A dispute involving vaccination guidelines led to an 8-year-old Long Island girl to be kicked out of school amid questions from her mother, WCBS-TV reported on Tuesday.
Officials at Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach School at expelled third-grader Ceili McNicholas after her mother refused to allow her to receive a whooping cough booster shot. The state education department recently ordered any students who had not received the tetanus diphtheria pertussis (T-Dap) vaccine series by the age of 6 to get the booster in order to prevent future outbreaks. As a result, she was sent home from school on Monday.
But the girl’s mother, Jamie McNicholas, objected, citing concerns from her family pediatrician and other health providers. WCBS said other parents objected to the booster shot rules.
“Not one of them said that they felt comfortable giving that vaccine to kids under 10,” Jamie McNicholas said. “I’m not against vaccinating. I am against age-inappropriate vaccinating.”
WNBC-TV reported that the booster shot guidelines were implemented in March, per a recommendation from the state health department. That recommendation was based on the Centers for Disease Control’s ruling that the booster is safe for children between the ages of 7 and 10. But according to the Food and Drug Administration, the shot should not be administered before the age of 10.
Officials at the Miller Place School District, which oversees Laddie A. Decker Sound Beach, said in a statement that they understood Jamie McNicholas’ frustration but had to follow the new guidelines.
“The Miller Place School District is required and obligated to follow all of the rules and regulations of the State of New York on all matters including children’s health,” the statement read. “Questions and concerns about this issue should be raised with the New York State Department of Education and the Suffolk County Department of Health.”
McNicholas has begun home-schooling the girl and has started an online petition calling for her reinstatement.
Watch WCBS’ report, as aired on Tuesday, below.