US May Lose Measles Elimination Status Due to Ongoing Outbreaks
|Tuesday, Sep. 10, 2019 | Author: ProCon.org | MORE HEADLINES|
Source: Alex Nowrasteh, "Most Immigrants Are Better Vaccinated Than Americans," fee.org, July 12, 2016
A study of children born in New York between Jan. 1, 2009 and Aug. 14, 2011 found that nearly one in four did not follow the vaccine schedule recommended by the CDC. Some parents say they should be able to choose what is best for their children rather than follow a state vaccine mandate. Actress Jessica Biel, for example, stated, "I support children getting vaccinations and I also support families having the right to make educated medical decisions for their children alongside their physicians... because I believe in giving doctors and the families they treat the ability to decide what's best for their patients and the ability to provide that treatment."
Some states have responded to measles outbreaks and dropping vaccination rates with stricter exemption laws. California Governor Gavin Newsom signed SB-276 into law on Sep. 9, 2019, which will supervise doctors who give medical exemptions for vaccines more closely in an effort to reduce fraudulent medical exemptions. California does not allow for personal or religious exemptions.
The United States is not alone in the resurgence of measles. The United Kingdom lost its measles-elimination status in Aug. 2019. In a blog post, Public Health England stated, "Elimination can only be sustained by maintaining and improving coverage of the MMR vaccine. Losing the elimination status is a stark reminder of how important it is that every eligible person gets vaccinated. It provides an opportunity to raise awareness of the potential risks posed by measles, the importance of vaccination and timely reporting of suspected cases to limit further spread."
Two other countries, Venezuela and Brazil, have lost elimination status in the past two years. WHO provisional data for Jan. 1, 2019 through July 31, 2019 shows 364,808 cases of measles from 182 countries, more cases than any year since 2006. For the same six-month period last year, 129,239 cases were reported from 181 countries.
|Discussion Questions - Things to Think About|
|1. Should states mandate vaccines for public school kids? Private school kids? Why or why not?
2. Should parents be able to decide on the best vaccine schedule for their own kids? Why or why not?
3. Should kids be allowed to get vaccinated without their parents' permission? At what age could they make that choice?