“Scores” of children were turned away from schools in Sacramento this week after they failed to prove that they had received all of their necessary vaccinations.
The Sacramento Bee reports that the Folsom Cordova Unified School District sent 145 students home because they did not have the required immunization records. The move came as a result of a new state law, which eliminates personal/religious belief exemptions for vaccines. The updated law went into effect on July 1.
According to the new law, students must prove they have received the necessary vaccinations by providing immunization records when entering kindergarten and seventh grade, termed “checkpoint years.”
Daniel Thigpen, the district spokesman, said that the hope is that the students who were sent home this week will return next week after getting the necessary shots.
On Tuesday, 72 children from kindergarten and 73 from seventh grade, were told that they could not attend classes until they were immunized. On Friday, a total of 98 students, 37 kindergarteners and 61 seventh graders, were still not back in their classrooms.
As reported by the Sacramento Bee:
By the start of school, the district had identified 157 students who were unvaccinated out of 1,462 kindergarteners and seventh-graders, he said.
On that day, 103 unvaccinated students arrived at school, Sanders said. He said their parents either returned that day with the proper paperwork or took their children to one of the district’s two clinics – a stationary clinic at Natomas High School or a mobile clinic at a middle school.
Since then, Sanders said, the district has been working to reach the 54 students to see if they need help. Some turned out to have transferred to other districts.
The American Academy of Pediatrics has continued to reiterate the importance and safety of vaccinating children. (You know, so they don’t die from preventable diseases and stuff.)
The American Academy of Pediatrics would like to correct false statements made during the Republican presidential debate last night regarding vaccines. Claims that vaccines are linked to autism, or are unsafe when administered according to the recommended schedule, have been disproven by a robust body of medical literature. It is dangerous to public health to suggest otherwise.
There is no ‘alternative’ immunization schedule. Delaying vaccines only leaves a child at risk of disease for a longer period of time; it does not make vaccinating safer.
Vaccines work, plain and simple. Vaccines are one of the safest, most effective and most important medical innovations of our time. Pediatricians partner with parents to provide what is best for their child, and what is best is for children to be fully vaccinated.
Vaccines have been required in California since 1962, but parents were able to opt out if immunizations conflicted with their religion or personal belief system. In recent years, the anti-vaxxer movement has continued to gain traction, leading to more and more unvaccinated children in schools. Following last year’s measles outbreak, Governor Jerry Brown finally stepped in and put an end to the religious and personal belief exemption that had allowed so many anti-vax parents to skirt the vaccine requirement.
In 2014, a federal judge upheld a New York City policy that bars unvaccinated children from attending public schools when another child has an illness preventable by vaccines. In his ruling, Judge William F. Kuntz II of Federal District Court in Brooklyn wrote that the Supreme Court has “strongly suggested that religious objectors are not constitutionally exempt from vaccinations.”
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