C.T. asks from Leawood, KS on August 20, 2006
Gov't Aid and Vaccinations
I have a question...and don't know everything about what I'm asking, so bear with me. A friend has been on state aid of some sort....a health insurance type of plan called HealthAid or Healthwave (I think it's a new name for medicaid/care). She recently had her second child and her first is two. When she chose not to vaccinate her second she received a letter from the organization telling her it is state law to vaccinate all children receiving public assistance. Does anyone know if this means her aid will be revoked for her whole family? I have a lot of experience with the non-vaccinating side of health concerns, but not with public assistance. If you know more and can help me help her, please e-mail me. Thanks so much.
So What Happened?™
Thanks you guys. Your responses have been helpful and respectful. I consider anyone's choice to vaccinate or not to be just that, their choice. With all due respect, truly, it is not a law in any state to vaccinate a child, and there are exemptions other than medical which some parents utilize. I do not vaccinate my children either (I shudder to say and expose myself to obvious scrutiny) and have not broken a single law. And I know lots other very informed parents who have made the same choice. It is simply a rule for some schools and daycares, and apparently for state aid, which I understand. If she wants the aid from the state, I guess she has to follow their rules. I guess what the real question was, and still is, is will her whole family be dropped, and will they accept a medical or religious exemption like the school systems do? I know this is a sensitive subject and don't mean to debate vaccines. I really respect all opinions. Another great resource for anyone interested in the other side, however, is www.909shot.com
S.L. answers from Kansas City on August 24, 2006
Well, I can't speak to the aide questions. But I am highly suspicious of vaccinations these days. There are way too many and I'm afraid it's possibly the cause of higher numbers of autism and other problems like ADHD. I have 4 daughters and they received everything reccommended with the exception of my youngest. She hasn't had any shots since she was 18 months and she's 6 now. We are homeschooling and even if we wanted to send her to school or daycare, a person can sign something saying it's against their beliefs to do so.
My 3rd daughter was "required" to have the chicken pox vaccine in California. We lived there 3 years and they did not kick her out of school. I refused to do it because she already had chicken pox and she had shingles when she was 7. I didn't want the vaccine to cause her to have shingles again. So they sent a couple threatning letters and let the matter drop.
Oh and I just have to add... Children have died from getting too many shots! I don't hear the medical community talking about that!
M.M. answers from Wichita on August 20, 2006
Unfortunately when you are getting aid from the state they can mandate some specifics you need to follow. Immunizations are part of that package.
But vaccinating a child is to protect them from harmful and needless childhood diseases.
Being a nurse, I have met a lot of parents who choose not to immunize for various reasons, that is a personal choice each parent needs to make for themselves.
Due to the fact that international travel is more common and more affordable than ever and immigration makes every place in the world a more "global community", more children are being exposed to diseases at earlier ages that have not been seen in the United states for generations. For that reason alone, more pediatricians are encouraging parents to stay current with immunizations.
Also, once they reach an age where they can attend daycare, preschool or school age; proof of immunization is needed for enrollment.
The mother might get stuck with the child getting a lot of immunizations at one time and putting the child through a lot of pain or suffering so they can "catch up" on immunizations if it is not done at the required intervals.
I have seen children who were behind or had missed immunizations, for various reasons, get as many as 5 immunizations in one visit.
This means two shots in one thigh, one shot in the other thigh and one shot in each arm. Then depending on the immunizations given the child can run a low grade fever, get a rash at the injection site or be very tender at the injection site for a few days.
As a mom myself, that's a lot for a child to go through when they don't like to get injections/shots anyway.
Immunization is not to punish the parents or to create a financial burden, but rather to protect all children from diseases that can have horrible side effects.
I have found through my contact with parents that most are hesitant to immunize because of misinformation or fear of unusual side effects.
Here are a few websites you might give to your friend so she can be more informed and have her discuss with her doctor the possible reasons she is choosing not to immunize so he can clear up any fears, problems, concerns or questions she has.
I find if parents have all the information they can make a better more informed decision, no one wants to make an important decision if they don't feel like they know all the facts.
Also among the websites below is a site for the State of Kansas and specifics on what their state aid program for children requires and mandates to be done by the parents or guardian.
Also the CDC website gives all the reasons why an immunization is given and any possible normal or abnormal reactions to expect or watch for.
It is a very useful site for parents, but your pediatrician should be giving you these print-outs for each and every immunization the child gets.
~I hope this is helpful.
