Del. Homeschoolers Feel 'Left Out' by H1N1 Vaccine Program - WBOC-TV 16, Delmarvas News Leader, FOX 21 -

Reported by Michael Lopardi

Del. Homeschoolers Feel 'Left Out' by H1N1 Vaccine Program

Updated:
Homeschooler Richard Scrivani is shown with his father Lou Scrivani. (Photo: WBOC) Homeschooler Richard Scrivani is shown with his father Lou Scrivani. (Photo: WBOC)

FRANKFORD, Del.- As vaccinations for H1N1 are given out to elementary students across Delaware, some parents of homeschooled students say they feel left out.

Richard Scrivani of Frankford gets homework like most 14-year-olds, except his kitchen is also his classroom. Parents of the homeschooled student said they were upset when the Indian River School District denied their request to include Richard in the vaccination program.

"Every student, whether homeschooled or attending the school district, should be included in the program if it's intended to work," said father Lou Scrivani.

The school district said it had no choice but to deny the Scrivani's request, noting it must follow guidelines sent down by the state, district spokesman David Maull said.

On Monday, the Delaware Division of Public Health confirmed that homeschooled students cannot receive the vaccine through their home district. Division Director Dr. Karyl Rattay said she understands the frustration of homeschool parents, but said the state is focusing on public schools in an effort to vaccinate as many students as quickly as possible. Private schools are scheduled to receive the vaccine after public schools, but homeschoolers are not on the list, Rattay said.

Rattay said homeschooled students could probably get the vaccine faster through their primary doctor. If their doctor is out of doses or not participating in the program, more public clinics are expected in upcoming weeks, Rattay said.

"I feel that homeschoolers are being left out and that's incorrect," said Allison Scrivani, who says homeschooling her son is more than a fulltime job.

While some may think they're isolated from their peers, parents of homeschoolers argue homeschooled children are just as susceptible to transferring H1N1.

"They interact with other children on the block, they go to rec programs," said Lou Scrivani.

The Scrivani family isn't alone. Figures from the Delaware Department of Education show there are more than 2,500 homeschooled children in Delaware in 2009. The couple said they are not advocating for the vaccine, but they feel parents of homeschoolers should at least have the option.

Rattay said the state expects to vaccinate roughly 1,000 students across Delaware each day. Logistically speaking, she said it's a huge task and the state is trying to complete it as quickly as possible.

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