Catholic Schools and Non-Immunizing Families

[quote=Benedictus]There were two in my state this year. They were Amish kids whose didn’t vaccinate them.
[/quote]

That is the first I’ve heard of any polio cases in the US. I would expect that to be national news since everything I’ve ever read says there have been no cases outside of the ones caused by the vaccine.

Lawmakers are trying to protect the entire population.

Do you really think the population needs to be protected from Chicken Pox? If you have kids over the age of 15 chances are they have had it and made it through just fine. The drug companies admitted that the reason for the vaccine was money- they wanted to keep parents from having to lose a day of work. It wasn’t about health.

And by the way, where does it say that the risks of the chicken pox vaccine are the same as the risks of the actual disease? Can anyone substantiate that claim? Lastly, vaccinated children in school are protected, yes, but not the little ones that go into the schools with their parents. At my Catholic school, pregnant women, babies, and toddlers are a part of the daily landscape. For those little ones whose vaccination sequence isn’t complete, they are at risk. Moreover, older adults are at risk.

Exactly. Adults are going to be at risk because they will not have had the disease as children. Adults now are not at a huge risk because so many of them have had the disease. I read the statistic in a few places, the most trustworthy of which is Stephanie Cave’s book. I just returned a copy to the library and have one on the way from Amazon so I could mark it up. I will follow up with more data when the book arrives.

I would like to note that we are a bit off the original topic of religious exemptions. I actually started a thread on the debate issue a few months back. Children’s Vaccines - to vaccinate or not

I am not anti-vaccine. But I am not blindly pro-vaccine. Every family needs to assess the risks and benefits, and that should be done with each vaccine. And you can protect your children with vaccines while minimizing the risks by delaying some, or by having your child receive them individually instead of in clusters. For example in Japan, when the DTaP was delayed until 24 months adverse reactions dropped significantly. And there is evidence to suggest that, when given individually, the MMR/autism link is diminished. France stopped requiring HepB because of the autoimmune problems, neurological problems, and link to MS. These are things every parent should investigate for themselves. You are bombarding your child’s immune system with agents, bacteria, checmicals, metals, and other harmful compounds - your child’s immature immune system.

Diseases like chicken pox are not dangerous enough, in my opinion, to subject my child to the vaccine. Not to mention that contracting the chicken pox as a child helps greatly to protect you against shingles, but with a vaccine, you are left open to shingles, something that is much more serious and most likely to infect teh elderly. But the governemnt has decided that I can’t make that decision for myself if I want to do anything other than homeschool.

[quote=Benedictus]There were two in my state this year. They were Amish kids whose didn’t vaccinate them.
[/quote]

Those were polio cases caused by the oral polio vaccine. It was not a wild polio outbreak - and there have been no cases of wild polio in over 20 years. The only cases of polio in the US since then have been caused by the vaccine.

[quote=MooCowSteph]I am not anti-vaccine. But I am not blindly pro-vaccine. Every family needs to assess the risks and benefits, and that should be done with each vaccine. And you can protect your children with vaccines while minimizing the risks by delaying some, or by having your child receive them individually instead of in clusters. For example in Japan, when the DTaP was delayed until 24 months adverse reactions dropped significantly. And there is evidence to suggest that, when given individually, the MMR/autism link is diminished. France stopped requiring HepB because of the autoimmune problems, neurological problems, and link to MS. These are things every parent should investigate for themselves. You are bombarding your child’s immune system with agents, bacteria, checmicals, metals, and other harmful compounds - your child’s immature immune system.

Diseases like chicken pox are not dangerous enough, in my opinion, to subject my child to the vaccine. Not to mention that contracting the chicken pox as a child helps greatly to protect you against shingles, but with a vaccine, you are left open to shingles, something that is much more serious and most likely to infect teh elderly. But the governemnt has decided that I can’t make that decision for myself if I want to do anything other than homeschool.
[/quote]

Where did you hear that getting the chicken pox protects against shingles? I heard that actually 10-20 percent of people that had chicken pox go on to have shingles as adults and it occurs in people who have had chicken pox.

