Skip to comments.Norwin High School students to miss prom over chickenpox vaccination
Posted on 05/10/2013 7:18:11 AM PDT by surroundedbyblue
Its the time for senior prom, the countdown to the last day of school and for graduation. But at Norwin High School, 33 students were told they won't be able to participate in those days because they werent vaccinated against chickenpox, or failed to provide a vaccination record.
Norwin High School Norwin High School
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Kayla Boscia, a senior, never had the chickenpox vaccine.
Twenty hours before the biggest dance ever and it just so happened they told me I was no longer allowed to go, she said.
A letter from Norwin School District spells out the details, citing the Pennsylvania Department of Health as the reason for the regulations.
For the 33 students not vaccinated, there is a 21-day incubation period. That means no classes and no extracurricular activities until May 28. The district said its unfortunate that the incubation period encompasses the dates for prom (May 10) and graduation (May 24).
There are two ways the students could attend and return to school. Students and parents have the option to get a blood test, which proves immunity to the disease, or to get the vaccination before May 12.
I went to the health clinic and got blood tests done to show they're immune to it or they've been subjected to it in some way, which takes 48 hours to four days to get those back, said Lisa Grudowski. Shes a parent to a sophomore and a senior. The results of immunity wont be back in time before the prom, and for personal reasons, she does not want her children vaccinated
(Excerpt) Read more at wtae.com ...
If parents refuse to inject their children with a vaccine produced with aborted fetal cells that they object to on moral or religious grounds, I guess the state feels it can bully them into compliance. Another example of out of control government.
Another example of out of control government.
Yes, but I wonder how many times these students were told and reminded they needed to turn in their vaccination records?
Is the district willing to return every federal dime they recieved for these students butt’s being in seats throughout their education? I didn’t think so.
This article is very poorly written (big surprise, I know). It leaves out a very critical piece of information - how did this become an issue for the school right now? Obviously, these kids have gone through 13 years of school without being vaccinated, and it never stopped them from attending school or school activities before, so why now?
I suspect that the school has had a recent outbreak of chicken pox. That would explain why the author referenced the 21 day incubation period. Unfortunately, because few journalists these days actually learn how to write these days, we are left uncertain as to the reason for this action by the school.
But they do have a great competition high school marching band. There are priorities you know.
Children of God for Life just this month published their updated list of vaccines with aborted fetal cells: http://www.cogforlife.org/vaccineListOrigFormat.pdf
Yes, the school has been informed that a student has been identified with the virus. State regulations say that once chickenpox has been identified in a school unvaccinated students cannot attend school or school activities until the incubation period has passed. This is for their protection - but it's also for the protection of immunocompromised students who may not have the option of relying on vaccination for protection, and so need an environment as free of the disease as possible. The decision not to vaccinate does not only affect the person who isn't vaccinated - it makes them a potential source of infection for others.
One of my kids was immunocompromised through his schooling - he could not have most vaccines, and if he got sick, it could be much more serious than normal - even life threatening. I do believe people have the right not to have their kids vaccinated - but I don't think that right trumps my son's right to life.
While I understand your concern for your son, why should the whole world be penalized when your son could just stay home in a safer environment?
There is no right answer to this as someone will be deprived of something somewhere along the line. But it seems to me that if it’s a choice of one person staying home or 33 people staying home, the one should stay home. He didn’t do anything wrong, they didn’t do anything wrong, but someone has to stay home. May as well make the damages as minimal as possible.
Because it isn't that simple. If it was just a matter of my son missing 21 days of school (the incubation period) that might be entirely reasonable - but the problem is, once you have an outbreak that can become a rolling number.
Kid A gets chickenpox and infects Kid B, who 21 days later gets chickenpox and infects Kid C, who 21 days later gets chickenpox, and infects Kid D, who 21 days later gets chickenpox and infects Kid E, who 21 days later gets chickenpox and infects Kid F...
