Montgomery Blair High School's Online Student Newspaper
Monday, June 18, 2018 1:10 pm
Jan. 3, 2007

Blazers without vaccinations forced to leave school

by Pia Nargundkar, Online Editor-in-Chief
As of yesterday, freshmen who have not received vaccinations against Hepatitis B and chickenpox, and do not have proof of an upcoming doctor's appointment to receive them, will be forced to leave school, in accordance to a Maryland health law that has gone into effect with the new year. The new law adds the two diseases onto the list of the already required polio vaccine, the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine and the diphtheria, tetanus and pertussen vaccine.

The new vaccination requirement applies to all students in Maryland public schools from middle school to 9th grade, and was expected to impact around 5,000 unvaccinated Montgomery County students. In order to comply with the law, every Blair first period teacher received a list with names of unvaccinated students. The teachers were instructed to ask the students to go to the SAC.

The ban on unvaccinated students, however, is no surprise, as health officials have been working since spring of 2006 to inform parents about the new mandate, according to a Montgomery County news release. The school system has sent repeated messages to parents to remind them to have their child vaccinated, with information on where and when they can do so.

Even with all the messages, some Blazers received their vaccinations just before the deadline. Freshman Sammy Denenberg received his Hepatitis B shot on Dec. 22, the school day before winter break, but was still on the vaccination list when he returned yesterday. Denenberg solved the problem by finding a staff member, who directed him to the health room. He says, "I showed them the form [with the proof] and they said it was okay."

Some, however, did not get their shots in time. According to Assistant Principal Linda Wanner, 52 people were on the list as of Tuesday morning. Of those 52, 34, like Denenberg, brought forms in with proof of vaccinations. Wanner believes the ban from school has been succesful though, saying that of the initial students, "about eight" are still out.

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  • x on January 3, 2007 at 1:06 PM
    what about non-freshmen who are also unvaccinated?
  • Why? on January 3, 2007 at 5:17 PM
    If we're vaccinated from these disease, even if these 8 students get it, we won't get sick from the disease...
  • David on January 3, 2007 at 6:14 PM
  • chicken pox on January 3, 2007 at 6:42 PM
    i remember when getting chicken pox was considered to be adequate vaccination... what about kids who already have had the sickness?
  • blah on January 3, 2007 at 7:20 PM
    It is wrong for Blair to pinpoint those who don't have vaccination because when their names are being called in clase it makes it seem like the kids have a deadly contagious disease.
  • Priyanka Nargundkar on January 3, 2007 at 8:49 PM
    To chicken pox:
    In the case of chickenpox, documentation (month/year) of when they had the disease is sufficient.

    To x:
    According to the new mandate, by 2009 all students through grade 12 will have to be vaccinated against chickenpox/Hepatitis B.
  • Libertarian (View Email) on January 3, 2007 at 8:58 PM
    Required vaccinations? I thought we had the right to a free education through age 18 (well not quite free, we pay quite a bit of money in taxes for it, but that argument's for later). First off I was never vaccinated for chicken pox because I already had it. Does this not matter because we're only screening Freshmen? If someone doesn't want to get the disease, they should get vaccinated, it's that simple. If someone doesn't think it's worth the vaccination (it does cost money), they should have that option. The only excuse for forcing vaccinations on people would be if they could infect other people who had already been vaccinated. Of course that would defeat the purpose of ever getting a vaccination. Forced vaccinations? What is this world (or should I say state) coming to?
  • abby on January 5, 2007 at 4:09 PM
    Required vaccinations are important public health procedures, and anyone who feels it is violating any sort of right is being ridiculous. As for non- freshmen, every rule has to be implimented at a certain definite point in time, so they might as well not push it off and start this year. After all, 2010 is a nice round number.
  • fizzzz75 (View Email) on January 6, 2007 at 7:13 PM
    it may be due to the foreign accumulation in the US and specifically in Maryland. I think the non-US citizens have dominated the US citizens in the state of Maryland and chances are they carry some disease; US does not know their blood type and they are living in the US. WHy wouldn't there be a forced vaccination??? To save US.
  • Libertarian (View Email) on January 7, 2007 at 11:39 AM
    abby, care to explain why they are an important public health procedure? And it's rediculous to think that forcing me to inject something into my blood is violating some sort of right? My not getting vaccinated hurts no one at this school who does get vaccinated, and chicken pox isn't even that bad of a disease, not fully knowledgable about Hepatitis B. If not getting vaccinated would cause other people to catch it, this may have been a problem. But if they would get vaccinated (which they are now forced to do anyway), it wouldn't matter if everyone else in the school had it.
  • Libertarian (View Email) on January 11, 2007 at 5:45 PM
    If a vaccination exists, then ANYONE can get a vaccination, so the US population who gets vaccinated never gets the disease anyway. Meanwhile no one is forced to inject something into their blood they don't want to have in there. They will be risking their health, but considering that they can't infect anyone else with a vaccine, I have no problem with people not getting vaccinated.
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