If No Exemption - Childhood Vaccinations Required for School

If No Exemption - Childhood Vaccinations Required for School

The start of the school year often includes a string of shots - children in Vermont are required to be vaccinated - and while it's still a controversial topic - health care providers are looking to have even more kids protected with the immunizations doctors say are critical.
The start of the school year often includes a string of shots - children in Vermont are required to be vaccinated - and while it's still a controversial topic - health care providers are looking to have even more kids protected with the immunizations doctors say are critical.

It's a long list, about 36 vaccinations before kindergarten - but doctors, the Centers for Disease Control, and the American Academy of Pediatrics say they're all necessary.

The first day of school is approaching - and for the first timers, their immunization checklist must be complete before starting kindergarten.

"It's very important, especially when you get a group of kids together and everybody's breathing on everybody, you know it's very easy to spread these diseases," Registered Nurse Gloria French said. She says vaccinations are safe and can protect your child from some very serious illnesses. "Through the use of vaccines, we've been able to virtually eliminate a lot of these terrible diseases; you know diphtheria, tetanus, mumps and measles."

French says the first vaccine is for Hepatitis B and starts shortly after birth - then there are a round of shots at two months, four months, six months, and so on - but she says if you haven't followed the state's recommended plan - it's never too late to start.

"I can understand while they're home, up until the age of five, but when they get to school they may want to consider vaccines as a very good protection," French said.

And while even a vaccine can't completely protect you against the chicken pox or even polio - the Department of Health says the vast majority of Vermonters trust that the shot will do its job.

"The benefits far outweigh the risks," French said.

And while getting vaccinated may be required, there are a few exemptions - for philosophical, religious and medical reasons. Vermont has the second  highest rate of philosophical exemptions in the country.

The group Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice wants more research done - the group feels strongly that vaccines cause negative health effects, like brain damage, even death.

"Even if the risk is one in a million, you have physicians, as well as manufacturers and our own government agencies that have an ethical responsibility to outline, adequately the risks and gain consent from their patients," Vax Choice Advocate Jennifer Stella said.

More than 87% of Vermont school children get vaccinated every year.

The Department of Health has set a goal to get that number even higher.

www.aap.org

www.cdc.gov

http://www.vaxchoicevt.com/about-us/

http://healthvermont.gov/hc/imm/public.aspx

 

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