Boy denied from schools over flu shot dispute

January 7, 2013 2:33:53 PM PST
A 4-year-old is caught in the middle and unable to go to school all because his parents say he can't have a flu shot.

New Jersey law requires it, but the boy has an egg allergy and his parents say the shot could pose a danger.

All of this comes at a time when the flu is raging in New Jersey.

Little Jeremy Pereira was turned-away from school again Monday.

He was forced to stay home because his parents have refused to give him a flu shot.

"You have to have the shot, period, that's it," said Alyssa Pereira, Jeremy's mother.

Administrators at the Edward Watson School say New Jersey State law is clear; all children six months to five years old must be vaccinated against the flu to be eligible for licensed daycare or Pre-K.

His parents say the problem is that shortly after he was born, Jeremy was diagnosed with an egg-allergy. Eggs are a component in flu vaccine.

The law makes allowances for people with severe allergies, but the Pereira's say Jeremy's doctors want him to try the vaccine before they will issue an exemption.

"They said, 'See what happens,'" Alyssa Pereira said.

In fact, new research indicates it is probably perfectly safe.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, "Generally, egg allergic patients can safely receive. Individuals with a history of severe (life threatening) allergy to eating eggs should consult with a specialist."

For the moment, it's a risk the Pereira's are unwilling to take.

"I can't imagine doing that to my child," said Joe Pereira, Jeremy's father.

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