Should schools have the right to enforce vaccination?
February 17th is "School Exclusion Day" in the state of Oregon, meaning that any students not up-to-date on their vaccinations, or without documentation to prove that they are current, will be unable to attend classes in all public and private schools in the state from that day forth. School Exclusion Day includes all preschools, childcare facilities and Head Start programs throughout the state. It is possible that hundreds of children will be sent home from school on that day.
Exclusion Day is not being sprung as a surprise on anyone. Parents and guardians with children on the exclusion list were sent notification back in September and October of the upcoming deadline. Nonetheless, by February 3rd, according to Sharon Waldern, clinic nurse supervisor for the Umatilla County Health Department, 738 students were still without the required proof that they have had all of the required vaccinations. Moreover, 43 students are reported to have had no vaccinations at all. Families in possession of paperwork demonstrating that their children have approved exemption from the vaccinations are not included in these numbers.
Reasons for Vaccinations
Vaccinations are administered to children to prevent the spread of contagious diseases, such as chicken pox and whooping cough. Waldren shares the view of the majority of medical professionals that "Immunizations are safe and really help protect those students and the community, as well as kids who cannot receive vaccinations, who are protected by the herd immunity." Waldren points out that statistics support the efficacy of vaccinations and that when children are protected from disease they are not only able to attend school without interruption, but are safe from the risk of serious consequences, even death.
In an attempt to assist families in meeting the required deadline, Umatilla County Health, and health and wellness centers throughout the state, have been open all week, available to provide vaccinations to children who still need them. It should be noted that new stricter restrictions are now in place in Oregon, making all religious exemptions signed prior to March 1, 2014 invalid.
Reasons Children May Be Exempt from Vaccinations
Though reasons accepted for approved vaccination exemptions vary from state to state, in general they may be based on medical reasons (such as that child's immune system being seriously suppressed), religious reasons, or reasons of personal beliefs.
Why Enforced Vaccinations Continue To Be Controversial
In spite of the fact that everyone wants children to be healthy, and protected, wherever possible, from suffering the symptoms and dangers of serious disease, vaccinations themselves remain a source of controversy. This is because a significant number of parents believe that their children have suffered irreparable harm from so-called "safe" vaccinations. If you believe your child is in this category, you should consult with an experienced vaccine attorney, one who specializes in this precise aspect of the law and will assist you in receiving just compensation for your child's injuries.