Tuesday, October 16, 2007

We need more vaccination communication!

New York City public schools have been more lenient in terms of letting in students who have not been properly vaccinated in accordance with state regulations. While some students have not been immunized because of forgetful parents, others forgo vaccination because of religious beliefs. Whatever the case, the number of non-immunized students being excluded from NYC schools has fallen from 30,000 four years ago to 10,000 by this past June.

While I feel that the religious rights of public school students should be protected, I am worried about these rights being extended to the point where it might be at the expense of other students' health. Also, allowing students to attend school when they haven't been vaccinated solely because their parents or guardians have not taken them to a doctor undermines the whole point of the immunization regulations, which is to try and ensure a healthy environment not just for those students but for the others around them. Doesn't looking the other way send parents the message that they don't have to worry about their medical responsibilities to their children?

Some education-related rules may be completely ridiculous (ahem...the cell phone ban, anyone?), but I'm not so sure I'm ready to mess with the ones dealing with vaccinations. They exist for a reason.

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