Tuesday, January 27, 2015

To Protect His Son, A Father Asks School To Bar Unvaccinated Children

For this week's New & Hot Blog, I chose to highlight an NPR story from this morning, posted on KQED's health blog, State of Health. "To Protect His Son, A Father Asks School To Bar Unvaccinated Children" highlights the story of father Carl Krawitt who is rallying against the elementary school, Reed Elementary, of his six-year-old son Rhett.

Krawitt's issue with Reed Elementary is that it permits an unusually high percentage of unvaccinated children to attend school on the basis of "personal belief exemptions," reflecting a suspicion of vaccines that pervades Marin County, California, where Reed is located. Krawitt cares deeply about this issue because it potentially has a huge impact on Rhett, who cannot be vaccinated against measles due to a recent fight with leukemia. A startlingly high 7% of children at Reed Elementary lack immunity to measles, among other highly infectious diseases.

Normally, individuals who battle childhood cancers rely on herd immunity to shield them from infectious disease, but below the threshold of 98% vaccination (normally understood as necessary for measles herd immunity), Rhett is vulnerable to the measles outbreak that has been cropping up in communities with low vaccination rates across California (most famously at Disneyland).

Krawitt and his wife Jodi have requested the district superintendent to consider barring all unvaccinated children from attending Reed and surrounding schools.

--Shubha Raghvendra

Source: http://www.npr.org/blogs/health/2015/01/27/381888697/to-protect-his-son-a-father-asks-school-to-bar-unvaccinated-children?utm_source=facebook.com&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=npr&utm_term=nprnews&utm_content=20150127

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