Alpha is in the public school system and he is required, by state law, to have his immunizations.
I am writing about this topic today because he does not, by our choice, have all his immunizations. Nor will he have all the shots the state requires. So the school sent us a letter informing us that our child is not in compliance with state law and we needed to sign a waiver if we want him to stay in school.
I don’t know why they say he is required to have his immunizations since we can object to any or all of the shots. They should call them recommended, not required.
- “Required” would be non-negotiable, I would think.
- “Recommended” would be negotiable.
Since they are all negotiable, “recommended” makes sense.
I do have a theory as to why all the school forms say “required”. If the forms called them “recommended”, more parents might realize that all those shots are not needed. And then they might have more parents refusing some of the vaccinations. And then the authority of the government vaccination program might be questioned. And we can’t have that.
I filled out the form, indicating which vaccines we were waiving (whichever ones he didn’t have, that’s what we waived). Of course, the only ones he didn’t have were the ones we didn’t want him to have: polio and hepatitis B.
The interesting part was the claim on the waiver form.
I had read a website (it’s on the internet; therefore it must be true) that said to be careful what you sign on these waiver forms. If you acknowledge, in writing, putting your child at risk, that may be a “confession”. Now that may be a bit of a stretch, going from waiving a vaccine to having the state take your kids.
But why not err on the side of caution? What the website said to do was to modify the form to match your take on things.
I thought “Why not give it a shot? The worst that can happen is they’ll reject the form and send us another letter.” (pun not intended but quite clever if I do say so myself) So I found the part of the form that irked me and fixed it so I actually did agree with it. The part of the form that didn’t sit well with me was in bold on the form:
“By signing this waiver, you acknowledge that you are placing your child and others at risk of serious illness should he or she contract a disease that could have been prevented through proper vaccination.“
We decided against polio and hep. B because of the low risk. The entire Western Hemisphere of the world has been certified polio-free for the last 15 years. Hepatitis B is transmitted by morally-objectionable activities, none of which our kindergartner should even know about, much less be involved in. It’s the same objection many people have about Gardasil. If, later in life, Alpha wants to travel to India or work with blood, then he can get the polio or hep B vaccines. But until then, his risk is very low.
I felt that the form did not recognize that the risk of serious illness could be low and that it wasn’t really putting my child at risk. But the worst part about the form was that it claimed I would be putting other people at risk.
Other people should not be at risk if my child is not vaccinated. They could be at risk for one of two reasons:
- If vaccinated people are at risk for a disease because someone else wasn’t vaccinated, that means the vaccine is pretty much useless.
- If the other people are not vaccinated, then it was their choice to be unvaccinated that put them at risk.
Neither case involves my child. I did not want to acknowledge something that did not make sense to me, so I altered the form.
Now it says
“By signing this waiver, you acknowledge that you are placing your child at low risk of serious illness should he or she contract a disease that could have been prevented through proper vaccination.”
I am no longer liable for other people’s illnesses. And I am not agreeing that my choice is risky. There, now I am more comfortable with it. All the school will do is file it away with my child’s permanent record. I think they don’t care what’s on the form as long as they have something to show the state.
What is the difference between vaccinations and immunizations anyway?
Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits;Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases;