Amend The Minnesota State Immunization Law to only allow medical exemptions

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Stories of foreign illness and disease reach American homes through the television as families sit in their living rooms watching the news, often untouched by the harm these stories tell of. However, one of these stories made it past CNN, ending up right on Minnesota’s doorstep. “In 2017, Minnesota battled its largest measles outbreak in nearly 30 years, with 79 cases, most of them Somali-American children in Minneapolis.” (Belluz, 2017). Measles, a disease previously eradicated nationwide, spread through Minnesota. Reduced vaccination rates are heavily credited for this outbreak. “More than 80 percent of the cases in Minnesota involved unvaccinated Somali-American kids, whose parents had long been the targets of anti-vaccine propagandists, according to the state health department.” (Belluz, 2017). Events like these can lead to hospitalization, contagion, financial setbacks, harm, and fatality. More often than not, these outcomes occur among children. “Since the outbreak, at least 8,250 people have been exposed to the measles virus in Minnesota, mostly in schools, child-care settings or health-care settings, and there have been 21 hospitalizations,” (Howard, 2017). Similar outbreaks have occurred elsewhere throughout the nation, one state being California. Vaccine preventable diseases persist in society as a result of inadequate vaccination rates. In order to prevent outbreaks like these and protect public safety, immunization laws must be amended to uphold tighter restrictions regarding vaccine exemption.

The Minnesota State Legislature should amend The Minnesota State Immunization Law (by changing Subdivision 3: Exemptions from immunizations) to only allow exemption from immunization for medical reasons because it would yield a healthier and safer population, and produce economic benefits through money saved in medical treatment and productivity loss prevention

  • Vaccines annually prevent almost 6 million deaths worldwide
  • A study in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology determined the odds a vaccine will cause harm is 1.31 in a million
  • Between 2011 and 2020 vaccines will save $586 billion
  • Studies show that immunized children find more success in school
  • Studies linking autism and immunization have been falsified
  • Like the measles outbreak in Minnesota, diseases that vaccines were created to combat are susceptible to resurge if vaccination is not consistent