Wednesday, June 24, 2009

health care & immunizations

I just got a letter from the school district which has me really upset. Here is the beginning of it. See if you can find the irony. I’ve tried to help by italicizing the important parts. They were not italicized in the letter.

Missouri law requires that all children show proof of adequate immunizations. According to our records your child will NEED the following immunization(s) to be in compliance.


Although not required for school entry/participation, Menactra, Gardasil, and Varicella (Chickenpox shot) are currently recommended for children of middle and high school age. Please see enclosed information sheets for further information.

According to State law, your child cannot enroll, pick up schedules, or attend school unless properly immunized. Students will be excluded from school August 25, 2009 unless proof of adequate immunization is presented to the school.

And the most convincing argument any health care worker has given me for the shot? Parents have to miss too much work if their kids get chicken pox. The threat of complications is very low—although the numbers (9,000 hospitalized annually with 90 deaths) look big until you realize that 3.5 million kids used to get chicken pox every year. Oh, and don’t forget the booster shot because they have found one shot isn’t good enough. Wonder what the next 10 years will bring? Another stronger booster shot?

My biggest question, however, is how many people notice the dichotomy between the “requirement” and state law? Or is that the kind of education the state-run institution is giving now—to forget the previous paragraph instantly? Or simply not understand what it said?

Unfortunately, at some point I will probably have to cave in and make sure my daughter has the blasted immunization because catching chicken pox as an adult is highly dangerous. Her odds of getting it as a child are not very good since many, if not most, states are requiring it. Is chicken pox uncomfortable? I don't think anyone who has ever had it would deny that and most probably remember it, but I don't think it's anywhere near the same level as measles or scarlet fever.

In the meantime, I guess that means we will opt out of participating even part-time with the governmentally-controlled schools. Shucky darn. We are, however, participating with a huge co-op (350 students). I am so excited I can hardly sit still!


Then there is this whole health care business. If "they" would kindly leave freedom of choice in it, I'd be okay with it all. Not really, but resigned, but my biggest problem with it is that we have made a conscious (and financially necessary) choice to opt out of it. Good ol' big brother would remove that option and make sure we either paid for it or get penalized (since we aren't in the poverty bracket for which I'm eternally grateful) for not paying for it. Given that the highest bill we have ever had to handle is $1000 in a year, the $7,000 a year insurance just doesn't seem worth it. (My husband is covered since he is the breadwinner of the family.) I guess "choice" is only associated with the right to have an abortion. Right, Rep. Claire McCaskill?


Jen said...

What does your state allow as far as exemptions? Do they allow a philosophical exemption?

My daughter reacted to her very first DTAP vaccine (we chose to continue to vax, but we use an alternate schedule) and she still has a mark on her leg from it nearly 5 years later.

3 for school said...

I'm not sure how I could apply for a philosophical exemption. My religion isn't against it or even a deeply held belief except the belief that this is not the "big deal" it has been made out to be. I don't believe the government has an overwhelming (wrong word but can't think of the right one) need to dictate this.

alltheveas said...

Hi! just wondered over here from my sister's blog. "blueberry House" Just wanted to give my input on chicken pox. i was rasied in a small church in a rural area and therefore none of the children in my age range got chicken pox. the whole church was just simply not exposed for 20 yrs!
Most of us have since gotten chicken pox as adults as we have nearly all moved away. As to it being "highly dangerous" for an adult, none of us have had any complictions. The most serious were two women who happened to contract it while pregnant but even then both and their babies are fine!
As for me- when my ninth child was 1 week old,we were exposed. Incidentally,I, nor my other 8 children, had ever had it to that point. It was an "interesting" couple months until it made it's round through all of us but we made it! : ) Some were very uncomfortable, some hardly noticed it.
hope all goes well for you .