[quote=luvmykids]Where did you hear that getting the chicken pox protects against shingles? I heard that actually 10-20 percent of people that had chicken pox go on to have shingles as adults and it occurs in people who have had chicken pox.
[/quote]

It aids in protecting against it according to several souces that I didn’t bookmark. I’ll have to look tomorrow. But only naturally occuring immunity helps, not vaccinated immunity,

HI All! WOW - what a gamut of replies so far! First off I want to say THANK YOU to those of you who, in my opinion, attempted to share your thoughts and opinions as directly related to my original post intent - religious exemption and Catholic diocesan rights to accept or not accept this. I found some very helpful ideas to share with my dh and to meditate and pray on.

Secondly - thank you to those who shared opinions on immunization pros and cons. Although that was not what I meant when Iasked for thoughts and opinions - I appreciate the varying points of view. And you too have given me some food for thought and prayer.

Lastly - although there are many things I have thought about saying in response to some of these posts I have chosen only one.

I completely disagree with the poster who has stated over and over that non-immunization is a purely self-centered and prideful act on my part, or anyone else’s part. I think another statement made was that those who do not choose to immunize have a “holier than thou” attitude. This latter attitude is exactly what some Protestants say about all Catholics - that Catholics think they are better than other Christians. Some do not understand the concrete belief we have in the validity of the truth of the Eucharist, or in the validity of Church teaching on Mary. Catholics are deadset that we are correct on these issues, Protestants are deadset that we are wrong about these issues. Does that mean Catholics have a “holier than thou” attitude? Of course not! (And if they do, they don’t understand their own faith.)
I believe the issue of immunization is a similar issue. Those for immunization, as this poster is, believe that immunizations are correct. Those against immunizations believe immunizations are incorrect. In either situation, whether faith or health - who is to say truly, but God HImself, who is correct or incorrect? An correct/incorrect in part or in full? I agree with the poster who said, “There are three views to every issue - your view, my view and reality or the Truth.”

On my judgement day, standing before our Lord, when I see His Truth in full - and I see where I missed His obvious signs pointing me the right directions, I will be truly sorry and wonder how I could have missed it. And when He tells me “Well done, good and faithful servant” for the signs I didn’t miss, I will be truly joyful. That judgement is for Him alone to do - not for me to do for myself or anyone else. So I ask you all - please PRAY for me, that I might see more clearly His signs pointing me in the right direction, and reserve judging me for the Lover of My soul - who is all knowing, all-loving and all-merciful. I am praying the same for all of you.

Thanks again for sharing! Peace in Jesus Christ our Lord be with you and your families now and forever.

Respectfully, Juli

Forgive my saying so, but I don’t believe for one minute that the issue of whether or not to immunize rises anywhere CLOSE to the issues of either the Eucharist or of Marian doctrines. If I’ve misunderstood your statement here, I apologize – but I have REAL problems with what you appear to be suggesting.

Blessings,

[quote=luvmykids]Where did you hear that getting the chicken pox protects against shingles? I heard that actually 10-20 percent of people that had chicken pox go on to have shingles as adults and it occurs in people who have had chicken pox.
[/quote]

This is very off topic and I am sorry, but I needed to say this:

Shingles is the chicken pox virus. From what I have read, you cannot get shingles unless you have the chicken pox . Now, does that mean that everyone that gets the vax can then get shingles? I don’t know, all the web sites use words like possibly and time will tell.

So getting chicken pox does not protect against shingles. It causes shingles. The vax may prevent shingles but it is too early to tell.

After having chickenpox, the varicella virus lies dormant in the spinal cord. If the virus reactivates in the spinal cord it causes shingles.

from this site.
hcd2.bupa.co.uk/fact_sheets/Mosby_factsheets/shingles.html

[quote=David Zampino]Forgive my saying so, but I don’t believe for one minute that the issue of whether or not to immunize rises anywhere CLOSE to the issues of either the Eucharist or of Marian doctrines. If I’ve misunderstood your statement here, I apologize – but I have REAL problems with what you appear to be suggesting.