What you end up with a long term outbreak. The only way to stop that happening if you have a population with a significant number of non immunised kids is to take all of those kids out of the school for the initial incubation period. That includes kids like my son. Once the school has been chickenpox free for 21 days, and none of the kids kept out of school have got it, and you know none of the unimmunised kids have been exposed, you can let them all back in.
Keeping the immunocompromised kid at home won't stop the outbreak. If you've got 33 unimmunised kids in the school, the chances are quite high of a rolling outbreak.
You did a very good job of explaining how and why that works.
I’m sorry for the girl missing the prom, but here’s her life lesson. Choices have consequences. When you opt to not vaccinate, you are choosing the possibility of having to miss important events due to outbreaks.
We still have the right to opt our kids out of vaccinations in Pennsylvania. Though I suppose Obamacare is about to bring this to a screeching halt.
What do they do with kids who actually had chickenpox in their early years? My kids all had it before the age of 6, and one of them had it twice since his first outbreak happened very mildly. My children never received vaccinations. What do they do with these kids? It WAS noted in their medical records from the doctor though.
Yes. They take this approach for a reason. The immunocompromised kids are going to have to stay home anyway - so if keeping them home would solve the problem without inconveniencing anybody else, that would be the best way. But it just doesn't work in practice. Especially with chickenpox, where a person becomes infectious before symptoms appear, and there's generally at least a two week gap between infection and symptoms appearing.
Unusually, it also tends to me more serious with older kids - for young kids, it's normally a minor disease. It's once you get close to adulthood, the risks increase - so kids of an age to be having a prom actually need more protection than younger kids do in this case. For most viral diseases, it's the other way around.
And the thing is, the quarantine approach doesn't just protect the immunocompromised kid - it also protects the ones who have never been immunised by choice.
Generally speaking, evidence of previously having had chickenpox is considered evidence of immunity, in the same way vaccination is. A blood test that shows the antibodies are present will also normally meet the test. They just need to know the kid is unlikely to get the disease even if exposed. Vaccination, previous illness, or proven antibodies in a blood test all provide that assurance and mean exclusion from school is not required.
Note, that with these kids, a blood test would let them go to the prom. Unfortunately, it seems that the turnaround time for such test results isn’t fast enough.
Read the article excerpt. You can get a blood test to prove you have immunity.
Yeah, but their football team sucks. ;-)
So if you got the vaccination when you were 5, you’re okay with the school, even if there’s very little immunity left from it (why we get booster shots from other diseases - like tetanus, MMR, etc.) However, if you got the actual disease at age 5, and it’s in your medical records, you still have to go get a blood test to show that you have enough of the immunity left from it? Niiice.
I thought we had that choice in PA, too, but if you read the article, it quotes a school official saying that state law trumps religious exemptions. Since when??
And while some vaccines do need boosters, chickenpox doesn't need one. The vaccination normally gives lifelong immunity. That's why they don't normally give boosters for it.
If all the rest of the students at the prom have been vaccinated why is there a threat??
The only people exposed who might come down with the chicken pox are those who weren’t vaccinated.
Educators are not very bright.
Just because you’ve had the chickenpox once doesn’t mean you can’t get it again. About 10% of the population can get it again. I’ve had it 4 times. Each time it was less severe.
Yes, which is why they are the ones being told to stay home which reduces their chances of getting chickenpox. Those who are vaccinated and who are therefore probably at no risk, are not being told to stay home.
The measures are targeted specifically at those at risk, and at risk of spreading the infection further.
Whatever happened to the days that mamas sent their kids to play with the kid who had chickenpox so they’d get it young and get it out of the way?
There's no perfect protection. But what there is, is pretty good.
Having to deal with a son who was at risk of serious consequences from diseases other people regarded as minor has made me very aware of these things. He's now a healthy young adult - and is fully vaccinated, as it finally became an option once he was in his twenties (or at least, by then, he was strong enough to make the risk worthwhile if things went wrong), but we almost lost him three times in his teens - and if everybody around him had been immunised, two of those occasions would almost certainly not have happened. Other peoples decisions not to immunise their children put my son's life at risk. Despite that, I support their right to make that decision - but I also think it's reasonable for them to accept the consequences of that decision if it means their child might have to miss school increases the chance they will infect other people's children.
