California to Puerto Rico

Vaccines and Vaccination Exemption in Puerto Rico

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Vaccination Exemption Puerto RicoLong story short, we have chosen to not vaccinate our daughter. I was fairly worried about how this “extreme” way of thinking would go over in Puerto Rico, but lo and behold, it’s fairly simple!

Luckly, we were tipped off that all Puerto Rican hospitals would refuse to release you and your child without giving your newborn a Hep B vaccination, UNLESS you have an affidavit from a lawyer stating that you refuse your child being injected with a Hep B vaccine. I’m not sure where our affidavit went, as I’ve loaned it out to several other expectant parents so that they could take it to an abogato (lawyer) and use it as a guideline for their own, but you can simply go to a lawyer here in Puerto Rico, explain what you want (an affidavit for refusal of Hepatitis B vaccination) and they should be able to type it up and notarize it for you.

We’ve been to two pediatricians here in Puerto Rico, and both of them were visibly annoyed that we have not vaccinated our child and we were told that we “have to or else she will not be able to go to school” (but I’ve been told, this is common on the mainland too). Well, that is not true, so don’t believe the hype.

Sydney is currently attending a pre-school in Aguada and one of the things that all schools/pre-schools/daycares in Puerto Rico require is what is called a P-Vac3. A P-Vac3 is a document you get from a doctor that says that your child is up to date on their vaccinations (you basically take your vaccination card to a doctor and they will issue you a P-Vac3). What they fail to tell you is that a P-Vac3 is NOT required. You can submit a notarized vaccination exemption in place of a P-Vac3.

Not interested in vaccinating your child, but want them to attend school, pre-school or daycare in Puerto Rico? You can download/print a vaccination exemption here:


Vaccination exemption for Puerto Rico – Spanish

Vaccination exemption for Puerto Rico – English

Print the vaccination exemption form above, take it to a lawyer and they will notarize it for you for $20. That’s it!

Comments

29 thoughts on “Vaccines and Vaccination Exemption in Puerto Rico

  1. Jeremy

    I read in your blog that you decided not to vaccinate your little girl. I would suggest you reconsider that. I had parents that decide to not vaccinate me and as a result I have had:
    Mumps
    Scarlett fever
    Diptheria
    Whooping cough
    Chicken pox
    Shingles (three times)
    Jenny McCarthy believes her son has Autism because of vaccinations but I think she is delusional as there is no evidence of a link either causal or casual between vaccinations and Autism. I have studied how vaccines work and are made plus my wife is a doctor. Both of us have reached the same conclusion as Jonas Salk: vaccines are safe and prevent disease. There is lots of evidence that proves this. If you do not vaccinate your child you are trusting that OTHER PEOPLE have vaccinated their children and therefore will prevent your baby from contacting the disease vector.
    I do not expect you to really heed this advice but after the horrible, scarring, and painfull illnesses that I have had and will continue to have for the rest of my life (shingles is ongoing and not curable) I could not let this subject go. It is my lifelong goal to see that every child is spared the pain I have endured.
    20% of children who contract Diptheria die from it. Whooping cough kills 250,000 children per year (2009) do not take this lightly as you are ignoring a serious danger. Vaccinate your children!

    • Summer

      Hi Jeremy, There is not a vaccine for children for shingles (but even if there was, I wouldn’t give it to my child). Getting sick is a part of life and it builds your immune system. I am not willing to risk injuring my child’s brain or killing her to prevent a disease that is not life-threatening. Read the insert to the MMR vaccine. No, it does not say that “autism” is a complication, but it does say that permanent brain damage is. Is that really so different or better then “autism”?

      Where did you get that statistic that says 250,000 children died from whooping cough in 2009? There were only 16,858 cases of whooping cough in the USA in 2009 (http://www.cdc.gov/nchs/fastats/whooping.htm) and very few children die from it. There was an “outbreak” of whooping cough when we were in San Diego when Sydney was 6 months old. I was concerned about it, so I kept up on the weekly California Department of Public Health’s newsletter (here’s one: http://www.sdcounty.ca.gov/Portal/News/2011/Feb/022411whoopingcough.html), which outlined where the outbreaks were happening and info on the people that had contracted it. The vast majority of the people that were reported as having caught the disease, where vaccinated against it.