Blessings,
[/quote]

I was totally not meaning to offend anyone with my analogy here! I believe your response makes my point though. The analogy was as good as my tired brain could come up with - but I am not saying I believe the two issues are on equal footing. I was trying to illustrate a point about how people think/process things. And to judge a person as having a holier than thou attitude when only God knows the fullness of all His truth - I completely disagree with.

Clear as mud? Probably. If so - I sincerely apologize again. It is not my intent to offend. I guess I shouldn’t have even posted my “one last thing” - I have detracted from my own original post :frowning: I live and I learn.

Respectfully, Juli

I am not at all certain that God will be asking us for the immunization records of our children if and when we make it to heaven. There are far bigger moral issues for each of us than vaccines when it comes to standing before God awaiting eternal judgement. It seems to me that this matter is being overly spiritualized here. The word “scrupulous” comes to mind. God is our Father who loves us, and like a good Earthly father, I simply can’t imagine that all of these little details are the most important thing to Him. And for all the controversy swirling around vaccination, to me it is simply not that critical of a decision, the data is in and vaccination works.

And practically speaking, as the mother of a large family, I simply could not put this much time and energy into every phase of my children’s development. I tried to once with homeschooling, that is to control nearly every aspect of my children’s lives, and it was not a good thing for my family. Sometimes you have to let go and trust when it comes to your children. The decision between immunizations and a Catholic education to me is an easy one to make: I would get the vaccines before pulling my children out of the school. And it’s not just schools that require these anymore, its Scouts too. My Catholic high schools not only require these records (and they are schools founded by orders, not diocesan schools) but they actually took my daughter out of class because she was missing a booster shot (which she had six months earlier but the file copy of her shots record was an old copy). I had to provide a new copy so that she could return to class. I will soon find out if colleges require complete immunization records for their incoming freshmen class. Egads! Can you imagine after a lifetime of anti-immunization that you find out that your 18 year old can’t get into their “top pick” college as a result? This is speculation, but from what I’ve seen, these records contain very important medical information that more and more institutions are demanding to have. Not that I agree with this trend, but I can’t stop it. I’ll save my time and energy and prayers for other battles.

Juli, you never addressed the issue that you have the luxury of refusing immunizations thanks to the fact that the rest of us do vaccinate our children. That is where my comment about pridefulness comes in, that people who choose this route think that they are better parents than those who vaccinate, all the while benefiting immeasurably from those who do so.

And finally, just for the record, I do think I have a better Church than Protestants, but I’m no holier than anyone else, just lucky to be born into the Church that Christ Himself founded.

Juli, are you trying to say you don’t want to vax in Illinois but the Diocese won’t let you claim a religious exemption?

Then the answer is simple if you want the kids in the Catholic school: You have the kids’ doctor- I’m going to assume the doctor is on board with this- issue the statement that issuing such immunizations would be in his or her opinion hazardous to your children’s health. It’s not a lie. You and the doctor believe that the kids’ health would be harmed by vaxxing. All the doctor has to be is IN THE EMPLOY of the parent(s). So, you can shop around until you find one who is not into vaxxing.

http://www.909shot.com/state-site/Illinois.htm

Look way down to the end of the site. You can point this out to the school in question.

Which diocese is this by the way?

If you don’t want to vax for whatever reason, you should not have to vax. Illinois provides two ways to do it. Your diocese doesn’t want anybody believing Catholics as a whole are against immunization. Illinois does not allow for** a matter of personal conscience**. But, being born and bred in Chicago, I am always willing to look for a loophole in a situation. :wink: You are trying to ask why on a situation that holds an apriori. Why ask why? Work to get around it first, in my opinion, then work to clarify and change the diocese policy and law.

