The Duggars never shy away from speaking up about what they believe, even if their beliefs are controversial. They've all been very forthcoming about being anti-abortion, anti-birth control, and Jill Duggar's husband Derick Dillard has gotten himself in hot water multiple times for commenting on fellow TLC star Jazz Jennings being transgender. That's why it's weird that we've never heard a peep from them as to whether or not they believe in vaccination. We couldn't help but wonder if the strict Christian family is anti-vax, so we did some research and came to the conclusion that they probably don't vaccinate.
The most striking evidence that the Duggars are probably anti-vaxxers came in 2010, when 12 of the Duggar kids came down with the chicken pox. At the time, Michelle Duggar had recently given birth to her 19th child Josie and couldn't bring her home for fear that the kids would infect the baby. "About the time that Josie was supposed to be released from the hospital, Johannah came down with chicken pox and we knew that meant the others who hadn't had them yet would get them, too," she explained, which means that none of the Duggar kids, regardless of age, had been vaccinated against the usually-benign illness.
Which leads us to the second point: many vaccines are required for a child to attend school, but all of the Duggars are home-schooled. That means they aren't legally required to be vaccinated for poliomyelitis, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, red (rubeola) measles, mumps, rubella, varicella (chickenpox), haemophilus influenza type b, hepatitis B, hepatitis A, meningococcal, and pneumococcal, and other communicable diseases, which Arkansas would require for school students. Just because they didn't get vaccinated for chicken pox doesn't necessarily mean they didn't get any other vaccinations, just that they weren't legally required to.
The Duggars travel frequently, whether on humanitarian trips or for fun. We have seen them go to Japan, Nepal, Greece, Jerusalem, El Salvador, and many more exotic places. While none of these places require that you get vaccinated before arriving or returning, the CDC strongly urges regular boosters plus Cholera, Influenza, Zika, Japanese Encephalitis, Yellow Fever, Malaria, Typhoid and more, depending on your destination. It's unclear if the family was vaccinated before any of these trips, but they certainly weren't forced to be.
Jill and Derick may have felt the affects of not vaccinating when they got sick while living in El Salvador in March. "The first few days we were here, amidst the settling in and busy schedule, Israel and I were battling coughs and colds and Israel developed a low-grade fever," she wrote on Instagram. Perhaps the effect of refusing a flu vaccine? "We frequently pray for protection from bacteria, accidents and other things that would complicate things or send us running to the doctor," she continued.
Since Michelle and Jim Bob were relatively normal before getting married and coming up with their strict rules, it's likely that they were vaccinated as children. However, their kids may have been raised without being vaccinated. Now that there's another generation, we're seeing some of the Duggars breaking away from the rules set by their parents. For example. Jinger Duggar and husband Jeremy Vuolo made it through their first year of marriage with no kids (birth control?) and she wears pants. Jill got a nose piercing and has started wearing jeans. Maybe that means they'll also flip the script when it comes to vaccination.
However, if the Duggars truly do not vaccinate, it's unlikely that the church is to blame, the way it is with many of their other controversial stances. As a matter of fact, very few sects of Christianity have an issue with vaccinations, and actually support vaccinating for the common good. If the Duggars don't vaccinate, it's more likely based on personal beliefs, like fear of causing autism, harming their kids' immune systems, or feeling that they're unnecessary.