I saw this on my way home from the supermarket yesterday. It may be difficult to read in this picture (I wanted to edit it, but I didn’t get a chance), but this sign reads, “TDaP Required, Whooping Cough, No Shot, No School!” It is the marquee in front of Griffith Middle School here in Downey and it reflects the new state “requirement” that middle school (and maybe high school? I’m not sure about that) students receive the TDaP vaccination before enrolling.
This is a falsehood, and if you have a child, you should know your rights.
The first– and most important– falsehood is that this shot is required. This is not true. Showing proof of this immunization is part of the CA school enrollment process, but in California, we parents have rights. In our state we can request a waiver to decline vaccination based on three catagories: personal, religious, or medical. Request a waiver from your child’s school, fill it out, and you may enroll your child. They will keep it on file and if an outbreak of any disease for which your child is not vaccinated appears in your child’s school, they are required by law to notify you immediately.
The second falsehood relates to the shot itself. The sign leads parents to believe that this is just for Whooping Cough (aka Pertussis, or acellular Pertussis– the “aP” in the abbreviation), but this shot is actually a triple vaccine. Now some parents might think this is great. Get vaccinated against all three with only the pain of one needle. But other parents might be concerned about injecting their child with three different toxins at the same time.
And they are toxins, people. They are not medicines, or vitamins, they are harmful diseases in pared-down form. They are not natural and they can harm your child. They do harm hundreds of children every year in varying degrees.
The “T” refers to Tetnus, or Lockjaw, a disease that enters the body usually in the case of a puncture wound from a rusty nail or something of the sort. It can be administered after-the-fact and is not necessary as a preventative medicine. So in other words, you can wait until AFTER your child steps on a rusty nail to worry about Lockjaw. The “D” refers to Diptheria, which is pretty much unheard of in the United States anymore. Whooping Cough, however is the one single vaccine in the whole schedule that actually is out there in reasonable commonality. Apparently the vaccine isn’t very successful at preventing this one.
We have autonomy over our bodies.
The bottom line is that someone is doing a really good job at spreading lies that are lining the pockets of pharmaceutical companies. But not a lot of parents realize that in California, we have rights. You do not have to do anything to your body or to your child’s body that you don’t feel comfortable with. And at least in our state, they are not going to take away your right to public education because of your choice not to vaccinate.