Your other alternatives are to look for a Catholic school that is not run by the diocese (independent), or home school. There are more and more indepdenent Catholic schools springing up in Illinois, even at the elementary level. Illinois is a very easy state in which to home school, if Robbo learns to mind his p-and-qs and keep his big nose out of the whole thing. If you’re worried about socialization, please don’t be. It’s highly overrated, and there are plenty of home school groups to choose.

You make some very good points here. As the father of 8, whose family spent the best part of 8 or 9 years homeschooling up to 4 kids at a time, I understand about the time and energy factor! We finally moved the older five into Catholic school when the math and science began to really catch up with us! Both schools our kids are in have rules about vaccinations.

I had forgotten about the Scouts. Three of my sons are in the Boy Scouts – and they are very strict about vaccinations. They have to be. Can you imagine an extended campout in which one of the boys was not inoculated against tetnaus? That is a scary thought.

And I had not thought about the college question either – but the point is well made.

The non-vaccinated child could not participate in church mission work.

A career with the military is right out. So is travel to much of the world.

This is a subject my wife and I care about. We have asked questions, and have, at times, refused or delayed new or controversial vaccines. It is the duty and responsibility of the parent to be cautious. But as I’ve said before, every choice in life is a risk assesment, one way or another. And the risks of a dangerous disease far outweigh the risks present in vaccine side-effects.

Many blessings,

Wow, interesting thread! Of course, I have to chime in with my thoughts.

I am more in the middle of the road here, a little closer to the “anti-vax” side, though. My oldest is fully vaccinated and has many health issues. That is what made me decide to look into the question of whether or not vaccinating is truly a good thing.

For my two younger children, I have definitely decided to at least wait on vaccinations. If we do vax, it will be the biggies like measles and mumps. My doctor gave me a list of the ones he thought most important. My children will NOT be getting the newer ones like chicken pox, hep b, etc. They will only get single doses, spaced apart.

I am somewhat shocked at the blind obedience on the pro-vax side. The medical community has been wrong about a lot of things… birth control for example! They believe it isn’t harmful and most of them don’t know that NFP is a scientifically valid method to space pregnancies or prevent them (in grave circumstances, of course). Clearly our population is plagued with chronic health problems. No, it might not be due, even in part to vaccines. But until someone can tell us what IS causing all of our chronic health problems, families will have to wrestle with the question on an individual basis. It might mean being cautious, or at least skeptical, of vaccination.

Another point about the medical community and vaccines… Doesn’t anyone see this as a brave new world scenario? Our God-Scientist-Doctors are going to eradicate all manner of illness and disease. We will achieve immortality. Who really needs God, anyway? Don’t misunderstand, me. I’m not saying that treating illness is wrong or that scientific innovation is wrong. I’m saying that we can go too far. We are such a Godless society and we are so afraid of death. It seems that we are going to extremes and I see the endless parade of vaccines as part of that.

The third world example is a really poor one. It is lack of sanitation and crowded living conditions that cause the spread of disease, NOT lack of immunizations. (Though, I’m sure immunizations could be helpful given the conditions.) Malnutrition causes weakened immune systems which make a person even more susceptible to illness. We could probably do more to help them by assisting them to improve their economies (see www.acton.org) which would in turn allow them to provide luxuries for themselves that we have like healthy food, clean water and other sanitary improvements.

With regard to the original question, I think the OP should try and inform the school about her valid issues and then if they still say no, either vaccinate or homeschool. I don’t believe that we can force everyone to see things the same we do. If it is a sincerely held belief, then we must do whatever we can to hold onto our beliefs and protect our children. In this case it might mean homeschooling.

Danielle

[quote=David Zampino]You make some very good points here. As the father of 8, whose family spent the best part of 8 or 9 years homeschooling up to 4 kids at a time, I understand about the time and energy factor! We finally moved the older five into Catholic school when the math and science began to really catch up with us! Both schools our kids are in have rules about vaccinations.

