Why are you unvaccinated?



I can’t remember what I have and haven’t been vaccinated for, I don’t know how anyone can remember, although I haven’t had flu shots in the past few years because I have been sick for the past few years, and I have had eczema vaccinatum/ a nasty case of cowpox, and I won’t ever forget that. And I have had chicken pox.

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Usually you can get your vax records from your high school, grade school or college. Most will require vaccinations, and have the records on file pretty much forever. I needed to go back to my high school for mine when I went to college about 12 years after I graduated.


There are immunity tests if your records aren’t available.


one of my friends - now in his late 50s recalled calling up his mother and asking her if he’d been vaccinated for the mumps or something when he was a kid.

His mother said “let’s see, which one were you…” (in a family of 5 or 6 kids).


And how am I supposed to do that?

And how am I supposed to do that?

I don’t even know who most of them were. I could have a lot of trouble with the whole mismatched-identification issues, too.

Which is part of being human.

Which is part of our life, and of our bureaucracies too.

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Anymore shots for the messenger? Some adults maintain these things called personal records, possibly in a lock box or filing cabinet, or maybe just in a pile of random papers on the floor of your closet. Often vaccination history goes in these personal records. And if you are a parent the state (even my current state of residence, Arizona) often provides you with a vaccination record book to keep for your child. Copies of this go to schools, daycare, and eventually universities. My mother just happened to have my childhood record, which is now with my files. My wife’s mother also had her records. Pretty amazing.

Or, if you don’t have your records you can always get tested. I hear that a new way to find out if your MMR vaccine is up to date is to go Disneyland and see if you get sick.


Neither can I, but that’s only because I’ve lost count. In most cases, if a vaccination is vitally important they’ll either test for antibodies/indicators or just give you another shot of it.

I think I’ve had the lot, or at least, most of them. Working with excitingly infectious material means that no chances are taken. I can remember the ones that had side-effects, but the rest is a couple of years of being a pin-cushion.


I definitely know (at any given time) that I am up to date on my Tetanus – given my predilection for injuries involving questionable sharp objects I tend to get the booster much more frequently than every 10 years.
I should get the measles booster since I am at the tail end of that less-than-effective formula that they used in the 60’s.


I’m not sure we as adults need to react to the anti-vaxx movement by undergoing complete vaccination status assays and ensuring we have had every possible vaccination available.

The real critical issue at hand is directly related to common childhood illnesses that can be very serious for children and spread amongst child populations. Vaccinations for these illnesses are readily available, well advertised, and subsidised by government, and it is well within the cognitive capabilities of most adults to keep track of whether their kids have had their shots or not.

As an adult, I kind of struggle to remember much like yourself. I usually get a flu shot just because I can’t risk the time off work, although they are only really recommended for vulnerable groups here in Australia. Chicken pox went around here a year or so ago and an adult I know got it, it is a fucking awful disease in adults. I didn’t think I’d had it, I got tested and I hadn’t, I got a shot for that (two shots, now I think back). Man, that guy suffered.

Edit: OK I can think of some exceptions now. I’ve been sure to be up to date with Whooping cough whenever we had a baby, and we got any relatives who wanted to spend time in the house to get vaccinated for that too until the baby was vaccinated. There were outbreaks during those years. Also like @SmashMartian @crenquis I manage to stay up to date with tetanus by regularly cutting myself and going to emergency.


My mother followed the practice advised in those days of annotating my vaccination/ailment history on the back of my birth certificate. I took it with me when I moved out.

But that all pales to the vaccinations that Uncle Sam gave me when I enlisted and later (the USAR having lost my medical records…) repeated when I was preparing for commissioning.

I never got the overseas deployment set, just the usual round of “you’re in the army now” shots. Twice.


I use The Crenquis Method* these days, but in the past it’s been the “Incubator Full Of Slants” or the “Mystery Tissue Sample” methods.

*Also a Tribute Band.


Yeah, I have boxes and boxes of personal records… now how am I supposed to know which old records I should have, or remember which records I do have, or find them…?

I can’t get tests for anything but the most common allergies, either, even when I’ve had severe reactions to who-knows-what and to antihistamines, so I doubt I could get tests for immunity either.

I haven’t been vaccinated for the flu because I have an egg allergy. It sucks when I hear people around me saying that they haven’t been vaccinated for idiotic reasons since I would have some protection from herd immunity.


Here’s a little something to help you protect yourself:

According to the CDC site, Flublok is a regular Trivalent vaccine that doesn’t use eggs or LAV techniques (I think it uses recombinant methods). It has a shorter shelf life (6 months), but is safe and effective for people with egg allergies.

Flublok’s website says that Passport Health Travel clinics are it’s preferred outlet (if you go there, they’re guaranteed to have Flublok), the website where you can locate a clinic near where you live is http://www.passporthealthusa.com/


Slides 1 and 3 are wrong.
Almost all the anti-vaccination talk comes from slide 2 people these days: upper middle-class or higher, who think their perfect snowflakes will get some advantage from not being jabbed.
Vaccination rates among the poor are high, and no major religion is against them, unless you count Christian Scientists as a major religion.Quite the opposite, in fact, if you read this.

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I question the sincerity of your post, but I will bite. Basically, one can read through your collection of files and records. If they are organized, this will be quicker. It is no different than going through your records to find the relevant information to renew a passport, apply for a visa, get a dog license, get your dog vaccinated, get utilities turned on in a new municipality, buy a car and get new plates, find the records for your the last eco-check on your car’s emissions for plate renewal, find records for your dog’s last vaccinations for dog license renewal, and so on, and so forth. These are basic elements of participating in civil society, at least for most of us.

I also don’t quite understand your overall response to a comic poking fun at the idiotic reasons people do not get vaccinated. Is there a transparent soapbox you are standing on?


Our local hospital requires full vaccinations for all employees. For the folks that can’t prove their records, they get a titer test. Whichever antibodies don’t show up, they stick a needle in your arm and re-up you.

I couldn’t prove my MMR (for pretty much the reasons you listed), so they took a titer. The rubeola/measles came back negative, so I got the needle. Took another titer, rubeola still comes up negative, so they stuck me one more time. The rubeola antibody titer still comes back negative, so I guess it’s just not effective for me.


Basic organizational skills? There are plenty of books and websites with tips on developing filing systems if no one taught you that in school (Which is not at all an unusual situation, unfortunately. Typically we graduate high school knowing trigonometry but not personal finance.)


I’ve gone through my personal records a few times, and I’m pretty sure I’ve got no documentation whatsoever about my vaccinations. My parents told me I’d been vaccinated, and somehow I got into public schools where vaccination was a hard requirement, so maybe there’s some documentation somewhere, but I doubt my mother’s still got it.

Once, when I’d called in sick to work, my employer insisted that I get a note from a doctor before returning to work. I gather that’s become common. After the doctor and I discussed the absurdity of insisting that someone recovering from a cold see a doctor, she suggested that, as long as I was there, I may as well get a tetanus booster.

So, there’s that, and I got a flu shot two months ago.