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Are Influenza and HPV Mandates a Violation of Civil Liberties?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Rhode Island's health department is trying to impose a flu shot mandate for children ages 6 months to five years old. The state's branch of the American Civil Liberties Union came out against this move and released the following statement: http://riaclu.org/images/uploads/DOH_school_vaccinations_testimony_.pdf

A couple of notable highlights:

"The Department of Health’s continued emphasis on mandating vaccination against influenza, despite the lack of any evidence indicating that such mandates significantly benefit public health in the long run, represents a serious intrusion on the ability of individuals and
families to make their own medical decisions."

"The vaccination of children against illness is a laudable goal, and the ACLU appreciates that there are some illnesses and some situations that may warrant imposition of mandatory vaccinations. However, mandatory vaccinations must be reserved only for those diseases where the vaccine has an undeniable preventative effect on the illness, where the illness is easily transmitted by the individuals and in the situations under consideration."

They also want to add the HPV vaccine to the list of requirements. Here are the ACLU's thoughts.

"Although it is highly unlikely that an unvaccinated student would be in a position to transmit HPV to another student during school hours and on school property, these regulations treat them a walking time bombs who should be excluded from school–left at home, likely with little supervision–in the name of public health."

The ACLU-RI makes a lot of other salient points and address some other proposed regulations; these are just a start.

What are your thoughts?
post #2 of 13

It isn't really a mandate -- it's a requirement for schools.  And they allow religious exemptions, which historically are accepted pretty broadly.  I do not consider it a violation of civil rights, although I am not in favor of it, especially the HPV requirement.

post #3 of 13
I am not really in favour of the us schools requirements, and for hpv especially it seems strange.

Is there evidence the schools requirements help significantly with vaccination rates?
post #4 of 13
 
Quote:
man·date
ˈmanˌdāt/
noun
 
  1. 1.
    an official order or commission to do something.
    "a mandate to seek the release of political prisoners"
    •  
       
  2. 2.
    the authority to carry out a policy or course of action, regarded as given by the electorate to a candidate or party that is victorious in an election.
    "a sick leader living beyond his mandate"
    synonyms: authorityapprovalacceptance, ratification, endorsementsanction,authorization More

 

 
Quote:
re·quire·ment
riˈkwīrmənt/
noun
 
  1. 1.
    a thing that is needed or wanted.
    "choose the type of window that suits your requirements best"

 

Big difference between the two

post #5 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

I am not really in favour of the us schools requirements, and for hpv especially it seems strange.

Is there evidence the schools requirements help significantly with vaccination rates?

good luck finding it

 

each state can do what they want, they each make their own requirements, this really becomes a mess in other areas not just vaccines

 

while vaccines are a "state" issue, most are close to what other states require but there is not one blanket requirement - same as we do not have education standards for all states that are ALL the same, even within states (such as mine) each school makes their own and this varies greatly!!

 

just look at "informed consent" - what a joke! EACH state does what they want - I've heard some say that just those who are not in favor a vaccines seem to have "problems", not accurate - again, each states can do what they want, this leaves it hard to really know certain data over all when the "rules" are not the same

 

example - http://www.cdc.gov/vaccines/hcp/vis/about/vis-faqs.html

Some states have informed consent laws, covering either procedural requirements (e.g., whether consent may be oral or must be written) or substantive requirements (e.g., types of information required).

 

Just the fact one state can do it orally vs written is a huge difference!

 

The CDC has rate coverage by states and you can certainly see not all are a like, so while they loosely tie it into school requirements, when all the retirements are different it's really hard to know the true answer.

post #6 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

I am not really in favour of the us schools requirements, and for hpv especially it seems strange.

Is there evidence the schools requirements help significantly with vaccination rates?

I think a case can be made that states with easy exemptions have more under or unvaxxed kids that states with stricter exemptions.  I don't have it in me to make the case, though.  The research is out there.

 

I do think we would need to ask 3 questions:

 

1.  Is it a case of "correlation is not causation."  Even though WV has strict exemptions and a corresponding low unvaccinated rate, it is very possible it would have a low unvaccinated rate if it had generous exemptions.

 

2.  Significant is a key word in your above sentence.  I think the number of people who have unvaxxed children due to parental belief is sufficiently low that stricter exemptions would not make a significant impact on vaccination rates. 

