State legislature passes bills which could affect national public health

Blakelee Sutton, Editor-in-Chief

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This past March, at least twenty states passed anti-vaccination bills to support the trend of people that choose not to vaccinate themselves or their children. Despite the recent outbreak of measles in America, state legislators continue to approve bills that would prevent these formerly-eliminated diseases from propagating.

Parents can now evade previous state-imposed vaccination criteria for reasons that could even include non-medical purposes. Doctors will also be required to notify their patients about the potential harms that could result from a vaccination as a result of these new laws.

Despite several studies conducted by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention that show the safety of vaccinations, the anti-vaccination movement continues to endure and is starting to gain legal support.
The passage of these laws has brought on much worry from many pediatricians, such as Dr. Sean O’Leary.

“They think they’re doing the right thing. The problem is, they’re basing their beliefs on misinformation and pseudoscience,” O’Leary said of parents who are deicing not to vaccinate their children.
Not just that, but the legislation has also gotten the attention of organizations such as The World Health Organization (WHO) and the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID). Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIAID, showed his concerns at a congressional hearing in February.

“I consider it really an irony that you have one of the most contagious viruses known to man juxtaposed against one of the most effective vaccines that we have and yet we don’t do, and have not done, what could be done, namely completely eliminate and eradicate this virus,” Fauci said.

The increase in anti-vaccination has been shown to lead to a decrease in vaccination coverage, which increases the chances of an outbreak of a vaccination-preventable diseases in the United States, according to a study done by PLOS Medicine done in 2018.

The passage of these bills speaks to a growing trend in America regarding our leniency towards the importance of vaccination and the compulsory need for them. Whether or not it continues throughout the rest of the country remains to be seen.