      I was not vaccinated as a child and I’ve only taken antibiotics once in my life. I’m probably one of the healthiest people that I know. Yes, I get sick on occasion, but I always get better without taking drugs. We will probably eventually get the polio vaccine for Syd and maybe DTap as well, since there is lots of pokey rusty stuff here in PR (and tetanus is a gnarly disease), but I’m not going to inject her with a bunch of diseases and chemicals to prevent something as silly as chicken pox or the flu. I’m not trying to sway anyone else from what they choose to do when it comes to vaccination. I’ve done my research and know what is best for myself and my child. If someone else thinks that the risk versus reward for vaccination is worth it for their child, that is their choice.

      • Tiara

        Summer, you’re doing the right thing. I’ve done my research as well and decide not to vaccinate my daughter. As a kid I was vaccinated and still got the chicken pox, measles,H1N1 flu,etc.. I wouldn’t go against ole dude. He clearly isn’t quite informed. But who am I to say anything lol totally agree with you. We’re thinking about moving “from the mainland” to PR. So I’m interested in the vax exemption form. But it’s not showing up ????

  2. adolfojp

    “I’ve done my research”

    Can you please show us your research? A blog post with this information would be incredibly beneficial to all of us.

    “and know what is best for myself and my child.”

    Are you really saying that you’re more qualified in the field of medicine than your doctors?

    “If someone else thinks that the risk versus reward for vaccination is worth it for their child, that is their choice.”

    You’re exposing the other children at the school to your non inoculated child. You’re taking their choice away from them. And have you heard of the concept of herd immunity?

  3. Taylor

    There is a vaccination for shingles, it’s the chicken pox vaccine. Shingles is the adult manifestation of childhood chicken pox infection. The virus can lay dormant until the individual becomes immunocompromized, often seen in senior citizens.

  4. James

    Thanks for the blog, I love it. I love the thinking about the vaccinations as well. Parenting is always a catch 22. Take athletics, if you don’t teach your kids to play they’re more likely to be over weight, but if they do play they could be injured or hurt. With Vaccines it’s the same. Your child could be sick by not having the vaccines or they could have side effects from the vaccines. My mother is a special needs teacher and she had a student (who has since past away) that was born with normal health and function. She was vaccinated which caused a very rapid uncontrolled fever that damaged her neurologically and left her with limited mental abilities. I am saying this is common, no. All I am say is that if that was my beautiful little girl, and she ended up this way because of something that was forced on me, I wouldn’t be happy. I am glad we have choice, because in the end, there is no right answer. I look forward to many more years of reading your blog and seeing your families healthy growth. My best to you and all your readers regardless if they have been vaccinated or not.

    James :)

  5. Summer

    Adolfojp – Yes. It’s true, I have done my research and know what is best for my child. If you consider educating yourself on vaccines/vaccination is saying that “you’re more qualify in the field of medicine than your doctors”, then yes. Yes I’ve heard of “herd immunity”, it means that you will do what is in the best interest of the “herd” including sacrificing your child. Vaccines don’t make you immune to sickness. Refer to the California Department of Public Health newsletter I referenced above. How do you explain that the majority of people catching, carrying and spreading whooping cough have been vaccinated against this disease? I’m not exposing anyone to anything by choosing not to vaccinate my child. If they are vaccinated, they are immune, right?

  6. Carol

    Hello guys!! This is a really interesting issue, but it is also an individual choice. I can tell you I know a man who wasn’t vaccinated for polio and he had so much bad luck that he got it! He can live with it but he has one very skinny leg and he limps (I don’t know if it is the right term for “cojear”). I don’t know anyone who got side effects from vaccines. You should see the pros and cons and make your decision. Good luck!!

  7. Jeremy

    “Getting sick is a part of life and it builds your immune system” that’s exactly how the vaccine works! It builds you immunity. Would you go into a sword fight and risk death without a lesson with a Nerf stick? Yes ,you may be impaled by the stick but I’d rather take a chance with the stick rather than find the sharp end of the sword unprepared.

