Remove unfounded religious and belief exemptions from mandatory childhood vaccine programs
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An amendment to Minnesota Statutes 2014, section 121A.15, subdivision 3 to modify exemption procedures related to immunizations by removing exemptions for religious and philosophical beliefs was being considered but died in committee. I think that such an amendment is necessary to raise vaccination rates in our communities and to establish "herd immunity." Without high vaccination rates, the public is at risk to outbreaks of preventable disease, especially those who are unable to be vaccinated due to medical reasons.
I have found in my research that many religious leaders from major religions, such as Islam and Judaism, have approved immunizations and ingredients of immunizations as not contradicting any religious mandate.
Not only that, but the state stands to save billions of dollars in healthcare costs if all vaccine-preventable diseases are prevented.
Additionally, with the recent outbreak of measles in the Somali community of Minnesota, I believe that public vaccine education programs need to be a part of our state's medical program, as the likely cause of the measles outbreak is "bad information" from anti-vaccine groups which frightened families into choosing to not vaccinate against deadly diseases.
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