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need advice on vaccination policy in West Virginia

On Health & Drugs & Medications » Vaccinations

11,382 words with 14 Comments; publish: Tue, 11 Dec 2007 02:52:00 GMT; (90062.50, « »)

I'm in Beckley, West Virginia, and we've decided to selectively delay our son's vaccinations. He's currently 12 months, and we intend not to get any vaccinations until he's 24 months. We would very much like for him to have no vac's at all, but in West Virginia the law says they have to be vaccinated for certain illnesses in order to attend kindergarten. There are no religious or (almost laughable in this case) philosophical exemptions.

I'm looking for anyone who's enrolled their child into public school in WV who has either not vaccinated at all, or vaccinated for only the diseases specified in the law. We intend to vaccinate him for only these required diseases mentioned in the law, but I'm wondering how this will all work when we take him to register for kindergarten (or possibly preschool). I mean, I would take a copy of the law with me, and my incomplete vac. schedule, but I suspect the school employees would object in some way.

Here's an excerpt from the law:

W. Va. Code 16-3-4 (2002)

All children entering school for the first time in this state shall have been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough.

Any parent or guardian who refuses to permit his or her child to be immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough, who cannot give satisfactory proof that the child or person has been immunized against diphtheria, polio, rubeola, rubella, tetanus and whooping cough previously, or a certificate from a reputable physician showing that immunization for any or all is impossible or improper, or sufficient reason why any or all immunizations should not be done, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and except as herein otherwise provided, shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than ten nor more than fifty dollars for each offense.

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    • Sorry I don't have any info for you...I hope someone does.

      I was just reading the WV law you posted and all I can say is OMG!!!!!!!

      I can't believe that is even possible!!

      #1; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:56:00 GMT
    • http://www.mothering.com/discussions/showthread.php?t=321099
      #2; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:57:00 GMT
    • Yikes! That is scary! If you wait until Kindergarten to send him to school then you have 4 years to try and make changes as mentioned on the web site LongIsland posted, make homeschooling work for you, or move to another state!

      I would be so angered by the forceful nature of that law that if I didn't already not vaccinate, I wouldn't vaccinate!

      #3; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:58:00 GMT
    • It would suck to be a non vaxer in WV or MS, the only 2 states without a religious exemption. Personally, I'd homeschool or move. No state would be forcing me to vaccinate.


      #4; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 06:59:00 GMT
    • Honestly, if I lived in WV or MS and did not have the option to homeschool my child, I would forge the vax documents when it comes time to enroll in school.
      #5; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:00:00 GMT
    • An FYI on West Virginia: Hep B and mumps are not requried for school entry


      #6; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:01:00 GMT
    • Thanks for your help, ladies.

      I have visited the WVVE website before, and have tried to join their Yahoo group, but haven't gotten a response. I just finished emailing a contact on the website, so we'll see how that goes.

      I am very interested in helping with the fight to get an exemption in WV. I've been pretty involved in political things in the past, and I actually know some of our local legislators... they don't know me, exactly, but they know my face. I'm involved with a liberal community action group (who is mostly comprised of older people, not so interested in vaccinations), and we're having a few people from our group run for the state house of reps this coming election.

      I will do whatever I can to help get an exemption for WV before Tayan has to go to kindergarten... I have no desire to move out of the state. We love it here, despite its many faults. And I don't want to do homeschooling; I think public school will be a great experience for him, if we can get his non-contaminated body in the door! :)

      #7; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:02:00 GMT
    • I am in West Virginia as well and unlike you, I don't love it here! The vax issue just one of the many reasons.

      The WVVE group is a good group. They have not suceeded in getting an exemption. The bill this year died.

      I have been told that kindegarten is not compulsary in WV, so that may buy you another year.

      #8; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:03:00 GMT
    • I'm not that familiar with WV geography. ARe you close to the VA border? could you send your child to a private school in VA, which does have an exemption?
      #9; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:04:00 GMT
    • DH is retiring in a couple of years so we've been researching places to live and raise our family. WV had almost everything we were looking for till I checked the vax status. If they're going to take away even the religious exemption I can only guess what else the state feels they can decide for me. It basically made it a deal breaker for us.

      And we homeschool...

      If I HAD to live there, and I had to send my kid to govmnt schools, I would forge the vax papers. :W

      #10; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:05:00 GMT
    • Just got this from the WVVE group. It summarizes where WV is in the exemption situation.

      As you may or may not already know, another legislative session just

      ended here in WV. and sadly an exemption Bill was never even

      introduced this year because the Health Dept. declined support at the

      last minute.

      To give you a very brief update;

      4 years ago our local delegate introduced an exemption Bill for us. It

      passed the Senate and made it through 2 committees in the House. On

      the 3rd reading Dr. Foster got up and spoke against it and the Bill was

      then voted down.

