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--- Michael Myer on vaccines and the Ferns bill

Published by waner in vaccine bill · 2/2/2015 17:11:11
Tags: vaccinesFerns

Myer devotes most of his Saturday column to it:

It's a good bill - one that, in important ways, actually could offer more protection against childhood diseases.

Here's why: First, the measure streamlines the process by which parents can get medical exemptions for their children. In essence, a doctor's signature would be enough - as it should be.


Sorry Michael, nowhere in your "here’s why" do you explain how Fern’s bill "could offer more protection against childhood diseases." And a doctor’s signature is all you need? Wouldn’t that lead to doctor shopping?

Second, the bill provides a religious exemption - something that, in my opinion, the courts might eventually order us to do anyway.


How about some evidence that the courts are even considering this?  I couldn’t find any.

But getting a religious exemption would not be easy. Parents seeking it would have to attend educational programs explaining why immunization is a good thing. Then, they would have to submit forms asking for the exemption - and identifying the organized religion involved.


Myer is almost always against government programs especially when they mandate personal behavior but here he is willing to support a bill that requires forms and parental attendance because Republican Ryan Ferns is its sponsor. (Put another way – do you think that there is any chance that Myer would support this if President Obama proposed it? I don’t think so.)


Finally, there's a fail-safe provision to ensure not too many children in a given school or daycare center are not immunized. It stipulates that if fewer than 99 percent of youngsters at a given site are not immunized, no more religious exemptions would be permitted.


Yes, more bureaucracy and a reward to parents who are first in line for the exemption because, according to how this bill is structured, they’re the only ones who deserve it.

In researching this topic I came across an interesting map from the Council on Foreign Relations. The map documents the outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. If you view the map you will notice very few states without any outbreaks for the period studied (2008-2015). Two of those states with no outbreaks are West Virginia and Mississippi, which are the only two states that do not permit religious exemptions. (Compare, for example, West Virginia with Ohio, which does allow religious exemptions.)

Also while researching the story I found that "the Center for Disease Control is very concerned about the potential for large measles outbreak."  Finally, it appears to have become an issue that  Republicans are going to push: "Chris Christie: Parents Should Have 'Some Measure Of Choice' On Vaccinating Their Children." Toss in their stand on climate change and the Ebola virus – who knows, maybe the Republicans win run as the anti-science party.



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