Can we create a federal mandate for vaccinations?

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vaccineWithin the past month there has been a heated debate about immunizations due to the recent measles outbreak. Due to this, there has been a rise in the debate regarding federally mandated vaccinations. According to the American Academy of Pediatrics 74% of pediatricians have reported having parents who refused or delayed a vaccine. Despite this alarming number, the current Obama administration has not stood by the potential legislation for a federal mandate for vaccinations.

Current legislation for vaccinations varies from state to state with varying exemptions. Approximately 20 states have exemptions due to personal or moral principles, making this an increasingly difficult issue to combat. According to the current presidential administration, there is no need for a federal mandate, as parents should have enough “common sense” to vaccinate their children. Yet, due to the overwhelming statistics and recent outbreaks, this does not seem to be a feasible notion to rely upon.

If the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices (ACIP) can support a federal mandate for healthcare workers to be vaccinated against influenza, why can’t there be encouragement for a mandate for parents to vaccinate their children to prevent more catastrophic outbreaks? There appears to be a great amount of discrepancy in the beliefs the government is trying to enforce and the desires of federally funded organizations, such as the Centers of Disease Control. Now is the time, before an even greater outbreak takes the nation, to band together and enforce legislation for federally mandated immunizations.

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3 Responses to “Can we create a federal mandate for vaccinations?”

  1. mayasvenkat Says:

    Watching the current events unfold in our country, I agree wholeheartedly that there needs to be some means through which there is some accountability for choosing not to vaccinate one’s children- regardless of reason. As we know, vaccination is not only about protecting an individual, but the public as a whole. The decision not to vaccinate thus is not as “individual” a decision as it has been framed historically. It is one that has ramifications for the safety of the public.
    And just as with drunk driving or smoking in public places, all activities borne out of “individual” decisions that we legally place restrictions on for the public good, I believe there must be ramifications in place for those who are not vaccinated. Whether this is done through a clear mandate (that would then impose restrictions on those not vaccinated- as in restricting their ability to attend schools or public events or requiring these individuals to wear masks when out in public) or by introducing these measures independent of a mandate (which may be harder to do!), I strongly believe that it needs to be done.

  2. iramhaq6 Says:

    I completely agree that their should be further regulations that are implemented regarding vaccination of children especially in response to recent events where several people were infected with measles. Not vaccinating your child is not only putting them at risk but it putting other children at risk you are not of age to receive vaccination yet. This is extremely unfair and should not be taken lightly. If you choose to not vaccinate your child there should be some sort of system in place that can hold the parents responsible in the even that others become infected via their child.
    In most situations “personal or moral beliefs” are not adequate reasons to put the life of others in danger. In watching the news and seeing and hearing about all the heinous things that happen not only around the world but here in the US as well I think leaving choices up to the public based on the fact that they appear to be “common sense” is a moot point.

  3. solboricua18 Says:

    I agree completely in this issue. As a physician I see some of the disparities that arise in health care, the majority of which are based on poor communication between physicians and patients. I feel that due the proper implementation and development of vaccines against life threatening diseases the patient community has not seen the importance against vaccination and some of the problems that could arise if they do not vaccinate their children. There is no doubt that this issue would not have gotten any media attention if it was during the development of vaccines against life threatening diseases that were common in the past. Unfortunately parents have placed incorrect priorities in the importance of health of their children. The do not mind if they feed their children GMO foods but they complain if they are being immunized against a life threatening condition. I understand the importance of vaccination but government enforcement will only come when the diseases become rampant and could face to affect thousands. Until that happens it is unlikely that the government will intervene.

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