    Do not call chicken pox a “silly disease” it is a horrible painfull illness that scarred my body and forever after I will deal with an outbreak of shingles about every 8-10 years that puts my in bed with pain and oozing sores in a stripe that starts at the spine and follows the nerve sheaths out and around my ribs. It is far from silly or benign. I think this is the only part of your response that angered me. Would you laugh at Hepatitis or Arthritis?

    Herd Immunity does not mean that you are sacrificing your child for the herd. It means that because the rest of the herd is immune, your child will not be exposed and therefore is immune. The problem is more and more people are not immune, therefore the risks are getting larger that you will catch ill. Vaccinations are becoming so unpopular that our Herd Immunity is threatened and we now face a fast coming future where childhood disease outbreaks are once again killing children like we were a third world country. http://degreesofclarity.com/writing/mmr/

    The outbreaks of whooping cough are an excellent learning opportunity, it has taught us that there is no lifelong immunity to that deadly disease, the W.H.O. says that 195,000 children die annually worldwide from whooping cough http://www.who.int/immunization/topics/pertussis/en/index.html the lesson of the San Diego outbreaks is that you need boosters to maintain immunity.

    Measles kills one million children worldwide annually according to the National Disease Surveillance Centre and the Department of Public Health, (England). It is also says Measles is difficult to diagnose accurately, as other viral infections can be mistaken for measles, raising the chances of permanent damage. 1 in 800 children who get measles will get brain damage. The figure drops to zero with vaccination- there is not one verifiable case of a properly vaccinated child with brain damage from measles http://www.hpsc.ie/hpsc/A-Z/VaccinePreventable/Mumps/Publications/File,1242,en.pdf

    MMR: one of the side effects of measles or mumps if you catch them is BRAIN DAMAGE. Usually caused by the spinal cord swelling or high fever. Before a measles vaccine was licensed in 1964, more than 500,000 cases of measles were reported on average in the United States annually, with about 48,000 hospitalizations and 450 deaths from the disease. After the introduction of the vaccine, the number of measles cases went down 99.9 percent to about 50 cases a year, mostly originating from outside the country in non vaccinated populations. Here I will quote from the actual mmr vaccine insert: There are less than 1 in 1,000,000, cases of any serious allergic reaction to MMR vaccination and the severe reaction that causes brain damage is so rare it is hard to say they were caused by the vaccination. http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/pubs/vis/downloads/vis-mmr.pdf

    Rubella is a minor disease except for one time- when a pregnant woman gets it. A pregnant woman who contracts rubella runs an extremely high risk of either spontaneous abortion, delivering a stillborn baby, or delivering a baby with Congenital Rubella Syndrome. CRS babies exhibit defects such as deafness, retardation and various neurological problems, small head size, and poor prognosis of survival. Cases of Rubella run higher in teens and young adults, mostly among the incompletely vaccinated. This is especially dangerous because these are also prime times to become pregnant. Rubella can kill either your daughters child or she could pass it on to one of her pregnant friends.

    The doctor who started the MMR doubt in England, a Dr Wakefield, was paid off by lawyers to prove the vaccine was unsafe. The study was reviewed by his peers and found to be falsified. He later retracted the paper. http://www.skepdic.com/antivaccination.html#wakefield The lasting legacy of his newspaper coverage is a reduction in the number of people who vaccinate and a rise in those diseases http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MMR_vaccine_controversy ( I don’t consider Wikipedia as a source but it does have multiple links to actual studies and is quicker than pasting them all)
    I do not expect you to change your mind, you have made a decision and I think you should stick with it, it is better to be comfortable with your medical care than to blindly go with whatever the rest of us are doing. But please consider removing this entire blog post

  8. Michael

    Agreed to a point. Whenever I see an ad for “flu vaccines” I audibly laugh, but there are a few others where it is very well worth the risk. Just as a note, don’t quote state or any government/media anything. They’re always biased. Look for the studies.
    Bettiol S, Wang K, Thompson MJ, et al. (2012). “Symptomatic treatment of the cough in whooping cough”. Cochrane Database Syst Rev (5): CD003257
    this is the whooping cough study btw

    Vaccinating as a whole will usually always have more benefits than not vaccinating. But it’s up to the parent to take that gamble.

