As Aliza Joy fast approaches two, I've been working on correcting and updating our delayed vaccination schedule. I have to admit that as I have re-read Dr. Sears' The Vaccine Book and found new media stories and articles on the topic of vaccination, I've been getting a little worked up on the topic again.
As children across the country head back to school, many states are launching campaigns to remind parents, "No Shots, No School!" That statement is simply not true.
Every single state offers an exemption policy for vaccinations. In Mississippi, vaccinations can only be exempted for medical reasons; in the other 49 states, parents may obtain forms for vaccination exemptions due to medical, religious and/or philosophical reasons.
I want to share with you the most current, up-to-date, and easy to navigate source that I have discovered on vaccination exemptions in the U.S. - the National Vaccination Information Center (NVIC) has compiled a map which details state vaccine requirements. Using this map, parents can quickly see which exemptions are allowed in their state. Clicking on the state will provide links to further resources applicable to each state. For years, state vaccine requirement information has been scattered and difficult to navigate. I am so grateful the NVIC has created a resource for parents and care givers that is clear and concise.
Parents who are choosing exemptions may also wish to read through Dr. Merola's article "How To Legally Avoid Unwanted Immunizations of All Kinds."
Remember that the underlying public health philosophy on vaccinations is based on herd immunity. From the viewpoint of schools and public health officials, it makes sense for each child to be fully immunized. But parents must also remember that full, on-schedule vaccination is not necessarily the best choice for your child, for your family, for your religious views, for your beliefs. Neither the CDC nor the AAP nor the State Department of Education holds the responsibility of making the best possible choices for your child - that responsibility belongs solely to each parent.
Don't be bullied into believing otherwise.
photo by ZaldyImg