National Vaccine Information Center
January 25, 2007
"[Maryland] Officials say they are working with the health department to make sure the remaining students are vaccinated so they may return to school. "If they stay out of school for too many days, it becomes an issue of truancy," Mowen said. Officials have said they might use the court system to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated. Hanlin said before that option is explored officials are "trying to find out what the road blocks are" to being vaccinated." - ERIN CUNNINGHAM, The Hagerstown Morning Herald, MD
Barbara Loe Fisher Commentary:
If you want to take a peek at what the future holds for those parents, who do not comply with federal health policies turned into state laws that require children to be injected with dozens of vaccines or be denied an education, just look at the recent strong arm tactics being used in Maryland. For failure to get chickenpox and/or hepatitis B vaccinations, state health and education officials have teamed up to use coercion and intimidation to force vaccination with the threat that the pre-teens will be barred from school and then they and their parents charged with truancy for disobeying state vaccine laws.
Economic and social barriers to vaccine access, which can include inadequate information or limited access to public health clinics, are sometimes factors when students have not received all state mandated vaccines. However, other factors may include (1) personal or family history of adverse reactions to vaccinations; (2) illness at the time of vaccination; (3) personal or family history of immune or neurological disease, which may place the child at increased risk for a vaccine adverse responses; (4) religious or conscientious belief objection to vaccination; or (5) wholistic health care preferences within the family that do not include vaccination.
How many of the children and their parents being hunted down in Maryland by needle wielding state officials are at high risk for suffering vaccine reactions? How many of these children being rounded up and given multiple vaccinations will suffer shock, convulsions, arthritis, asthma, GBS or other signs of vaccine-induced brain and immune system dysfunction shortly after vaccination? How many of these adverse responses to vaccination will be written off as a "coincidence" by health and school officials refusing to take responsibility for what they have done? And how many of the healthy partially or completely unvaccinated children come from families, whose parents have chosen to keep their children healthy with preventive health strategies that do not include drug and vaccine use?
Although citizens should have unimpeded access to vaccines they choose to us, they should also have the freedom to choose preventive health care alternatives to vaccines. Americans living in every state should look to their own vaccine laws and consider the following: If the state can tag, track down and force citizens against their will to be injected with biologicals of unknown toxicity today, will there be any limit on what individual freedoms the state can take away in the name of the greater good tomorrow?
Maryland officials are forcing hepatitis B and chickenpox vaccinations today. How many more will they be forcing on kids tomorrow?
No forced vaccination. Not in America.
Deadline for vaccinations passes; school closed to some
The Hagerstown Morning Herald, MD
January 23, 2007
By ERIN CUNNINGHAM
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HAGERSTOWN - As many as 26 Washington County Public Schools students will be excluded from school today for failure to comply with a state vaccination requirement.
Sixth- to ninth-graders were required to be vaccinated for hepatitis B and chickenpox by Jan. 2 or risk not being allowed at school. Students who had appointments scheduled for the shots by Saturday were allowed at school through Friday.
Those who have not been vaccinated will be kept from attending school despite months of warnings about the approaching deadline.
Assistant Superintendent for Secondary Instruction Donna Hanlin said the students had not been vaccinated for a "variety" of reasons.
While vaccines for hepatitis B and chickenpox have been required of students in prekindergarten through fourth grade, new guidelines extended the requirements to students through ninth grade. The vaccines were to be enforced in September, but an emergency regulation extended the deadline to Jan. 2.
Hanlin said that officials believed on Friday that 34 students would be excluded from school Monday. As of Monday afternoon, that number had dropped to 26 students expected to be absent today.
Statewide, about 12,000 students were not compliant as of Friday, said Bill Reinhard, a spokesman for the State Department of Education.
Reinhard said late Monday that more than 2,600 students were sent home from school in 12 of the state's 24 jurisdictions. Several systems did not have classes Monday because it is the end of the semester. That number does not count noncompliant students who didn't show up at school.
Washington County officials said the number of absent students likely will drop in the next few days as students are vaccinated.
Nineteen students went to a clinic at South Hagerstown High School during the school day Monday for the shots, Hanlin said. She said the school was chosen to host the clinic because it is where the majority of the unvaccinated students are enrolled.
Several vaccination clinics have been held at the Washington County Health Department.
Officials say they are working with the health department to make sure the remaining students are vaccinated so they may return to school.
"If they stay out of school for too many days, it becomes an issue of truancy," Mowen said.
Officials have said they might use the court system to encourage parents to get their children vaccinated. Hanlin said before that option is explored officials are "trying to find out what the road blocks are" to being vaccinated.
The issue: A new Maryland law requires students in prekindergarten through ninth grade to be vaccinated for hepatitis B and chickenpox. Students were excluded from school if they did not have the vaccines or an appointment for the vaccines by Jan. 20.
What's new: As many as 26 Washington County Public Schools students will be excluded from school today for failing to comply with the requirement.
What's next: School officials and the Washington County Health Department will be working to ensure that those students receive vaccinations.
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