Not all choose to vaccinate

Not all choose to vaccinate

In order to attend a public school in the state of California, students must have their immunization records up to date. A section of the California Health and Safety Code clearly states that children cannot attend a public school if they do not show proof of all of their immunizations. This includes vaccines they were supposed to receive as infants and the most recent ones, as well.

Vaccinations are important to keep track of because that is what keeps diseases from spreading. If all or most students within a school have received their vaccinations, then there isn’t much wiggle room for a disease like mumps or measles to crawl up on the population and strike.

Despite the requirements, one in seven public schools currently have student bodies with immunization rates below 90 percent. That may sound like a good percentage level for any public school to be at, but 90 percent is actually not high enough to ensure immunity within the schools, according to studies recorded by a USA TODAY data analysis unit.

Even if a few students do not have their immunization records up to date, the fact that everyone else around them does protects those few students.
Sophomore Kyle Hightower believes that it is a must for people to get their vaccinations. “You don’t just get vaccinated for yourself, you also get vaccinated to not get other people around you sick from disease.”

However, Hightower’s father does not like the idea of people receiving their immunizations. His father thinks that vaccines are harmful for people and that if they are taken, they will cause various side effects.

“Most people who don’t believe that the vaccine is effective are those who grew up in the time when the controversy of them came up.” Hightower’s father was against vaccinating him, but in the end he did receive them under the demand of his mother.

Kyle said a reason his father believes that vaccines are harmful is because of some false reports that were released indicating the possible linkage of vaccines and diseases. The most popular of these reports included the suspected linkage of vaccinated children and the development of autism.

Despite the facts that the reports have been determined false by several medical organizations, people still think vaccinations lead to autism.

Some parents may sign exempt forms releasing their children of having up-to-date vaccinations. However, it is a law that doctors must also provide a doctor’s note to the exempt form so it is clear that students are exempt for medical reasons.

Judy Rauzi, who is the head of Healthy Start, said, “You have to have a medical reason now” for an exempt form to be effective. “You need a doctor’s note.” The purpose of the doctor’s note is to serve as proof that a student cannot receive a vaccine because they may be allergic to an ingredient in it or not have a strong enough immune system to form the necessary antibodies needed to fight off a certain disease in the future.

Senior James Newman said, “It depends on how your body reacts to the vaccine because, for example, some people get sick from the flu shot when they get it.”

Newman only believes in getting vaccines when they are necessary to prevent any of the more serious diseases from breaking out. “I would say go for them because they are important to stay healthy but not if you’re allergic to them.”

The fact that public schools require students to be vaccinated indicates the importance of the issue. Even public universities have their own vaccination requirements. The requirements still have to meet those outlined in the California Health and Safety Code in order to prevent outbreaks in the United States.