If a family member has chosen not to vaccinate their child...

Question: 

If a family member has chosen not to vaccinate their child until 4 - and we have a 3 month old baby who is just beginning his immunizations is it safe to expose baby?

Answer: 

A baby who has received their 2 month immunizations will have some protection against the diseases they were immunized against, however they will not be fully protected.  This is because more than one dose of these vaccines is needed for full protection. There are also some diseases (such a measles, mumps and rubella and chicken pox) for which children are not routinely vaccinated against until 12 months of age. So your child would be at risk of getting  a vaccine-preventable disease from an unvaccinated child if the unvaccinated child were to catch that disease. Also, infants and young children are at higher risk of serious illness if they catch a vaccine-preventable disease due to their immature immune systems and physical development.  Once a child has received all of their immunizations, their risk of getting a vaccine-preventable disease from an unvaccinated child (or adult) decreases.  There may be many instances in which your child may be in an environment in which there may be people who are not immunized.  It is important to weigh the risks and benefits in making the decision as to whether you want your child to be in that environment.  We encourage you to discuss this further with your primary health care provider or a public health nurse. You will find the phone number for your health unit here.

Date last updated: 
Friday, Apr 29, 2016
Date last reviewed: 
Wednesday, Nov 01, 2017