New Arizona Law Sparks Battle on Vaccine Exemptions in Foster Care
May 28, 2013

This guest post has been written by Jessica Orwig, of Scientific Technologies Corporation, as a follow-up to a previous post entitled “Immunization Legislation May Impact Foster Care in Arizona” by Debbie McCune Davis, Executive Director of The Arizona Partnership for Immunization and an Arizona State Representative from District 30.

On May 2nd, Arizona Governor Janice Brewer signed into law Senate Bill 1108 that allows the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES) to grant families, who choose not to fully vaccinate their biological or adopted children for medical, philosophical or religious reasons, a license to accommodate foster children. In her signing letter, Brewer stated that she hopes a result of this law will be more home opportunities for foster care kids.

Debbie McCune Davis, speaks out on this issue, as the Executive Director of The Arizona Partnership for Immunization and an Arizona State Representative from District 30

Debbie McCune Davis, speaks out on this issue as the Executive Director of The Arizona Partnership for Immunization and an Arizona State Representative from District 30.

The law, however, does not change the foster parents’ legal obligation to ensure that the foster child receives all of the necessary vaccines on time.

Democratic State Representative Debbie McCune Davis says she worries that the families who do not vaccinate their biological or adopted children, and then take in foster children now permissible under Senate Bill 1108, are therefore not experienced and might not know how to keep a child current on their vaccinations.

“We should help foster parents learn how to work with their pediatrician to keep foster kids up to date,” Davis says.

This task can be difficult because of the number of vaccines and the time frames in which children should receive them, says Andie Denious, MS, RN, a special projects liaison contractor for the Arizona Immunization Program Office and former Medical Services Manager for the Comprehensive Medical and Dental Program (CMDP), which provides health care to foster kids. Denious also expresses concern about the law, noting that it could put some foster children at higher risk for contracting a vaccine-preventable disease.

Health care professionals do not recommend vaccines for children with certain allergies or other, more severe, medical conditions. Therefore, foster children who have such medical conditions may lack one or more vaccines leaving them more vulnerable to diseases when placed in families whose members are not fully immunized.

“The possibility now exists for a foster family’s biological child to contract and transmit a vaccine-preventable disease to a foster child, and this is not a good thing,” Denious says.

Discussions with the foster care community indicate that if a foster child were to contract such a disease in one of these homes, it raises liability concerns for both the foster placing agency and the foster family. Not to mention the danger imposed if that foster child then infected children from other households.

Foster children with medical complications are just one of the groups whose health is at risk, says Dr. Matthew Barcellona, a practicing pediatrician who serves on the board of directors for the Arizona Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AzAAP).

“Infants are especially at high risk,” Barcellona says. “Infants are much more likely to die if they contract a preventable disease and may be too young to receive the vaccines needed for protection.”

Take pertussis (whooping cough) for example. Infants are eligible for their first pertussis vaccine at 2 months of age. The reason that pertussis is not thriving in most infants younger than 2 months is because a large percentage of the population is already immunized, leaving the virus few available hosts. This is called herd immunity, and it is hindered by under-immunization.

Case in point, in early 2011 Tweed Hall, a town in Australia, was in the midst of a pertussis epidemic. A family who had scheduled their newborn’s pertussis vaccine lost him to the disease because he contracted it at 4-weeks old.  Infants remain at risk until immunity is established, often until 8 to 10 months of age when vaccinated on schedule.

The CDC and American Academy of Pediatrics recommend that by 2 years of age a child should have received the established number of vaccine doses for DTap, Hep A, Hep B, Hib, IPV, MMR, PCV, Rotavirus, and Varicella (Chickenpox). According to CMDP, 85.1 percent of Arizona foster children 2 years of age had received the necessary 4 doses of DTap and PCV vaccines by March of last year. About 95 percent of those foster children had also received the necessary dosage for Hep B, Hib, IPV, MMR, and Varicella.

To address the protection younger children lack against transmittable diseases, Brewer directed the DES to develop a policy that restricts foster agencies from placing young children and infants with families who have not immunized their children. However, no such policy exists yet.

