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2011 Vaccine Exemptions Double '03's
Insurance News Net - 10/10/11
The number of Bernalillo County families receiving vaccine exemptions has doubled since 2003 – a fact some experts say is troubling and may be linked to recent cases of whooping cough in Albuquerque schools.
States Take a Shot at Vaccine Opt-Outs
The Council of State Governments - 10/1/11
Washington Sen. Karen Keiser tried for years to strengthen the requirements that allow parents to opt their children out of immunizations. A vocal group of opposition stalled her efforts. Things changed when lawmakers considered her bill, Senate Bill 5005, this year. "We had two people die from whooping cough last year, for heaven's sake. Totally preventable," Keiser said. "The current practice (of exemption allowance) has been so convenient for parents that it was just easy for individuals to not get their children immunized."
Hundreds of San Mateo County School Kids Lag on Whooping Cough Vaccine
San Francisco Examiner - 9/28/11
Hundreds of students in San Mateo County and thousands across California have yet to get the whooping cough vaccine mandated by the state, forcing some to stay home from school. Dozens more have refused it on philosophical grounds. A state law passed last year requires seventh- through 12th-graders to get the vaccine by the start of the school year. The deadline was later pushed back 30 days and some schools have received additional extensions. There is no firm tally of unvaccinated kids, but as of last Friday, eight districts reported 617 such students, San Mateo County health officer Dr. Scott Morrow said.
11,000 Students Enter California Schools Without Required Vaccines
Atlantic - 9/26/11
Last year, 10 babies died and more than 9,000 people were sickened when whooping cough spread throughout California. Last week, officials said there were 28 reported cases of measles in the state, a 10-year high.
In Calif. No Vaccination Means No School
CBS Evening News - 9/24/11
In California, where memories of last year's whooping cough outbreak are still fresh, students have just days to comply with a mandatory vaccination law. But not everyone is falling willingly into line, as CBS News correspondent John Blackstone reports. At Southgate High School in Los Angeles, it's been a painful start to the new year. Under pressure to comply with a new statewide mandate, nurses are doling out shots as fast as they can.
The Facts About The HPV Vaccine
NPR - 9/18/11
It had to do with Texas governor Rick Perry's 2007 mandate that middle school girls in his state receive the HPV vaccine. Host Audie Cornish gets the facts on that vaccine from Dr. Jessica Kahn of the Cincinnati Children's Hospital.
Increasing Number of Parents Are Exempting Children from Vaccines
California Healthline - 9/6/11
Thousands of California parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children, raising concerns among physicians and public health officials, the Santa Cruz Sentinel reports. California is one of 20 states that allow parents to exempt their children from booster shot requirements because of personal beliefs. Personal belief exemptions, signed by parents, allow children to start school without having received some or all vaccinations. The number of personal belief exemptions in the state has tripled in the last 10 years.
More Parents Say No to Vaccines
SignOnSanDiego - 8/18/11
San Diego saw more growth than any other county in the state last year in incoming kindergartners who were granted exemptions from vaccine requirements because of family beliefs. More than 1,300 of the local students went without vaccines, up by more than 200 from 2009. The county with the next highest growth was San Bernardino, which grew by 191 students for a total of 562 with exemptions.
Rick Perry Reverses Himself, Calls HPV Vaccine Mandate a "Mistake"
Washington Post - 8/16/11
Religious conservatives in Texas were stunned in 2007 when Republican Rick Perry became the first governor in the country to order young girls to get a vaccine against a sexually transmitted virus that can cause cervical cancer.
Editorial: Parents Who Oppose Vaccination Are Endangering Public Health
Los Angeles Times - 8/16/11
Contrary to what baby boomers might assume, the term "conscientious objector" didn't originate with the Vietnam War. It was first used in the late 19th century to describe opponents of England's mandatory smallpox vaccinations, who received special exemption from the inoculations. Their opposition to the vaccine was as shortsighted, and as unfounded in science, as the objections of parents today who refuse to recognize the importance of inoculation not just to their children but to public health.
