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Hepatitis B in Vermont

Hep B cases Acute Chronic >14 years age 2011 0 0 2010 2009 2008 2007 0 0 0 0 2 3 2 4

Abuse of School Mandates

The HPV and Hepatitis B vaccines raise another serious question. Should a child be barred from school for missing a vaccine that suppresses an infection that cannot be transmitted or contracted at school? The original, rational intent of school required vaccines was to prevent schools from being contagion hubs for highly infectious, dangerous diseases that are easily contracted in the classroom setting. HPV and Hepatitis B have infective profiles equal to HIV, all are blood borne pathogens. The risk of student to student transmission of HIV is considered so low that the law allows known HIV positive students to attend school. Yet without a philosophical exemption it is being proposed that a student who is simply is not vaccinated for Hepatitis B be excluded from his constitutionally guaranteed, tax financed public education. Even though he is no infection threat to anyone, whether Hepatitis B positive or not. Doesnt the inclusion of infections that cannot be contracted in the course of a normal school day represent an abuse of the School Attendance Requirement? It is perfectly appropriate for Public Health to encourage use of vaccines, but should it be able to keep a child out of school for not getting a shot for something he can neither transmit nor contract without engaging in intimate, probably illegal behavior?