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Measles eruptions lead to more states limiting vaccine exemptions: shots

The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines protect children with a single shot against all three diseases.

Courtney Perry / The Washington Post / Getty Images

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Courtney Perry / The Washington Post / Getty Images

The measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines protect children with a single shot against all three diseases.

Courtney Perry / The Washington Post / Getty Images

Each US state requires most parents to vaccinate their children against certain preventable diseases, including measles, mumps, rubella, and coughing for school attendance. Such laws often apply to children in private schools and day-care institutions and in public schools.

However, in addition to medical exemptions, most states allow parents to leave this vaccination requirement for religious reasons. And seventeen states allow other exemptions – allowing families to leave school vaccination for personal or philosophical reasons.

Michelle Mello, Professor of Law and Health Research and Policy at Stanford University, says that the reference to exemption from vaccine requirements is very low in many countries. "You can make sure that the vaccines do not work or are unsafe, or simply fly with their parenting philosophy," he says.

But this winter turnaround problem brings many exceptions through the nation: At least eight states, including some who have experienced measles eruption this year, want to remove measles vaccination. And some States to abolish all vaccines.

The majority of this year's measles were among children who were not vaccinated against the virus.

As eliminated in the United States, measles has suffered at least 159 people since the beginning of 2019, according to disease prevention and prevention centers, between Washington and Oregon, Texas and New York. Last year, 372 reported the national case of measles.

Diane Peterson has good news about tightening vaccination requirements among state lawmakers. The Immunization Action Coalition is the co-director of immunization projects.

"The measles are not like an ordinary cold," says Peterson. "Children can be very, very sick and hospitalized," he says, adding that measles can even lead to death.

The virus is very infectious, airborne and easily spread. It can survive in the air for a few hours.

"The measles patient goes to the doctor, coughs in the test room, and two hours later, another patient coming to the same exam room may be infected," says Peterson.

The virus spreads rapidly this winter because it is "pockets of unvaccinated children, primarily because of parents who have decided not to vaccinate them."

Not only does the unvaccinated schoolchildren feel sensitive to the virus, but also many adults who have suppressed the immune system and infants who cannot be vaccinated enough.

According to the Association of State and Territorial Health Officials, the bill on the restriction of exemptions is in progress in more and more states.

It is not at all with activists who want their state to maintain personal and philosophical immunity.

"No one can sit in the judgment of another person's religious and spiritual convictions," says Barbara Loe Fisher, spokesperson for the National Vaccination Information Center, a group that fights against compulsory vaccination and thinks parents have a choice. "No one should be allowed to violate his or her conscience when deciding on the use of a pharmacological product that endangers harm."

The scientific consensus on the risks associated with vaccines is that severe side effects are extremely rare. For years, the proposal that immunization can have serious consequences, such as autism, has been withdrawn.

Mello, Professor at Stanford, who followed the immunity debate. notes that the courts have repeatedly held that, where public health intervention is necessary to protect public health, individuals should, as a general rule, give up personal freedom, especially if this freedom is linked to a government benefit such as a public school.

So far, only three states – Mississippi, West Virginia and California – prohibit almost all vaccine exemptions, including those that relieve families of religious beliefs. (All states allow medical relief if, for example, a child has a damaged immune system.)

The California State Legislator made this decision in 2015, less than a year after the state experienced a major measles outbreak, which was ranked first among the unvaccinated children visiting Disneyland.

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