Make plans now to get students vaccinated by fall
Decreasing numbers of children receiving important vaccinations before entering public school have become such a problem that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is trying to get a handle on the numbers. That is proving difficult, as there is no real mechanism for tracking vaccinations, and only 27 states submitted requested information.
Ohio was among those states, and of those 27, it has the second-highest percentage (5.3 percent) of kindergarten students enrolled with incomplete vaccinations — but whose parents and guardians did not invoke medical, religious or philosophical exemptions for failing to protect their children.
There are reasonable medical and religious exemptions for vaccines. Until recently,“herd immunity” was strong enough to make up for those cases. But now a generation of deluded and / or lazy parents and guardians is endangering the entire population with its failure to get their children vaccinated.
Some of those children being sent to school by their parents without the protection they need are the victims of adults more willing to buy into patently false — but trendy — conspiracy theories than to do something that could keep their kids healthy.
But for 5.3 percent of kindergartners in the Buckeye State, “It really could just be, ‘I didn’t have time to go to the doctor,’ or ‘I just don’t want to do this,'” commented Melissa Arnold, CEO of the American Academy of Pediatrics’ Ohio chapter.
That is shameful.
Schools are in a bind, as they want to make sure all youngsters are getting an education. “We don’t want to exclude them,” said Kate King, board member at the Ohio Association of School Nursing. “So that’s our dilemma.”
It would be a dilemma easily eliminated by parents’ return to common sense and a sense of responsibility to the well-being of their children.
Summer will disappear quickly. A new school year will be upon us before we know it. Ohioans should shake off whatever stupor has created this danger for our children and make appointments now to get incoming public school students the vaccinations they need.