Lots of of fogeys, youngsters, educators and public well being staff rallied on the Massachusetts State Home Sunday morning, standing in solidarity towards the flu vaccine mandate introduced by the Division of Public Well being earlier this month.
This demonstration, hosted by No Obligatory Flu Shot MA and Oppose Overreach – Well being Selection four Motion MA, aimed to guard a dad or mum’s proper to decide on whether or not or not their youngster ought to obtain an influenza vaccination to attend faculty.
Attendees lined Beacon Road in Boston, holding indicators advocating, “My youngster, my selection,” amongst different statements condemning Gov. Charlie Baker and other state officials for the push to make the scholar flu shot everlasting.
The protesters demanded Baker rescind the mandate.
“I’ve 4 youngsters and I need to defend my proper to their schooling with out being coerced into receiving a flu vaccine, which I don’t consider in,” stated Renee Vanderzicht, who has elementary, center, and excessive school-aged youngsters in Uxbridge Public Faculties.
State public well being officers introduced that flu immunization can be required for all youngsters 6 months and older who’re attending Massachusetts pre-school, kindergarten, Okay-12 and school. State officers say the brand new vaccine requirement will help in decreasing flu-related sickness amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
A number of mother and father who attended the rally declare their youngsters have confronted hostile results from vaccines, together with Vanderzicht, who questioned why mandating a flu vaccine needs to be made in reference to a toddler’s schooling.
“I’m for freedom of selection,” Vanderzicht stated. “Mother and father ought to have the liberty to know what they’re placing into their youngsters’s our bodies, to have the best to resolve what they really feel is greatest for his or her households and never have an schooling dangled in entrance of their face in the event that they don’t adjust to one thing they don’t agree with.”
“We is not going to comply,” was the mantra heard again and again as the gang gathered exterior the State Home. A number of mother and father introduced their youngsters to the rally.
Candice Edwards, of Sutton, who organized the occasion, famous a number of mother and father who’re towards the obligatory flu immunization are from households who totally vaccinate their youngster towards different illnesses.
“If you wish to go get the flu shot, go get the flu shot, however don’t use our kids as pawns,” Edwards stated. “You don’t coerce mother and father and inform them that their youngsters as a way to get an schooling that they need to go and get a flu shot. We is not going to comply.”
Edwards, who stated her son suffered hostile results from his diphtheria, tetanus and acellular pertussis vaccine (DTaP) vaccination as a toddler, stated a part of this battle is to maintain exemptions from vaccinations in place. Based on the Division of Public Well being, college students can be required to obtain a flu vaccine by Dec. 31, 2020, for the 2020-2021 influenza season, until a non secular or medical exemption is offered.
“We’ve been combating tirelessly to maintain non secular and medical exemptions, however that can be subsequent,” Edwards admitted. “They’re going to take this away from us. We would like the mandate repealed, however we additionally must be positive our exemptions keep intact. What’s going to occur with the flu shot?”
Extra exemptions embrace Okay-12 college students who’re homeschooled and better schooling college students who’re off campus and interesting in distant studying solely, in line with DPH.
This new flu immunization requirement to enter faculty in January is along with present vaccine necessities for these in youngster care and college students in preschool, Okay-12 and faculties in Massachusetts. College students who are learning remotely are exempt, in line with DPH.
Alex Flett, who was a faculty nurse within the Billerica College District for 4 years, spoke to the gang, encouraging mother and father to advocate for his or her youngsters’s rights even when which means questioning medical professionals. She argued that a number of vaccines, together with the influenza immunization, aren’t primarily based on a “danger security take a look at.”
Additionally, Flett questioned the place the analysis was to state whether or not flu vaccines have an effect on fertility and being pregnant. Earlier than instituting a mandate, Flett and others are asking that extra analysis be finished, and proof be put ahead on the risks of influenza vaccines.
Along with the science behind vaccinations, Flett questioned selection and requested why parental permission is being kicked apart with regards to receiving a flu vaccination. Flett, whose two-year-old son has suffered from mind infections, is asking public well being officers to think about designated hand-washing instances, elevated consumption of vitamin C, amongst different ways to place into place to fight the flu earlier than instituting a compulsory vaccine.
“Simply as any youngster with a life-threatening allergy or Celiac illness should evaluate an components checklist…shouldn’t we evaluate the disclosed components in an annual injection?” Flett requested the gang. “When youngsters pack or purchase their lunch, don’t they’ve a selection on what they eat that day? Why has a medical remedy develop into non-elective?”
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