The Immunocompromised Schoolchildren Risk Group Information Statement was developed to address concerns about risks that the vaccination status of schoolchildren might pose to their immunocompromised classmates.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: July 2, 2018
Newport Beach, Calif. — The nonprofit organization, Physicians for Informed Consent (PIC), has released an information statement entitled “Vaccines: What About Immunocompromised Schoolchildren?” Because immunocompromised schoolchildren are among the most vulnerable children in school, this educational document focuses on concerns about their safety and addresses questions about the risks that the vaccination status of schoolchildren might pose to their immunocompromised classmates.
A safe environment for all persons, including schoolchildren, is the goal of everyone involved in public health. “It is important that the public be informed that the vaccination status of a child is not a significant risk to other schoolchildren in general, or to immunocompromised schoolchildren in particular,” said Dr. Shira Miller, PIC founder and president.
To further inform senators considering new legislation, the information statement was recently shared with the California Senate Committee on Human Services in opposition to AB1992 which proposes to coerce vaccination by making it a prerequisite for receiving benefits from the California Work Opportunity and Responsibility to Kids (CalWORKs) program. The Senate Committee includes Senators Scott D. Wiener (Chair), Tom Berryhill (Vice Chair), Steven M. Glazer, Connie M. Leyva, Mike McGuire, Janet Nguyen, and Anthony J. Portantino.
As described in the information statement, some vaccines fail to prevent the spread of the bacteria or viruses they target, which means certain infectious diseases, such as pertussis (whooping cough), are spread regardless of a child’s vaccination status. In addition, not all infectious diseases targeted for vaccination are contagious; for example, tetanus cannot spread from person to person under any circumstances. Consequently, a child’s vaccination status for a non-contagious disease does not pose a risk to immunocompromised schoolchildren. Furthermore, some infectious diseases are not spread in schools; for instance, the main routes of hepatitis B transmission are sexual contact, injection drug use, and being born to an infected mother—routes of transmission that do not occur in school.
The information statement also describes how some infectious diseases, like mumps, rarely cause complications in schoolchildren, including immunocompromised schoolchildren. In addition, immune globulin (plasma containing antibodies) is available for immunocompromised children exposed to certain infectious diseases, such as measles, for the prevention of severe symptoms.
“The scientific evidence shows that the vaccination status of a child is not a significant risk to immunocompromised schoolchildren,” said Dr. Miller. “Therefore, it is both unscientific and unethical to use coercive measures to increase vaccination rates.”
Physicians for Informed Consent is an independent 501(c)(3) nonprofit educational organization dedicated to safeguarding informed consent in vaccination. To read the information statement, please visit physiciansforinformedconsent.org/immunocompromised-schoolchildren.
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