New York has eliminated religious exemptions by law. Florida is a religious-exemption state, as well as a medical-exemption state. and Flagler County in 2017 had the second-highest proportion of kindergarten students in the state with an exemption, most of them for religious reasons.
Opposition to the Flagler Health Department’s proposal to offer the HPV vaccine in schools is driven by three board members echoing the rhetoric of vaccine denialism though various irrational pretexts.
Flagler Health Department Administrator Robert Snyder in a live show on WNZF today accused School Board member Maria Barbosa of being “anti-science” and “anti-vaccines,” in a discussion on making the HPV vaccine available to students in schools.
The complete Centers for Disease Control’s Vaccine Information Statement regarding the HPV vaccine to prevent infection with human papillomavirus.
Vaccines for polio, measles, HPV, HepB, Varicella, Tdap and more are all available free and daily before the school year at the Flagler Health Department. Vaccines help develop immunity to many serious infectious diseases.
The HPV vaccine immunizes against the sexually transmitted disease and prevents nine cancers, and local immunization is very low, but two Flagler school board members are not eager to see it offered to 13 to 17 year olds.
Though the measles outbreak–worst since 1994–hasn’t reached Flagler, it is highlighting a serious vulnerability in the county, where 6 percent of kindergarteners last year had a religious exemption from vaccines.
The vaccine, commonly referred to as Tdap, provides protection against tetanus (lockjaw), diphtheria, and pertussis (whooping cough). Florida Law requires that students entering seventh through twelfth grades receive this vaccine, unless the parents file a valid exemption.
Politics and irrational fears rooted in anti-government sentiment dictate the response to polio vaccination programs in several countries dominated by Islamic insurgencies.
Vaccine consent forms went out this week to all parents with children in Flagler schools, where the district is partnering with Healthy Schools, the for-profit company, to administer flu shots to students on Sept. 18.