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(NT) The vaccination debate in the US (Pre-pandemic)

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Vaccination debate

By Scottie Andrew, CNN

Original Article here: https://www.cnn.com/2020/01/18/health/vaccine-laws-exemption-2020-trnd/index.html

(CNN) – At a time when almost everything is politicized, vaccination has planted itself squarely on the national stage.

On one side of the debate are parents who are rebelling against settled science and calling on states to broaden vaccine exemptions. They cite their faith or believe vaccines pose danger to their children, even though no major religion opposes them and claims of vaccines’ link to autism has been long debunked.

On the other, are public health officials who point to unprecedented measles outbreaks that have sickened thousands in the US as proof that vaccine exemptions cause health crises. They’re calling on states to eliminate exemptions entirely.

With 2020 legislative sessions kicking off in most states this month, this push and pull between science and skepticism is playing out across the country. More and more lawmakers are proposing bills, seeking to either boost or limit, mandatory vaccinations for schoolchildren.

“I won’t be surprised if we see many pro-vaccine bills this year,” said Dr. Sean O’Leary, a member of the American Academy of Pediatrics Committee on Infectious Diseases. “The measles outbreaks were really a wake-up call, showing legislators that maintaining high vaccination rates is not just a theoretical goal.”

In 2019, lawmakers proposed more than 300 vaccine-related bills — a huge jump from previous years. One study found that from 2001 to 2017, state legislators proposed a total of 175 vaccine-related bills.

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