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The Hepatitis B Vaccine for 7th Graders

The Hepatitis B Vaccine for 7th Graders
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Governor Wilson signed AB 381 into law in October 1997. The effective date of this law is July 1, 1999.

The summary of this law is as follows: Students must meet new immunization requirements prior to 7th grade entry, including 3-dose series of Hepatitis B vaccine; this series takes a minimum of 4 months to complete. Schools will be responsible for excluding those who have not started the shots or are overdue for the next dose.
Information was mailed to Public and Private schools in October 1998 pertaining to this new law and the importance of making sure this requirement is met. Also in the packet of information was a reference to a second MMR shot and a Td booster that may be required for entry into 7th grade.
To insure that these requirements are met a statewide assessment of 7th grade immunization levels will be conducted annually beginning in the fall of 1999. A sample of schools will be visited each spring beginning in 2000. Currently a random sampling of Public, Private and R-4 umbrella schools are visited to insure compliance of current documentation of vaccination records that are kept in the CUM file. R-4 umbrella schools may also be sampled as to their level of compliance to this law.
School officials are being urged to conduct surveys of 6th graders now, hold student pep rallies, use the Iz Plus curriculum developed for middle schools, provide in-service training for staff and to consider developing a computerized system for tracking students who are not up date on their immunization requirements. School district cost associated with compliance may be reimbursable with our tax money.

Information About Hept. B
Hepatitis B virus is carried in and transmitted by the blood and body fluids of an infected person. People can spread hepatitis B virus without even knowing they have it. The first stage of it may lead to loss of desire to eat, feeling tired, pains in muscles, joints, or stomach, diarrhea or vomiting, yellow skin or eyes and death. You can recover from this illness (90-95% do), but still spread it through the above mentioned.
In 1996, only 279 cases of Hepatitis B disease were reported to have occurred in the U.S. in children under 14 years old. Reported Vaccine Reactions
High fever, allergic reactions such as difficulty breathing, hoarseness, wheezing, hives, paleness, weakness, a fast heart beat, or dizziness. Also reported: headache, loss of appetite and tiredness. This vaccine has been linked to Guillain-Barré syndrome, Demyelinating diseases of the central nervous system and Arthritis.
This genetically engineered vaccine, developed in 1987, is so new that little is known about it. It is believed that immunity will only last 10 years, but no boosters are recommended at this time. The risks are very real. For the 20-month period between November 1, 1990 and July 31,1992, there were 4,227 reports of side effects from the Hepatitis B vaccine made through the Vaccine Adverse Effects Reporting System. Of this number, 383 were characterized as serious, 57 as life threatening, 241 cases resulted in hospitalization, 108 individuals were disabled, and 17 died. These figures represent only the tip of the iceberg, as the FDA estimates that only 10% of doctors report vaccine injuries and deaths. The number of injuries and deaths will probably soar now that this vaccine is mandated for use.
One homeschool family was misled by their health care provider into falsely thinking that Hept. b can be contracted by contaminated food or water. While this is true of Hept. a, there are no known cases of this happening with Hept. b.

What Are The Options ?
Doctors, nurses and school officials are being vigilant in making sure this vaccine in given to 6th and 7th grade children. Be aware that your doctor’s office may even call you to make an appointment. In the state of California we have three choices in immunizing our children.
  • Immunize students as recommended
  • Selectively immunize (such as giving IPV and Hib only)
  • We can claim either medical reasons or Philosophical/Personal reasons and not vaccinate.

In each student's CUM file is a blue shot card that can only be filled out by school officials. On the back of this card is a place for a parent to sign requesting a Personal Beliefs Exemption from immunization requirements. Simply sign and date this and have it put back in your child’s file.
If you are contacted by your child’s doctor’s office you may want to tell them you have decided not to immunize because of medical or personal reasons. Stay calm, matter of fact and repeat yourself if necessary. If they explain to you your child will not be allowed in school, tell them you have signed the Personal Beliefs Affidavit and are legally exempt. More Information
If you would like copies of the documents I received from the Dept. of Health Services, please contact me.
If you would like to do more research on this and other vaccines they can be found on the Internet.
National Vaccine Information Center
Parents For Vaccine Safety
Informed Parents Vaccination Page

Disclaimer: This is for information only. This is not legal or medical advice.

Sources: Alameda County Health Dept.
Center for Disease Control (CDC)
Vaccine Adverse Effect Reporting System
JAMA (May 94 Vol. 271 No 20) from a summary of a report from the Institute of Medicine
Morbidity and Mortality Weekly report September 6, 1996 / Vol. 45 / No. RR-12

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