Abuse of School Mandates?

HPV and Hepatitis B have infective profiles equal to HIV. The risk of student to student transmission of HIV is considered so low that law allows known HIV positive students to attend school. Yet without a philosophical exemption it is being proposed that a student who is simply not vaccinated for Hepatitis B be excluded from his constitutionally guaranteed, tax financed public education. Even though he/she is no infection threat to anyone, whether he/she is Hepatitis B positive or not.

Doesn’t the inclusion of infections that cannot be contracted in the course of a normal school day represent an abuse of the School Attendance Requirement? It is perfectly appropriate for Public Health to encourage use of vaccines, but should it be able to keep a child out of school for not getting a shot for something he can neither transmit nor contract without engaging in intimate, probably illegal behavior?

Also – All live virus vaccines can cause shedding from the vaccine recipient potentially to others.

The chicken pox vaccine has it’s own unique set of risks, especially for the immunocompromised.  As reported in the Seattle Times, the Institute of Medicine found in 2011 that, “The vaccine that racked up the highest number of problems was the varicella vaccine, given to prevent chickenpox. In some patients — most of whom had compromised immune systems — the vaccine caused brain swelling, pneumonia, hepatitis, meningitis, shingles and chickenpox itself.”

And worse, both the chicken pox and shingles vaccines are known to shed live vaccine virus. “Genotypic analysis demonstrated that the varicella zoster virus that was present in saliva was indeed the Zostavax live attenuated vaccine virus, Dr. Catherine M. DiGiorgio said at the annual meeting of the American Academy of Dermatology…Transmission of the Oka/Merck strain of VZV has been documented after chicken pox vaccination, but thus far not following immunization with the company’s Zostavax vaccine. The Zostavax package insert warns newly vaccinated individuals to avoid contact with infants, immunosuppressed individuals, and pregnant women who haven’t had chickenpox or been vaccinated against it, but the insert doesn’t specify why or provide a duration, Dr. DiGiorgio noted.”

This viral shedding may put those who are unvaccinated, but perhaps especially those few who have immune system damage, at risk for infection by others after recent vaccination.