Would you just do it anyway? Picture: iStock.
Would you just do it anyway? Picture: iStock.

Husband wants to choose which vaccinations baby is 'allowed'

WHEN you choose to marry someone, most couples sit down and discuss their hopes and dreams for the future. You tend to enter a marriage or partnership with a plan on how many kids you hope to have, whether you want them to be spread out in age or close together.

But did you have the vaccination chat? At what stage do parents decide that they're going to protect their children against potentially life-threatening illness, or throw caution to the wind and hope their child never has a need for such things? And whose decision is it when both parents can't agree?

"She can have the MMR and not the others"

One mum has recently posted to parenting forum, Mumsnet, with a dilemma of a controversial kind.

"Husband doesn't want DD [darling daughter] who is 13 months to have her injections," she wrote.

"I argued with him to get her eight and 16 weeks ones. Now he said she can have the MMR [measles mumps and rubella] and not the others."

The woman asked the good people of Mumsnet what she should do, and whether she should just take her daughter and have her vaccinated without her husband's knowledge.

She later explained her husband's reasoning

The woman said he thinks vaccines are "all full of stuff" and many of his friends' children are unvaccinated and "they are all OK".

He also has friends with a set of twins, one vaccinated and the other unvaccinated, and since the unvaccinated one is "well ahead of his brother in terms of pretty much everything, education, growing, sports," he has deduced that vaccines caused a delay in one twin.

While these are common assumptions in the anti vax community, hearsay about other people's children isn't the most reliable way to make an educated decision about the welfare of your own child, but the vaccination debate isn't the main issue here.

Is it ever OK to go against your partner's wishes?

Even when you feel they're wrong and you firmly believe in the benefits of vaccinating, is it ever OK to go behind their back?

Many believed it's perfectly reasonable:

"Don't discuss just take her for them," wrote one person, saying that the women should also tell school in the future that all medical matters should be discussed with her mother, and not the father.

Another said that she usually views parenting as a partnership where disagreements should be met in the middle, "but on something so important for a child's health like vaccination I'd just go and do it".

Some suggested she encourage her husband to chat with their health provider who may be able to help educate him on the necessity of vaccination.


There are many reasons to vaccinate your child

The World Health Organisation says, "Immunisation is a proven tool for controlling and eliminating life-threatening infectious diseases and is estimated to avert between two and three million deaths each year. It is one of the most cost-effective health investments, with proven strategies that make it accessible to even the most hard-to-reach and vulnerable populations."

Herd immunity is another factor - the more of the population that are protected against these illnesses, the safer it is for the small number of people who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons.

And someone else's child remaining "OK" despite not being vaccinated is not a guarantee your child will be so lucky.

Then why stop half way?

Why would a father, after having agreed to the first two rounds of vaccinations, think it's OK to prevent his own child from accessing her one-year shots, which are a mixture of booster shots and new vaccines?

"She has been vaccinated already!! Does he not understand that?" asked one person, which really does pose a valid question.

We will never know the reasons behind this, but one thing for sure is that the majority of responses encouraged the woman to go behind her husband's back and vaccinate their daughter.

This story originally appeared on Kidspot and has been republished with permission.

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