Bills eliminating school immunizations and other anti-vaccination measures confront state legislatures
Bills eliminating school immunizations and expanding exemptions are pending in state legislatures. Other state bills strengthen immunization requirements by eliminating exemptions, among other measures. An anti-vaccination misinformation campaign is underway to influence legislators' votes.
More parents are seeking to avoid childhood vaccinations in states that allow nonmedical exemptions. These "hotspots" of decreasing vaccination rates, some of which include large urban cities, are likely locations for future outbreaks of preventable disease.
Bills to eliminate, as well as to add, non-medical exemptions to school vaccination requirements are pending in state legislatures. Some bills make harder to claim an exemption. Others discourage vaccination by requiring “misinformed consent" and weakening public health officials' ability to act.
California has passed SB 277 into law. Beginning in the 2016-2017 school year, SB 277 will eliminate personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements. This will benefit the health of California schoolchildren, but the law is not perfect and already antivaxers are looking for loopholes.
California is about to pass a law that would eliminate personal belief exemptions to school vaccine requirements. The antivaccine movement is losing its collective mind over it. Let's just say that Holocaust analogies are flying fast and furious.
In a recent post I shared a bit of my personal, near-death experience with measles during the US epidemic of 1989-1991. As I describe in that post, I contracted a very serious measles infection at the end of medical school, and was highly infectious when I interviewed for a residency position at Seattle Children’s Hospital. Like others my age who received an...