“This policy is an important thing to do, but it’s the bare minimum and it’s not enough,” Barcellona says. Finding ways to protect these foster kids is just one piece of a larger, more serious issue, he says.

FosterKidImageSince 2009, the CDC has documented the percentage of enrolled kindergarteners with reported vaccine exemptions in each state. In the last 3 years, this percentage has continued to increase for the majority of states, with Arizona being one of them. Three percent of children in Arizona were exempted during the 2009-10 school year and that rose to 3.7 percent during the 2011-12 school year.

Higher exemption rates for kindergarteners come at a time when the country has suffered outbreaks of measles, mumps and pertussis in parts of Washington State, California and Oregon brought on, in part, by under-immunized children. At 5.9 percent, Oregon had the highest percentage of exemptions for the 2011-12 school year, and in 2012 the state experienced a pertussis epidemic. That year, Oregon faced 910 cases of pertussis, which hospitalized 24 infants 3 months old or younger.

In her signing letter Brewer states, “With careful implementation, this legislation has the potential to provide more children with a safe and loving home.”

< p>To keep children safe, Davis suggests that families who take in foster children should request reminders for upcoming vaccinations, talk with their doctor to ensure that all shots for every family member are reported to the state’s immunization information database, and schedule their child’s next vaccine appointment before leaving the pediatric office.

The state of Arizona requires annual medical checkups, which includes any necessary vaccinations, for foster children. Children older than 2 years need vaccines about every 4 years, whereas children younger than 2 years require routine vaccinations every two months. These checkups will also help keep foster children up-to-date, Davis says.

Furthermore, resources such as the Arizona State Immunization Information System developed by Scientific Technologies (STC) will help the community know what vaccines are required and when they are due. Michael Popovich, CEO of STC, indicated that in the near future families will have access to information within such systems, which collect immunization records submitted by state providers and merge them into a single historical vaccination record for every child. This will enable parents and guardians to ensure that their foster children are fully immunized.

“By providing such records, we will empower families,” Popovich says.

Although she opposed the bill, Davis says it presents a golden opportunity. The fear of certain side-effects from vaccines, most of which are scientifically unfounded such as the theory that vaccines are linked to autism, are part of the misinformation that is discouraging parents from vaccinating their children.

“If we can inform families about the importance of vaccines, maybe they will vaccinate their biological children in addition to foster children,” Davis says.

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73 responses to “New Arizona Law Sparks Battle on Vaccine Exemptions in Foster Care”

  1. Foster Dad says:

    “If we can inform families about the importance of vaccines, maybe they will vaccinate their biological children in addition to foster children,” Davis says.
    I am informed – no thanks!

  2. Lawrence says:

    @FD – if that’s your attitude, I seriously doubt you are as “informed” as you think…..

  3. Foster Dad says:

    I am sure you are much less informed than I, or shall I say mistaken, ignorant, or flat out wrong. I can tell by your attitude lawrence.

  4. Lawrence says:

    Foster children are already a “high-risk” group, putting them at the completely avoidable risk of contracting VPDs is certainly an ethical violation of the foster-parent / child relationship – stewardship.

  5. Lawrence says:

    A great source of factual information about vaccinations & safety:
    Best to provide a safe environment for these kids by getting them immunized according to the most appropriate schedule (based on their medical history & any other conditions that might apply).

  6. Foster Dad says:

    Just as i thought, you are wrong on so many levels and obviously are not a foster parent.

  7. Chris says:

    Foster Dad, if you are fully informed you would have absolutely no problem providing the PubMed indexed study from a qualified researcher that the DTaP and Tdap are more dangerous than diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis.

  8. Lawrence says:

    @FD – please provide factual evidence that I am “wrong.”
    Otherwise, you are doing a disservice to the charges under your care.

  9. Foster Dad says:

    Well the Informed Foster Parents of CA disagree with you lawrence.

  10. Chris says:

    Foster Dad, provide the actual data. Make sure it is scientifically valid.

