Most Important School Supply of the Year: Common Sense


New shoes, new backpack, colored pencils, glue sticks, calculators — CHECK! All ready to go back to school this week! Wait! According to this article, vaccines are the most important item to get for back to school. Let’s read the article together, shall we?

“As a new school year begins, so do the arguments about vaccinations.”

Arguing? No arguments from us — YOU choose what YOU want, BOB chooses what BOB wants, JANE chooses what JANE wants, etc. Crazy how happy and harmonious everything can be when you leave rhetoric, fear mongering, and misinformation out of the conversation. Speaking of which…

“Texas Department of State Health Services, which receives the information from schools of students who have declined vaccination says, “Maintaining adequate immunization rates in schools is critical to preventing disease outbreaks and ensuring the health of Texas children.” “

Hey, let’s beat that herd immunity horse to death some more, y’all! Or, let’s not and you can read all about the flawed THEORY of herd immunity here.

I wonder how herd immunity explains these CDC pertussis numbers from 2014 & 2015? 45% of cases in children through age six were FULLY IMMUNIZED with every recommended dose of DTaP, while only 9% had never received a DTaP shot.

Those are national numbers, so let’s talk Texas numbers. Texas cycles between about 1,000 cases per year to about 3,000+ cases per year. Let’s go back to the last outbreak year for pertussis in Texas: 2013.
Number of Cases (all ages): 3,985
DTaP Vaccination Rates for Kindergarteners: 97.2%
Tdap/TD Vaccination Rates for 7th Graders: 97.1%

Now let’s look at a recent year with far fewer cases of pertussis: 2015.
Number of Cases (all ages): 1,504
DTaP Vaccination Rates for Kindergarteners: 97.4%
Tdap/Td Vaccination Rates for 7th Graders: 96.9%

Summary:
2013 “outbreak” vaccination rates among school children: 97%
2015 non-outbreak vaccination rates among school children: 97%

Huh. Weird. It’s almost as if vaccination coverage among school children has absolutely no effect on disease incidence rates. Pesky facts, though, am I right?

“Jason Terk, a Cook Children’s pediatrician and former president of the Texas Pediatrics Society, states that “immunizations are the safest, easiest ways to protect your kids from unnecessary and sometimes, fatal, childhood diseases.” “

Good grief. See above. And below, for that matter.

“And yet, last year the number of conscientious exemptions in the state of Texas rose to 52,756 last year, compared to 44,716 the previous school year.”

THE HORROR! SOMEONE PLEASE SAVE US FROM THE FILTHY UNVACCINATED! There were so many more of them last year! It’s as if they are multiplying!

Never mind the fact that THIS DOES NOT MEAN there are 52,756 completely unvaccinated children running around. Let’s say a person decided there was no reason for their 5 year old child to receive a vaccine for a sexually transmitted disease — Hepatitis B — but still vaccinates that 5 year old with every other vaccine recommended for their age by the CDC. That person would turn in an exemption form for the Hep B vaccine to the child’s school and now SUDDENLY & MAGICALLY this 5 year old is counted among the dangerous UNVACCINATED students just waiting to bring disease and destruction to her fellow students. GUYS, SHE’S GOING TO BRING MEASLES BACK TO TEXAS! Please ignore that she is fully vaccinated against measles, her school exemption form voids this fact.

Besides, it’s not like there was a “vaccine preventable” disease outbreak last school year, right? Or was there…

“These numbers occur as more and more cases of diseases once thought to be wiped out have returned. Last year, mump outbreaks occurred in Johnson County, Texas. Almost 30 people, mainly children, were identified and health officials traced the virus to an outbreak in Arkansas, where several students from Keene, Texas visited.
In 2017, more than 300 mumps cases have been identified in the state. In April of this year, the Texas Department of State Health Services investigated multiple outbreaks of mumps, calling the recent resurgence the highest incidence of the virus in 22 years.”

MUMPS! Oh, man, am I glad you brought this up. What an excellent point. There was a HUGE outbreak of mumps — in the FULLY VACCINATED! For example, Cedar Hill High School in Dallas County reported on February 18th that 23 of their students had contracted mumps and all 23 of them were fully vaccinated with the two recommended doses of the MMR vaccine.

