Should unvaccinated kids be kicked out of school

Posted at 6:28 AM, Dec 04, 2015

“I'm not going to shoot them up with all these vaccinations at one time and just the risks are the risks and see what happens,” said Rachel Dunn, a mother of three boys in the Lewiston-Porter Central School District.

Dunn says she is now in search of resolution after receiving a letter from district officials that "said the kids have to get vaccinated fully within 14 days or they can't return to school.”

The district’s initial demand was for the boys to get nine vaccinations in two weeks. According to Superintendent Paul Casseri, the district sent the letter to comply with state law.

The law, which went into effect at the beginning of the 2015-2016 school year, requires children receive their final doses of three standard vaccines before entering school.

But after Dunn says her oldest son experienced an allergic reaction to an immunization at the age of two months, she made a decision that her boys, now ages 10, 9 and 6, would not be vaccinated.

“I thought it was safer for our family to hold off on vaccinations.”

Before the change in state law, children could wait until the age of 6 to receive the final doses of the measles-mumps-rubella, polio and tetanus-diphtheria-pertussis immunizations. And in cases like Dunn’s, parents could submit a request for religious exemption.

This year, Dunn says her request was denied. “I'm going to have to vaccinate them and I don't know how to do that in good conscience with all those vaccines at once."

She is now working with her kids’ pediatrician and asking the school district to give her more time, concerned too many vaccinations at once might be a risk to their health.

Superintendent Caserri told 7 Eyewitness News that the district is “working with the doctor and family to come up with an appropriate schedule that is based on the prescribed New York State catch-up schedule for the immunizations.”

Caserri said Dunn now has until approximately the end of January to get her children fully immunized. Dunn said she still feels like that is too short of a time-frame and continues to consult with her pediatrician as well as an attorney.




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