  11. Foster Dad says:

    We don’t need to supply any data, we made this decision as a group and have all of the necessary data. Thank you.

  12. Foster Dad says:

    It is also a shame that the foster children are required to get vaccinations. Many times, we don’t have very good medical histories. If they have or ever had gut issues, rashes, eczema, allergies, etc, it’s a good sign that they should not be vaccinated.

  13. Lawrence says:

    @FD – yes, a real shame that they should be protected against the return of Vaccine-Preventable Diseases (especially at later ages, where a number of these diseases are much more dangerous to the individual).
    Since you mention gut issues, please provide whatever evidence that “gut” issues are related to whether or not someone should be vaccinated?

  14. Foster Dad says:

    Apparently, you are not that well informed lawrence. Even the vaccine companies know there is a connection and are developing new vaccines for gut issues specifically….quite ironic isn’t it.

  15. Lawrence says:

    @FD – not so ironic that you are unable to cite a single source for your “beliefs.”
    I’m also not the one trying to tie every single anti-vax belief together to justify leaving kids unprotected from disease (especially ones that are potentially at greater risk, because they are in foster homes / juvenile system, without access to regular / consistent health care services).

  16. Lawrence says:

    @FD – and you’d be more than happy to provide proper citations that link that particular strain of bacteria (Clostridium bolteae) to vaccines, right?
    Actually, the prevalence of that particular strain of bacteria found in autistic children lends even more credence to the genetic component of autism – just like other gene expressions related to developmental disabilities can cause various physical symptoms (but aren’t caused by an external source).

  17. Lawrence says:

    @FD – like children born with Downs Syndrome are more likely to also suffer from various heart deformities as well……

  18. Lawrence says:

    @FD – so, any actual sources or evidence to cite….perhaps to refute this, for example:
    Conclusions: These findings provide no support for an MMR associated “new variant” form of autism with developmental regression and bowel problems, and further evidence against involvement of MMR vaccine in the initiation of autism.
    So, why aren’t you vaccinating your foster kids again?

  19. Foster Dad says:

    You are correct on the genetics, but please don’t forget the environmental triggers. That is why it is important to have full medical histories of the children, without them it would be irresponsible to vaccinate them.

  20. Lawrence says:

    @FD – please cite your sources for “confirmed” environmental triggers…….

  21. Lawrence says:

    @FD – because one “confirmed” source of an environmental trigger for autism is…..wait for it……Congenital Rubella Syndrome (which is prevented by the vaccine).
    So, we can say, unequivocally, that there is at least one current vaccine (the MMR) that has been proven to prevent the onset of autism.

  22. Foster Dad says:

    Not sure why you keep bringing up autism?

  23. Chris says:

    Foster Dad:

    We don’t need to supply any data, we made this decision as a group and have all of the necessary data.

    If you want to be taken seriously, you do. Otherwise you are just another troll.

  24. Lawrence says:

    Why do you keep bringing up vaccines?

  25. Lawrence says:

    @FD – how about any evidence whatsoever that vaccines are as dangerous as the diseases they prevent?

  26. Foster Dad says:

    I originally brought up vaccines because the story is about foster children and vaccines.
    Why are you bringing up autism lawrence? Just to muddy the waters?
    Please feel good knowing that the Informed Foster Parents of CA will be doing the right thing to protect these children.
    Good night

  27. Chris says:

    So, Foster Dad, you only came here to troll with fact-free statements. Good to know.

  28. Gray Falcon says:

    Foster Dad, if you provide no evidence to support your position, then the courts will have every right to rule against you. That’s how evidence works.

  29. Narad says:

    Good night

    It was the middle of the afternoon in California when you posted this. Admittedly, I’m assuming that this is the state that you’re referring to with “Informed Foster Parents of CA,” an organization that I’m finding no traces of with a couple of quick searches.
    In any event, FD, do you or do you not agree that foster parents should be subject to strict state scrutiny?

  30. Scott Henkel says:

    I couldn’t agree more Foster Dad. Thank you for being a foster dad and thank you for standing up for children.

