Recent measles outbreaks in 18 states are prompting lawmakers in at least 10 states to make childhood vaccine exemptions more difficult to obtain, according to a recent Reuters report. The flare-ups—including the widely publicized Disneyland outbreak—have sickened more than 159 people to date, most of whom have never received the measles, mumps and rubella, or MMR vaccine.
The legislative move is drawing bipartisan support, with both Democrats and Republicans in various states introducing vaccination-promoting bills. The proposed laws differ in what they advocate (some seek to entirely eliminate philosophical and religious exemptions for vaccinations, while others aim to require schools to post their immunization rates), but they share a common mission: to make the path to vaccination exemption much tougher than it currently is.
Although Democrats and Republicans are sharing a rare moment of unity on the need for action, the vaccine issue remains an intensely divisive one among pro-vaxxers and anti-vaxxers, who share extremely different views on the subject of vaccination.
The pro-vaccination camp is the larger side of the two groups. According to a recentpoll almost 80 percent of Americans believe children should receive vaccinations. Their line of thinking is in agreement with established healthcare-related organizations, including the American Academy of Pediatrics, the American Nurses Association, the American Medical Association, the American School Health Association, the National Association for School Nurses, the Institute of Medicine, and the list goes on.
Anti-vaxxers don’t have much, if any, backing from medical or government establishments. But that doesn’t bother them, as they tend to view large groups telling them how to take care of their children with suspicion.
Their beliefs are widespread but, in general, many anti-vaxxers tend to believe:
Regardless of what side of the debate you fall onto, the enforcement of vaccination is sure to remain a relevant issue in today’s political and healthcare climate until decisive steps are taken in either direction.