And since the Arkansas outbreak was mentioned, let’s go ahead and just point out that according to the Arkansas Health Department, 90%-95% of the cases in school-aged children were fully vaccinated.

“ “At first glance it may not seem that concerning. If you look at an individual school or district, the percentage of vaccinated children in those districts is still really high,” said Justin Smith. M.D., a Cook Children’s pediatrician. “My bigger concern, and what keeps me up at night, is in the schools where unvaccinated children, for some reason, are clustered together.” “

Awww, he cares about you SO MUCH that he loses sleep at night. Don’t you feel bad now, all of you clustering unvaccinated? Yeah, no, me either.

You’d think with all of the data (see above) showing that it is the vaccinated who are getting sick with AND SPREADING the “vaccine preventable” diseases, his time lying awake at night would be better spent researching the reasons why the vaccines don’t seem to be working. If he’s not sure where to start with that research, he could just check his immunization coverage map and head in the direction of one of those clusters he’s so worried about. I think I know some “cluster parents” who might have some good resources for information.

“ Dr. Smith said private schools, for example, have a high likelihood of having people go overseas for mission trips or other opportunities. Traveling to countries where diseases are more common increases the likelihood of bringing a disease back to school. Waiting at school are their unvaccinated friends and their vaccinated friends who could even be at risk as the number of cases rise. Outbreaks are possible.”

Not only are outbreaks possible, they are happening!! YOUR HERD IS VACCINATED AND THEY ARE SICK!

“ “I suspect that is true across our area as well, but I also suspect that there is clustering according to other factors as well: socioeconomic status, church/religious affiliation, etc. Populations where there are multiple families who choose not to vaccinate would be particularly susceptible in an outbreak situation,” Dr. Smith said. “Let’s pray we don’t get there.” “

Aw, he prays, too. Is this article over yet?

“Keeping vaccination rates relatively high (somewhere around 90 percent) actually helps protect all children (vaccinated or not) from diseases, Dr. Smith said. In addition, when outbreaks occur, even children who are vaccinated become at risk for contracting disease due to the number of possible exposures.”

WAIT. Say that last part again, Dr. Smith:

“In addition, when outbreaks occur, even children who are vaccinated become at risk for contracting disease due to the number of possible exposures.”

Dr. Smith must have been listening! He agrees that vaccination status doesn’t seem to matter when the vaccinated child is actually exposed to the disease they are supposed to be vaccinated against so they wouldn’t get sick in case they are ever exposed to the disease….wait. I’m dizzy from following all of the circular logic.

Oh, and as for keeping vaccination rates “relatively high (somewhere around 90 percent)”:
2016-2017 Vaccination Coverage Rates for Kindergarteners: 97.2%
2016-2017 Vaccination Coverage Rates for 7th Graders: 97.9%
Good news, Dr. Smith! Goal achieved! WHEW! Tonight’s peaceful night’s sleep brought to you by Texans for Vaccine Choice. And facts.

“What can you do?
– Get the best start to protection by vaccinating your child.
– Be aware of the vaccination percentages of your child’s school, your church and your social community.
– Be especially cautious when your child’s unvaccinated friends return from overseas travel. If they are sick, stay away.”

#1. Do whatever you like where vaccines and your child are concerned.

#2. There is literally no way to know the vaccination percentages of your child’s school (privacy laws protect this information at the school campus level). As for church and your entire community, how exactly do they expect you to accomplish that? Are you supposed to start asking invasive medical-related questions at Bible study? Are you going to demand to know if the cashier about to handle your groceries is up to date on all of their immunizations before checking out at the grocery store? I mean, with that logic, you should probably also start asking the guy across the street about his HIV status and demand that your waiter tell you if he has an active Hepatitis infection. Not only will this ensure you remain a well-loved member of your social circles, but it will also be pretty exhausting. You’d think Dr. Smith would be sleeping a little better after doing all of that.

#3. Be especially cautious when your child’s vaccinated friends return home from school with mumps or whooping cough. If they are sick, stay away.

Feeling pretty fortunate to have LOGIC, REASON, and FACTS to support our stance on LIBERTY and INDIVIDUALITY.

PARENTS CALL THE SHOTS!

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