Robbed of MY choice!

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Robbed of MY choice!
9
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 10:51am
I was just informed that my kindergartner, who started school the first week of August, must have the HepB series or he will be "denied entry" into the school. Even though the people I've spoken to agree that he is at very low risk of being exposed to it. Even though the people I've spoken to agree with me that it would be better for him to receive the vaccination for it at an older age (we have planned to have each of our 4 sons vaxed for it before college). Even though everyone I've spoken to thought it should be my choice to withhold this vaccination until *I* felt it was the right time. Despite all that, they will deny my child entry back into the school unless I show that he has begun this (in my opinion) HIGHLY QUESTIONABLE (as far as necessity goes) vaccination series.

I feel I'm being reamed up the arse by the Gestapo.

I am the mother of 4 sons - my kindy being the youngest - and I have done quite a bit of research into this area. I have chosen to have my children vaccinated for most illnesses, but have refused others. I have refused the HepB vax (they have no business exposing newborns to this vaccination unless there is some *tangible* reason that they will be exposed to it), I have refused the varicella, I have refused a second dose of the mumps or rubella vaxes, among others. Luckily, the vaxes I have chosen to be given to my children so far have been the ones required by law - until now.

My 3 older sons do not have the HepB vax, but they can go to school legally, no problem. So because some legislator decided to make it law that kids have the HepB vax, my youngest will be denied entry into school, but his brothers, who also have not been vaxed for HepB, can waltz right in with no problems. Unbelievable.

So do I, against my own educated judgment, force this child to have the series just so he can go to school, or do I stand firm in my beliefs about it and homeschool him? I am completely between a rock and a hard place here. I want him to go to school. I want him to have the school experiences. I myself am in school pursuing a nursing degree, so do I have to bend over and take it like a man even though it goes against my own judgment as a mother?

This is a pisser of a predicament. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.

By the way, I've already been told that we would be denied a medical waiver unless my doctor documented some physical illness or other medical reason he shouldn't have the series. In the same breath the school district told me not to even try to get a religious waiver, as my youngest has had all the other vaxes required by law. I didn't even ask for a religious waiver - I'm pretty sure the Catholic church doesn't have a problem with vaccinations. It goes against my own personal beliefs to claim religious reasons for not wanting one's children vaccinated when it has nothing to do with religion, but the state is making it almost necessary to LIE about it when they won't allow a parent to make informed decisions on this thing! AUGH, I'm so frustrated!



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Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 11:03am
What state are you in?

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 11:07am
Oh, sorry - I'm in North Carolina.

Avatar for keeley_14383
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 12:30pm
I can relate -- I had to "bend over" myself. (LOL at the image) I definitely understand your frustration. I would have skipped several vaccines mandated by my state if I could have had an exemption.

I decided to go ahead with all the vaccines mandated for school entry. I was not willing to fight it out, as I did not feel the vaccines were going to be *dangerous* to my children. Now, if one of them had an adverse reaction at some point, it would have been a different story.

Best of luck to you -- I agree that it stinks. It would be optimal if every state had a philosophical exemption, so if you were truly opposed to some vaccines, you could skip them without lying, and without leaving your child vulnerable to the other diseases you DO want to vaccinate for. I understand the desire for herd immunity, but a vaccine like Hep B is not highly contagious among school-aged children, and should be entirely optional, IMO. "Informed consent" regarding vaccination leaves a lot to be desired in many states.

Keeley

Avatar for tiggernminnie
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Registered: 03-26-2003
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 12:38pm
I would check the specific statutes for your state. I know that for mine (PA) this is how they define the religious exemption....

Religious exemption. Children need not be immunized if the parent, guardian or emancipated child objects in writing to the immunization on religious grounds or on the basis of a strong moral or ethical conviction similar to a religious belief.

I plan on opting out of the Hep B for my dd (we are deferring it until she is older as well) based on my "strong moral or ethical conviction." I know it's all semantics...but it may work in your case.

HTH

Christine

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 1:22pm
>>>So do I, against my own educated judgment, force this child to have the series just so he can go to school, or do I stand firm in my beliefs about it and homeschool him? I am completely between a rock and a hard place here. I want him to go to school. I want him to have the school experiences. I myself am in school pursuing a nursing degree, so do I have to bend over and take it like a man even though it goes against my own judgment as a mother? <<<

Sounds like you have thought out your known options, at this point.

Unless you are willing or able to gain an exemption of some sort, which does not sound likely from your post, that is pretty much what it boils down to.

Only you can decide how far you are willing to bend over, if at all.

Only you can set your priorities and determine the levels of importance you attach to the different aspects involved; how strongly you feel about not getting the vaccine for your child, how strongly you feel about the school experience, how you feel about and even if you are willing and able to home school, etc.

A real shame, imo, that parents in much of the U.S. (31 states) essentially have no true informed consent regarding the vaccination of their children. The option to home school is not a viable one for most for financial and other reasons, and so how many parents are coerced into vaccinations they object to, like the poster above?

I empathize with your situation, and wish you all the best in reaching a decision(s)!

Kimberly


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Registered: 03-27-2003
Fri, 08-29-2003 - 11:05pm
It's been a very long day of making calls and fighting it out with various DEC and health department folks. My chiropractor, who is a big believer in homeopathic medicine, called these people and had it out with them, too. After all was said and done, I called my family doctor and told him the whole sordid story. He said "you should be comfortable with every vaccination your child gets. If you have researched this and still do not feel comfortable with the HepB vaccine, you shouldn't be bullied or forced into making your son get it. I will write a medical exemption for him."

I have no idea if they'll accept it without asking questions, but I'm relieved as hell that he agreed with me and understood my concerns. Hopefully this will be the end of it. Unless NC passes new legislation on it next year, or they abolish the medical exemption (which is being pushed for right now).

Oy.

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Registered: 03-26-2003
Sat, 08-30-2003 - 1:30am
Hi I just did a quick search of NC laws on exemptions. Here is a site that had it worded pretty clearly http://www.access1.net/via/STATES/req-nc.htm . I noticed that nowhere did it state that you couldn't claim religious exemption based on the fact that your child has other vaccinations. I know this is a route you said you didn't want to take but I though you'd like to know. I wish every state had a philisophical option so parents didn't have to bend the truth with the religious exemtions.

Avatar for keeley_14383
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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 08-30-2003 - 10:12am
Wow! You are very lucky to have a doctor who cares so much about your concerns. From what I understand it is very unusual to have a medical exemption written without an actual adverse event. I think it is the doctor who is putting himself on the line here, if your exemption is questioned.

I don't know if you have posted your story on the non-vaccination support board here at ParentsPlace, but I am sure there are parents there with experience using the exemptions -- maybe they can be of some help with your concerns of being "questioned."

I can't imagine they could abolish the medical exemption in your state, since there are some children who MUST be medically exempt from vaccination (a serious adverse reaction means they cannot finish the required doses). Do you mean the religious exemption? In any case, call and write your state representatives to be sure they know your objections to the legislation. Make your opinion count!

Best of luck to you --

Keeley

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Registered: 03-27-2003
Sat, 08-30-2003 - 1:45pm
Uniquel and Keeley, thanks so much for your input! I checked the website you gave me U - thanks - it has some good information. I'm hopeful that I won't even have to go the "religious exemption" route now that my doc is willing to give me (my son) a medical waiver. If I do though, I will most definitely do it. I've decided that it really does go against my religious beliefs to have to sign a consent form for my child to get a vaccine that I do NOT consent to! That's the same as lying, and lying goes against pretty much all the religions I know of. My husband came up with that one - he's a smart guy. ;)

Thanks to everyone for the information and input.