No Shots Yes School
One of the first questions I am almost always asked when I tell people I teach classes on how vaccinations affect children’s immune system and the choices parents have concerning vaccinations is, “Don’t kids needs their shots to go to school?”
Parents are told that vaccinations are required for school, which is an understandable assumption, for the Minnesota Department of Health uses the terminology “required immunizations.” This assumption is further substantiated by slogan “No Shots, No School” which has been used by Park Nicollet as part of their immunization initiative.
So are vaccinations required for school or not? Well, yes…and no…depending on one’s intellectual honesty. Park Nicollet’s No Shots, No School Immunization Initiative states, “Minnesota law requires immunizations, or written proof of exemption, for school age children to attend school. This statement is true, and is in exact accordance with Minnesota’s Statues on Immunizations.
Where the problem lies in stating that vaccinations are required, even though it is stated that there are exemptions, is what the exemptions in themselves really are. The Minnesota Statutes on Immunizations states in Subdivision 3(d):
If a notarized statement signed by the minor child's parent or guardian or by the
emancipated person is submitted to the administrator or other person having general control and
supervision of the school or child care facility stating that the person has not been immunized as
prescribed in subdivision 1 because of the conscientiously held beliefs of the parent or guardian of
the minor child or of the emancipated person, the immunizations specified in the statement shall
not be required. This statement must also be forwarded to the commissioner of the Department
This, one of seven exemptions listed in the statues, states in legalese that if a child has not been immunized because the parents believe that they shouldn’t have the shots, the shots aren’t required. In other words, the shots aren’t required unless the parents want their child to have them.
Now according to the Minnesota Statues on Immunizations, what is required is that it is documented whether or not a child has received the “required” immunizations, or whether the parents have chosen one of the exemptions. However, this requirement is a far cry from what is implied what is “required” through the “No Shots, No School” program.
What it boils down to is that immunizations for children entering school are recommended, but not required.
Is this perhaps just a differing opinion of the terminology that is used? What’s the big deal? The big deal is that through using the term “required”, even though anyone can be exempt, is that it has created the false public understanding that vaccinations are required for school entry.
So why would health officials deliberately make people think that their children have to have their shots to go to school, when it’s not true?
“It is hard to convince the public that something is good. Consequently, the best way to push forward a new program is to decide on what you think the best decision is and not question it thereafter, and further, not to raise questions before the public or expose the public to open discussion of the issues.”
- Dr. Paul Meier in a panel discussion on the efficacy of the polio vaccine campaign of the 1950s during the Intensive Immunization Program Hearings, 1962
If you choose for your child to receive none or only some of the “required” vaccinations, the exemption forms can be found at the Minnesota Department of Health website:
You will notice that if you decide to make a conscientious decision not to vaccinate the department of health takes one more attempt to scare or guilt you out of your choice:
“However, choosing not to vaccinate may put the health or life of your child or others they come in contact with at risk.”
This statement is completely unfounded and simply a scare tactic to get those who go against the department’s recommendation to comply with their program. Please understand this statement for what it is, and thankfully your decision can be based on careful study of the issue and not simply following propaganda.
Minnesota’s College Immunization Law
If you would like to find more information
1. No Shots, No School – Park Nicollet
'No shots, no school' back to school program
2. 2010 Minnesota Statutes on Immunizations