Measles, Chickenpox, and Other Preventable Diseases: Why Stricter Vaccine Exemptions Are a Must-Proposed Legislation For Stricter Vaccine Exemption Standards
27 Pages Posted: 10 Sep 2020
Date Written: December 10, 2019
The outbreak of measles in 2019 was the largest measles outbreak since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention declared it eliminated in 2000. With measles and other vaccine-preventable diseases on the rise, there is growing concern that vulnerable populations will be exposed to these diseases, which can lead to death. One major factor in this increase is the lackadaisical vaccine exemption policies that are implemented in the United States. If vaccine exemption policies were more like those of states that have lower exemption rates and included some inquiry into the sincerity and genuineness of the requesting parent’s religious beliefs, then it is likely vaccine-preventable disease outbreaks would decline.
This Note looks to how different states through their state statutes implement vaccine exemption policies and then analyzes each state’s vaccination statistics. By using this empirical data and comparing state statutes, this Note determines which state vaccine exemption policies are the most effective in ensuring the health of the public. This Note advocates for a model state statute that incorporates the most effective state policies and includes inquiries into vaccine exemption requests, thus creating a more stringent standard in order to make vaccine exemptions less obtainable for those who do not truly need them. In implementing said policy, the population of the United States would achieve herd immunity and thus decrease or eliminate any outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases.
Keywords: vaccine; vaccine exemption; disease; vaccines; public health; legislation
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