State Law Requires Many No-Vaccine Kids to Get Doc's Note
KOMO News (WA) - 8/15/11
It's more than school supplies and sack lunches for a lot of kids returning to school this fall. Because of a new state law, many will now need a doctor's note if they opt out of vaccines. A shot in the arm is as much a part of back to school as a new back pack, but many parents disagree with getting their kids vaccinated. In Northshore School District, the number of holdouts are higher than the district wants for the sake of the community's health.
Doctors See Chinks in Vaccination Armor
Los Angeles Times - 8/5/11
As students return to middle schools and high schools in California this fall, they will need more than fresh notebooks and apples for their teachers. Thanks to a state law that took effect last month, students entering grades 7 through 12 will need proof that they received a vaccine for whooping cough. The law was prompted by last year's outbreak of the highly contagious respiratory infection, which is also known as pertussis. Nearly 9,500 cases were reported in California, the most in 65 years, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Ten patients died; all of them were infants, including nine who were too young to be vaccinated.
WA Leads Nation in Parents Opting Out of Vaccines
Bellingham Herald (WA) - 7/31/11
Washington is experiencing an epidemic of worry over vaccine safety. The state leads the nation in the percentage of parents opting out of vaccinations for their kindergarten-age children, but a new state law could be poised to change that distinction. More than 6 percent of Washington kindergarteners were missing one or more immunizations in the 2009-2010 school year. The most commonly skipped vaccine was the chicken pox vaccine, The Daily Herald reported in Sunday's newspaper. Since 1997, there's been a steady, statewide decline in the number of school children who are fully vaccinated. A new state law that went into effect in July seeks to close a loophole that parents used to avoid providing proof of vaccinations to schools.
New Immunization Laws for Idaho Public Schools
KPVI (Idaho) - 7/29/11
"Idaho has always been a little bit behind on the times on immunization requirements," says Nurse Manager at the Eastern Idaho Public Health District Amy Gamett. That's why starting July 1 new laws have been enforced to prevent health outbreaks at all public schools in Idaho. The new immunization laws basically verifies that all students receive their required vaccinations. "So we are checking them not only as they initially enroll or as they change schools, but when they start the 7th grade we are rechecking everyone again," says District 93 Health and Safety Coordinator Guy Bliesner.
Bill Would Give Reprieve on Pertussis Shot
SignOnSanDiego - 7/14/11
California lawmakers have given schools a 30-day grace period to enforce a state law that requires a whooping cough booster shot for students entering grades 7 through 12 this year. Both houses of the Legislature on Thursday passed SB 614, emergency legislation from Sen. Christine Kehoe, D-San Diego, that allows schools to conditionally admit students who don't immediately have proof they have been vaccinated against the highly contagious disease formally called pertussis.
As More Parents Opt Their Kids Out of Vaccinations, Florida Measles Cases Increase
St. Petersburg Times (FL) - 7/8/11
The back-to-school push for children's vaccinations has new urgency this year as Florida health officials report an alarming rise in measles. So far this year, seven cases have been reported in Florida, the most in 14 years. All but one involved an unvaccinated child 1 to 16 years old. Most of the children's parents had exempted them from state-required vaccinations by citing religious objections to vaccines…Given all the debate, the Catholic Diocese of St. Petersburg has recently clarified the church's position. In a letter to pastors and parochial school principals, Bishop Robert Lynch said the church does not teach that using vaccines is "intrinsically evil," even if the vaccine was produced with controversial stem cell lines. So Catholic schools shouldn't grant vaccine exemptions on religious grounds.
L.A. Unified Takes New Tack on Whooping Cough Vaccine
Los Angeles Times - 7/7/11
Los Angeles school nurses on Wednesday exhausted their entire supply of 600 doses of the whooping cough vaccine on students who began their academic year this week at area campuses that are on a year-round schedule. But officials came up with a new strategy that they hope will keep hundreds of students in class.
Editorial: Vaccine Roulette
Chicago Tribune - 7/4/11
Most parents keep close track of a child's vaccinations to protect him or her from preventable diseases such as measles or whooping cough. They know schools require proof of vaccination in the fall. If enough kids get the shots, everyone is protected. That includes those too young to be fully immunized, children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons and those who have taken the shot but don't develop an immunity to the disease. Overall, Illinois schools boast an impressive vaccination rate of about 98 percent. But a recent Tribune analysis of state data exposed an alarming trend: In a growing number of public and private schools, immunization rates fall below 90 percent — the level the state recommends to prevent epidemics.
