Health Moment: Immunizations vs. Peanuts

NPR recently published a story about a family who wants to protect their son by  having his school district only allow children who are vaccinated to attend school in his area. The Krawitt family live in California where 7% of the students in his area are not vaccinated. This is a major problem for the family because their son is in remission from Leukemia. In fact, we are living in a time, when the anti-vaccination movement has caused the worse measles outbreak in 20 years. As reported by the CDC the United States had fewer than 100 cases every year since 2000 when the measles vaccination helped eliminate measles in the US. Unfortunately, in 2014 there were 644 recorded cases in 27 states, the most measles cases we’ve had in 20 years (Source).

CDC reports that measles is worse than it has been in 20yrs in the US. #kidshealth #health

This information really hits home for me and my family. As a mother who chooses to homeschool because of my daughter’s serious health concerns from Sickle Cell Anemia, the push in schools to have children vaccinated is important to us and should be very important to all families. The threat of a child with a compromised immune system dying from contracting a disease that could have been prevented by a vaccination is real.

Have you ever asked a family whose child was going through a serious health illness what you can do? Dr. Robert Goldsby, an oncologist at the University of California, San Francisco states 

 Many families will say, ‘What can I do to help? What can I do to help?’ ” he said, repeating it for emphasis. “One of the main things they can do is make sure their [own] kids are vaccinated to protect others.

What’s interesting to me about this problem is that many schools ban peanuts from their premises to protect children who are highly allergic from death. Will children who are unvaccinated be next to be banned from schools? For Mr. Krawitt the parallel is obvious, the two go hand-in-hand. 

Krawitt has been speaking up about vaccination for a long time now. . . [While attending a] parent meeting at his daughter’s school just before the start of the school year, where a staff member reminded parents not to send peanut products to school, since a child or children had an allergy. “It’s really important your kids don’t bring peanuts, because kids can die,” Krawitt recalls the group being told.The irony was not lost on him .  . . he immediately responded, “In the interest of the health and safety of our children, can we have the assurance that all the kids at our school are immunized?”

For me, this issue is not simple. It’s a fact that I don’t send my chid to public school because I am afraid of the health repercussions that could follow as a result of children who are not vaccinated. I feel that in some ways, I am forced to homeschool my child who would love going to a typical school. However, I value the choices that parents have and I believe we should be able to decide what is best for our families. This debate is a tricky one. At the end of the day, I feel that the debate may come down to immunizations vs. peanuts, if one could be banned, both could be.

Reader Response:

Do you vaccinate or feel strongly about vaccinations for children? What do you think will happen in this school district in CA. Do you think Mr Krawitt will have to take his child out of school to protect him, or will students who aren’t immunized be banned for his child’s school district?

UNCEF infographic #vaccineswork


Aliferis, Lisa. To Protect His Son, A Father Asks School To Bar Unvaccinated Children. Retrieved February 1, 2015 from

 SalzbergSteven. Anti-Vaccine Movement Causes Worst Measles Epidemic In 20 Years . Retrieved February 1, 2015 from

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