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<<   作成日時 : 2009/01/07 22:49   >>

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 新たな州の法律で認可された幼稚園や保育所に通う子どもにインフルエンザ予防接種が義務化され、数千人の子どもが長い冬休みが明けて園に戻る時期になったことで大きな問題に直面している。
 インフルエンザワクチンが学童に義務化された初めての州であるニュージャージーは、12月31日を期限と設定した。副作用を心配して接種させていない親に対して学童に合計4つの追加接種を要求するという方針の一つである。6ヶ月から5才の認可保育所に通う子どもにも適応される。
 締め切りから2週間以内に接種の意向を示さない限り出席できないと州保健局は言っている。
 連邦CDCによれば毎年20万人がインフルエンザ関連合併症で入院し、約36,000人が死亡している。入院したうちの約2万人が子どもである。昨年、86人の子どもが合併症で死亡した。
 予防接種選択のためのニュージャージー連合は、インフルエンザ接種が必要かどうかは州ではなく親が決めるべきだと主張している。これらの親の多くはワクチンが自閉症を起こすと信じていて、良心的拒否者に免除を与える法律提案を支持している。ニュージャージー保健教育福祉省は哲学的な免除に反対している。
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幼稚園児へのインフルエンザ・ワクチン接種を義務化
http://kurie.at.webry.info/200712/article_15.html
幼稚園児のインフルエンザ・ワクチン義務化に抗議/米国 ニュージャージー
http://kurie.at.webry.info/200810/article_44.html
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Law on Flu Vaccinations May Be Tested
By DERRICK HENRY
Published: January 2, 2009
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/nyregion/new-jersey/04flunj.html

画像Mel Evans/Associated Press
PROTEST Hundreds objected to the mandated flu vaccinations.

THE state’s new law requiring young children attending licensed pre-school and child care centers to get flu vaccinations will be tested this week when thousands of children return to classrooms and playrooms after the long holiday break.

New Jersey, the first state in the nation to require flu shots for young schoolchildren, set a Dec. 31 deadline for parents to obtain flu vaccinations for their children. It was part of a new policy requiring a total of four additional immunizations for schoolchildren over the objections of some parents who worry about possible risks from vaccinations.

The requirement applies to children between 6 months and 5 years who are attending licensed day care and preschool programs. State public health experts said that flu shots for young children are important for overall public health.

“Stopping flu transmission among kids will stop flu transmission in the community at large,” said Dr. Tina Tan, the state epidemiologist.

Health officials said they would not know until after the holiday how many children have met the requirement. The state relies on schools, preschools and day care centers to collect immunization records from parents and then forward the information to the state.

Children who have not received the flu vaccine are to be excluded from attending, unless they can provide proof that they are in the process of getting a dose of the vaccine within two weeks after the deadline, the state Health Department said.

“If parents are working to get it, they have just a little bit more time,” said Dawn Thomas, a Health Department spokeswoman.

Health officials and pediatricians say that vaccinating children against the flu makes sense because children can inadvertently infect each other at school, then carry the infection home and elsewhere.

“Children are very effective spreaders of infection-prone secretions,” mucus and saliva, said Dr. Robert W. Tolan, chief of the Division of Allergy, Immunology and Infectious Diseases at the Children’s Hospital at St. Peter’s University Hospital in New Brunswick. “It’s the kids that spread the infections, joyfully, as children do.”

Health officials said the flu season usually peaks in January or February each year. Young children are particularly vulnerable to the flu, as are the elderly, pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems.

Each year, more than 200,000 people are hospitalized from flu complications and about 36,000 people die from the flu, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Of those hospitalized, about 20,000 are children. Last year, the C.D.C. received reports that 86 children had died from flu-related complications.

There have been about five cases of pediatric flu-related illnesses that required hospitalization this season in New Jersey, Dr. Tan said. A weekly report that tracks influenza in the state characterized influenza activity in mid-December as sporadic.

An advisory panel for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said that all children ages 6 months to 18 years should receive an annual flu shot.

In New Jersey, preschoolers are also required to get a vaccine against the germ that causes pneumonia. That vaccination was due at the beginning of the school year. Sixth graders are required to get a vaccine against meningitis and a booster against tetanus, diphtheria and pertussis. Children who enroll in school after the new year, perhaps from other states or countries, must also be vaccinated.

This fall, the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice held a rally in Trenton that drew hundreds of parents who said they should be the ones to decide if their children need flu shots, not the state.

“There’s a huge trust gap between parents and public health officials right now,” said Louise Kuo Habakus, who is a parent and spokeswoman for the New Jersey Coalition for Vaccination Choice. “These are our kids. We’re stakeholders. You have to give us a say in this debate.”

Many of these parents say they believe vaccines cause autism, even though multiple studies have found no such link. The New Jersey coalition supports proposed legislation that would provide an exemption for conscientious objectors to mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren.

“The New Jersey Department of Health opposes philosophical exemptions only because influenza can cause destructive and serious illness among children,” Dr. Tan said.

Dr. Tolan said that vaccines are a matter of public health.

“If you don’t vaccinate your child, you’re putting my child at risk,” he said.

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