If Facebook has taught us anything, it is that we aren’t going to agree with all of our friends about everything.
It is easy to think that your friends and family have very similar opinions as your own, especially about things like politics and religion, but only when you don’t actually talk about them.
But then you see your friends like, share, or post something that totally catches you by surprise…
What Do Your Friends Think About Vaccines?
What do you do when that surprise is that your friend or family member is anti-vaccine?
Is that something you would agree to disagree about, try to change their mind, or would it lead to the loss of a friendship? After all, it’s one thing if you are vegan and your baby is going to get exposed to eating meat when you go visit the home of a friend who is a carnivore, and quite another if she might get exposed to measles or chickenpox because they don’t believe in vaccines.
“I also warn them not to share their fears with their neighbors, because if too many people avoid the MMR, we’ll likely see the diseases increase significantly.”
Dr. Bob Sears in The Vaccine Book
But if your kids are vaccinated, why would you even be concerned about whether or not your friends vaccinate their own kids?
Because your vaccinated kids are still at risk. Remember, even if your child does not have any chronic illnesses or problems with their immune system, there is the fact that kids aren’t at least partially protected against:
- pertussis until after the third dose of DTaP at six months
- the flu until after getting a first flu shot at six months, keeping in mind that they are actually going to need a second flu shot for full protection, since it is the first time that they are being vaccinated against influenza
- measles, mumps, and chicken pox until they get their first dose of MMR and the chicken pox vaccine when they are 12 months old
And then, even with later booster doses of vaccines, since vaccines aren’t 100% effective, many people don’t want to take an extra risk and spend time around someone who is intentionally unprotected and at higher risk to get sick, who can then expose their kids to a vaccine-preventable diseases.
Can Your Friendship Survive the Vaccine Wars?
Friends don’t have to agree on everything.
Still, you might be more likely to lose a friend over vaccines if they are intentionally not vaccinating their kids and:
- believe that vaccines are full of toxins
- believe that unvaccinated kids are healthier than those who are vaccinated
- believe that vaccines don’t ever work
- believe that vaccine-preventable diseases are mild and can be cured with natural remedies
- believe that they need to avoid recently vaccinated kids because they might be shedding
- believe that vaccines are associated with autism, SIDS, and other so-called vaccine-induced diseases
It’s one thing if they are on the fence or a little scared by the myths and propaganda they see on the Internet and another if they are one of the folks helping spread that misinformation about vaccines.
What to Know About Friends and Family Disagreeing About Vaccines
Are you friends with anyone who intentionally chooses to skip or delay their child’s vaccines?
More on Friends and Family Disagreeing About Vaccine
- Asking Before They Play: Are Your Child’s Friends Vaccinated?
- Ask Before They Play To Keep Chickenpox, Pertussis and Measles Away
- Talking to Your Vaccine-Hesitant Loved Ones with Compassion and Confidence
- Parents and pediatricians: Do you think a pre-natal discussion about vaccines would help assuage fears?
- An early cure for parents’ vaccine panic
- Rights of the Unvaccinated Child: Vaccinating Over the Parents’ Will
- The child’s best interest – vaccines and parental rights
- When the vaccination wars hit home
- House Divided: When Vaccines Cause Family Conflict
- When Parents Have Different Parenting Styles: Believe It or Not…Kids Can Handle It!
- I thought all anti-vaxxers were idiots. Then I married one.
- Guide to Convincing Parents to Vaccinate their Children
- Why parents refuse vaccines
- One more time: Vaccine refusal endangers everyone, not just the unvaccinated