Amish Parents Mirror Wider Concerns over Vaccines
Reuters - 6/27/11
Among the minority of Amish parents who do not immunize their children, the most common reasons for skipping the shots were more related to concerns over the potential side effects of vaccines, than to religious beliefs, a new study finds. "The reasons that Amish parents resist immunizations mirror reasons that non-Amish parents resist immunizations," Dr. Olivia K. Wenger of Akron Children's Hospital and her colleagues wrote in the journal Pediatrics. Previous research had suggested that lack of access could be a factor keeping vaccination rates low in Amish communities. The Amish are conservative Christians known for living in closed communities and without much modern technology. Their tenets don't prohibit vaccination, but outbreaks of measles, whooping cough and other vaccine-preventable diseases in underimmunized Amish communities have raised concern.
Opinion: Considering Vaccine as Public Responsibility
Philadelphia Inquirer - 6/24/11
Let's say your 13-year-old son, whom you've raised to be a free spirit, runs through Center City at lunchtime, toppling an occasional food cart and knocking over a stroller. The baby is hospitalized. Are you responsible? Now let's say that same adolescent, who hasn't been immunized because of your concerns about vaccines, returns from a trip to France, where measles is spreading. Although he has not yet had symptoms, he nevertheless passes the infection to a baby too young to be vaccinated who ends up in the hospital. Are you responsible? The example, while hypothetical, raises a question surprisingly absent from public discussion about vaccine mandates: To what extent am I responsible for my neighbors' health? "In the United States, personal medicine has dominated public health," said University of Pennsylvania bioethicist Arthur Caplan.
Safe Havens for Disease
Chicago Tribune - 6/18/11
Clusters of children without their required vaccinations in about 200 Illinois schools are raising the chances of school-based outbreaks of serious preventable diseases such as measles and whooping cough, a Tribune analysis of state data has found. The Tribune found that the number of public and private schools with immunization rates below 90 percent – a protection level the state recommends in order to prevent epidemics – has grown dramatically in recent years for each vaccine.
State Worst for Vaccine Exemptions
Columbian (Washington) - 6/12/11
A new report shows Washington state has the highest vaccine exemption rate in the country, with 6.2 percent of kindergartners entering school without required vaccines. The number of exemptions has more than doubled in the last 10 years. But health officials hope a new law that goes into effect July 22 will bring the rates back down. In Washington, parents can obtain immunization exemptions for medical, philosophical and religious reasons. The new law still allows those exemptions but requires parents speak with their child's health care provider about the benefits and risks of immunizations.
Opinion by Seth Mnookin: An Early Cure for Parents' Vaccine Panic
Washington Post - 6/10/11
Almost exactly 15 years ago, top officials of the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention met in Atlanta to strategize for what would have been one of the most remarkable public health victories in history: the eradication of measles, one of the most infectious microbes known to humankind. By the mid-1990s, widespread use of the measles vaccine had halted transmission of the virus among residents of the United States and Britain.
New Law Seeks to Educate Parents on Immunizations
KLEW-TV (Washington) - 6/8/11
According to the Centers for Disease Control, Washington kindergartners do not meet state or national goals for any required immunizations when they enter school. The report released last week said Washington has the highest exemption rate in the country, with close to 6% of kids having a parent signed exemption form....But a new law going into effect next month looks to change that. Benton said the new law will require parents to seek information on vaccines, before signing an exemption.
State Leads Nation in Opting Out of Vaccinations
News Tribune - 6/5/11
A national study shows Washington parents are choosing not to vaccinate their kindergartners at a rate higher than anywhere else in the country. The rate – 6.2 percent – is below national standards and endangers residents, especially babies who are too young to get fully immunized, state health officials say. They point to recent cases of whooping cough – two babies died of the disease in Washington in 2010 – and measles, which is highly contagious.
Measles Reported at New England Aquarium
UPI - 6/5/11
Boston's New England Aquarium is warning visitors they could have been exposed to measles, authorities say. The aquarium began contacting visitors Saturday, a day after learning that one of its volunteers had measles, The Boston Globe reported.
