Friday, June 10, 2011

Delayed/Selective Vaccination and Mormon Missions

After the school question, this is usually the next one (at least from LDS parents):
So I'm homeschooling, or filing an exemption for my child to attend public school...but what about going on a mission? The church wants missionaries to have a bunch of vaccinations too...

Again there are a couple of options.

Firstly, there are some people who truly cannot be vaccinated. If they have certain allergies (dairy or eggs for example) then they are healthy enough to serve a mission, but cannot receive vaccinations because there is dairy and/or egg in most vaccines. For these individuals, they can still serve missions, but will most likely stay in the USA for their mission. A non-allergic individual who has simply opted-out of vaccinations would have this same option--to just stay 'stateside.' Many people are entirely comfortable with this.

If you are comfortable with vaccination, and simply didn't want to inject too much into a small child, then you have the option to get the vaccines at an older age. This is the route I intend to go with my children. I think that getting a whole bunch of shots in the last 6 months before a mission is equally inappropriate to getting a whole bunch of shots at once with an infant, so I would again spread it across a few years. When each child is in their mid-teens, I will discuss with them about missions and vaccines and inquire as to how they want to proceed. If they are comfortable with being limited in where they might go, I'm ok with that. If they want to keep the foreign/third world country door open, then we would set up a schedule to get the remaining 'required' vaccinations over the high school years. (And another reminder--keep your own records of all the vaccines your kids get and when they get them!)

3 comments:

Life as a Convert (Khourt) said...

Great post especially for curious minds like mine.. My first two were selectively vaxxed but my third has had none.. I do not plan on continuing any vaxxing but always wondered how to go about the mission aspect.

Sarah Familia said...

My midwife's unvaxxed children went on foreign missions, but to Europe. I live in a third-world country with unvaxxed kids. I wonder if they would get sent abroad--to the U.S.A.?

Mallory said...

I think that's what we are planning on doing, too. Maybe when the kiddos turn 12 or something, then they can make decisions about what they want their vax schedule to be...or if they want any at all (and therefore choose a stateside mission).

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