The reason I ask: a friend of mine, a mother with some young children, recently told me that she has "tons of friends" who have been affected by the various vaccine scares and have chosen to not vaccinate their kids. The majority of these kids attend local public schools. This got me interested in the whole issue, and I began researching it.
According to my reading, at present time, 48 states (minus WV and MS) provide both a religious exemption and a philosophical exemption for parents who do not want to vaccinate their children. However, I have spent quite a bit of time lurking on anti-vaxer sites reading posts, and I have seen quite a few places where AV parents are seeking advice on how best to falsify school vax forms because they feel that would be "a more durable solution" than openly taking the exemption.
This made me curious as to the extent to which these forms are being falsified. Of course, in order to answer this question, one would have to get ahold of the actual school forms and call the doctors listed by the parents to verify the vax. Obviously this couldn't be done by just a concerned citizen like myself because it would violate doctor-patient confidentiality. I doubt even the school nurse could do it.
If the above is true, then that means that probably the only authority that could perform such a verification would be the state dept of health or pediatrics licensing board. And further, it follows that if such a governing body DID have such a program in place in my state, it would make sense that they would advertise that fact to deter parents who were tempted to try to falsify school vax records. Several hours of internet searching turned up no evidence of such a program in my state.
My next step was to send emails to various officials at my state dept of health and board of pediatrics inquiring about whether or not they performed the verification. I have sent several dozen emails and to date have received zero replies.
Now, it is possible that:
1) there is such a verification program in my state
2) for whatever reason it is not advertised whatsoever by any state agency
3) every single one of the officials i emailed are simply too busy to respond.
It's possible. However, after thinking about this for several months, I have come to the conclusion that it is much more likely that the answer is that there is no such program in place, that the officials I have contacted have assumed that I am an anti-vaxer sneakily looking to determine whether I will get caught falsifying my kid's school vax records, and that their policy is to ignore such questions so as not to advertise the fact that the system has no way to catch falsified records.
If you are a pediatrician anywhere in the US, or any other doctor with something to add, I would greatly appreciate any input or insight you could offer me on this issue. Thanks!