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      This webpage contains some questions and comments associated with the mumps vaccine.

Dear Thinktwice,
My children are not vaccinated. Today I was informed that because of a recent mumps out break (2 adults on the other side of town) our children would have to stay home from school for 25 days. Can they do this?

The law may give the Department of Health the right to "quarantine" your children. Sadly, it's the vaccinated children who are contracting -- and possibly spreading -- mumps.

I have read your website and am thankful for the information that you put out there for parents. My question is...with the recent outbreak of mumps in the U.S., should I have my child vaccinated? What are the harmful effects of the MMR shot versus if my child catches mumps?

We don't make decisions for parents; we provide information to aid them in their choices.

Considering that mumps outbreaks are occurring in mumps-vaccinated individuals, we find it odd that authorities are recommending more of the same vaccine. Their answer to an ineffective shot is to give more of it! Furthermore, we believe it is possible that the vaccine is not just ineffective, leading to cases of "natural" or "wild" mumps, but the vaccine itself may be causing the disease. How ironic that unvaccinated children are being forced to stay away from school for up to one month!

Mumps is rarely dangerous. A thorough evaluation of the MMR vaccine, as well as the individual Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccines, is covered in the Vaccine Safety Manual.

Dear Thinktwice,
My kids attend public school here in Illinois. We have a great school system in our community. As you probably know, mumps has been reported in many mid-western states recently. At our local high school where my oldest attends, a case of mumps was recently suspected by a student's doctor. After a blood test came up negative, one would think the whole thing would be over, but it's not.

Please advise me if you can. We are "in compliance" in our district and state with a religious exemption on file for our children. We know of several other families in the same boat. Last Friday, the high school principal contacted two families of high school students (not us, and I'm not sure why) and told them they could not come to school on Tuesday, April 25. On Tuesday, those two students went to school as usual and were removed from class by armed policemen. A subsequent "meeting" took place. Parents of the two students were in attendance, along with school administrators and the local Chief of Police. I know that the Health Department was somehow involved, as well. I was not in the room and therefore do not have a lot of details, but bottom line: The two students are not allowed to attend school until the gestation period for this mumps case -- that wasn't mumps -- is over.

My questions: Are you aware of any case law pertaining to this sort of thing? Are you aware of any similar cases? I know Iowa has had over 600 diagnosed cases recently. Surely, similar things are happening there. I understand many public schools have rules about vaccination exemptions which state in the case of a suspected "outbreak," unvaccinated children may be asked to stay home. It seems like rights were violated here, especially in light of the fact that they can't prove there was even a legitimate case of mumps diagnosed. Also, this restriction from school clearly comes at the end of the gestation period and seems to me to be too little, too late.

I appreciate any thoughts you might have on this matter and thank you for your time!

State laws often permit health authorities to "quarantine" unvaccinated children, thus barring them from school until the outbreak or "epidemic" has passed. Considering that mumps outbreaks are occurring in mumps-vaccinated individuals, it's irrational -- and medical harassment -- to single out unvaccinated children.

Mumps is rarely dangerous. The Vaccine Safety Manual contains important information about this disease, and an extensive evaluation of the safety and efficacy of the individual Measles, Mumps and Rubella vaccines.

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