PG County is fashionably ushering in a new era of public health

November 19, 2007
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“The goal is to get the kids in school”

So in D.C.’s backyard, Prince George’s County, my birthplace, there was some controversy after a circuit court judge sent a letter to the parents of 2,300 children demanding that they they produce records that their children have been vaccinated or face fines and up to ten days in jail.

This is not like this is Gardasil (the HPV vaccine) in which (unfortunately) parents in the United States believe that it will give their daughters license to fuck at will. It’s chickenpox and Hepatitis B. People trying to ride on the public immunity that the rest of the public has from actually getting vaccinations are endangering their children. How? For instance, if they contract chickenpox as an adult which is much more likely to cause complications, or somehow contract hepatitis B — whether from intravenous drug use or having sex with someone who is infected. These people are afraid of something where the risk of harm is extremely low.

People have been confusedly blubbering and complaining, “where in the constitution does it say you can force a needle in my poor child’s arm?” Methinks it’s the 10th amendment, and maybe a small treatise of laws regarding public health –IANAL so do not quote me on that. I doubt that most of the parents are anti-vaccinationists. The Washington Post had another article yesterday detailing Saturday’s mad rush to the courthouse to get vaccinations or show proof that their children had already obtained them. It seems that much of the cause of frustration was the paperwork. Parents felt like they were being accused of poor parenting, the works. Whatever the case, they reduced the number of unvaccinated students to 939 — a big improvement. I vote yea to this scare tactic. Now that PG’s got the students in their chickenpox and Hep B free schools, the county should be obligated to do better work in educating these students. We do not have a vaccine for poor SAT scores and high dropout rates.