Mommyish Poll: Is It ‘Too Easy’ For Parents To Opt Out Of Child Vaccinations?

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child vaccinationsHere at Mommyish, we’re revving up for back to school season. For many parents, this means an end of summer checklist that includes backpacks, books, notebooks — and vaccinations? That depends on who you’re talking to. Although children are still reportedly being vaccinated at high rates, all states provide various exceptions for parents opting out of vaccinations. But one bioethicist makes the case that it’s “too easy” to avoid getting your kids vaccinated, which puts many others at risk.

Dr. Arthur Caplan, the head of the Division of Medical Ethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, writes that Mississippi and West Virginia provide medical exceptions, such as if the child has an immune disease or is “violently” allergic to eggs. Some states also allow parents to decline vaccines for religious reasons. But once you get into states like Colorado, Washington, Maine, Texas, Vermont, Minnesota, and Arkansas, you have “philosophical” exemptions, in which parents can object for any reason. Dr. Caplan deems California “one of the easiest vaccine opt-outs in the nation,” as parents can refuse those vaccinations requirements for personal beliefs.

Keep in mind that pediatricians are now feeling compelled to “fire” families who do not comply with vaccination recommendations. Between whooping cough and measles being on the rise, specifically due to the anti-vaccine movement (researchers speculate), it’s no wonder that parents with their own “alternative” vaccination schedules are coming under fire. So with religion and medical exceptions taken off the table, do you think states should obliterate “philosophical” exemptions and the like for vaccines?

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(photo: Oleksiy Mark/ Shutterstock)