By: Krystle Crossman
The news about the measles outbreak at Disneyland in California spread quickly, almost as quickly as the measles did! But there was another outbreak that was not as publicized. In Chicago, five babies were diagnosed with the measles while they were in daycare. Another 10 children that had not been vaccinated were exposed to the disease. Lawmakers are now rushing to make it harder for parents to opt out of having their children have vaccinations. The recent outbreak has spread over 12 states, many of them West Coast states, and has made 120 people sick.
There are certain vaccinations that are required in all states upon entering public school. These vaccinations include; rubella, mumps, polio, and tetanus. There are some medical reasons that children cannot have these vaccinations such as a compromised immune system. But some parents do not want their children to have vaccinations for personal reasons such as they don’t believe in Western medicine, they feel that vaccinations may give their children Autism, or it is against their religion. There are 20 states that allow personal exemptions from these vaccinations. That number may be lower very soon.
Three states that are rallying to make it harder to opt out of the vaccinations are California, Washington, and Oregon. These three states were hit hard with the latest measles outbreak. The Senator in Oregon, Senator Elizabeth Hayward, states that she does not want her children around un-immunized children. She says that these are very preventable diseases. The lawmakers in California are proposing a law that states that every child must be vaccinated before entering a public school unless their life would be threatened by doing so. Oregon has a law in place currently that states that if parents opt their children out of vaccinations they must either watch a movie about the dangers of not vaccinating your children or they must get a doctor’s signature. Oregon also has one of the lowest immunization rates in the country.
With new laws going into place in several states that will make it much harder for parents to opt out, it makes you wonder if more children will become home-schooled as a result.