  31. Chris says:

    Excellent, Mr. Henkel! Perhaps you can provide the evidence for his claims, like the PubMed indexed study by a qualified researcher showing that the DTaP vaccine is more dangerous that diphtheria, tetanus and pertussis. Otherwise, we will believe you are an echoing sock puppet.

  32. Scott Henkel says:

    Frankly, I don’t care what you believe Ms. Chris. Furthermore, I don’t see anywhere that Foster Dad mentioned DTap or autism. There is some serious goal post moving on this site.
    Foster Dad, was that you that posted a comment on the SOP—ck site earlier today? If so, I will grab your information as I have some questions for you.

  33. Chris says:

    Actually he did not say anything other than fact free troll comments. We are just trying to figure out what evidence he and his friends are basing their statements on. And since you won’t provide them, it seems you are just another sock puppet troll.

  34. Chris says:

    The red flag is that Foster Dad and Scott Henkel are using “empty edicts”, and refuse to support their statements with anything:

  35. Scott Henkel says:

    How can I speak for somebody else Chris? And it looks like he is gone for the night. Why don’t you take some time off and enjoy time with your family insread of hassling people here? By the way, you may want to seek help for your paranoia issues.

  36. Narad says:

    How can I speak for somebody else Chris?

    Apparently, by weaving an impressively loose narrative while making empty, insulting remarks.

  37. novalox says:

    You do know that placing unsubstantiated accusations and personal attacks like you just did on Chris is a violation of blog policy, right?
    Also, [citation needed] for your assertions within 3 posts, or we can assume that you are just here to troll.

  38. Chris says:

    My, my, my, Mr. Henkel. That is an awful lot of anger just for pointing out that neither of you said anything that constitutes actual evidence, or relevance. It seems that anyone who is so quick to anger may not make the best foster parent. Especially if they react that way when the placement agency comes around with their questions.

  39. Todd W. says:

    @Scott Henkel

    I don’t see anywhere that Foster Dad mentioned DTap

    DTaP was brought up as an example. Foster Dad was implying that vaccines are bad. So it is perfectly reasonable to ask for evidence showing that vaccines are worse than the diseases they prevent. Also note that Foster Dad said:

    we made this decision as a group and have all of the necessary data.

    So, if he has the data already, then it should be no problem to share it to back up his claims. Since he does not, then one might conclude one of two things: he cares so little for children that he will not “show us the light” and convince us to change our ways, or he doesn’t actually have any data to back up his claims.
    We are science-minded folk. Show us compelling evidence, and we’ll change our positions as the evidence warrants. Simply make assertions and, well, you just show that you have no solid argument to make.

  40. dingo199 says:

    Foster Dad :Apparently, you are not that well informed lawrence. Even the vaccine companies know there is a connection and are developing new vaccines for gut issues specifically….quite ironic isn’t it.

    FD, this specifically was the first post where an “autism connection” was dragged into this discussion. The vaccine you refer to is for autistic kids. You can hardly complain if people wish to ask why you think autism and “gut issues” are linked to vaccines, can you?

  41. dingo199 says:

    Foster Dad, out of interest, your first post (“No thanks!”) implies that you don’t vaccinate your own kids. But you do comply with state legislation and vaccinate your foster kids, don’t you?

  42. K says:

    I agree with Foster Dad and Scott, it is not fair to require that foster parents damage these already abused and damaged children by forcing them to give them dangerous and reactive vaccines. I am so glad that there is a group of foster parents fighting to protect these children and willing to go the distance refusing the extremely large number of vaccines being pushed now by the drug and medical industries. Measles, chickenpox, mumps, and whooping cough are far preferable on the whole to autism, asthma, allergies, and bowel disease. And if you guys want citations and references, maybe you could scroll back to any comments page for the last several hundred articles posted here, where hundreds of vaccine critics have posted them over the years. And Dingo, foster children may be protected by the same vaccine exemptions available to natural children.

  43. Todd W. says:

    Why not just pick the one or two citations that you feel most strongly demonstrate that vaccines are worse than the diseases they prevent. Or even that they cause “autism, asthma, allergies, and bowel disease.” Do your own homework and back up your claims. Don’t send people off on a wild goose chase to try to find what they think you’re referring to.

