A school in North Carolina has seen an outbreak of chickenpox with three dozen students infected so far. And wouldn’t you know it, it also happens to be a school where there’s an overabundance of faith-based exemptions for vaccinations.
Coincidence, I’m sure.
In fact, at the Asheville Waldorf School, 19 out of 28 kindergartners hadn’t received at least one of their required vaccines while 110 out of 152 students specifically hadn’t received the chickenpox vaccine.
Cases of chickenpox have been multiplying at the Asheville Waldorf School, which serves children from nursery school to sixth grade in Asheville, N.C. About a dozen infections grew to 28 at the beginning of the month. By Friday, there were 36, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported.
The school is a symbol of the small but strong movement against the most effective means of preventing the spread of infectious diseases. The percentage of children under 2 years old who haven’t received any vaccinations has quadrupled since 2001, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“The school follows immunization requirements put in place by the state board of education, but also recognizes that a parent’s decision to immunize their children happens before they enter school,” the school explained in a statement to Blue Ridge Public Radio.
If immunizations are optional for students allowed in the school, then every student in that building is at risk. That’s how it works. Not that everyone understands or cares.
“What’s the big deal with chickenpox?” one city resident, Amy Gordon, told the Citizen-Times.
Chickenpox is serious, warns the CDC, “even life-threatening, especially in babies, adolescents, adults, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.”
The solution is to require vaccinations for all students at public schools without allowing exceptions for religious or moral reasons. If God or Jenny McCarthy tells you not to vaccinate on the schedule provided by experts, fine, but then you don’t get the opportunity to hurt other students.
(Image via Shutterstock. Thanks to Brian for the link)