Unvaccinated children are a threat to daycare centers

An anti-vaccine group is trying to persuade Texas Health and Human Services to allow non-vaccinated kids access to private child care facilities.

Texas law requires vaccinations for children to attend licensed child care centers. 

The number of parents exempting their children from vaccines for non-medical reasons continues on a troubling upswing.

The Texas Department of State Health Services reports there were 56,738 Texas students from Kindergarten to 12th grade with a conscientious vaccine exemption.

As a result, many diseases of the past such as measles, mumps and whooping cough have resurfaced nationwide among people who are unvaccinated. Texas is one of 25 states that experienced a measles outbreak in 2018. Of the 80,000 people in the U.S. that died from flu-related illnesses last season, 11,917 were Texans, and of that number 79 were children.

The Immunization Partnership president and CEO Allison Winnike said childcare center may accept vaccine exemption forms, but private businesses shouldn't be forced to just meet the state's minimum standards.

"That is where we see outbreaks. In childcare centers and in school districts where the exemption rates are quite high," said Winnike.

Winnike said a small group of anonymous people on the Internet are spreading false and misleading information. Instead, health decisions should be made between a patient and the doctor, and information should be driven from the pediatrician and science.

"This so called 'debate' is really moving us backwards and it's harmful for the health of Texans," said Winnike.

Kelsey Seybold’s Dr. Melanie Mouzoon said daycare is an area that needs to hold firm on vaccine requirements.

"Children in daycare are at the most vulnerable ages for vaccine preventable diseases--meningitis in particular," said Mouzoon. "Even the cleanest, most hygienic daycares are little cesspools of infections."

Other highly contagious diseases include measles, whopping cough, not to mention rotavirus, diarrhea and pneumonias are common in children who haven't been immunized.

She said toddlers don't know to wash their hands frequently or the proper way to sneeze, cough, wipe their nose.

Winnike said access and availability of vaccines should be expanded.

There's already been eight cases of measles this year in Texas, when there should be none.

The last flu season, 80 Texas children died from the flu and the vast majority were not vaccinated.

Immunizations Prepare Children for New School Year

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