H1N1 Influenza Vaccine for Homeschoolers

Posted on Oct 27 2009 in General by Yvonne Bunn

As the H1N1 vaccine* is arriving at pubic schools for distribution to students, some homeschool parents are asking if their children can also receive the free vaccine from a public school. Many private and homeschooled students have reported being unable to receive the vaccine, while a limited number of other parents have had no problem.

HEAV contacted the Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources and the Virginia Department of Education to quickly resolve this matter. Michelle Vucci, director of policy for the Virginia Department of Education, was sympathetic to homeschool parents, and suggested they contact their local health department to determine distribution policies at the local level. She also recommended parents contact their local school. HEAV has had no official response from the state health department, but some local health officials urged parents to check with their primary-care physicians.

Parents who choose to have their children vaccinated* will be required to supply personal information that will be compiled in a statewide database that may be linked to a national database.

Virginia has received only about five percent of the state’s requested order for H1N1 vaccine, and at the present time, availability is sporadic in schools and health departments.

For information about the H1N1 shot or inactivated vaccine, visit www.cdc.gov/vaccines/Pubs/vis/downloads/vis-inact-h1n1.pdf.

For state and national information, visit www.vdh.state.va.us/index.htm or www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu.

*Important Note: Vaccinations are a controversial issue. Because homeschoolers fall within the target at-risk group for H1N1 influenza, HEAV is requesting information regarding equal access to the vaccine for homeschoolers. HEAV does not recommend or endorse any vaccine. Vaccination decisions are the responsibility of the parent.

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