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Vaccine exemption certificates

Vaccine exemption certificates
Baby getting a first injection

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“I do not trust the ingredients in those vaccines, and I don’t trust western medicine.”

That is the firm view of a father who remains steadfast that he would not vaccinate his children. The stance of not vaccinating children continues today, in a time when a new disease has afflicted the human population, and the best protection from it is said to be a vaccine.

For decades, Barbadian children have been vaccinated to protect them from various serious diseases such as measles, mumps, polio, tuberculosis and more recently, HPV.

“I have a couple of friends who are  pediatricians and doctors and they didn’t vaccinate their children early either, saying from their medical knowledge, vaccinating an infant too early bombards the child with a cornucopia of chemicals with the risk of adverse effects,” the parent said.

Vaccination involves receiving an injection from a needle or drops in the mouth. Immunisation is the process of both receiving a vaccine and becoming immune to the disease as a result.

All schools require students to have their course of immunisation completed up to the school entry age, before entry. For all parents who take this position of not vaccinating their children there is a process to follow to get an exemption. There is no official stance on immunisation through use of natural medicines.

Barbadian pediatrician Dr Maria Chase told Better Health in an earlier article although all schools required children to have their immunisations up to date in order to get enrolled, parents who are anti-vaccine had to get an exemption certificate from the Ministry of Health.

An official at one of Barbados’ polyclinics confirmed that she was seeing more Barbadians refusing to immunise their children with the western medicines provided, and it was a cause for concern. There is a procedure to follow if parents chose not to vaccinate their child.

“First, they have to talk to the health officer at the clinic to outline why they do not want to immunise their child. After that, they have to go to the Medical Officer of Health for their catchment area for further counselling. They then get an exemption letter and an affidavit to take to the court. If at a later date, they change their minds, the affidavit has to get reversed and the child will receive the immunisations on a different schedule based on their age.”

The polyclinic official warned, however, that this could create problems for children who wanted to study overseas since certain countries required that people were immunised against certain diseases before they were allowed to enter.

Dr Chase observed that despite the fact more people were going the non-vaccination route, overall Barbados and the Caribbean had a vaccination rate in the 90 per cent range, “much higher than the United States where it is around 30 per cent”.

This article is brought to you by Better Health Magazine.