      The 2nd year the Health Dept. introduced a Bill adding new vaccines.

      We protested this Bill on the grounds that the vaccines being added

      (chickenpox) was cultured on aborted fetal tissue and there was no

      alternative vaccine available. We got the pro life groups involved.

      The Senate HHR committee (headed by Sen Prezioso) under pressure

      amended the Bill to include an exemption. But the language was bad

      saying the state had "compelling interest" in our children and the Bill

      died in the House because of the wording, with no time to change it.

      Last year we introduced an exemption Bill. It passed through the

      Senate no problem. But the Health Dept. still wanted to add vaccines

      and a tracking system. They said stop this Bill ( or they would Kill

      it) and they would work with us over the summer on language we could

      both be happy with.

      Summer turned to Fall and the meetings with the Health Dept. kept being

      cancelled last minute.

      In November it was decided that

      Senator Dr. Dan Foster , who is now one of our biggest supporters of an

      exemption, took the lead along with Dr. Gately of the Kanawha Health

      Dept. to write the exemption Bill language.

      Although these 2 Dr.s agree an exemption is necessary and needed they

      believed it should be hard to get so that only those with a true

      conviction should be exempt.

      Sen. Foster then went around to all the interested parties and ironed

      out compromise language.

      In the end the Bill was one that the Health Dept. should have been

      thrilled with. It had everything they wanted, the ability to freely

      add new vaccines, a tracking system, and multiple hoops exemptors would

      have to go through in order to be "granted" an exemption.

      The day the Bill was to be introduced in the senate HHR committee Sen.

      Prezioso ( who still harbors a grudge against us from the 2nd years

      controversy) called Martha Walker ( Gov. Manchins Health Dept. head )

      and asked her if she supported this Bill and she said "No , they do not

      want Any exemptions."

      So, the Bill was not introduced.

      We are now at a point where the legislative route is, and will continue

      to be, blocked by the Health Dept.

      We have no other choice but to go through the courts.

      We are in talks with a couple of legal groups discussing the best plan

      of action.

      #11; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:06:00 GMT
    • WV isn't friendly to non-nurse midwives either, just an FYI. And the homeschool issue in WV was a bit funny too according to some friends at church homeschooling who moved from MA to WV.

      I'm in VA about 20 minutes from Martinsburg, WV. I really feel for you. I think I would have to homeschool or move.

      I am wondering what some religious groups do in WV. Many Christian Scientist do not believe in the medical community for healing. And from what I've recently learned many Seventh Day Adventist do not vaccinate. What do these people do, if they choose not to homeschool?

      I like the "reputable physician" part. Do they define "reputable physician" in the legislation anywhere? Here in VA the school physical must be signed by a doctor licensed to sign physical exams, since that was a problem for me I used a religious exemption to the school physical as well. Our chiropractor is not licensed to do physical exams in VA.

      A chiropractor, licensed in WV would likely sign a medical waiver -- but are they considered "reputable" is the quesiton.

      #12; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:07:00 GMT
    • Believe me, I know about the non-friendliness to non-nurse midwives first hand. My mom is a lay midwife, and when I was growing up (in the late 80's) the Midwives Alliance of WV (MAWV) was working very hard to get a bill passed that made what they do legal in the state. They had a few legislators on their side, but as you can imagine they never succeeded. It really sucked. We spent a lot of time at the capital those few years, and it was so sad to see them be shot down over and over again. It looks like it's been the same way with the vaccination debate in Charleston.

      I do have a "reputable physician" who is a good friend of our family and also a lay midwife... I have thought a lot about asking her if she can do anything for us, but I would hate to put her in a tight spot, or get her in trouble.

      I did manage to join the WVVE Yahoo group, so at least I'm now on the right track.

      #13; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:08:00 GMT
    • I do have a "reputable physician" who is a good friend of our family and also a lay midwife... I have thought a lot about asking her if she can do anything for us, but I would hate to put her in a tight spot, or get her in trouble.

      I wanted to point out that obtaining (and keeping) a medical exemption is not always a sure thing. It also depends on how many vaccines you want to exempt.

      If there's more than one vaccine you want to exempt (or possibly any others that become mandated in the future) and their isn't a valid "common denominator" (for example, the same "allergic" ingredient in each one), then it may not be feasible. In WV, they do require an explanation of why each vaccine is contraindicated.

      They can and do scrutinize medical exemptions and I would imagine (since it's the only type of exemption available) they scrutinize medical exemptions in West Virginia.

      If you plan to exempt more than one vaccine and this doc is able to help, I would be very careful to make sure you have all based covered so that it will not be challenged.

      #14; Mon, 10 Dec 2007 07:09:00 GMT