A New Jersey family is in a dispute with their son’s school, his pediatrician and the Department of Health. Today’s THV published a story on Wednesday, January 9, 2013, about 4-year-old Jeremy Pereira, who is not allowed to attend school again until April because his parents refuse to get him a flu shot.
New Jersey allows both medical and religious exemptions from recommended vaccinations. Pereira should easily be able to obtain a medical exemption since he is allergic to egg, an ingredient in the flu vaccine.
Egg allergy is the second most common allergy among children. Reactions can range from moderate such as skin rashes or sinus problems to more severe reactions like anaphylaxis, which can warrant a trip to the ER, an epinephrine shot, and, in rare cases, can be fatal. There is currently no cure for egg allergies and recommended treatment includes avoiding all eggs and egg by-products.
Pereira’s pediatrician has provided a statement verifying his allergy, but refuses to provide an exemption. The doctor recommends that the child first be vaccinated to determine whether or not he will have a reaction. If a reaction occurs it will then be determined whether or not the reaction is “severe” enough to quality for a medical exemption. However, the Pereira’s refuse to play vaccine roulette with their child.
Should the school be allowed to refuse attendance without a flu shot or should it be the parents’ decision? Voice your opinion below.
©2013 Jennifer L. Cruz. All Rights Reserved.
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