'I Give A Damn!' – Leukemic Marin 1st Grader Pleads For Ban On Unvaccinated Children In Schools
TIBURON (KPIX 5) -- A first grader with Leukemia plead with school board members in Tiburon Tuesday night to get all children vaccinated against the measles.
By the end of the night, the Reed Union School Board in Marin County voted to support state legislation that would scrap the personal belief exemption -- a big win for a 7-year-old with a lot of fight still in him.
"My name is Rhett, and I give a damn!" he said, while standing on top of a chair to reach the podium microphone.
Marin County has some of the state's highest rate of kids that haven't been vaccinated for measles.
"Soon, we will say gone with the measles," Rhett Krawitt said. The 7-year-old's fragile body prevents him from getting the measles vaccine. Others have to do it for him to build a kind of protection known as herd immunity.
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The Krawitt family stood alongside their son Tuesday to encourage the school board in supporting the exemption ban. The exemption currently allows parents to enroll their children at schools without the required vaccinations.
"Herd immunity is real science. It keeps our children from getting sick," said Rhett's dad, Karl Krawitt.
Many at Tuesday's meeting were pro-vaccine and want to see the personal belief exemption gone. John Mini was the exception and decided to not give his daughter the measles vaccine.
"You never know which child is going to be harmed by the vaccine," he said. "The herd effect is something that is highly questionable."
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With one dissenting vote, the school district's Board of Trustees supported the state scrapping the personal belief exemption.
State Senator Richard Pan is drafting a bill in Sacramento to do the same statewide. If it passes, California will join 33 other states that do not allow personal belief exemptions.
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