How might laws on mandatory immunizations change in 2015?
It is the time of year when state lawmakers submit bills for evaluation, discussion and enactment. Mandatory immunization -- whether the person to be immunized is a child or a health care worker -- is controversial. All states currently have some requirement that school children be vaccinated before they can attend class. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control recommends that all health care workers be immunized against certain diseases. Some states allow employers of health care workers to require immunization as a condition of employment. Some parents and some health care workers do not want to be forced into immunizing children or being immunized.
The arguments for and against mandatory immunization have been covered extensively in the news media. Briefly, the proponents of mandatory immunization say:
The opponents of mandatory immunization say:
The pharmaceutical industry cannot be trusted to come up with effective vaccines which won't harm the recipient.
In 2015, state legislators will be taking another look at this issue. Here are some of the ways state laws may change:
The current requirements and possible exemptions in each state are found at U.S. Centers for Disease Control, "School Vaccination Requirements, Exemptions & Web links" at http://www2a.cdc.gov/nip/schoolsurv/schImmRqmt.asp and "State Immunization Laws for Healthcare Workers and Patients at http://www2a.cdc.gov/vaccines/statevaccsApp/default.asp.
From a public health perspective, The American Association of Nurse Attorneys supports mandatory immunizations. TAANA also urges every individual to review the laws of his or her state, consider the pros and cons of mandatory immunization and call, e-mail or write the state senator or representative to express an opinion.