) absolutely has to be date with all vaccines in order to stay enrolled in his daycare - its NJ state law. I am sure we mix with unvaccinated children at soft play and parks but I like knowing that the children he spends the majority of his time with are.vaccinated.

I know quite a few unvaccinated kids in schools in USA. (Varies from State to State but there are ways round it in most). I have to admit I was surprised though, that the vaccination rates here (without compulsory vaccinations) appeared (last time I looked) to be higher than the states. That did surprise me. I'd always assumed that the States would be higher.

The rules may very well be different for daycares (a privately run business) and public schools, I dont know.

There's plenty of anti-science woo here, sadly, a lot of it amongst educated people who should know better.

lljkk Sun 16-Dec-12 12:52:35

I got bumped off my university course in the USA for failing to provide evidence of measles jab. They are pretty pushy about it.

RebeccaTheHallsMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 16-Dec-12 13:14:41

Hi all,

We've moved this to our vaccinations topic now.

ArthurPewty Fri 28-Dec-12 10:00:31

that's the USA for you.

in answer to the OP, NO, i dont.

Mine are completely 100% unvaccinated and i have never told, run around broadcasting, or had to sign anything to enter any playgroup or school.

Its no one's business except ours and the GPs' and that's it.

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