A New York school district refused to accept a third-grade student after her mother declined to give her a booster shot, claiming the girl is too young to receive it.
Jamie McNicholas says her 8-year-old daughter Ceili was expelled on Monday from Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School, part of the Miller Place Union Free School District, NBC 4 New York reported.
The school told McNicholas that her daughter needed to get a Tdap booster shot, a state-mandated vaccine for whooping cough that also prevents tetanus and diphtheria, or she would not be allowed to return.
(via CBS New York)
The mother refused to do so, saying her doctor told her the shot wasn’t safe for children younger than 10.
According to the FDA website, the Tdap booster shot is recommended only for children older than 10. A Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spokesperson, however, said the opposite.
"I believe in vaccinations, and that's not the issue," McNicholas said. "The issue is an age-appropriate vaccination.”
“If we give that T-Dap vaccination between 7 and 10, we are using it off label. And it’s not licensed for usage. So if we can’t use it, then we are the ones going to be held liable,” Long Island Pediatrician, Dr. Mary Renna, told CBS New York.
But because of new state health guidelines for students, including the Tdap booster requirement, school officials banned Ceili from attending class and was sent home after showing up Monday.
In a statement, the Miller Place School District said: “We appreciate the family’s frustration. The Miller Place School District is required and obligated to follow all of the rules and regulations of the State of New York on all matters including children’s health. Questions and concerns about this issue should be raised with the New York State Department of Education and the Suffolk County Department of Health.”
For the time being, McNicholas has started to home school Ceili and created an online petition calling on the state to allow students, like her daughter, back to school.
The New York State Department of Health said it follows the recommendations of the CDC, and the state Education Department said it’s being guided by state health officials.