Carl Krawitt’s son Rhett isn’t vaccinated. But he’s asking his son’s school to ban kids who aren’t vaccinated from attending school.
Why the double standard?
Rhett, who is only 6, has been battling leukemia for most of his life. He’s currently in remission, but his chemotherapy-ravaged body isn’t well enough to handle vaccines yet. Along with the terror of a childhood cancer diagnosis, Rhett’s parents now have to worry about a disease that should have been eradicated: measles.
Rhett’s family lives in California, where measles outbreaks have been a major public issue. It isn’t unreasonable to point fingers at anti-vaxxers. Marin County, where the Krawitts live, has one of the lowest vaccination rates in California. Kids can go to school without being immunized against communicable disease like whooping cough and measles. The danger is real. Babies are especially at risk for contracting and dying from diseases like whooping cough.
So is Rhett.
That’s why Krawitt has worked with his son’s school to try to keep him safe. So far Rhett has been able to attend classes with kids who are fully vaccinated. But Krawitt and his wife have reached out to the district to request that schools require all students to be immunized unless there’s a medical reason to opt out — such as Rhett’s inability due to leukemia treatment.
Parents who choose to not immunize are making a deliberate decision that science doesn’t back up. Is it reasonable to deny anti-vaxxers the right to send their kids to school? It’s a hot debate, and one that isn’t likely to be resolved any time soon. But in areas facing outbreaks, schools may be quicker to come up with strategies that limit the risk of spreading disease.
One thing is for certain: Children’s lives are at stake.