  44. Chris says:

    And just like clockwork, here comes K (Ms. Parker) with another Empty Edict. Wow, they are getting quite boring. The sock puppets should spice it up with something new and different: like actual factual scientific evidence for your claims.

  45. Lawrence says:

    @Chris – I have yet to see her or any of them, for that matter, provide any sort of real evidence of any of their assertions….it really has gotten quite old and tired.

  46. Chris says:

    Yeah, the empty declarations of “Oh, we are informed, all of you are wrong!” is just so boring. They keep saying nothing, but decided that if they keep changing their names and continue to just say nothing, other that we are wrong and they are right. Why should we believe them or even care without real evidence?

  47. Lawrence says:

    @Chris – being continually accused of “not having an open mind” or “a pharma-shill” when all I’ve ever asked for is real evidence of the anti-vax assertions, it also extremely annoying.
    When new studies are made available, I always take the time to go over the information provided & understand where it comes into play in the grand scheme of the combined knowledge we have.
    Blind assertions without evidence mean nothing – time and time again, we get these sock-puppets that present anti-vax positions as “fact” without providing any sort of scientific basis making it so…, when Ms. Parker comes in here, presenting her position as “fact” it is extremely annoying, since she has never, ever, presented any sort of legitimate evidence to show that position has a real basis.
    Her positions have as much evidence behind them as someone coming in here stating that UFOs are real or 9/11 was an inside job…..

  48. Dorothy says:

    As a foster parent ( in Australia ) I have vaccinated many many children, as well as my own 5 ( all adults now) I have never had a reaction in any of them. The only child who has autim came to us when he was 18 months old unvaccinated, in fact he had never had any medical intervention was even born at home. He was severely autistic. He is now fully vaccinated, almost 8 years old and his autism has improved dramatically. ( with a lot of love, patience and hard work fom us)
    Foster children are required to be vaccinated. As a foster parent I am in constant contact with many other cares and we all agree that vaccinating children has never caused them any harm and is beneficial to both their health and our own Children’s health. I for one, wouldn’t have it any other way.

  49. Narad says:

    K :
    I am so glad that there is a group of foster parents fighting to protect these children and willing to go the distance refusing the extremely large number of vaccines being pushed now by the drug and medical industries.

    I have a strong suspicion that one at least can rest easy that these children will have a clear cause of action should the predictable occur.

  50. daran says:

    I smell stinky socks Dorothy/Lara or whatever your name is.

  51. Dorothy says:

    I can assure you that my name is Doorhy and I am most defiantly a foster carer. Everything I have said is the truth, tough luck if it doesn’t fit into your misguided beliefs daran. I have absolutely no hesitation in immunising any child placed in my care and believe me daran there have been many. Perhaps it is your own stinky socks you are smelling!

  52. daran says:

    Ok Lara, you are a dead give away!

  53. Dorothy says:

    Think what you like daran,, but the only association I have to any one named Lara is my 7 year old granddaughter who by the way is also immunised and very healthy and happy, thanks mate !

  54. novalox says:

    You do know that unsubstantiated accusations are a blog violation here.
    It also is ironic that you, a troll and a known sockpuppeter, make accusations of sockpuppetry.
    Please, keep on entertaining all of us with your ignorance, I do like to see a show, and I think you may provide some good laughs.
    Please consider it an honor that you are being compared to Lara, a well-distinguished poster here. It also means that you got the troll writhing mad that he/she/it cannot make a coherent argument and has to resort to false accusations and lies.

  55. Chris says:

    Dorothy, ignore daran, who seems to be another sock puppet. I can tell you are not American like Lara by your spelling. Thank you for your input.

    • Dorothy says:

      I will Chris, and yes I am certainly not American, I am a true blue, dinki di, Australian, born and bred in Sydney Australia where thankfully the NSW government has just introduced legislation, requiring poof of immunisation before children can be enrolled in Childcare.

