Meningitis vaccine battle could keep Lindenhurst student out of school

Posted: Updated:
LINDENHURST -

A Lindenhurst student who received orders from two doctors saying she shouldn't receive the state-required meningitis vaccine will be denied access to the high school unless she is vaccinated.

The girl's mother, Karen Jacobellis, told News 12 that medical records were submitted to the Lindenhurst Union Free School District, but it has so far denied the medical exemption.

Doctors say her daughter shouldn't receive the vaccine due to potential health problems it could cause her.

In a letter to the district, the state Health Department recommended against accepting the medical exemption but says the final determination is up to the school and/or the district. 

According to a letter from the district, the student was not supposed to be allowed in to school Tuesday, but the family was given one more day -- to either get more medical paperwork to the district for the medical exemption or get the student vaccinated.

She says she doesn't understand why the district won't accept the medical records that have already been provided.

"I'm being forced to decide between her health and her education," says Jacobellis. "She's entitled to both."

Superintendent of Lindenhurst Schools Daniel E. Giordano released a statement to News 12 saying, “Although the district does not comment on individual student matters, the district follows the recommendations made by the New York State Department of Health and guidance from medical experts when considering student vaccinations in order to ensure the health and wellbeing of each student and the entire student body.”

Jacobellis says she is prepared to sue the district if her daughter's medical exemption is not accepted.

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