School Vaccinates Boy Without Permission & Mom Is Understandably Mad

school vaccinates boy without consent

The first year I was faced with a form requiring my permission for the school to give my children fluoride, I hesitated. They get fluoride from their dentist, I thought to myself, do I really want the school administering ANY kind of medication on a regular basis without my supervision? I ultimately decided not to add occasional fluoride rinses to my list of things to fret about, but I can totally understand why mom Letisha Huff was upset that her school district vaccinated her third grader without her consent.

Especially since he could have had an anaphylactic reaction to the vaccine, for all the school knew.

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Huff’s son doesn’t have the egg allergy that can trigger bad reactions to flu vaccinations, but jeez, what if he did? According to Huff, the vaccination clinic at her son’s school in Meridian, Idaho, went ahead and gave her son the flu mist even though they didn’t have a parental consent form. Huff isn’t anti-vaccine, but she had planned to have him dosed at his pediatrician’s office. She said,

(...) these are our children, they're not guinea pigs. This isn't something we should be practicing. They should know what they're doing.

The school was hosting the flu clinic as part of a trial flu-vaccination program in the district, and a spokesperson said the reason they dosed Huff’s son is because of a “misidentification.” Apparently another kid had the same name, and Huff’s child was given the vaccination based on that student’s consent form.

The district says they’ve been seeing positive results from the program and that by making seasonal flu vaccinations more accessible to children, they’re helping cut down on the spread of disease. During the first year of the trial program, the district noted "significantly lower absenteeism” thanks to more kids being vaccinated — and the increased attendance could eventually result in increased funding for the schools. They also provide the mist rather than the needle injection, which the CDC says protects against four different strains of flu this year (and if other people’s kids are anything like my own, the mist is WAY less traumatic than getting the shot).

I’m all in favor of making flu vaccinations super easy for kids, and I think it’d be great if every school offered this sort of program. But you HAVE to have consent. There could be a medical reason why a child shouldn’t be vaccinated, or the family may simply choose to opt out — at which point I think it’s completely valid for the school to suspend the child if the district policy doesn’t allow unvaccinated children to come to school.

Everyone should get a flu vaccination if they can. But no one should be dosing kids without their parents’ permission, full stop. In this case no harm was done, but it certainly could have been a different story if that boy had suffered a terrible reaction to the vaccine.

What do you think about this — does the mom have the right to be upset?


Image via offutt_afb/Flickr

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