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Shots fired over vaccination policy

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Shots fired over vaccination policy

A HPV vaccination is administered in San Paulo, Brazil.

A HPV vaccination is administered in San Paulo, Brazil.

Pan American Health Organization

A HPV vaccination is administered in San Paulo, Brazil.

Pan American Health Organization

Pan American Health Organization

A HPV vaccination is administered in San Paulo, Brazil.

Becca Garner, Staff Writer

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In a 21st century lifestyle, vaccinations are a common form of insurance that parents buy for their children.

This is all fine and dandy, until your child comes home with a highly infectious viral disease they were supposed to be protected from because of someone else’s life choices.

For Bay Area resident Carl Krawitt, this nightmare is a realistic threat.

“I respect people’s choices about what to do with their kids, but if someone’s kid gets sick and gets my kid sick, too, that’s a problem,” said Krawitt via The New York Times, whose son, Rhett, was found to have leukemia in 2010.

Six-year-old Rhett Krawitt has undergone four years of chemotherapy and as a result, he is vulnerable to infections and unable to be vaccinated.

“What we need to do, for all our children, is increase the herd immunity,” said Carl Krawitt.

In California, parents do not have to vaccinate their children before kindergarten if they claim a religious or philosophical exemption.

Carlmont students face the consequences of this decision every day at school.

“Vaccination is good for your child’s personal health and well being, meanwhile protecting others. It’s for the greater good,” said junior Apollo Chen.

According to the Center for Disease Control, measles was eliminated from the United States in 2000. However, the measles vaccine is one example of an immunization that has not succeeded in preventing the spread of infection.

This year, more than 90 Californians have been infected with the measles following an outbreak in Disneyland last month, compared to zero cases in Mississippi, which has a 99.7 percent vaccination rate, according to CNN.

Controversy over immunization has been amplified by California’s recent outbreak, and Carlmont students are concerned for their well being.

“It’s incredibly important to vaccinate your kids; I don’t want to get sick because of someone else’s religion or philosophy,” said senior Trishia Nunez.

The conflict over immunization has also developed into a new debate platform for politicians.

Despite the measles outbreak, President Obama is proposing to scale back one vaccination program for poor families as more people are getting health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, according to The Fiscal Times.

Last week, top Republican lawmakers and presidential hopefuls strongly backed routine vaccination of children against deadly diseases.

Kentucky Senator Ron Paul received attention for observing a correlation between vaccinations and mental disorders in previously healthy children. Paul later revised his statement to include his support of immunization, and his denial that he was implying causation, reported The Wall Street Journal.

Tensions remain heightened in the wake of the measles outbreak. The government has complicated matters further with their diversified stances on vaccinations.

America will have to wait until the next presidential election in 2016 to see whether national immunization requirements will be more strictly imposed, or not.

 

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About the Writer
Becca Garner, Staff Writer

A senior at Carlmont High school, Becca is passionate about listening to music, writing fiction and raps, and cooking food. She works part time to raise...

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The student news site of Carlmont High School in Belmont, California.
Shots fired over vaccination policy