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Parents Deserve to Know More Than School Vaccination Rates

October 13, 2015

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Story at-a-glance

  • The US government has directed all public and private schools to publish vaccination and personal belief vaccine exemption rates
  • The US Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has created a website dedicated to incentivizing all states to use electronic medical records and vaccine tracking systems to publish school vaccination and personal belief vaccine exemption rates
  • Health officials in California have gone one step further: they also “rate” schools from “safest” to “most vulnerable” using a color-coded rating system
  • If schools are going to publish vaccine exemption rates, they should also publish other personal health care information, like the percentage of chronically ill students on medication for asthma, diabetes, ADHD, epilepsy, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression

By Barbara Loe Fisher

The National Vaccine Information Center (NVIC) recently reported that the federal government has directed all public and private schools to publish vaccination and personal belief vaccine exemption rates, even though less than 1.7 percent of kindergarten children have any vaccine exemptions and less than 1 percent of children under 36 months old are unvaccinated.1,2,3

This Centers for Disease Control (CDC) directive comes at a time when nationwide, 94 percent of kindergarten students have gotten multiple doses of federally recommended vaccines for the past three decades,4 including five doses of pertussis and two doses of measles containing vaccines.

But what the CDC is not telling parents is the rest of the story about the real health status of school children in America.

Perhaps the CDC is pursuing higher and higher vaccination rates and gutting vaccine exemptions to try to take attention away from the chronic disease and disability epidemic sweeping through classrooms that makes it harder and harder for children to learn and be healthy.

California: CDC's Role Model

California is serving as the CDC's role model for how states can go about shaming schools with less than a 95 percent vaccine coverage rate and blaming students with non-medical vaccine exemptions for endangering the public health.

After California health officials joined with the liability-free pharmaceutical and medical trade industries this year to lobby for elimination of the personal belief vaccine exemption (PBE) so they could segregate partially and unvaccinated children into homeschools,5 they created a new website with an interactive map.

There they posted the names and addresses of kindergarten and middle schools; the numbers of children enrolled; the personal belief exemption (PBE) rate; up to date (UTD) vaccination rate, and the coverage rates for nine state mandated vaccines, including DPT, polio, MMR, hepatitis B, and varicella zoster vaccines.6

Putting Color Stars on Schools

The CDC has created a similar national website dedicated to incentivizing all states to use electronic medical records and vaccine tracking systems to publish school vaccination and PBE rates.7

But health officials in California have gone one step further: they also "rate" schools from "safest" to "most vulnerable" with the following color-coded rating system:

GREEN * Safest. 95 to 100 percent of students fully vaccinated
YELLOW *Moderately Vulnerable. 90 to 95 percent fully vaccinated
ORANGE *More Vulnerable. 80 to 89 percent fully vaccinated
RED * Most Vulnerable. Less than 79.9 percent fully vaccinated
BLUE * Did Not Report in 2014 to 2015

Giving Parents More Relevant School Health Information

If government health officials are determined to violate the medical privacy of children, and post detailed vaccination and PBE rates for schools, then at the end of the 2015 to 2016 school year, parents should have access to much more relevant health information about each school and the students attending those schools, information like:

  • The total number of sick days taken by students due to illness
  • The percentage of students infected with HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, syphilis, and other transmittable diseases
  • The percentage of chronically ill students on medication for asthma, diabetes, ADHD, epilepsy, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression
  • The percentage of students with life-threatening peanut and other severe allergies
  • The percentage of students with learning disabilities, autism, and other conditions requiring special education services
  • The percentage of fully vaccinated and unvaccinated students who contracted infectious diseases

The Immune Deficient: More Virus Shedding and Transmission

Parents may also want to know the percentage of children in each school who have cancer and other immune-compromising diseases. Immune-deficient children and adults, whether or not they have been vaccinated, are much more vulnerable to becoming infected with both wild type and vaccine-strain viruses.

The immune-compromised also are more likely to shed wild type and vaccine-strain viruses for longer periods of time in their body fluids, and transmit viral infections to other vaccinated and unvaccinated persons.8

If, in the name of transparency and the public health, government health officials are going to identify and demonize schools with a vaccine coverage rate of less than 95 percent and encourage discrimination against and segregation of students with religious and conscientious belief vaccine exemptions.

Especially when almost no medical condition qualifies for a medical exemption9 –  then parents deserve to know the truth and nothing but the truth about the health of children attending different schools.

How Many Highly Vaccinated Students Are Not Well?

Just exactly how many children attending public and private schools with different vaccine coverage rates are chronically sick and disabled?10,11

How many are taking medication for severe allergies, asthma, diabetes, epilepsy, anxiety, bipolar disorder, and depression;12,13,14,15,16,17,18,19,20,21,22 or are suffering with learning disabilities, ADHD, and autism;23,24,25,26 or are severely immune compromised and sick with cancer, HIV, hepatitis, tuberculosis, syphilis, and other kinds of immune-compromising diseases, some of them transmissible?27,28,29,30,31,32,33

These crippling medical conditions have increased by 10 to 100 percent or more among school children over the past 30 years at exactly the same time that public health officials have pounded children with three times more vaccinations than children used to get.

