One of the major fallacies with herd immunity is that people are under the impression that if you are vaccinated, you now live in a magical germ-repelling bubble. Just because you are vaccinated and cannot get sick from certain infectious diseases, does not protect those around you. People who are immune to the measles, for example, can still come into contact with the disease and carry it on their person, and spread it to other susceptible people. The measles can live for several hours on surfaces, hands and door knobs. Barring unvaccinated children from school, will not keep infectious diseases off the premises. Vaccines were designed to confer individual protection only. It’s like wearing a hazmat suit everywhere you go. It may protect you, but the outside of your suit is still going to be covered in germs. For this reason alone, it would appear that unvaccinated kids pose no bigger threat than everyone else, but that’s incorrect. Unvaccinated kids cannot spread what they do not have. Vaccinated kids on the other hand, will shed live viruses for several weeks after receiving a live virus vaccine. They can spread what they don’t have. If you have a classroom full of children and one of them is medically fragile, a few of them are unvaccinated and another handful just got caught up on their vaccines and are now actively shedding live viruses, who is putting whom at the greatest risk here? If the point of barring children with personal belief exemptions from school is to protect these hypothetical immunosupressed kids from infectious diseases, why would they allow recently vaccinated kids in school? Unvaccinated kids are not harbingers of disease. They are not born with these viruses inside of them. They would first have to come into contact with the disease, catch the disease and then expose others. Where is the most common place to come into contact with these diseases? Immigrants? Tourists? Or perhaps it’s the classroom full of recently vaccinated children?
My point is, germs are everywhere. They are not limited to a host. They are not limited to a school building. If we were to disallow unvaccinated kids from school, what about other public places? Unvaccinated kids go to the grocery store, church, playgrounds, Chuck E Cheese’s. Does the responsibility of protecting medically fragile children fall on the community? Or is that the responsibility of that child’s parents? If my child was medically fragile to the point that they could not be vaccinated (which very few are), then I would not want them in school, period. There are a lot more things out there that could kill an immunocompromised child than what we vaccinate for.
Not all immunocompromised children cannot be vaccinated. Most immunocompromised kids have either already been vaccinated, or have to temporarily delay certain live virus vaccines. These children are also under strict guidelines to avoid anyone who has recently been vaccinated with a live virus.
Another major fallacy with eliminating personal belief exemptions, is that a significant part of the school population is being overlooked. Teacher and staff make up around 10-20% of the school population, but they are not required to disclose their vaccine status. You know, because that would be a violation of privacy. If these teachers are my age or older, they have had about a third or less of the shots our children are required to get. It makes no goddamn sense. I would be forced to homeschool my healthy child if she misses one DTaP booster, so that we don’t put the unhealthy unvaccinated medically fragile kid at risk, but Mrs. Katherine-Hepburn’s-Mother, the music teacher who has only had the oral polio vaccine half a century ago is cleared to enter the premises? I feel like I’m living in a strange, backwards world, where up is down, we wear hats on their feet and hamburgers eat people. Did anyone actually take the time to think this through at all? Demanding that other people risk their child’s health to potentially protect the health of another is both pointless and selfish. We are each responsible for our own child’s health. We do not have to poison our own bodies for the greater good. Discriminating against children who’s parent’s care enough about them to research what goes into their bodies, by barring those children from school is un-American. This is supposed to be a free country where we are granted the right to a free public education, as well as medical freedom. If we give up those things, what will we give up later on down the road? If your state is one of the many looking to eliminate personal belief exemptions, or is trying to gain more control over your rights as a parent, you need to stand up and let your voice be heard. Everyone should be opposed to government coercion regarding potentially dangerous medical procedures. These are our children and the government can fuck right off when it comes to how we raise them.
For more information on this subject, please read this amazing article from Immunologist Tetyana Obukhanych, PhD. http://thinkingmomsrevolution.com/an-open-letter-to-legislators-currently-considering-vaccine-legislation-from-tetyana-obukhanych-phd-in-immunology/