Staten Island, NY — A kindergartner has been banned from school over the chicken pox vaccine. The girl, FrankieElizabeth Warner, cannot get the vaccine because she has an infant sister.
Elizabeth Wagner revealed that her older daughter has not been able to attend classes at PS 36 in Annadale because of the varicella vaccine, even though it is not her choice.
Instead, it was the doctor who won’t give the vaccine to Frankie, who has a 14-week-old little sister. The pediatrician told Wagner that it would be unsafe to expose her baby to the live strains included in the vaccine.
Also, the infant may have inherited her mother’s immunodeficiency disease, making it even more dangerous for her to be exposed to chicken pox. Wagner stated of the school’s decision:
“This has been a complete nightmare. Obviously, if there are some doctors that don’t believe in giving it with a newborn sibling in the home, or any newborn in the house, or a pregnant woman, obviously there’s a reason for that.”
Wagner has petitioned the Department of Education for a medical exemption, but the school has refused to remove Frankie’s ban. The family’s pediatrician also spoke with the Department of Education about the issue. The request was still denied.
Wagner expressed her frustration at the lack of understanding, adding that if it were a religious reason, Frankie would likely still be in school. She added that she is not opposed to vaccines. Rather, “I do believe in immunizations … But in this one case, it’s a live virus and I’m not willing to take that chance with my newborn.”
The Department of Education confirmed the kindergartner’s ban from school because of the chicken pox vaccine, adding that the request was denied “after a thorough review with the parent and the student’s doctor.” Wagner will be allowed to appeal the decision to the state. But for now, Frankie is being marked absent from class.
Do you think a school should ban a kindergartner from class because of the chicken pox vaccine? Or should they allow a medical exemption in cases like Frankie’s?
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