Mom: Family that didn’t vaccinate children put my baby in quarantine

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OAKLAND, Cali. – It’s an unseasonably warm day in Oakland, California, a perfect morning for Jennifer and Dave Simon to take their baby, Livia, out for a walk.

But her stroller sits idle, and Livia is stuck inside the house — as she has been for nearly a month.

Livia isn’t sick, but doctors fear she might become the 53rd person to contract measles in a recent Disneyland outbreak. Now she’s in a 28-day quarantine, because of a family that refused to vaccinate their child.

It started January 2, when the Simons took Livia, who had a cold, to the pediatrician. Two days later, the doctor’s office called to say that a child with measles had been in the office that same day.

The Simons feared the worst.

One of the most contagious viruses on Earth, measles can hang in the air or on surfaces for hours. If she’d contracted the disease, Livia could become deaf or even die.

“We were really freaking out and really worried,” Jennifer Simon said.

Then the Simons learned from a doctor that the child in the doctor’s office had contracted measles because his parents had refused vaccination.

Livia, just 6 months old, is too young to be vaccinated.

“I’m angry,” Simon said. “I’ve been upset that someone else’s personal choice has impacted us so much.”

In Alameda County, where Simon lives, nine infants were in quarantine as of Tuesday night because of the measles outbreak, a spokeswoman said.

Simon said she hopes families who opt not to immunize their children realize the full impact of their decision.

“Their choice endangered my child,” she said.

She points out that vaccine refusers rely on other people to protect their children. It’s called herd immunity. If the rest of the community is immune to disease, it helps keep the disease from spreading to those who are unvaccinated.

“You’re basically relying on society but not giving back,” she said.

Livia’s quarantine ends Friday.

A happy baby, she doesn’t seem to mind being at home, but it’s disrupted the Simons’ life and cost them money, as the couple had to miss work for several days and then bring Jennifer’s mother in from Houston to stay home with Livia.

When asked what she would say to parents of the unvaccinated child, she said she would first ask whether their child was doing OK.

Then she would ask them a question: “Hey, you guys, what do you think about vaccines now?”

By: Elizabeth Cohen for CNN

34 comments

  • John

    What about vaccinated people shedding (live virus from a vaccine is transmitted or spread to someone else) on people who cannot receive vaccinations? The shedding of the live virus from a vaccinated person can spread to an unvaccinated person which can cause harm. People being vaccinated should be quarantined too.

      • Jill

        A 2014 report released by the Council of Foreign Relations to identify countries with the highest rates of disease outbreaks, revealed that the most highly vaccinated populations are also those with the greatest number of outbreaks for those same infectious diseases. This was especially the case for measles, mumps, rubella, polio and pertussis outbreaks. The US, Canada, the European Union, Australia and New Zealand, and Japan—each with the highest number of mandated vaccines—led the list of nations. The Office of Medical and Scientific Justice, which analyzed the report, concluded that the Council’s report clearly suggests the theory of “herd immunity” is failing or was flawed to begin with. Given the repeated incidences of infectious outbreaks in populations with 94% or more vaccine compliance, and the emergence of new viral strains, the concept of herd immunity should be forgotten. The Office offers several possibilities to explain the report: 1) vaccines are increasingly becoming ineffective and causing “immune dysfunction,” and 2) “vaccine antigen responses” may be reprogramming viruses while weakening the immune systems of the most vaccinated individuals.

    • Doctor

      There is a higher likelihood of you spreading stupidity than a person being vaccinated spreading their attenuated virus to someone else.

    • Mary

      This is incorrect for any virus used to create a vaccine is in fact either dead or weakened. This meaning that it has been engineered to not be able to reproduce like normal through the body. This is usually only used like in a nasal mist like the flu vaccine has. The point is for the person to create antibodies and to immunize them against it. You cannot spread the virus to someone else because you do not have an active strain that is contagious. There are a lot of myths out there about vaccines. You should research prior to making comments like these.

      • Calli

        Overall, measles virus RNA was detected in 10 of 12 children during the 2-week sampling period. In some cases, measles virus RNA was detected as early as 1 day or as late as 14 days after vaccination.

