I get really tired of “days.” It seems like every day of the year is “National ____ Day” anymore. I used to like Talk Like a Pirate Day and Ninja Day but the overuse of it has me longing for regular, old Sunday-Saturday. Except for Pi Day. I like Pi. And Pie.
That being said, I can totally get behind “months.” There are only 12, so it doesn’t seem so ridiculous that each one has a different affiliation. I’ve recently been made aware of August being dubbed National Immunization Awareness Month. With back-to-school season upon us [seriously… already], some states are cracking down on parents who dawdle in regards to updating vaccinations.
Most schools in both Indiana and Kentucky have a grace period for most of the requirements, allowing parents 20-30 days to get all of the required documents in to the school. But none of them have much room to give where immunizations are concerned.
However, the school in question for the article I took that blurb from does allow exceptions in the case of religion and extended-schedule immunization, while stating that they’ve never had a child in school entirely without vaccination. This is the case with most schools. Especially thanks to the Green Our Vaccines movement and sites that tell people all the ways to legally deny their children the right to stay disease-free.
When this Jenny McCarthy craze started, I had a hard time understanding how, except for religion [and even still…], anyone was getting away with not vaccinating. It had always been required as far as I knew, and I remember my mom having to fill out the forms. In fact, I was given a couple of them at school in the nurse’s office in elementary school. They gave me a lollipop after.
There are helpful sites out there for parents to use as resources. Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia has an online Vaccine Education Center which includes videos and informational tear sheets for parents questioning whether vaccinating is what they want to do. Healthy People 2010 is a comprehensive list of different ways to make society healthier and includes information on immunizations. Quackwatch posted an article about the misconceptions of immunizations and lists other resources at the end.
The sites are there! They’re just waiting to be utilized. I hope know you all know this, but if you know anyone who is struggling with the decision to vaccinate for any reason, spread the word and help them move in the right direction. Click here to find out more about your particular state’s requirements.