Thank you to AofA reader and supporter Josh Mazer for sharing his letter.
Over four weeks I received a letter, a robocall, and a text from the school board about the availability of free FluMist vaccine in my children's schools. I visited the public website of AstraZeneca to learn more.
Thirty-two percent of the kids taking it will get runny nose/congestion; 13 percent headache; 10 percent lethargy; 9 percent sore throat; 6 percent decreased appetite; 4 percent muscle aches; and 7 percent will spike a fever to 100 degrees or more. Four strains of live attenuated influenza viruses will be shed from nasal passages for up to 28 days. Two-point-four percent of unvaccinated kids will contract FluMist strain influenza virus from the shedding.
On Sept. 22, the county school health and support clinical services director informed me that the AstraZeneca website is wrong. She refused to provide any written data about FluMist, instead referring me to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention website. There is nothing on the CDC website contradicting the information supplied by the manufacturer.
Anne Arundel County school policy explicitly states kids who have a fever of 100 degrees or more have to stay home.
The school board is engaged in a contradictory policy mandate. The CDC and FDA both verify the non-serious side effects of FluMist. The introduction of FluMist into county schools makes some kids get flu like symptoms, or flu, and then have to stay home. Further, no in school provision exists for parents who do not want their children exposed to the viral shedding.
The board defers to CDC recommendations on vaccine policy. Both share a complete lack of accountability if your child gets sick, misses school, or suffers a more serious adverse reaction. One wonders if there is a financial incentive in the form of state and federal grants tied to FluMist. What other explanation is there for this backward and contradictory policy?