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Measles - 6 month old exposure to unvaccinated sibling

(81 Posts)
biggestregret Fri 26-Apr-13 17:21:57

I have a vaccinated 3.5 yr old and a 6 month old who obviously isn't. I also have an 11 year old stepson who comes to stay with us every weekend. His mother will not get him vaccinated. DP has asked her to re-think with regards to the current outbreaks and the risks to DS2 but she will not budge.

What should I do? Any advice? DSS attends a school where there has been 2 'possible' cases (not quite sure what that means yet).

I've asked my surgery if they can give DS2 an early vaccination but they say no at the moment.


CatherinaJTV Fri 26-Apr-13 17:53:01

"possible" cases means that there show the right symptoms and there are measles in the area, but no lab test has been done/come back.

I am so sorry that you are in this situation. There doesn't seem to be much you can do. If DSS's mum won't vaccinate him, he is too young to decide, the weekend arrangement is probably fragile enough as it is so that you don't want to put a foot down and demand DSS stays away until the little one is old enough to get his shots. All I can offer is (((hugs))).

stargirl1701 Fri 26-Apr-13 17:54:47

What does your GP say? Your HV? I would get some medical advice.

StitchAteMySleep Fri 26-Apr-13 18:00:16

Someone on another MMR thread mentioned that it is licensed from 6 months, not sure of its effectiveness before 12 months, but you could ask GP.

My younger brother caught measles from me when he was under 6 months old, he had a very mild case and was fine (he was breastfed which may have helped his immunity). I on the other hand was in hospital with a secondary infection of pneumonia.

biggestregret Fri 26-Apr-13 18:09:05

Thanks Catherina. I'm considering camping out at my parents with the baby on the weekends that DSS is here - but that breaks up our family sad. I just want to minimise the risks as much as I can.

Stargirl DP spoke to the surgery nurse but didn't give details of why we are concerned. I'll do that on Monday and see what they say.

DS2 has just got over a horrid case of chickenpox that led to a secondary infection so I'm pretty nervous of him getting anything else.

Generally pissed off to be honest but I know everyone is entitled to their point of view.

CatherinaJTV Fri 26-Apr-13 18:42:16

but that breaks up our family

exactly what makes this so difficult... so sorry

stargirl1701 Fri 26-Apr-13 18:43:21

It's a really selfish point of view if there is nothing medically wrong with her child. My friend has a wee one with leukaemia so he relies on herd immunity. The lad has enough to cope with without measles epidemics!

MyTushTingles Wed 01-May-13 00:11:51

What a shitty situation. Personally I would camp out at the parents, you have to make sure your baby is safe.

biggestregret Wed 01-May-13 21:29:07

Yeah, DP has rung DSS's school to confirm if there have been any cases or not. No reply as yet which is adding to my frustration. It's a Steiner school so generally the pupils are from fairly alternative families....hmm
Planning on camping at my parents as a back up plan. My motherly protective instincts are on red alert.

CouthySaysEatChoccyEggs Wed 01-May-13 21:36:19

If your DH has PR then he has an EQUAL right to decide upon vaccinations.

It might be rather inflammatory, but he has as much right to take him to his GP and get the MMR jab done as his mother does.

In that situation, if I was your DP, it would certainly be an option.

CatherinaJTV Wed 01-May-13 22:01:21

Steiner Schools are notorious for starting and and maintaining measles outbreaks. I like Couthy's idea, I actually really do.

biggestregret Thu 02-May-13 10:34:19

Couthy - yes he does have PR, but at the moment he is trying to persuade her to agree to give him the vaccination. DSS is 11 and he is fully aware of his mum's feelings so at the moment I think it would be unfair to put him in the middle of a disagreement between his parents.

I have suggested DP tells Ex-W he will consider taking him for a jab and see what her reaction is.

Heard back from the school and there are 2 suspected cases and 0 confirmed. Think I may be off to my parents. Bloody pissed off - but there you go.

Thx for all the advice

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 02-May-13 10:38:02

biggest I would be camping at my parents if I had the choice too. I think it's really rubbish you are put into this situation but I'm glad your DP is on your side. Just remember it's the XW that breaks the family apart. I'd do everything I could to protect a 6mo too. I'm so glad you have supportive family around you.

OneLittleToddleTerror Thu 02-May-13 10:38:35

And yes to the idea your DP taking DSS to the jabs. He's also a parent so he should have some say too.

biggestregret Thu 02-May-13 10:45:41

Thanks onelittle. It helps to have Mumsnet opinions too. DP and ExW have an OK relationship and DSS is a lovely boy. But ExW is very extreme in her parenting views and I find it really hard trying to balance her wishes, DSS's happiness and my (our) own parenting styles - which I think are fairly normal, loving and grounded. On this occassion I am putting my foot down.

saintlyjimjams Thu 02-May-13 20:09:00

If he spends most of his time with his mother I don't think your DP can take him for a vaccination without her consent tbh. Well he could, but I think it would be very, very wrong. At the age of 11 it would put your stepson in a very difficult position as well.