  9. Loretta

    Summer,
    You are a Mom and that gives you the right to be “The Best Mom” you can be. Their is no handbook on parenting. You are doing in your heart what you feel is right. I think it’s a very Controversial topic that will divide parents all over. Know this…. You live a very Healthy life style as does your child. Puerto Rico in my mind gives people, health & longevity. Many of the people that live in Rincon that I know are elderly and are still running rings around my 51 years. Healthy diet, exercise, holistic medication Etc….. will give a person a Happy Healthy Life. I vaccinated my children but I know as a Mom it’s a personal decision. I could not say either way what you should do. You are “The Mom” Being a parent is the hardest thing I have ever done in my life and I know I have made some bad decisions. None of us have the market on parenting. Good luck in whatever you decide to do. Either way your decision is the one you make as her Mom. Keep living healthy and getting the vitamin D from the sun. Surfing the Ocean for exercise and Eating the Eggs that you have cooked from The Chickens you have raised, and fruit from your garden and you have half the battle down. You are a good Mom and know that your child will love you for all the love you bring to her. :)

  10. Mina

    I was vaccinated and still came down with several diseases. I did not vaccinate any one of my now adult boys ( who, by the way, all attended public school) and they have never, and I mean never, have gotten so much as the flu! Why, because I fed my children organic only, never gave them OTC’s and kept them away from unhealthy circumstances. They all breasted till they weaned themselves and never had fluoride.
    Summer is doing the right thing by her child. “Let food be thy medicine, and medicine be thy food” anything that is not naturally made is poison. And I and my boys are not “one of the lucky few ” there are hundreds of healthy un-vaccinated children and adults. Conventional doctors don’t cure, they kill. That’s my story and I ‘m stickin to it.

  11. Summer

    Jeremy – Yes getting sick is a part of life that builds your immune system. That doesn’t mean that you should inject your self with every possible disease that you could possibly get PLUS preservatives and other stuff that can literally kill you or permanently injure your brain. I have no interest in getting into a statistic battle with someone that quotes statistics that are not true (your first post said that 250,000 children die per year from whooping cough, now you are saying that it’s really 195,000 worldwide.). So here is the real deal in regards to whooping cough: In 2008, 16,000,000 cases of whooping cough (pertussis) occurred worldwide, BUT 95% of those where in developing countries (not the USA), so let’s round up and say that .25% of those 16,000,000 cases occurred in the USA. That puts us at about 40,000 cases of pertussis which is much higher than the actual 17,000 cases in the USA in 2009, but whatever, let’s pretend like there was an “outbreak!” and call it .25%. According to statistics, 1.21% of people that contract pertussis die from it (once again, this is a worldwide statistic and would be much less in the USA). So, if there was a crazy outbreak in the USA and the actual amount of pertussis cases more than DOUBLED, there would still be less than 500 deaths from pertussis in the USA annually. You have a better chance of being struck by lightning than dieing from pertussis.

    In 2012, $216,323,760.31 was paid out to families whose children where injured/killed by vaccines (http://www.hrsa.gov/vaccinecompensation/statisticsreports.html#claimscompensated). If you think those settlement checks didn’t come with confidentiality agreements, you don’t understand how the law and business works.

    I’m sorry that you have shingles, that sucks, but I’m not going to possibly injure my child because you somehow think that it would mean you wouldn’t get itchy and rashy once every 8-10 years. I’ve had chicken pox, as has 99% of the thousands of people that I know. Not a single one has shingles. Injecting children with a chicken pox vaccine is not the answer to your problem.

    I know several people whose children have had adverse reactions to vaccines. Ranging from autism (oh no, that magic word that makes pro-vaccine people crazy. Should I just say “brain injury” as outlined in the drug manufacturers pamphlets?) to Guillain-Barre syndrome (which racked up nearly $1Million in medical bills for one toddler that I know) to phantom ear infections that required surgery. Every un-vaccinated child I know has never had any weird/unexplained/random illness.