Because I got so many hateful "personal emails" from other moms when I responded to this question I wanted to add some more information to my answer here. First I wanted to say this site is for friendly exchange of information. We all have opinions and personal experiences that are of value to ourselves and one another and no two people ever agrees on everything.
If you do not agree with my opinions on vaccines, that is fine with me. But I would encourage everyone in this forum to be kind.
I have gotten responses from my own postings that I didn't agree with, but that will always happen. This is not a place to attack others.
So with that said, here is some additional info on immunizations-- and as always, you should make a decision that is best for you.
This site is to help draw women and mothers with different experience and knowledge together to help each other, I hope it can continue to be successful in that goal.
I worked in an inner city ER in Atlanta for many years and worked closely with doctors and nurse practitioners who were doing research on immunizations and their POSSIBLE links to diseases, complications and neuro disorders like autism.
I feel very compelled to mention that the FDA, CDC and other Govt. agencies have pressured the drug companies over the years and Thimerisol has either been completely removed or reduced to trace amounts in vaccines for children. Not all vaccines had Thimerisol in the first place, it was a preservative that was used in multi dose vials in SOME immunizations.
A lot of pediatricians do not use multi dose vials. Also the studies done to link Thimerisol to Autism are based on mercury levels. Thimerisol is a "mercury containing organic compound", but is not pure mercury. This means it has "similar characteristics" as mercury but is not pure mercury.
If the human body works in the correct manner, the mercury or its organic relative is excreted in human waste. Sadly, not everyone's body works as efficiently as it should.
The studies done to link Autism to vaccines were based on mercury. It is important to note children and pregnant women can be exposed to organic compounds containing mercury through other means besides vaccines, like seafood, and other environmetal exposure. This is a reason why pregnant women may choose to limit seafood during pregnancy.
But it is also important to note, no "for sure" or definite link has been made. So every parent has to make a choice on what is best for them and inform themselves. I would urge those who are not knowledgable about vaccines not to spread misinformation and scare other mothers. If you need more information on vaccines and if they contain Thimerisol you can visit this website:
It also has a link to the FDA website so you can get more FACT based information on Thimerisol.
1 mom found this helpful
K.B. answers from Kansas City on August 20, 2006
It will the same thing for school and licensed daycare. Unless she can get a doctor to state otherwise, medical reason, religion, etc the State can suspend the benefits.
I believe the doctors that are approved by Kansas Healthwave support vaccinating children and I'm not sure if she could find one that supports her claim why she chooses not to.
If that's the case she would have to pay for a 2nd opinion.
1 mom found this helpful
R.B. answers from Kansas City on August 20, 2006
Sounds like benefits will be suspended for that child until it is vaccinated. I am so curious as to why someone wouldn't vaccinate their child. Please message me and let me know.
J.B. answers from Rapid City on August 22, 2006
I don't know about revoking the aid, but why wouldn't your friend vaccinate her kids? I know there are always risks involved, but the benefits usually far outweigh the risks. Not to mention, the vast majority of states now require all childhood vaccinations to attend school.
A.L. answers from Kansas City on August 21, 2006
State aid (such as Medicaid, First Guard) does have certain requirements. I guess if someone else is covering the majority of the bills, they can enforce their own rules.
Second, I question why someone would not protect and vaccinate their child. I understand the concern about the chicken pox vaccinate and the thermasol, but not regular vaccines.
T.F. answers from Kansas City on August 20, 2006
Every state has its own set of regulations, but it is the law in every state that I know of that children must be vaccinated. And since they are paying for this childs health they can absolutely refuse coverage if the parent is not compliant with their regulations. As a nurse I still struggle with why someone would not vaccinate a child. Many doctor's offices now are refusing to see patients that refuse vaccines.
B.C. answers from Oklahoma City on August 20, 2006
I would think that the Immunization Waiver from the Oklahoma Dept. of Health would cover public aid just as it does for school. We fill out that form every year for my son's school as we have not immunized him since he has autism and we worry about the mercury in vaccines. On the form you can decline vaccinations for medical, religious or personal reasons. We always select the personal waiver and then write down the reason, so that way we are not required to have a note from a doctor or a minister.
B.E. answers from Tulsa on August 20, 2006
HI C., I think if your friend is receiving assistance from the gov't, then she would be required to follow the guidlines unless there is a medical/religious reason. Then I don't know what the procedure would be. Have a ? Why would she not want to vaccinate her children? Its to protect them and its free.