CatherinaJTV Thu 02-May-13 20:22:24

At the age of 11 it would put your stepson in a very difficult position as well.

I agree with that. On the other hand, the boy's mother is not only making decisions for her child, but also for the little step sibling.

saintlyjimjams Thu 02-May-13 20:33:16

No, the boy's mother is making decisions for her child. She has no responsibility towards the step sibling. The OP can make decisions for her child (go to her mother's, source an early MMR, etc) but not her stepchild.

The boy's father can make decisions - but if you cannot agree for something which carries a risk of damage then the primary caregiver should have the final say. Vaccine reactions do happen - and if this happened to this boy then the mother will be the one taking on the burden of care. I presume from the wording of the OP anyway. If the father does undertake the majority of the care then he should have the final say.

FWIW my 11 year old knows he is not vaccinated, he also knows why he is not vaccinated, and I think he would be terrified if taken for a vaccination, especially if he knew I was not in agreement - by which I mean if he was to be vaccinated at this age he would need reassurance why the reasons he is not vaccinated no longer apply. That wouldn't be so much the case for ds3 (or ds1 come to that) as neither of them have an understanding of vaccination, but for ds2 definitely.

saintlyjimjams Thu 02-May-13 20:35:00

However, if the father threatens to whisk his son off for a vaccination then I suspect the OP may get her way, as there is no way I would allow my kids anywhere I thought they might be given a vaccination without my consent.

LifeIsBetterInFlipFlops Thu 02-May-13 21:04:28

How awful for you...I'd be worried witless. In view of the risk involved to your baby, would it be an option for you to contact her and tell her how worried you are?

CatherinaJTV Thu 02-May-13 21:26:49

I don't know what the boy in DD's classmate thought of his mum's decision not to vaccinate him, but after he got the measles, he thought it was "stupid".

I think you are wrong that Stepson's mum is only responsible for her own child if that child is schooled in an environment with current measles outbreak and staying in close contact with an infant weekly.

saintlyjimjams Thu 02-May-13 21:36:35

It's not about who is right or wrong. The mother will have her reasons. But for any vaccination decision the ultimate responsibility is for your child. This is because vaccinations carry a risk - however small. She does not have a responsibility towards a child she is not related to.

Note I am not arguing about the rights and wrongs of the decision (I have no idea why she's made that decision). I said above if the father has the majority care then he should have the final say - so it's not about what the decision is, but who gets to decide. Because vaccinations DO carry a risk, as does not vaccinating of course, if an agreement cannot be reached then the majority carer should have the final say, because if something severe happens (whether from vaccination or disease) the majority carer will be the one who is suddenly unable to work, looking at a lifetime as a carer etc etc - however small that risk, it is still there, so the majority carer gets to choose.

The OP can of course choose not to expose her child, she can ban her stepchild from her home, she could ask the father to meet with his son elsewhere - but no-one should be vaccinating this child without the primary carer's consent. He may also have an opinion himself, I know that ds2 has said that he doesn't want to be vaccinated at the moment because we talk about it a few times each year (although he's definitely not old enough to understand the ins and outs he is old enough to start understanding why and to have an opinion on it).

biggestregret Thu 02-May-13 21:58:18

ExW is the main caregiver. In her position I would be horrified if my ExH took my child for medical treatment expressly against my wishes. DP will not do this and I support him in that.

I suppose there is no easy answer. I will be taking the baby to mum and dads this weekend. DP will have DSS and DS1 (who is vaccinated) and ExW will be happy that we are all singing to her feckin tune.....again.

saintly I am interested - do you think there is a greater risk of side effects from vacs than from the complications of measles? And how did you explain the two sides of the argument?

ilovemountains Thu 02-May-13 22:07:49

Just under ten percent of the people with measles in Wales have been hospitalised. The number of people hospitalised or who have severe reactions to vaccinations is significantly less than ten percent.

saintlyjimjams Thu 02-May-13 22:14:27

Biggestregret - he knows that not being vaccinated means he is at higher risk of getting the diseases. He knows my mother is deaf in one ear from measles. He knows that we chose not to vaccinate because we felt it would increase his risk of ending up like his brother.

He says he definitely prefers not to be vaccinated and he does not want to end up like his brother (severely disabled).

As he gets older he can read up on why we think his risk is greater and he can make up his own mind (although tbh research into this is progressing quite quickly and we might not be that many years away from a blood test - which would give him more information about his individual risk anyway).

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