Yes. You heard it here… maybe not first, but you are hearing it here now.
I made an error.
It has been called to my attention that I misunderstood the wording of the New York Law regarding vaccine requirements for students in junior high and high school.
In previous posts regarding the students at LeRoy Junior and Senior High School, I hypothesized that the outbreak of PANDAS may be vaccine-injury. I stick to my stance on that hypothesis, and will continue to do so until the vaccination records of those students who have become ill have been examined. That apparently is not going to happen, so there will never be anyway to know for sure. If my hypothesis is correct, time will tell. There will be more “outbreaks” like the one in LeRoy, and eventually, someone, somewhere will do the investigation that is necessary to say with a higher degree of certainty one way or the other.
Where I was wrong, as my colleague Spencer has gently pointed out (thanks, Spencer) was in my interpretation of the language of the law.
In my previous post, The LeRoy Twelve is Now Fifteen. Students Set to See PANDAS Doctor Today. Are Vaccines Involved? I posted a copy of the CDC Schedule for children and adolescents between the ages of 7-18 years. The schedule includes recommendation for the Pneumovax-23 vaccine, which is designated as a purple bar. The purple bar indicates this vaccine is recommended for “at risk” populations; not for the general population at large.
I also published language from the New York State Law CLS Public Health 2164 (2007), as follows:
a. Every person in parental relation to a child in this state shall have administered to such child an adequate dose or doses of an immunizing agent against poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, varicella, Haemophilus influenzae type b (Hib), pertussis, tetanus, pneumococcal disease, and hepatitis B, which meets the standards approved by the United States public health service for such biological products, and which is approved by the department under such conditions as may be specified by the public health council.
b. Every person in parental relation to a child in this state born on or after January first, nineteen hundred ninety-four and entering sixth grade or a comparable age level special education program with an unassigned grade on or after September first, two thousand seven, shall have administered to such child a booster immunization containing diphtheria and tetanus toxoids, and an acellular pertussis vaccine, which meets the standards approved by the United States public health service for such biological products, and which is approved by the department under such conditions as may be specified by the public health council.
I incorrectly stated that the New York Law mandated vaccination against pneumococcal disease for all students entering sixth grade on or after September 1, 2007. As Spencer pointed out, CLS 2164 a includes the phrase, “…which meets the standards approved by the United States public health service for such biological products, and which is approved by the department under such conditions as may be specified by the public health council.”
Hypothetically, it is certainly possible that the students who have suddenly developed neurological disorders and who have also tested positive for streptococcus infections were not vaccinated with Pneumovax-23.
I don’t think it’s necessarily inaccurate to postulate that at least some of the students may have received Pneumovax. It is on the schedule. The pneumococcal vaccine that is given routinely to infants was not added to the schedule until 2000. That means students who are currently in high school, and who were vaccinated as infants and young children according to the CDC schedule, have not previously been vaccinated with a pneumococcal vaccine. This factor may increase the probability of them being vaccinated as adolescents, particularly if their physician or health care provider believes the absence of prior vaccination places them at increased risk.
The point is, there is no way to know if this is the case, unless the vaccination records are investigated, which has not, and apparently will not be done.
The law, as it is written, is confusing. The schedule, as it is written, is confusing. These two factors, taken together and presented to a physician or health care worker who is pressed for time and who believes there is no danger in over-vaccinating, would certainly increase the chances that students would receive vaccines they otherwise would not receive.
Again, there is no way to know unless the vaccination records are checked.