    The bottom line is that you can do whatever you want with your kid. Like I said before, if you think that the risk versus reward for vaccination is worth it, than go for it. But to ask someone to take down a post that is simply offering a form to use if you chose to not vaccinate your child, well, that is just trying to spread ignorant propaganda.

    I’m not preaching anti-vaccination. Most of my friends vaccinate their children and that is fine with me. But if someone out there chooses not to, I want them to have the information they need in order to enroll an unvaccinated child into school/daycare. And there you have it 😉

  12. Rosana

    “I’m not preaching anti-vaccination. Most of my friends vaccinate their children and that is fine with me. But if someone out there chooses not to, I want them to have the information they need in order to enroll an unvaccinated child into school/daycare. And there you have it” I agree, I vaccinate my kids but after I read Summer’s post that was the idea I got, that she only wanted to inform others about the options they had if their kids were ready for school but not vaccinated. As a mother of two I know good mothers do not make decisions on a whim and I am sure Summer has her own reasons to not vaccinate Sydney.

  13. Aziza

    Summer, I agree with you 100%! thank you for posting the letter of exemption. I am currently enrolling my son in pre-k and I needed the form to take to my attorney.
    My son is vaccinated with all his vaccines except for MMR and chicken pox. If I would have known from the beginning what really was inside all these vaccines, I would have never vaccinated him. But now i know and I’ve decided not to vaccinate him with MMR, chicken pox, hpv or any new vaccines.
    I trust in God and I know He looks over my son.

  14. Jeremy

    I agree with everything you have said, you should always do what you want with your health care. The choice is yours and although I disagree with your choice and I think you are risking the health of your child and anyone around her that may contract a disease from her. I DO think you should always have the right to make it.

    BUT today Obamacare was voted constitutional.
    I am going to make a prediction. every person in America is going to be required to have every available vaccine within ten years. I do not agree with this compulsory obedience out of principle. if you think I am crazy then consider this : the only way to control costs in a system that provides a free service is to limit the availability of the service (rationing) or force the participants to change their behavior to avoid the service. In this case that would mean forced vaccination.

    the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    please do not support Obamacare as it takes away the choice that both you and I seem to cherish.
    feel free to delete this comment if you feel it is to controversial

  15. Summer

    Jeremy – I wouldn’t delete a comment simply because it was controversial. We can agree to disagree on our stance of vaccination, but agree that we both think we should have the right to choose. I agree with you on Obamacare and would move out of the country if mandatory vaccination ever became a reality.

  16. alondra

    Hi im puerto rican i have 3 kids the little one is not vaccinate because i decide that is not good for her she is 4 years now and i want to put in a day care or preeschool but tehy told me taht tahy need the pvc paper what i suppose to do i need the form that you put in the article but i cant download plese send me to my email and go to the advocated o lawyer thanks and sorry for my bad english :(

  17. heri

    This is for those that dont read and dont educate themselves on what is on vaccines which kill hundreds of kids every year. There are chemicals in vaccines that are poison to the skin and deadly when injected, look up the information on vaccines, what they contain and then look up the what does chemicals are and how they effect the body. If you keep getting sick stop eating Mcdonalds all day, many people dont even know what a disease is, let me educate you a little….it stands for when the body is at not at ease, in another words Bad eating habits, When you get sick its because you eat junk all day. Why do you think that a true vegetarian never gets sick? and if you happen to know one please post their eating habbits and you will see what i mean, its like saying there is no cure for Cancer and yet GARRY NULL located in new york city has cured 10 out of 10 people in their death bed from cancer and he does it for FREE, Has his own radio show and eve says it live (I cure cancer). You are what you eat, and your own ignorance will get you killed and if you do you sure as hell deserve it.

