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Are Immunization Exclusion Days Fair?

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Immunizations have become somewhat controversial ever since a small (but vocal) group of people declared them dangerous to children. As a result, school districts and states across the country have had to create "exclusion days" to protect the rest of their student body. Are these exclusion days fair or exclusionary?

What Are Exclusion Days?

Exclusion days are deadlines that schools set for children to receive immunization. While they aren't present in every state, those that do have them require that children be up-to-date with all their immunization shots. This is true of all child care facilities, including:

  • Head Start
  • Preschool
  • Private schools
  • Public schools

In 2015, local health departments in Oregon sent almost 30,000 letters to parents, reminding them to immunize their children. And when exclusion day came, almost 5,000 children were forced to stay out of school, until they had received their proper immunization.

Why Do They Exist?

Exclusion days are designed to protect children from dangerous diseases that may be spread by children who have not been immunized. To some parents, it may feel like a cruel or exclusionary act: others support it, because they don't want their children getting sick. They believe that immunizations help keep children from:

  • Spreading disease
  • Catching dangerous diseases
  • Experiencing the full-brunt of other diseases

Immunizations are also designed to help protect childcare workers from disease. However, some continue to argue that there are untested or even proven dangers in immunizations. Is that true?

Are There Dangers In Immunizations?

The danger potential of immunization has been greatly exaggerated and thankfully, the belief that immunization causes autism has been busted, many times. The original article that proposed the connection has been been retracted and various studies have popped up showing that immunizations are safe.

However, there is a chance that some side effects could occur during immunization. For example, many young children often experience a swollen hard lump at the site of the injection. Sometimes, an allergic reaction may occur or children may develop high fevers – in less than five percent of all cases.

So like any medical procedure, immunizations aren't 100% safe. However, it's easy to understand why schools would choose to keep non-immunized children out of school. Nobody wants their children catching or spreading dangerous diseases.

If you are strongly against immunization, it's worth asking yourself why and whether it's worth alienating your child. Talk to medical professional, like, and get the latest facts on immunization, no the latest celebrity fad theory.