Vaccinate your kids, or go to JAIL?!?

  1. Here's the article. I was watching this last night and there were THOUSANDS of parents at the courthouse.

    http://www.newsweek.com/id/70847
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  2. 68 Comments

  3. by   dream'n
    For petes sake. Jail parents?
  4. by   CHATSDALE
    i was told somewhere else that many parets are claiming religious reasons for not having vacines,
  5. by   vashtee
    As I understood it, these parents are allowed to opt out, but simply haven't bothered to formally do so.
  6. by   Dierdre
    Since chickenpox is very rarely a life-threatening disease, and hepatitis b (as stated in the article) is generally transmitted through sexual contact and needle sharing, I think that taking CRIMINAL action against these parents is a violation of their rights. Unfortunately, since there is only precedent, not law backing them up and the law IS on the side of the school district I think that most of these parents will be fined in the least.

    I find it unconsionable that schools are allowed to stomp on the constitution (schools after all, are a government agency) left and right, while the same kind of behavior from the police would have people rioting in the streets. Don't want your kids vaccinated? Too bad, some medically trained police officers are coming to shoot vaccine at them with specially modified pistols that used to be used to tranquilize animals...

    Maybe it's a bit farfetched for now, but I guess we'll all just have to wait and see.
  7. by   luvschoolnursing
    I think part of the problem is complacency on the part of the parents because many of them-myself included-have never seen the diseases we immunize against. Another problem is that there is so much anti-immunization info out there. I strongly believe in immunizations and my kids have all the recommended ones, however, I think that the schools mandating them is NOT the solution. Educate the parents but allow them to opt out. Unfortunately, this solution will leave kids susceptible to the diseases we are able to control.
  8. by   Jolie
    School started over 2 months ago. By the first day of school, parents were to have had their children vaccinated OR have filed an exemption. Those who were hauled into court were the parents who, 2 months after the deadline, had not bothered to do either.

    I applaud the school district AND the judge for requiring the parents to meet their responsibilities as parents and citizens. What a concept!
  9. by   oramar
    The number one reason for laxity about vaccines is laziness. Religious objections are very rare. People need a little boot in the butt sometimes but jail is a strong statement. In pittsburgh the kids are just banned from school. That is very effective.
  10. by   TrudyRN
    Maryland most likely does not want to spend the money to jail all these parents. They likely hope that the threat will work to force the parents to either vaccinate or fill out the objection/exemption form.

    It's a tough question, really. We need to protect the public health but we also need to zealously guard our Constitutional rights. Rights are limited, of course, as in Someone's right to swing his fist stops at the next guy's nose and you can't yell "Fire" in a crowded theater and cause a stampede - if there's no fire.

    The price of liberty is constant vigilance - and taking action when someone, including government, especially government, tries to flex its muscles. We can't sit around being nice, as so many of us were taught to do, and compliant and expect someone else to protest and win liberties for us.
  11. by   wtbcrna
    My understanding from reading the local news here in Maryland is that this school district has been trying to get these children to immunized for over 2 years.

    I am very pro-vaccination. I don't want any child going to school or being around my children that has not been vaccinated.

    This article focused on the Hep B vaccine, so I thought I would share some the information from the AMA.

    http://www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/1809.html

    What is hepatitis B?
    Hepatitis B is a serious disease that is caused by the hepatitis B virus (HBV) which usually exists in the blood and bodily fluids of the infected (or HBV+) person. The virus infects people of all ages and every year, about 200,000 people are newly infected in the United States. Of this 200,000, 90% eventually recover and clear the virus, but over 11,000 will have to be hospitalized and over 20,000 (10%) will become chronically (permanently) infected with the virus. About 1.25 million people in the United States have chronic HBV infection, and more than 4,000 people die each year from hepatitis B related liver disease. Before the introduction of the hepatitis B vaccine, over 30,000 children were infected annually, and it is estimated that about a third of our current chronic HBV infections are persons infected either as children or infants prior to the introduction of the hepatitis B vaccine. In fact, the younger a child is at the time of infection with HBV, the greater the likelihood that the child will become chronically infected and be at greater risk for liver disease as an adult.