 

3.  The most important, to my eyes:  even if it does raise vaccination rates - is that really how you or anyone else want to play this?  Vaccination should be a choice freely made based on evidence…it should not be done because one's back is against the wall.  

post #7 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by prosciencemum View Post

Is there evidence the schools requirements help significantly with vaccination rates?

 

I suppose "significant" is subjective but I do not think for a moment that the fact that school children in Mississippi have a 99.9 percent vaccine coverage for MMR, DTaP, and varicella vaccines vs around 85ish percent for places like Colorado is just a coincidence.  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6230a3.htm

 

Another study : 

 

"For their report, researchers used data on vaccine exemptions from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention  for school years 2005–2006 through 2010–2011.

They found that the rates of nonmedical exemptions were 2.5 times higher in states that allowed philosophical exemptions, compared with states that allowed only religious exemptions.

 

The researchers also looked at state exemption rates in terms of how difficult exemptions are for parents to get — some states use a standardized form to request exemptions and make this form available at schools, others require parents to go though the state health department, or require a specifically worded letter or notarization.

Over the study period, the exemption rates were higher in states with "easy" exemption policies, compared with states with "difficult" policies. " 

 

http://www.livescience.com/36660-more-schoolkids-get-nonmedical-exemptions-from-vaccines.html


Edited by teacozy - 2/13/14 at 7:06am
post #8 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by teacozy View Post
 

 

I suppose "significant" is objective but I do not think for a moment that the fact that school children in Mississippi have a 99.9 percent vaccine coverage for MMR, DTaP, and varicella vaccines vs around 85ish percent for places like Colorado is just a coincidence.  http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/mm6230a3.htm

 

 

It very well might be somewhat unrelated.  We know a little bit about what demographics make up non-vaxxers: white, well educated, etc.  It could just be that Colorodo has more people who are likely to be non-vax than Mississippi.  Going just on race alone (African Americans are more likely to want to vaccinate than Caucasians) Missippi is 37% African American and Colorodo is 4%.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_African-American_population

  

 

I am not certain exemption types in the big picture can be firmly tied to vaccine status.  

 

None-the-less, even if one person in Mississippi does not want to vaccinate but feels they have to in order to send their child to school (you know, so  the mother can work to feed people) that is one too many. Vaccine choices should be freely made.  :( 


Edited by kathymuggle - 2/13/14 at 7:38am
post #9 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post


They also want to add the HPV vaccine to the list of requirements. Here are the ACLU's thoughts.

"Although it is highly unlikely that an unvaccinated student would be in a position to transmit HPV to another student during school hours and on school property, these regulations treat them a walking time bombs who should be excluded from school–left at home, likely with little supervision–in the name of public health."

The ACLU-RI makes a lot of other salient points and address some other proposed regulations; these are just a start.

What are your thoughts?

 

I think this point is brilliant.

post #10 of 13

I think most Americans consider that "mandate" and "requirement" are synonyms:

 

mandate - Legal Dictionary - The Free Dictionary

legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/mandate
  •  
  •  
  •  
TheFreeDictionary.com
 
mandate n. 1) any mandatory order or requirement under statute, regulation, or by a public agency.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
I guess I'm not so much concerned with the semantical issue of what to call it (mandatory, compulsory, required, etc.), as I am with what you all think of the ACLU's statement.
post #12 of 13

I don't want to be nitpicky about semantics either, but I do think it matters.

 

I definitely think that forcing everyone to be vaccinated no matter what is a violation of civil liberties.

 

I don't know that I feel the same way about requiring vaccines to attend public school, although even if I felt strongly enough to argue about it, I certainly wouldn't pick the HPV vax as a hill to die on.  I agree that it doesn't make sense to require it for schools as it should not be contagious in school settings.


Edited by chickabiddy - 2/17/14 at 7:35pm
post #13 of 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by chickabiddy View Post
 

I don't want to be nitpicky about semantics either, but I do think it matters.  Nitpicky clearly is not the word for it! -IMO :twins

 

I definitely think that forcing everyone to be vaccinated no matter what is a violation of civil liberties.:bgbounce

 

I don't know that I feel the same way about requiring vaccines to attend public school,:eyesroll although even if I felt strongly enough to argue about it, I certainly wouldn't pick the HPV vax as a hill to die on.  I agree that it doesn't make sense to require it for schools as it should not be contagious in school settings.

well given the number of teacher that sleep with their students (that we do know of since so many make the news) perhaps that is why it's required :thumb 

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