We refused to get our kids this vaccination because aborted fetal tissue is used to produce it. The school will stomp and holler and claim that you don’t have an option. But once we presented them with an opt-out in writing they backed down and never mentioned it again.
Chicken pox is actually in the same family as the herpes virus , and like herpes, the virus never completely leaves the body. The antibodies help deter further outbreaks, but in adulthood the virus often reappears in the form of shingles. If you have had chicken pox as a child, you have a much higher chance of getting shingles as you get older.
Please ck FReepmail :)
A very full discussion of this issue can be found at Right-to-Life.
When the shot was first introduced they just accepted the parents info on the records, but now that the shot has been out long enough for all kids to have been vaccinated and outbreaks are rare I think they require proof of immune status and would probably accept a doctor’s statement to that effect, or as in this article a blood test demonstrating immune status.
The shot was new when my kids were toddlers and I didn’t get them done because I have reservations about the basis for it since it doesn’t confer lifetime immunity but will require boosters every 10 years or so. Unfortunately, my kids didn’t get chickenpox and so I had them immunized for it with their other boosters at age 12 so they wouldn’t get it as teens.
It still seems massively stupid to me to immunized children for what is relatively mild in childhood, but much more severe and difficult in adults and then have to give boosters every decade because the vaccine doesn’t produce permanent immunity. I half expect that there will end up being some ugly outbreaks in a stressed out workforce in another decade or two.
I do advocate that older folks (of which I am rapidly becoming one) get the shingles vaccine. I have had to friends get shingles and have it settle in their optic nerve, causing severe pain and vision problems. One is still suffering from after effects because it takes a long time to recover and stress just sets it off again.
...yes, the chicken pox virus stays with you for life. I never even heard of shingles until 5 years ago. Then I got it last year, literally felt like my hair was on fire, could not touch my head to the pillow without lots of pain. Took about 3 weeks to fade away.
I don’t know if the shingles vaccine uses the same stem cell lines.
Yes, but zoster is quite different from the various other herpes.
The medical school textbooks haven’t caught up with the fact one can get the chicken pox multiple times. And there’s a very big difference between the pox and shingles. LOL
BTW every time I got the chicken pox (I got it as an adult) each physician diagnosed it and told me I had never really had it before because you can only get it once. LOL when you have it, you know it!
This problem would be solved by not having public school. Then everybody could pay to put their kids in whatever school environment suited them.
Because of public school, we have liberty-choking restrictions on a vast majority of our population, in order to cater to various minority populations. Immunization is one area, “offensive” t-shirts are another, “inciteful” hair coloring is another, and bag lunches with peanuts are yet another.
I’m kind of surprised that no school has yet banned all non-kosher meat products, to “protect” the jewish and muslim minority population. Maybe they have. Or they could just ban all meat, so that some random vegan kid doesn’t have to deal with the possibility of getting meat mixed in with the vegetables.
Frankly, while disability is not itself funny, I do find it hilarious when I visit my kid’s high school, and there is a dedicated full-time employee, whose sole job it is to push around some poor mentally-challenged kid who clearly gets nothing out of any of the normal classes and activities at school. When they say the “average cost per kid” is $12,000, what they really mean is most normal kids costs a few thousand each, and then we spend millions meeting the requirements of the various disabilities laws, just so those few kids aren’t “left out”.
I think when it comes to diseases that are not generally life-threatening, I have to draw the line at forced vaccinations. There used to be a few “bubble kids” — I don;’t think the answer is to create a nationwide bubble so those kids don’t have to be in one alone.
We debated the chickenpox vaccine for our kids, because getting the disease is just annoying, not usually threatening, and then you are safe, but there was no evidence yet that the vaccine would last a lifetime, and so by vaccinating we were taking a risk that they could get the disease at adulthood.
