Background: Parents send their children to camp and assume that they will enjoy themselves, benefit positive social interactions, learn from the rich Jewish environment and, most importantly, be safe and healthy. Safety and public health remain the number one priority for Tamarack Camps. Each year, the American Academy of Pediatrics publishes a “Recommended Childhood and Adolescent Immunization Schedule.” Practicing pediatricians across North America consider this the standard of care. In addition, the Centers of Disease Control (CDC) has established vaccine standards for adults. The vaccination of all members of a community creates conditions that protect young children, babies, the elderly, pregnant women, and those who cannot be immunized from harmful and life-threatening diseases.
While parents may choose to defer the vaccination of their children, for Tamarack Camps this is not an issue of individual rights and choice, but an issue of public health and policy. Routine vaccination is an important public health matter especially in the confined environment of a residential summer camp with round-the-clock communal living and with some vulnerable populations present.
Given the overriding Jewish value of Pikuach Nefesh (saving a life), that puts a premium on maintaining health, including taking preventive measures, along with the clear public health based need to protect the camp community as a whole, and those unable to receive vaccines in particular, we are requiring that all campers, staff, artists in residence, volunteers, doctors, nurses, and their families planning to attend/participate in any Tamarack Camps program be immunized as outlined below.
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ALL THOSE WHO ARE ATTENDING/PARTICIPATING IN A TAMARACK CAMPS PROGRAM AT CAMP MAAS, AGREE OR KENNEDY OUTPOSTS, OR ON A WESTERN/ALASKA/ISRAEL TRAVEL TRIP (including staff kids, artist in residents, doctors, nurses, and their families, etc) ARE REQUIRED TO PROVIDE DOCUMENTATION THEY HAVE HAD AGE APPROPRIATE VACCINES as recommended by the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), and the State of Michigan (see charts below), with the exceptions noted.
Participants or staff over age 21 who are not able to provide documentation, will be required to sign an affidavit indicating that to the best of their knowledge, they have either received their childhood vaccines or contracted the diseases.
Policy Exceptions: We recognize that individuals, who have had a documented allergy or severe adverse reaction to a particular vaccine, will not be able to receive further doses of that individual vaccine. In addition, individuals with medical conditions such as congenital immunodeficiency or HIV, malignancies receiving chemotherapy, transplant patients, and persons receiving immunosuppressive drugs and chronic steroids, will not be able to receive certain vaccines. In these instances, the primary care provider documenting the problem and exempting the child from further doses of that specific vaccine must be furnished to Tamarack Camps, and it will be reviewed by the medical committee. These waivers are subject to an annual review.
This policy will be enforced in accordance with all applicable local, state, and federal laws. In no way should this policy be interpreted to violate the laws of the State of Michigan or regulations affecting licensed Residential Child Camps within the state.
Please note that the Hepatitis A and HPV vaccines are strongly recommended.
If, as an infant, your child did not receive standard immunizations – please follow the CDC catch up schedule.
Should you have any questions please email Roberta Blumberg, Director, Health & Safety, at Blumberg@tamarackcamps.com.