Vaccination Rate for Kindergartners Is Over 90%
WebMD - 6/2/11
More than 90% of children entering kindergarten in the U.S. have had most recommended immunizations, although coverage rates remain below target goals for most states, the CDC says. The newly published vaccination coverage report for the first time includes state-by-state data on vaccination exceptions granted for medical, religious, or philosophical reasons. More than half of the states providing vaccination information to the CDC had exemption rates of around 1% or less. Four states – Alaska, Washington, Oregon, and Vermont – had exemptions above 5%.
Opinion: State should tighten laws requiring vaccinations
Salt Lake Tribune - 4/30/11
Two weeks ago I received a call from my adult daughter with an unusual question: "Do you have my childhood immunization records?" She told me Skyline High teachers had to show proof of having had the MMR vaccine or take a blood test at the Salt Lake Valley Health Department to see if they had immunity to measles. Olympus High teachers had to do the same or be placed on administrative leave until April 25. This action was necessitated when an Olympus High student without immunization contracted measles on a trip to Poland. From this student, the number of confirmed cases has grown to nine, but the consequences are even greater.
Whooping Cough Vaccine Law May Prevent Calif. Students From Attending School
Huffington Post - 4/26/11
In the midst of one of the worst whooping cough epidemics our country has seen in half a century, the majority of California's schoolchildren may not be vaccinated against the disease – and that may bar them from attending school. AP recently reported that there were over 21,000 cases of whooping cough in the U.S. last year, and experts are unsure as to the cause. NBC News reported that at least 7,800 of those cases happened in California the highest since 1947. In response, California's AB 354 was passed in September of last year, making proof of whooping cough vaccinations mandatory for both public and private school students starting in the 2011-12 school year.
Measles: A Lesson Learned
Pediatric Health Blog (Texas Children's Hospital) - 4/22/11
A young mother sits in the pediatrician's office with her child. As the doctor begins to explain the immunizations the child will receive, the mother interrupts and says, "Ok, but not the MMR vaccine. I've heard it causes autism." Despite numerous reassurances and 30 minutes of discussion, the child leaves without receiving the vaccine that protects against measles, mumps and rubella. It's a scene that has played out in countless numbers of pediatric offices across the globe. After all, it's just one vaccine, right? Wrong.
What Science Says about Science Deniers
MinnPost.com - 4/20/11
Minnesota's measles epidemic has now reached 20 confirmed cases (twice as many as occurred during all of the previous 10 years), including 13 hospitalizations. And, as has been reported here and elsewhere, a misguided fear of vaccines – particularly the fear that they cause autism – is the main fuel behind the epidemic. Study after study – solid empirical evidence – has shown that vaccines do not cause autism, but many parents continue to cling to that dangerous belief. Of course, the vaccine-autism link is not the only scientific topic that has its stubborn deniers.
Most Parents Vaccinate Kids, Trust Docs' Advice on Shots
HealthDay - 4/19/11
About 93 percent of parents said their children either had or were going to get all of the recommended vaccinations, and more than three-fourths said they trusted their doctor's advice on immunizations, two new surveys find. Pediatricians and infectious disease experts say this is good news. After years of hype about a supposed autism/MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) link – a claim that has been roundly discredited – it seems parents are heeding the advice of medical experts and protecting their children from potentially devastating diseases.
Vaccine Exemptions Likely To Be More Difficult Soon
Kings5.com - 4/16/11
Childhood vaccinations protect kids against a host of diseases, everything from measles to polio to tetanus. "A lot of the things, threats that parents had to worry about, are gone. Immunization has made that possible," said Dr. Ed Marcuse, Associate Medical Director at Seattle Children's.
Doctors Most Trusted Source of Vaccine Information, Study Finds
HealthDay - 4/7/11
For American parents, doctors are the most trusted source of information about the safety of children's vaccines, a new study indicates. Researchers conducted a national survey of 1,552 parents of children aged 17 and younger, and found that 76 percent said they trusted their child's doctor 'a lot' when it came to getting information about vaccine safety. Other sources trusted 'a lot' by parents included other health care providers (26 percent) and government vaccine experts/officials (23 percent).
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