  56. Chris says:

    Good on you, Dorothy!
    I listen to a few Aussie podcasts, and you will enjoy this space opera radio play from one:

  57. StevieMick says:

    Wow! Great work folks! Not only is Lara “Dorothy” (and can’t even spell it right in a comment), she is also novalox, and I can see that Lawrence has resorted to his original nym of ToddW, and known shill on other sites, meanwhile they claim such righteous indignation at anyone who uses a second or third name to avoid being censored by Chris for rocking the boat too much with real facts that Chris summarily dismiss because she is so arrogant as to see herself as the sole arbiter of what constitutes proof and, surprise, surprise, only things that support her view qualify. Do you people know how much of a joke this site is now outside your 4 walls of “lalalalalalala land”?
    Let’s not forget that this site is funded by ECBT which is funded by AAP which is 96% funded by the pharmaceutical industry. I have documented this previously Chris so don’t go off on another one, eh?

  58. Lawrence says:

    @SM – while I’m flattered that you would confuse me with Todd, I would never take credit for the great work that he’s done in putting together his “anti-anti-vax” website.
    And since Chris isn’t the owner of this blog or the arbiter of anything – other than to both provide actual documentation / proof of vaccine efficacy and safety, while demanding the same level of evidence on the other side (of which none is ever provided), your criticism of her is completely without merit & constitutes nothing but a personal attack on her character.
    It never ceases to amaze me that these anti-vax individuals eventually resort to personal attacks and accusations of “pharma-shill” when they run out of other baseless arguments.

  59. Todd W. says:

    Wait…I thought you were Brian Deer? But I guess clearly you’re me. SM said so!

  60. Dorothy says:

    Apparently I am now American and I have never stepped foot outside of Australia. Goes to show how smart you are are StevieMick not. What’s wrong cant handle the truth about what I said. If immunising kids was so bad then the law of averages would mean that I would see many kids showing serious side effects yet I have seen none. Immunising kids is mandatory whilst they are in foster care here in New South Wales. I have been a foster carer for many years and have taken over 50 children for their immunisations and I have not had a reaction in any of them apart from mild fever and redness around the injection site. Fair dinkum some of you anti vax people make me laugh

  61. dingo199 says:

    StevieMick :Let’s not forget that this site is funded by ECBT which is funded by AAP which is 96% funded by the pharmaceutical industry. I have documented this previously Chris so don’t go off on another one, eh?

    96% funded?
    Please indulge me and link to your proof of this StevieMick.
    PS here is the AAP positional statement.
    Now you could accuse them of being liars, but at least they have a formal policy. Contrast this with organizations such as GR, AoA, or individuals like Wakefield and the Geiers if you will to see what really counts as a “conflict”.

  62. Christine Vara says:

    If I must say, StevieMick is quite comical. This site is not funded by AAP. Just goes to show how poorly he conducts his research. And just so all our participants are aware, Agnid is also Daran, Dina, Scott Henkel and Foster Dad, and as most of us suspect also Ms. Parker who has previously been banned and gone under several other aliases in other stints on this blog. Additionally K. is also K, Karen, and Dan. So, while it may appear that there are multiple people commenting in opposition to vaccines on this and other threads, it’s just one or two people with multiple personalities. Meanwhile, I can assure you that Lawrence and ToddW. are too different individuals, both of which I have corresponded with on different occasions and the same goes for Lara, Dorothy and novalox. As the blog administrator, I have access to information about our participants that readers do not and although I’ve been pretty soft in enforcing the comment policy in the past, let this be a reminder that this kind of misleading behavior will not be permissible. Thank you to those of you who are respectful of the rules and who are tolerant of my past, loose interpretation of them. But let me tell you now, the times they are a changin’.

  63. Chris says:

    Thank you, Christine.
    And a reminder: my name is not Christine. And no, it was not fun growing up in the 1960s with a name that was just a bit off kilter.

  64. novalox says:

    While I must say that your utter failure in logic is quite amusing, as well as the unfounded accusations and pharma shill gambits that exposes the utter lack of reasoning in your post, I do admit that I am honored that you would think of me in the same level as Lara.

