Vaccine Exemption Issues - Mothering Forums

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Old 05-15-2011, 02:42 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Hi Mamas,

 

My older two children attend a state VA and I'm in the process of tranferring them to a different state VA.  Their current VA (AZVA) did not request vaccination records but the new one does require them.  Odd as both are publicly funded and consider AZ public schools. 

 

My older children were vaccinated fully (or so I thought) and I submitted their records expecting no issues but received a response that one is missing one dose of Tdap, the other two doses of Tdap and that both need two doses of MCV.  Our former pedi. (who passed away a few months ago, so I can't discuss this with him) never mentioned there were AZ requirements that my older kids technically "need."  He also knew we were delaying vax for the younger kids and maybe assumed we weren't interested in vaxing the older ones.  I never thought to look up AZ's vaccine requirements on my own for the older kids b/c when we left CA they were current and no additional vax were required there at the time.

 

My first reaction to the school's rejection of their vax records was to simply submit an exemption form (personal exemptions are allowable in AZ) so that I could at least research these new shots and decide whether or not we want them.  The Statement of Exemption from the school, however, requires me to attach an explanation and in researching how to word that, I came across some information stating that if I do not word it exactly correctly, I can be accused of neglect based on not vaccinating!

 

Now I feel like I should just get the additional vaccines and not rock the boat, but of course I also feel like it would be wrong to vaccinate solely due to fear or external pressure.  FWIW, we do vaccinate our youngest two children selectively and we only administer one vaccine at a time. To get the older kids caught up and registered in the new school expeditiously, we'd have to allow them to have the Tdap and MCV at one visit.

 

Thoughts?


Shellie
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Old 05-15-2011, 09:07 AM
 
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Use a religious exemption and vax when/if you feel the need to. You can always tell them later you changed your mind..you do have the right to change your mind.  

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Old 05-15-2011, 02:38 PM
 
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Old 05-16-2011, 06:51 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Turquesa View Post

Where on earth did you hear this???  Seriously, don't provide any explanation at all.  Arizona law does not require you to justify your decision.  School officials cannot legally approve or disapprove of your choices, so why explain them? 

 


I read this, from this site:

 

Quote:
Basically, by initialing and signing this form as is, you are admitting to understanding that "vaccine preventable" diseases are extremely deadly and ALSO admitting to negligence for willfully denying your son/daughter the life saving protection that vaccines offer. These forms are MEANT to not only be intimidating but to catch the legally ignorant off guard. This is very serious to me since all states have adopted the federally funded Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act which gives states the right to literally steal your children for up to 48 hours -- the time they have to prove child neglect OR abuse.
 

 

Honestly, it freaked me out quite a bit.  The school's form simply states (underneath the area a doc would fill out if you weren't requesting an exemption (are that concerns me highlighted in red):

 

Quote:

Exemption Statements

Please complete the appropriate statement below if you are requesting an exemption from the immunization requirements.

 

The physical condition of the above named student is such that immunization would endanger the student’s life or health. The student is

exempt from the following immunizations due to his or her condition: (List all)

 

Healthcare Provider’s Name (Last, First Middle) Signature Date Phone

 

OR

 

I, the parent/legal guardian of the above named student, am adherent to a personal belief opposed to immunizations. I have attached an

explanation to this form.

 

Parent/Legal Guardian’s Name (Last, First Middle) Signature Date Phone

 

I really think the form is fine, it's making me provide an explanation that bothers me because it seems that based on my wording, this could be considered medical neglect? 

 

And this, from ARS 15-873 seems to say I do need to provide a statement but I guess not an explanation?  This actually would be stating that I choose not to vaccinate even knowing the risks of not vaccinating. 

 

Quote:

15-873. Exemptions; nonattendance during outbreak

A. Documentary proof is not required for a pupil to be admitted to school if one of the following

occurs:

1. The parent or guardian of the pupil submits a signed statement to the school

administrator stating that the parent or guardian has received information about

immunizations provided by the department of health services and understands the risks

and benefits of immunizations and the potential risks of nonimmunization and that due to

personal beliefs, the parent or guardian does not consent to the immunization of the pupil.

 

Any additional thoughts would be appreciated.  Dh said we should do the exemption now and consider the shots and later just provide proof if/when we do them.  Honestly I likely will decide to do them, but not all at once like we'd need to in order to be accepted without an exemption.

 

Thanks ladies!

 


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Old 05-16-2011, 06:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Oh, adding that AZ's form actually seems pretty innoccuous...no explanation required for personal beliefs.  Whether or not the school currently would accept this in lieu of their requested "explanation" I do not know.

 

http://azdhs.gov/phs/immun/pdf/school-exemption-form.pdf


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Old 05-16-2011, 11:22 AM
 
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Quote:

Originally Posted by Shellie View Post


Quote:


I read this, from this site:

 

That link, which says, "Basically, by initialing and signing this form as is, you are admitting to understanding that "vaccine preventable" diseases are extremely deadly" is referring to the Idaho form, not Arizona's. Nobody should sign the Idaho form. Luckily, Idaho law does not require any specific form. Idaho residents can write their own letter.

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Old 05-16-2011, 12:48 PM
 
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Shellie, I'm not sure about AZ laws.  But in my state, I'm getting DD caught up on some vaxes, and our law here is just that the catch-up needs to be "in progress" while your LO in school.  So DD is going to start school without all of her DTaP series, but she'll get one of them in the fall after school starts.  So long as she's on track and getting them right after the minimum time period that can lapse between vaccines in a series, she's find.  Long story short: You may not need to "cram" in a whole bunch of shots at once.

 

If you can find an understanding ped or family doc (i.e. one who won't hammer you for your medical decisions re: vax), either the doc or the nurse can help you draft a catch-up schedule.  The nurse at our clinic was really helpful doing this with me and didn't even bat an eye when I told her we wouldn't be doing Hep B. 

 


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Old 05-16-2011, 01:55 PM
 
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I've used the AZDHS form for school for my DD.  I expect to have to sign a new one, the year after next, if not next year when she goes into 6th grade. I'll have to fill out/sign something for my DS when he starts preschool next year.

 

 

I have also used the ExemptionVacLib-Arizona.doc:  http://www.vaclib.org/exempt/arizona.htm#schools for DDs previous school/preschool?  I signed something like the AZDHS form for my peds office.  I've never been asked to explain my reasons why, nor will I ever!

 

 

Sign the form - you shouldn't be "rocking the boat" taking your legally allowed personal exemption.  But I am a non-vaxer - my DD was fully vaxed until the 5 year shots, then only got MMR (wouldn't do it now 'tho!) and hasn't had any since; I don't remember if I gave a partial shot record.  My DS is fully nonvaxed.

 

 

I guess I'm getting behind on the times - when did they begin to "require" the MCV shot?  I was aware of the new Chicken Pox "requirement"; I must have just ignored any paperwork that came home on the subject!


Becky, mom to two - DD ('00) and DS ('08)
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Old 08-13-2011, 12:36 PM
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The new exemption for Idaho says "these vaccine-preventable diseases can cause serious illness and even death".  

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Vaccinations , Exemption , Meningitis , Tetanus , Diphtheria , Pertussis , Teens , Selective Vaccination , School
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