Part of the Bay Area News Group

BOOTED From the Play Group

By Jackie Burrell
Tuesday, June 3rd, 2008 at 6:00 am in Babies & Tots, Health & Safety.

Vaccine (Stock.xchng photo) On Sunday, Randy Cohen, the syndicated “Ethicist” columnist, waded into the immunization fray with a column called “Kicked Out of the Play Group.” A mother had written in to say her play group for infants to 4-year-olds, had voted to boot a family who refused to immunize their kids. “Was that wrong?” she asked. Cohen’s answer: yes.

We’re not so sure. Cohen’s rationale was that the family in question was endangering their own children and other non-vaccinated kids, not members of the playgroup. But the latest CDC news on measles outbreaks includes 13 cases of babies under the age of 1 — i.e., too young to be vaccinated. And this playgroup included infants.

What do you think? Punch a button on the poll or click “comments” and weigh in. Want more info? Read on for more information about immunizations, including autism concerns.



Measles, whooping cough, polio — these are all preventable diseases when kids are immunized. When they’re not? These are big time, serious and highly contagious diseases. Need an example? A whooping cough outbreak at an El Sobrante Waldorf School recently sickened 17 children. The disease swept through the school.

We’ve heard from families who think this is a parents’ rights issue, and others who see it as a public health concern. (For the medical viewpoint, check out the American Academy of Pediatrics site — click the vaccine safety link — and Sutter Health’s helpful, comprehensive guide to childhood vaccines.) Opponents of immunizations often point to lingering doubts about the possibility of a vaccine-autism connection, and they say they don’t want their kid injected with thimerosal, a mercury-related compound that hasn’t been used in routine childhood vaccines in years.

What do you think? Was the Ethicist wrong? Should families have booted the un-vaccinated kids? Click “comments” and tell us.

[You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.]

No Responses to “BOOTED From the Play Group”

  1. Luna Says:

    if YOUR child is immunized what sort of risk is it if they are around non-immunized children?

  2. Jackie Burrell Says:

    If your child is under 1, he or she has not been immunized against measles. Doctors normally wait until the first birthday to administer that particular vaccine because babies’ immune systems are not considered mature enough for it.

  3. Ann Says:

    Also, if you or another Mom in the playgroup are pregnant (and maybe don’t even know it yet) you’re putting your unborn child at risk.

  4. Noreen Says:

    immunization does not protect 100% against a disease in every child. That is why they give more than one shot of some vaccines. Each addition shot give more protection, how much depends on the child and the disease. for example the chicken pox vaccine, some people can still get it after immunization but it will usually be milder.

Leave a Reply