Sep 13, 2016 by

more mandatory vaccines- this time for parents

I’m a California girl. I love this state. I was born and raised here in nor Cal and I moved back to raise my own babies. This is a great place to live and, in my humble opinion, one of the most beautiful places on earth.

Oh, but the politics…

California politics are always fun and interesting and many have noted that California often leads the way in legislation – if we do something, everybody else eventually does it too. My point – even if you don’t live in this amazing state, you should probably pay attention to what is going on here.

California is currently making some interesting mandates concerning vaccines for children and now- their parents.

Last year Governor Jerry Brown signed into law SB-277. Signing of this eliminated personal belief exemptions for children entering school. All children are now required to get a series of vaccinations which include: Polio, MMR, DTap, hep B, and Chicken Pox before starting kindergarten.

The only way to avoid any of these vaccines is with a written note from a physician stating a medical reason for any waiver.

The burden of enforcing this law falls largely on the shoulders of already overworked school employees who, in addition to doing their regular work, must now verify vaccines for every single child in the school. Those who have managed to get a physician’s exemption (very difficult to do, even if just trying to avoid one particular shot) are noted and recorded so that they can be removed from school if there is an outbreak. Schools face the promise of audit and consequences if they allow a child to attend who is not fully vaccinated for these diseases.

Jerry Brown is keeping five-year-olds safe from hepatitis B – because of the growing problem with IV drug use among that population…

But it doesn’t stop there.

The first week of September in 2016 Governor Jerry Brown signed into law another mandatory vaccine measure, SB-792. SB-792, rather than applying to children, applies to parent volunteers in day care facilities.

It reads,

Commencing September 1, 2016, a person shall not be employed or volunteer at a day care center if he or she has not been immunized against influenza, pertussis, and measles. Each employee and volunteer shall receive an influenza vaccination between August 1 and December 1 of each year.”

Read here for the complete text.

Now parent volunteers must receive mandatory vaccinations in order to spend time with their children in their day care facility.

I am disappointed and concerned by the recent foray into mandatory vaccinations in California. Maybe we all should be.

I don’t consider myself anti-vaccination. I know enough about history and my own family history to know that vaccines have done wonderful things and helped people and saved lives. I am grateful for them. I am vaccinated. I don’t have a problem with my children being vaccinated.

I do have a problem with mandatory vaccines.

Jennifer Margulis, Ph.D., a journalist who recently co-authored, “The Vaccine-Friendly Plan” with Dr. Paul Thomas says this:

“It’s very disturbing that California has chosen to force parents into one-size-fits-all medicine and to rob Californians of the freedom to make medical decision about their children in the privacy of a doctor’s office. I believe this issue will go to the Supreme Court.

In the absence of any real threat of infections diseases, it’s not appropriate to force vaccines. What will they mandate next? That children who do not take their ADD medication may no longer come to school?

Although vaccines are an important part of modern medicine, forced medical intervention is anti-American. We are a country founded on the principles of freedom of religion and freedom of speech. California’s decision to legislate vaccines for children and adults is anti-American.”

I agree with Dr. Margulis.

There is a problem with children being prevented from attending school because they are unvaccinated or partially vaccinated. Why should the child be kept from education because of the choices of their parents?

more mandatory vaccines- this time for parents

In 1954, Brown vs Board of Education, the Supreme court said that,

“…it is doubtful any child may reasonably be expected to succeed in life if he is denied the opportunity of an education. Such an opportunity where the state has undertaken to provide it, is a right which must be made available to all on equal terms.”

Of course Brown vs Board of Education was about segregation based on race – which was found unacceptable.

Is it now acceptable for children to be denied entry to public or private schools based on their parent’s medical choices for them?

Shouldn’t parents have the right to make these choices?

Should children be punished for them?

When the population is, overall, highly vaccinated, do a few outliers really endanger all children to the point that we must label and deny them education based solely on a risk they may pose IF they are infected and IF the vaccines in those vaccinated fail to work?

more mandatory vaccines- this time for parents

Now parents as well are required to show their vaccine status – how closely will this be enforced? Can a parent who does not wish to get the flu vaccine be allowed to walk their child into the day care? Must they stop outside the gate? Are they limited to waving goodbye from the street in a strange but larger reenactment of 1950s hospital scenes of babies in nurseries only waved to through the glass by the parents who gave them life?

And what about HIPAA? It will become very clear to all which parents and which children will have received the allocated vaccines because some will be allowed entry and some will not. Isn’t information like this protected? Must our medical choices and concerns be made public for all to see?

Vaccines are great.

Personal medical choices are great.

I support a woman’s right to choose to birth in the way she sees fit whether that be at home unassisted, or in the hospital with every modern medical intervention available to her. I support her choice if she is having a VBA3C or her 10th vaginal birth. I believe that women, mothers, parents, adult humans have a right to make choices about their own bodies – and while their children are still children about their medical procedures as well – even if those choices seem crazy to others.

Tolerance is quite the buzzword right now, is it not? In fact, to be “intolerant” seems to be considered a grievous sin, unforgivable and bred by hatred.

In a state that has led the way in legalizing same-sex marriage why are we leading the way in intolerance for people who choose not to vaccinate?

I hope that we will decide that tolerance and privacy and medical freedom and access to education are values we still cherish as Americans.

Photo credit: GovernmentZA via / CC BY-ND,   Daniel Paquet via / CC BY,  samantha celera via / CC BY-ND

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