      • Doctor

        Calli, your ability to quote scientific journals out of context to support your flawed logic is amazing, you must work for Fox News. Yes, measles virus RNA can be found in people who have recently been vaccinated against measles, because that’s how an attenuated vaccine works. These cases of measles in this most recent outbreak are not in kids who were recently vaccinated, these are kids who were not vaccinated at all, probably because their parents think like you.

    • Utahn

      Can you give us a source (as in a REAL scientific source using the scientific method) for this allegation? I keep hearing this from anti-vaxxers, but no one can give me a research article about it. hmm…

  • Paula Jonas

    I have a daughter that passed away when she was 2 1/2 years old. At that point there was no vaccine for the disease she died from. I was so worried that she could have exposed others, I went into a horrible depression. I still advocate for vaccinations. They finally have a vaccination available, but guidelines still have her age group off the mandatory list. Now only high school and college students are suggested for use. The vaccine may not have changed my daughter’s out come, but they are available so please take advantage of vaccinations.

    • Doctor

      Very sorry to hear about your daughter, we are trying to get everyone 11 and over to get the meningitis vaccine now, luckily there isn’t as much controversy about that vaccine… yet.

  • safer midwifery utah

    What a surprise that these folks were from Orem, home birth/crunch capitol of Utah. You can thank your local home birth midwife for making sure their practices churn out countless unvaccinated babies that can put everyone at risk. I wish that non-vaxxers had to sit and talk to immunocompromised people about how they could just straight up die because so and so doesn’t understand science.

    I also really hate the way that people avoid vaccination because they think it causes autism. Would you really rather have a dead kid than one with autism? how about one who is sterile bc they had measles?

    • Jennylynn

      These people were from Oakland California, where did you read Orem? Outside of that, I agree wholeheartedly!

    • actually informed

      Uhm… midwives can absolutely vaccinate and do all the routine care at hone births. Or parents can take their child to their pediatrician street a home birth. Are you really that stupid to blame all of this on home birthing? You are extremely ignorant and obviously don’t know how to read as the family is in California… there is a difference between actual credible research and reading the blog of a pissed off mom.

      • safer midwifery utah

        Nurse midwives, maybe. I’ve made a habit of tracking midwives in Utah and their behaviors, and the midwives in Utah (including the dean of the Midwive’s School of Utah, who sits on the board of the MEAC which accredits midwifery schools) are anti-vaccine. Perhaps you are unaware of the way that home birth midwives have bastardized the title “midwife” for their own profit?

    • 10cowwoman

      Vax’s don’t cause autism. Years ago the leading doc who published this research and findings was found to be a fraud. None of the research and findings had any validity. He then admitted that his research was bogus. He has since lost his license to practice medicine in any way, shape, or form.

  • Jennylynn

    I find it very hard to believe these people were told by a doctor that a patient in his office refused a vaccine since it wouldn’t be too difficult to find out who that patient was, that would be a HIPAA violation!

  • TIM

    Yeah, well, all I know is that when I was in elementary school every kid had gotten a vaccine and almost every one of us got the measles. We stayed home from school for a week, our friends brought us our homework, and NOT ONE SINGLE ONE OF US DIED. But then, in the 60’s measles was known as a ‘childhood disease’. It was pretty much expected you’d get it, you did, nothing happened and nobody freaked out about it. Plus, once you actually got it, you really didn’t ever get it again because our immune systems were apparently WAY smarter than the vaccine. The only difference between then and now is media manipulation of ‘facts’ coming from ‘experts’ who are driven solely by profit, not by any real concern for the general populace.

  • cynthia

    How can someone who has not been vaccinated spread the disease when they do not have It in their system. If they have it Its because someone who received the vaccine has spread it to them. Each vaccine has the virus in it. Whether it’s been a live or dead virus it’s still in your system. Plus if the flu vaccines were not effective this year. What makes you think other vaccines are? They could have easily been as ineffective as the flu vaccine.