  65. Valentina says:

    You said this site is not sponsored by the AAP, but did not address whether or not it received funding from Every Child by Two. Does it?

  66. Lawrence says:

    @Valentina – you know, there is an “about us” tab on the top of this blog.
    Perhaps you should ready it.

  67. Chris says:

    Ms. Parker (Valentina), please, please get help. There is no harm in calling these people for help. Please don’t let your family suffer like ours did.

  68. Costner says:

    Foster Dad :
    You are correct on the genetics, but please don’t forget the environmental triggers. That is why it is important to have full medical histories of the children, without them it would be irresponsible to vaccinate them.

    I’m curious how you make the determination that a potential reaction to a vaccine (which would most often be a rash at the injection side and/or an allergic reaction) would be less harmful than the diseases the vaccines prevent?
    It would seem to me that contracting a disease such as Measles, Hepatitis A, Hib, Rubella etc. etc. would be statistically much more common, and much more preventable than experiencing a significant side effect of a vaccine. Aside from minor side effects (such as allergic reactions most commonly treated with steroids for example) the chances of experiencing any reaction at all is almost non-existent.
    When this is taken into account, even if you don’t know a full and complete medical history of a child, it would seem there is much LESS risk in vaccinating that child than there would be in skipping or avoiding said vaccines.
    I fully support biological and adoptive parents having a choice whether to vaccinate due to religious of philosophical views (even if I disapprove of their choice I still support their right to it), however when it comes to foster children they should never be put at risk merely because a foster parent or temporary guardian believes they know more than the medical and scientific community at large.
    By the way, the only reference I can find anywhere to the “Informed Foster Parents of CA” or “Informed Foster Parents of California” is your comment on this very blog. Are you sure you haven’t simply made that group up in order to attempt to sell your viewpoint? If not – can you direct me to a website, facebook page, blog, or even an address where I can learn more about this ‘organization’?

  69. Lawrence says:

    @Costner – FD was outed as a multiple-sock puppet offender & most likely banned for it. And yes, I searched as well & was unable to find any information on this “mythical” organization.

  70. Costner says:

    I see that he? was shown to be posting not only as Foster Dad, but also as Agnid, Daran, Dina, Scott Henkel, although I wasn’t sure if he was banned or not. Even if he were, it seems he is proficient and registering new names so I assume he would be back eventually.
    I just thought it was worth noting that anti-vaxxers feel the risks of a vaccine are more worthy of concern than the risks of the diseases that vaccines prevent. That is counter-intuitive and defies logic. It also is in direct conflict with the data we have showing the safety and efficacy of vaccinations.
    Thus, if he has information showing the risks of vaccination are more significant than the risks of contracting VPDs, I’d love to see it. (I fully understand this is asking for something that does not exist… which is sort of the point)
    As to the mythical organization, it seems that he was probably citing a group he formed in his basement in which he is acting president, vice-president, secretary, founder, and official dignitary. As far as I know, the CA foster system is well managed and has strict guidelines surrounding medical care for foster children. I can’t imagine that wouldn’t include vaccinations as they are required by CA state law (with few exceptions).
    Is it too much to ask for anti-vaxxers to be honest about the issues? Why the cloak and dagger routine? Why not just post as ONE person and defend their viewpoints with science and peer-reviewed data?

  71. Lawrence says:

    @Costner – I find some of them to be “honest” in their mistaken beliefs, but unable to provide actual proof (and there is a really horrible troll over at RI right now who truly believes that all autistics are actually “brain damaged” and a burden on society).
    I would like to see actual evidence to support their position, but it is difficult, because the Science just doesn’t exist…..

  72. As a pediatrician in southeast Tucson seeing a pertussis outbreak in the schools continue and increase since August (, I would like to say this law has to be one of the DUMBEST pieces of legislation ever passed. There are a lot of foster families here, and the possibility that there could now be a drug-exposed severely premature infant placed with such a family in the middle of a pertussis outbreak is INSANE.
    Chris Hickie, MD, PhD

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