  18. Christopher Ubert

    There was a local chiropractor in Aguadilla who moved back to the mainland for treatment of his son who developed severe autism after a series of vaccinations. Kid was perfectly fine, starting to walk and talk. One series of vaccines and that night their nightmare began. The child wailed with pain, lost all ability to communicate and just writhed on the floor, unable to ambulate.
    When science can be bought to serve rich multinational companies and bureaucratic governments, smart people need to do their own investigating, and make informed choices for themselves. Sheep can follow the herd, I’m going to make my own decisions based upon my education, experiences and critical thinking.

  19. Reinaldo

    Don’t believe that these readers vaccine their pets and their horses chicken and exotics animals and don’t vaccine their kids or love ones

  20. Luz

    I recently found your website while researching information on Puerto Rico and I am so grateful. There is so much helpful information here. I moved from California to Costa Rica where I have been for the last eight years. Because Costa Rica has a compulsory vaccination schedule for children, I will be leaving with my child and I am investigating Puerto Rico before selecting a state on the mainland. You have a beautiful family and I just want to THANK YOU for this post (and all the others)!

    I will never understand the lame argument from parents of vaccinated children who say they don’t want their vaccinated children around unvaccinated children. If your kid is vaccinated then doesn’t that mean they are “protected” from any sickness an unvaccinated child may get? So then what’s your beef?

    I really think there is something sinister and wrong when government or anyone else can force you to inject yourself or your children with anything. I believe it is a human rights violation. In Costa Rica a family was hunted down and harassed and their family was torn apart over vaccinations. There is something seriously wrong when the push for vaccinations is allowed to destroy a family. One of the children of that family died after being pursued and threatened by Costa Rican officials. Then the officials took the child’s body and did not want to release it to her parents. I’ll include a link to the story in case anyone cares to read about it.

    http://www.miscarriageofjurisprudence.blogspot.com/

    Anyway, THANK YOU again!

  21. Reinaldo

    Luz wana ask you something.Do american of european descent as i friendly called then GRINGOS complain of Costa Rica asyou probably have read in this and some other blogs regarding living in PR?
    By the way living in PR as a kid in the 70s and 80s never had an issue about medical vaccines in PR so this is an nonsence issue you have to worry about it.

  22. Luz

    Don Reinaldo, no soy Tico o costarricense. Soy pura negra de California en EEUU. Lucky for me, I grew up in the Bay Area so I don’t have a lot of experience with racism but I know enough about it not to inflict it on others by generalizing an entire group of people (of European decent or any other) in an overtly negative or positive fashion. I know it is not the color of the skin or the texture of one’s hair that dictates the goodness in one’s heart or the strength of one’s mind.

    Yes, there are people (of all races and backgrounds) that complain about Costa Rica and there are just as many people who love Costa Rica and couldn’t imagine living anywhere else. And you know what? Each person is completely correct! We all have our individual circumstances and tolerances and, thank goodness, because that is what makes us unique. Not “right” and not “wrong”.

    As far as complaints and complainers, something I always say is that I would rather spend an hour in conversation with someone who disagrees with me than someone who completely agrees with me. I will learn so much more about myself and whatever the subject is from the person who disagrees with me. Maybe I’ll find that I am completely right or, who knows, maybe I’ll learn something I hadn’t taken into consideration before and that will allow me some type of personal or mental or spiritual growth (which is what we all seek anyway, right?). I think constructive criticism or complaints are how progress happens and the most successful societies will be those that take the complaints of the people into consideration. Nothing will ever get better until one is willing to recognize something is wrong. It is an intelligent person indeed who can see criticism as an opportunity instead of an affront. I believe this with all my heart. Even in my family, every opinion holds weight and is considered in any major family decisions. OK, there was a vote for pizza everyday for the rest of our lives from the smallest family member but, in a democratic fashion, she was voted down.

    I hope I answered your question and I hope you have a wonderful day.

  23. Lauren

    I was so happy to find your blog after recently moving to Culebra, where the only daycares are government run. My daughter is on a delayed schedule because she gets very sick after receiving any vaccination. Also, there are some vaccines that I’ve chosen not to give, like Hep B. I’m turning in our paperwork to the daycare this afternoon, including the notarized vaccine exemption affidavit. Fingers crossed! Many thanks for the information!

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