I think we ended up vaccinating anyway. Although I think one of them actually got a mild case FROM the vaccination or something.
I had it when I was a kid.
Petty vengeance for someone not kowtowing seems likely. “Do what we demand, or else!”
Except — are the police going to stake out the homes to make sure those kids don’t go visit their friends, and therefore spread the disease anyway?
No - it’s up to the parents to act responsibly. I hope they will.
I guess I was never vaccinated against chicken pox since I contracted the disease from a roommate while I was in the Army.........
My son attended a private school - where I live (Australia), that's quite common - a third of kids attend private schools which also receive some government funding (not as much as state schools, but still significant) in acknowledgement of the fact that parents who choose such schools are taxpayers and that educating children is good for society.
I don't believe in forced vaccinations. I do believe that if you decide not to get your kids vaccinated, you may have to accept that if there is a disease outbreak in a school, your child may have to stay home for a while for their own protection and that of other children. Freedom of choice doesn't mean freedom from consequences.
But that is such a half-baked solution. Are we going to also keep them from going to a public event, or make them stay home from work, or stay out of public parks?
Schools are not unique in their ability to expose people to illness.
If a person decides not to be vaccinated, the consequence they accept is that they might get sick.
There is no “consequence” that they might get others sick. That is the consequence those other people have to accept, if they either choose not to get vaccinated, or can’t be vaccinated and don’t want to wear a mask or take special precautions to avoid being exposed.
When you tell one person that THEY have to be banished from the public square because the mere possibility that they might have been exposed to a disease makes them a threat to others, that sounds like an unreasonable imposition on liberty.
I’m OK with actual diagnosed people being quarantined, But not for preventative reasons, unless it is applied to all people.
On the other hand, I see that there is a line to be drawn somewhere, so I can’t lightly dismiss drawing that line where you suggest. I just don’t agree with it.
Quarantine is an old and well tried method of stopping outbreaks, and public health laws do indeed allow for confining you if you are contagious.
I don’t know if they’d put a guard on your house, but you could be held criminally and civilly liable for spreading the infection if you willfully disobey the quarantine order.
Remember the story of Typhoid Mary?
Also, in Oregon the informed consent forms tell you that you will be excluded from schools in the event of an outbreak if you choose not to vaccinate.
Both of my children are immunocompromised. I thought that it was *my* responsibility to protect them, so I homeschooled.
It never occurred to me that 2,000 other kids had to have *their* parents’ rights trampled in order to protect my fragile offspring.
Oh the craziness brings back memories. When my oldest was a Senior in HS right near the end of the year she ran a fever with very swollen glands. The ER doctor said she had MUMPS, though no case of mumps had been diagnosed in the US for many years and she had not been out of the country. The CDC got involved, the school said she could not finish the year and graduate. The reason I was given that she could not attend school was that many parents for religious reasons did not have their children vaccinated! My daughter was vaccinated and I was skeptical she had mumps. I took her to our doctor, he took lab samples (I think blood if I remember right) sent them to a lab in California and had them fax him results. Not mumps, just some garden variety illness and her glands swelled more than usual. This whole deal took a week to sort out and I ended up mad at most involved- it was nonsense.
Separate school and state, before it’s too late.
As I have said, I support the right of other parents not to immunise their child. But I don’t think that right extends to not taking steps that would avoid putting other children’s lives at risk.
I also support people’s right to homeschool - but I believe my son had a right to go to school as well. As it happens, the school he attended is the most expensive private school in Australia, which he wanted to attend, because I had done so, so we also paid a great deal for that right.
I made the choices I believe were in my son’s best interests for a number of reasons. Partly because, having beaten death at the age of 12 with a non-trivial chance of a relapse in a few years, he wanted what he saw as a normal life which, to him, meant attending school with other kids. He didn’t want to be homeschooled (we did consider it), because to him, one of the worst parts of being sick had been missing out on going to school. He liked school.
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