I work in a middle school and one of the teachers recently asked me if my children and I are up to date on our pertussis vaccinations because apparently one of her classes has 3 active cases of pertussis (only one of which has been properly diagnosed.) My DH and I are delay/selective and have a 4 month old and a nearly-4 yr old. Our older DD wasn't in childcare and still nurses, so we delayed all vaccinations until recently. We just got her first dose of pertussis this month. The baby is going to have to be in child care 15 hours a week, so we are considering which vaccines to give her. She has received 2 doses of Hib and PVC and one DTaP. I'm still not entirely comfortable with vaccinating her, but the fact that she'll be starting childcare soon has sort of forced our hand, or at least that's how we feel.
Anyhow, I informed her that my daughters have both gotten theirs and that I think I had a Tdap less than 10 years ago. I didn't mention that we are delay/selective parents. She then went off on a tirade about how irresponsible the parents of the infected parents are, how they're probably "anti-vaxxers" who are idiots and putting us all at risk. I told her that I really wish the vaccine were more effective, because recent outbreaks largely occur among the fully vaccinated. She didn't really seem to hear me and just said that the parents are idiots who stupidly cause these outbreaks, and that she was sure that the outbreak started because of an unvaccinated child. At one point I mentioned that we had actually delayed vaccinating our first daughter because she was never in daycare and was exclusively breastfed for a year. I have no idea why I offered up that info, but she just responded by saying that she is pro-daycare and then went back to calling the non-vaxxing parents "idiots" and proclaiming how stupid they all were.
Then, as I was about to leave, she repeated that she was SURE the pertussis cases were caused by unvaccinated students and said that she was going to prove it by looking the kids' files up in the school database to see if they had exemptions on file. I was curious to see if that sort of information really could be accessed by any old teacher, so I stuck around to see what she'd find, but apparently the database was down at that moment.
So, could she possibly be correct? Can teachers see which one of their students have filed a vaccine waiver? I'd hate to think that some obviously very biased teacher could access that sort of information about their students. It seems like that must violate some sort of law, no? HIPPA or something?