Dear Ellie: My wife of 17 years and I have two sons, 16 and 11. The eldest has half his vaccinations, the youngest has none.
Our former family doctor had given our youngest an extra MMR vaccine (protection against measles, mumps and rubella). His mother thinks it affected him negatively.
Now, no vaccines of any kind for them or her.
She’d lived in a Communist country and spent a year in-and-out of hospital when eight-years-old. She was “needled” many times then, with terrible side effects.
She’ll still not listen to any medical experts on anything. She’s about to lose her job because of her unvaccinated status. I work seven days weekly to make ends meet.
The negative consequences to us will be financial, plus limited access to society and the possible negative health outcomes.
I’m fully vaccinated and my older son had one dose. We covertly obtained his health card which she hides.
She’s also used the pandemic as a tool to remove the kids from school with no desire to have them attend, ever.
I’m wondering what are my legal options to get my kids fully vaccinated.
Father at Wit’s End
Your wife’s frightening/painful childhood experiences occurred elsewhere at least 25-plus years ago.
So, she’s refusing to recognize the great contribution to children’s health in this country and many others through vaccines.
The World Health Organization notes that by August 2020 every country worldwide except Pakistan and Afghanistan had eradicated the crippling poliovirus through mass vaccination campaigns reaching millions, mostly children.
Your wife’s fears now expose your children to potential severe illness … when just last Nov. 5, Canadians under 12-years-old accounted for the highest number of new COVID-19 infections, said Chief Public Health Officer Dr. Theresa Tam.
Talk to a family court lawyer to learn the potential legal response to your situation.
With the risks, at this time of writing, of the contagious coronavirus and/or it’s variant(s) on the rise again in several countries, the best chance we all have for staying healthy is full vaccination status.
Keeping school-age children away from socialization and school-based education won’t necessarily prevent every chance of COVID transmission when living with an unvaccinated parent, or having random exposures.
She’s risking a far worse outcome if she refuses her children their right to vaccines.
Seeking a divorce may not provide the response you’re seeking. It breaks up a family, which often creates other unhappy results for the children.
Your wife’s personal experience was terrifying. It could possibly be deemed an acceptable reason for her to not be vaccinated if a medical doctor felt she’s truly at some risk emotionally/physically from it.
But that’s not the case with your two sons.
Feedback regarding the 68-year-old woman’s relationship with a 33-year-old man (Nov. 17):
Reader: “She needs to run, not walk, from this situation. What’s really going on is dangerous. He’s playing on her insecurities: e.g., “Oh, I look 10 years younger!”
“Ask yourself, am I trying to be something I’m not? e.g. Younger? Yes, you are!
“The cost of this pretense is going to be heartbreaking. RUN… and talk with a professional psychologist.”
Reader 2: “I loved the story about the 68-year-old woman with a 33-year-old man. If her finances are secured, I say “go for it!”
“I’m a 57-year-old gay guy who likes the company of much younger men who are self-sufficient. This woman has my full support.
“We have one life to live which goes by rather quickly.
We should all enjoy the life we want.”
Reader’s commentary regarding the man, 25, with a “complicated” live-in girlfriend (Nov. 20):
Reader 1: “In a relationship, “doing what pleases her” and “not wanting to be so immersed in a relationship” means they shouldn’t be living together and he shouldn’t waste further time on her.
“He should find a partner who wants the same things from a relationship as he does. This relationship’s doomed without big changes on her part.”
Reader 2: “At 25 (having met when both were 21) they’re still kids. Time will tell whether they stay together.”
Reader 3: “This woman cannot spend any time with her partner’s parents?
“That’s being super selfish instead of supportive. She does only what pleases her or what her friends talk her into.
“That’s immature and selfish. She doesn’t care what effect it has on her partner. Her actions are more in line with someone in a brand-new relationship.”
Ellie’s tip of the day
Denying COVID vaccination to eligible children risks potentially severe, life-threatening illness.
Send relationship questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.