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Louisiana family alleges Ochsner vaccinated minors without parental permission at mobile clinic

WDSU New Orleans logo WDSU New Orleans 10/23/2021

Ochsner is reviewing its mobile unit vaccination procedures after it was reported that a student was vaccinated against COVID-19 without a parent's consent.

A statement issued by a lawyer representing a family of a student who attended East Jefferson High School and was vaccinated said several minors were vaccinated without their parent's permission, including their client.

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The statement read:

"On October 20, 2021, a mobile Ochsner vaccine unit was on the campus of East Jefferson High School.

"Unfortunately, several minors were vaccinated without the consent/authorization of their parents.

"One of those students was the son of Jennifer Ravain, a Kenner, LA resident. Mrs. Ravain and her son are represented by G. Shelly Maturin, II of the Law Offices of G. Shelly Maturin, II, L.L.C in Lafayette, LA.

"According to Mr. Maturin, 'The egregious and reckless actions of Ochsner and East Jefferson High School went well beyond any legal or moral bounds and at a minimum, constitute a battery upon the minor child.'

"Their actions should shock the conscience of all citizens of Louisiana, and every legal avenue will be pursued to make sure that justice is served.

"Hopefully, this type of lawless behavior will stop immediately, and no other parents or children will have to go through this nightmare.”

Ochsner issued the following statement regarding the vaccinations:

“Ochsner Health has worked closely with schools throughout the COVID-19 pandemic to keep faculty and students safe in the classroom and beyond, and we have been invited by schools to provide on-site vaccinations since the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) approved the Pfizer vaccine for adolescents ages 12-17.

"While we firmly believe in vaccinating adolescents to keep them safe from COVID-19, this should be done only with parental consent. Our team has been notified that a student was vaccinated without proper parental consent at a school vaccination event on October 20, 2021.

"We have procedures in place to ensure that all policies are followed; however, in this instance, this did not occur. We have taken immediate action to review our on-site vaccination policies and to ensure that these policies will be strictly enforced moving forward.

"As a leading healthcare provider in this community, we value the trust that parents put in us to care for their children, and we are revising our school vaccination program to ensure that this does not happen again.

"We are in communication with the parent who brought this to our attention. We offer our sincere regret and apology for any distress this has caused, Robert Hart, MD, Chief Medical Officer, Ochsner Health."

WDSU spoke with parents in Jefferson Parish on the matter.

Danielle Woods has a 14-year-old son that attends Haynes Academy.

She said, "If something were to happen to my child that he signed for or they allowed him to do, without my consent... Who is going to be responsible for any medical bills for the rest of his life, if something were to happen? "

"It would be so gut-wrenching if something like that happened to my child. I feel for the parent that happened to," said Jessica Pedalino. Her child attends a school in Jefferson Parish.

Jefferson Parish Schools released a statement in response to the allegations:

“Today, we were made aware of an incident that occurred this week during a vaccine event held by Ochsner Health, whereby a student received a vaccine without parental consent. Ochsner Health officials have informed us that they are conducting a thorough investigation of the vaccine event to ensure this was an isolated incident and does not occur again.

We believe that broad participation in vaccinations reduces the risk of COVID-19 transmission and is essential to keeping our schools and community safe and healthy. Jefferson Parish Schools has partnered with multiple healthcare partners to provide vaccination opportunities to eligible employees and students since vaccines first became available. Our standard operating procedures include obtaining written consent from a parent or legal guardian prior to a student receiving the vaccine during an event conducted at one of our schools.

We will continue to work with Ochsner Health and our other healthcare partners to ensure vaccination events conducted on our campuses follow this process.”

READ THE FULL STORY:Louisiana family alleges Ochsner vaccinated minors without parental permission at mobile clinic

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