  • Angie

    1st… HIPAA violation.. if true, 2nd very unlikely for infant to die from it nowadays and 3rd it’s life, this things happen, not everyone is perfect and there is no need to find someone to blame. You can’t tell parents their way of parenting is wrong, unless it’s abusive, it’s their choice and I’m sure they probably had a good reason to not vaccinate their children just like people that do have theirs. I personally had my child vaccinated but that was my choice as a parent. I feel bad for that baby and I send positive thoughts her way, but it’s very likely that she doesn’t have it and they are making a big fuss about a 6 month old staying at home for a month.

    • REAL DOCTOR

      1st, why would this be a HIPAA violation? If I had to tell another parent that their kid I saw in clinic might have gotten measles from another patient, I’m sure that parent will ask how this could have happened in this day and age of vaccines. At which point I would tell them that the only way we have this epidemic right now is because some kids aren’t getting vaccinated. 2nd, it is more likely for an infant to die from measles than it is for an older child, and at the very least they are at risk of getting very ill from the complications (ear infections, pneumonia, diarrhea leading to dehydration). I’m not sure why there are so many comments out there from folks reminiscing about how measles is just an inconvenience, perhaps dementia setting in? 3rd, not everyone can just be a stay at home parent and keep their kids out of daycare because they have no need for income.

      • Autism Advocate

        Wow! To those who do not have an Autistic child it is easy to ridicule what you do not understand. The truth is… most parents of children with Autism are very careful with vaccines. I am not saying that these children will not receive every single vaccine needed but… it might be on a different schedule for administration. My family is from Minneapolis, MN and we now live in Utah. I have seen families with 2 or 3 Autistic children in Utah. You can’t tell me that these parents shouldn’t be careful in every avenue of child rearing. Parents of children with Autism are not hippies declining vaccines. They are hyper- vigilant moms and dads that are very calculated in every decision they make. Children with Autism are a big responsibility. How dare anyone pass judgment on a community of parents that are literally giving every possible effort.

      • REAL DOCTOR

        AUTISM ADVOCATE, are you responding to me? Not sure which part made you think I’m ridiculing parents of children with autism. Actually, I haven’t seen autism referenced at all except by one of the earlier commenters. And actually I’ve found that, at least in my clinic, the parents of autistic children do want their kids to get vaccines. So… I agree with you? Or are you advocating for autism? In which case I disagree???

      • ANGIE

        It is a HIPPA violation if the patient can be identified with the information given specially knowing the location and the very few cases of measles in that area. Second I didn’t say that there couldn’t be complications but that it was unlikely for the kid to die nowadays (yes infants are more likely to die than older children, everyone knows that, but that is irrelevant to this comment) 3rd. I didn’t say it wasn’t an inconvenience having to stay at home or finding someone to look after your child (again irrelevant to this comment) but I am pretty sure that to most parents their children are their priorities and they would find a way to make it work. By the way your rude comments about dementia setting in? Are uncalled for. And if you really are a “REAL DOCTOR” (which I doubt) I feel bad for your patients. That’s all.

  • Amy

    I notice that the age of the child who came into the office with the measels wasn’t disclosed. It could have been an infant that isn’t able to be vaccinated also. A solid case…or article, would have that info. Also how many children get the measels despite vaccinnation? There is a number. What is that number. Also you say these are the highest stats for this disease since 2000….how much higher? I’m not pro or anti vaccination. I’m PRO INFORMATION. All vaccinations should have: 1) full ingredient disclosure. 2) Full list of possible side effects and warnings like any other med on the market. 3)I’d like to take it a step further and add information on care after vax, like they are finally telling people to eat yogurt with a probiotic. Detox the vax after info should be included. 4)The last 50 years of outbreak stats including those who contracted the disease despite getting vaccinated. 5) Now you can make an educated decision. Full choice of consumption for yourself and for your children. Anyone who argues the first 4 of these? Please tell me why. Those of you who are yelling for vax, please know it doesn’t make it 100% gone. Never has. So there is a lot more to this discussion than meets the eye.

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