I had forgotten about the Scouts. Three of my sons are in the Boy Scouts – and they are very strict about vaccinations. They have to be. Can you imagine an extended campout in which one of the boys was not inoculated against tetnaus? That is a scary thought.

And I had not thought about the college question either – but the point is well made.

The non-vaccinated child could not participate in church mission work.

A career with the military is right out. So is travel to much of the world.

This is a subject my wife and I care about. We have asked questions, and have, at times, refused or delayed new or controversial vaccines. It is the duty and responsibility of the parent to be cautious. But as I’ve said before, every choice in life is a risk assesment, one way or another. And the risks of a dangerous disease far outweigh the risks present in vaccine side-effects.

Many blessings,
[/quote]

But children can make decisions for themselves about vaccination when they are of age! Not vaccinating as infants doesn’t preclude any of the activities you have listed above.

[size=1]

. But I am not blindly pro-vaccine. Every family needs to assess the risks and benefits, and that should be done with each vaccine. [/size]

This is the most intelligent statement I have seen here. Right on Steph!!! (and let me add, my kiddies got the shots)

[quote=mominne]But children can make decisions for themselves about vaccination when they are of age! Not vaccinating as infants doesn’t preclude any of the activities you have listed above.
[/quote]

Actually, yes it does!

Boy Scouts are precluded. When one is “of age”, one is too old for the Boy Scouts! :slight_smile: (Unless you become an adult volunteer like me!!!)

Mission work is precluded. Many young people participate in mission work – I did, overseas, at 14. And it’s not just overseas mission work. Many churches have provided teams of young people to assist in disaster relief on the Gulf Coast. Can you imagine the disease raging? Would you want to send your unvaccinated teen to help dredge out New Orleans?

International travel is precluded. Many people travel internationally before they are “of age”. I did, on a couple of occasions. It is not only the “Third World” nations which require proof of immunization in order to obtain a visa.

All of these involve potential decisions which must be made by the parents BEFORE a child comes “of age”.

Blessings,

[quote=netmilsmom][size=1]

This is the most intelligent statement I have seen here. Right on Steph!!! (and let me add, my kiddies got the shots)[/size]

Thank you very much! :tiphat: My daughter will likely get her shots, too, but we haven’t yet made that decision. I am on the fence about HepB, Prevnar, and Chicken Pox.
[/quote]

[quote=spacecadet]i’d heard of this happening before: not being able to claim religious exemptoin because the catholic church is not agains immunizations. that is why we chose delayed schedule vaxing in stead. if you’re dead set on not vaxing i’d homeschool
[/quote]

Exactly, you don’t like it…homeschool, our parish church must have the children vaccinated, if they are not and something does happen, even though rare, the school could never ever sustain the lawsuits, etc. that do come from this, it would have to close.
Even Catholic schools do have the right to ask this and if you don’t like it then you can homeschool.

[quote=spacecadet]ignorant vaxing is also a wager. you’d have to be a fool to think no negative affects have ever happened due to vaxs. even though i did choose to vax i reasearched the best way to handle it
[/quote]

fine, but if the original poster refuses to vax, she can homeschool.

[quote=spacecadet]i think a good argument could be made that the hep B shot goes against our religion because it is for an STD and we should be teaching our kids chastity not vaxing them in case they have sex. i hope of we decline that one next time and still do the others the catholic schools wouldn’t have an issue with that one
[/quote]

Have to disagree with you, my brother is a parole officer and the men he has to deal with are sex predators who molest and rape children of all ages and many, many of these men carry std’s and worse, many of the children they rape and molest are innocent children, like yours and mine…you won’t always be with your kid every minute of the day…things do happen, my brother has shared horror stories of what has happened to good kids from good caring families, children raped and then becoming sick from these men…I pray my child will never ever be in such a horrilbe situation…but, I’m blind if I don’t immunize with hep b, it has nothing to do with chastity in these situations… these kids were never asked to be raped or molested on the playground, parks, etc. but it happened…just think, sadly it really does happen.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.