There are long-standing vaccine safety research gaps that the Institute of Medicine identified 20 years ago and as recently as 2013,34,35,36 including lack of adequate evidence that the government's childhood vaccine schedule of 49 doses of 14 vaccines before age 6 is safe.37

And there are still no credible scientific studies funded by government to compare the health of highly vaccinated children with children receiving fewer or no vaccines.

Full Transparency or Respect for Human Rights?

Full transparency about the health of schools and student populations would provide parents with a way to identify which schools and school populations are actually healthier, not simply how many children in a school have personal belief vaccine exemptions, or what color star public health officials have pinned on them.

Of course, a more intelligent and compassionate operation of our nation's public health program would serve the people much better, starting with respect for the human right to informed consent to medical risk taking and rejection of the politics of demonization, discrimination, and segregation.38

Protect your right to know and freedom to choose by becoming a vaccine choice advocate in your community today. Go to and to learn how. It's your health. Your Family. Your Choice.

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Sources and References

  • 1 Fisher BL. Despite High Vaccination Rates, CDC Calls for School Shaming. The Vaccine Reaction Sept. 2, 2015.
  • 2 CDC. Vaccination Coverage Among Children in Kindergarten – United States, 2014-15 School Year. Aug. 28, 2015: 64(33): 897-904.
  • 3 CDC. National, State and Selected Local Area Vaccination Coverage Among Children Aged 19-36 Months – United States, 2014. Aug. 28, 2015: 64(33): 889-8
  • 4 Hinman A, Orenstein WA, Schuchat A. Vaccine Preventable Diseases, Immunization and MMWR 1961-2011. MMWR Oct. 7, 2011; 60(04): 49-57.
  • 5 Richardson D. Fallout from California SB277: What Comes Next? NVIC Newsletter Aug. 5, 2015.
  • 6 How Well-Vaccinated Is Your Child’s Kindergarten? How is Your School Doing? Aug. 26, 2015.
  • 7 CDC. National Childhood Vaccination Rates and State/Community Data Infographic and SchoolVaxView. Aug. 27, 2015.
  • 8 Fisher BL. The Emerging Risks of Live Virus and Virus Vectored Vaccines: Vaccine Strain Infection, Shedding and Transmission. March 2014.
  • 9 Fisher BL. Blackmail and the Medical Vaccine Exemption. NVIC Newsletter May 18, 2015.
  • 10 Houtrow AJ, Larson K, Olson LM et al. Changing Trends in Childhood Disability 2001-2011. Pediatrics September 2014; 134(3): 530-538.
  • 11 Rattue G. Autoimmune Disease Rates Increasing. Medical News Today June 22, 2012.
  • 12 Gu Q, Dillon CF, Burt VL. Prescription Drug Use Continues to Increase: US Prescription Drug Data for 2007-2008.NCHS Data Brief September 2010; 42: 1-8
  • 13 Food Allergy Research and Education. Food Allergy Facts and Statistics for the U.S. FARE 2012.
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  • 20 National Alliance on Mental Illness. Anxiety Disorders in Children and Adolescents. May 2014.
  • 21 Rates of Bipolar Diagnosis in Youth Rapidly Climbing, Treatment Patterns Similar to Adults. NIMH Press Release Sept. 3, 2007.
  • 22 Hendrick B. Use of Anti-Depressants on the Rise in the U.S. WebMD Health News Oct. 19, 2011.
  • 23 Trends in the Prevalence of Developmental Disabilities in US Children 1997-2000. Pediatrics May 23, 2011.
  • 24 Kounang N. ADHD diagnoses rise to 11% of kids. CNN Nov.22, 2013.
  • 25 National Health Statistics Reports 2013; 65: 1-11.
  • 26 Pearson C. Autism Rate Has Increased – 1 in 68 Kids Now Identified with the Disorder. Huffington Post Mar. 27, 2014.
  • 27 Population Prevalence of Diagnosed Primary Immunodeficiency Disorders in the United States. J Clin Immunol 2007; 27: 497-502.
  • 28 American Cancer Society. What are the key statistics for childhood cancer? Jan. 13, 2015.
  • 29 Bounds N. Renal and Thyroid Cancer Increased in US Kids: Cancer rates among black children and teens also increased. DailyRX Sept. 20, 2014.
  • 30 How May People Have HIV/AIDS – In the United States? NICHD Dec. 16, 2013.
  • 31 Narkewitz MR. Hepatitis C in children. American Liver Foundation Oct. 1, 2012.
  • 32 CDC. TB in Children in the United States. Oct. 10, 2014.
  • 33 CDC. Syphilis – CDC Fact Sheet. Dec. 16, 2014.
  • 34 Adverse Events Associated with Childhood Vaccines: Evidence Bearing on Causality: Need for Research and Surveillance (p. 305-308).
  • 35 Washington, DC: The National Academies Press 2012.
  • 36 Washington, D.C. The National Academies Press 2013.
  • 37 NVIC Press Release Jan. 16, 2013.
  • 38 Fisher BL. The Vaccine Culture War in America: Are You Ready? NVIC Newsletter Mar. 8, 2015.
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