Sunday, March 23, 2008

A principle isn't a principle until it costs you something

It might have taken 5 years, but it is now time to decide whether or not my stance on certain vaccines is a firm principle or just an idea I like to adhere too. It is about to cost me something, or more specifically it is about to cost Mayhem something.

State policy says you can opt out of vaccines with a waiver & your child can still attend school. This policy affects the required attendance grades of K-12. It does not affect the optional Pre-K program that our county offers. There are only 40 spots and over 150 kids apply. They have various criteria for elimination & selection - including developmental assessment, whether the child has been in a pre-k for 3 year olds or other learning environment, transportation needs and vax status. If you are not fully vaxed they don't have to take you, assuming you don't have a strong developmental need. Mayhem doesn't have one. He is also not fully vax'd, so that drops him down on the list. Havoc was dropped down for having been in K-3, (vax status wasn't an issue last year, though he is missing one too) and ended up on the wait list, never getting a place. They have to take Havoc for kindergarten, so the waiver is not a problem for him. The waiver will probably keep Mayhem out of the pre-K program.

So, how strongly do I feel about the chicken pox vaccine? Is it a principle or merely an idea? It is the main hold up. Mayhem is missing 2 others but that is due to his delayed vax schedule & my forgetting to make his yearly appointment in January. If he'd had the appointment, he would have had the vax's then.

I'd originally thought I'd let them have a chance to catch it. It's not that I want my kids to be sick, but there are no long term studies on this vax and I really have reservations about this rush to medicate without knowing the long term consequences. I don't want my kids being the test subjects. We're probably going to get the vax. The odds of him getting chicken pox at this point are pretty slim, what with everyone else being vax'd for it.  I'm not happy about it but after thought, I'm fairly sure what I have is an idea & not a principle.

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