Within the Everything Birth community, there are varied beliefs on vaccination. Some of our readers have no concerns about vaccinations and are thankful to have access to them. Many of our readers believe that vaccines are crucial, but carry risks. Many even believe that the risks outweigh the benefits. Others believe that vaccines do not even work and are contributing to vast amounts of morbidity and some moralities around the world. Some of our readers simply plan to delay vaccination, until their children are a little older. After all, they assume that in order to go to public school, their children will need to be vaccinated.
Around the nation, at this time of year, parents see signs on their public school billboards and in handouts that read, in no uncertain terms:
No Shots, No School!
Parents have enough to deal with without being lied to.
The truth is parents can file exemptions for their children to avoid vaccinations and still be able to send their children to public school. As of July 2012, all 50 states allow vaccination exemptions for medical reasons; 48 states allow exemptions for religious reasons; and 19 states allow exemptions for philosophical reasons. The schools and the newspapers will rarely tell you about these exemptions or how to do it, that is why VaxTruth.org is working diligently to inform parents of their rights.
VaxTruth.org is behind these billboards, click the photo to see them in action:
There are also many other organizations that are devoted to helping parents learn how they can protect the legal rights of their children. For example, the NVIC has a fantastic state-by-state guide to help. You can find that here.
Regardless of your opinion of vaccines, I don’t think anyone thinks it’s morally acceptable to lie to parents. That is just what schools, health departments and newspapers all over the country are doing when they declare “No Shots, No School!” For example:
Let’s take my state: Michigan. We have exemptions for medical, religious and philosophical reasons.
So, let’s pretend I am a normal mom, trying to decide if I should vaccinate and my child’s pediatrician tells me that I have to get certain vaccines in order to get into school. I would go to the state website and check for myself. So, let’s say I did that search. I’d end up here:
Then, I’d skim for the rules. “Oh yes! There! Immunization School and Childcare/Preschool Rules!” Then I’d click through, and get to this page:
Clear as day, there’s a link to the 2012-2013 School Year Immunization Rules. Certainly, if I click there, it will make mention of the exemption possibility. Right?
So, you see, it’d be really easy to think that I had no choice in the matter. Even though in my state, I have a great deal of LEGALLY PROTECTED rights when it comes to vaccination.
Actually, this basic journey, I walked you through is why I never bothered to research vaccines with my oldest child. Prior to his early vaccinations, when I asked about safety, I was given some VIS, you know the cute little colored 8 1/2 by 11 sheets of paper, and told that he’d need them all to enter school, so following the schedule from the beginning was crucial, unless we were planning to home-school. Even in my young adulthood, I questioned authority a little bit, so I went and looked up the laws. Yup. He was right. So, I thought, “Well, it’s the law, so why bother trying to learn more. There’s nothing I can do anyway.”
So, I was 100% compliant and had no idea that also I would have been 100% compliant by simply signing a waiver as well.
I’m not going to tell you what decisions to make…
Just don’t be fooled.
“No Shots, No School,” is simply, NOT TRUE.