    Why is vaccination recommended for all children as opposed to children living in families where there is the highest risk of HBV infection?
    Routine vaccination of all children and adolescents is recommended because a major part of the disease burden of HBV is due to the large number of HBV infections that occur among children. As discussed earlier, a significant number of our chronic carriers of HBV were infected as children and if it were not for the vaccine, over 30,000 children would be infected annually. Most of these infections occur among children of mothers who are not infected with HBV and thus cannot be protected by perinatal hepatitis B prevention programs. Additionally, it is impossible to identify and selectively vaccinate only those children who would be at risk for HBV infection.
    While it is true that most HBV infections occur in older adolescents and adults, it has been difficult to reduce the incidence of new HBV infections by selectively vaccinating older adolescents/adults in high-risk groups. In fact, over 30% of people infected with HBV have no idea where they might have got their infection! By vaccinating children for hepatitis B, they will now be protected against HBV infection when they become older adolescents and adults.

    What are possible serious side effects?
    Serious side effects after administration of the hepatitis B vaccine are extremely rare. There have been some anecdotal reports of the association of hepatitis B vaccination with chronic illness such as autoimmune disorders. However, there have been no scientific data supporting these claims. Large-scale immunization exercises have been ongoing in many other countries and in the United States, and thus far there has been no association of hepatitis B vaccination with serious adverse events. No clear association has been demonstrated between hepatitis B vaccination and disorders such as Guillain-Barre syndrome, transverse myelitis, optic neuritis, and seizures. Even then, such alleged associations are still being studied to further ensure the safety of the vaccine. A recent study demonstrated that persons who developed rheumatoid arthritis following hepatitis B vaccination were actually genetically susceptible to rheumatoid arthritis, making it difficult to correlate the occurrence of rheumatoid arthritis with hepatitis B vaccination. Considering the large number of doses of HBV vaccine administered and the very low numbers of serious adverse reactions, it is possible that adverse reactions reported after hepatitis B vaccination may represent coincidence rather than causation.

    Finally, as with any vaccination, the risk of anaphylaxis (hives, difficulty breathing, shock) is a real. There is an estimated incidence of about 1 anaphylactic reaction per 600,000 vaccine doses distributed. Thus, further administration of hepatitis B vaccine would be contraindicated (not recommended) for persons who have demonstrated a previous anaphylactic reaction following a previous dose of hepatitis B vaccine.

    Any presumed risk of adverse side effects associated with the hepatitis B vaccine must be balanced with the expected 4,000 to 5,000 chronic HBV-related deaths and 30,000 childhood HBV infections that would occur in the absence of HBV immunization. Given the frequency and severity of hepatitis B infection, the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the known and potential risks.

    What is the relationship between hepatitis B vaccination and multiple sclerosis (MS)?
    Currently, there are NO scientific data that supports such an association. An expert panel convened by the World Health Organization (WHO) in September 1998 analyzed all available data on hepatitis B vaccine and concluded, "No evidence presented at this meeting indicates a need to change public health policies with respect to HBV immunization."


    This is just selected excerpts from AMA website.

    And before it comes up here is the CDC information with several links debunking the autism-vaccine link. http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/faq_vaccines.htm
  12. by   treysdaddy08
    I completely disagree with the school's decision here. Although I respect the poster's opinions on here that believe all children should be vaccinated, that is a parental choice. That aside...this to me sounds like a MAJOR hippa violation. Isn't a vaccine still a medical procedure? And does the school have any right to know anything about the medical history of these kids??
  13. by   wtbcrna
    Quote from kmcnelly
    I completely disagree with the school's decision here. Although I respect the poster's opinions on here that believe all children should be vaccinated, that is a parental choice. That aside...this to me sounds like a MAJOR hippa violation. Isn't a vaccine still a medical procedure? And does the school have any right to know anything about the medical history of these kids??
    I don't see the merit in your argument.

    1. The school is only enforcing the law as they are required to do.
    2. If there is a medical problem where the child can not get the vaccine all the parent needs to do is bring in a note from their medical provider.
    3. I see no hippa violation here. The school didn't publish all the students names in the papers and say they didn't get their vaccines etc.


    This is one of those things where you either believe the government has the right to intervene in public health concerns or they don't.
  14. by   Spidey's mom
    I have to say I have a bit of a problem with the school telling me what I can and cannot do with my children.

    I'm pro-immunization. The only one I didn't get my 6 year old was the chicken pox vaccine.

    Admittedly, these parents were late in signing exemptions. But I signed an exemption for the school to have records of my son's dentist appointments - what business is it of theirs? I just got a note that I needed to get the dentist's records for the school or sign an exemption. Which I did before school started. So, I signed it again.

    steph

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