According to CNN, FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said that the federal government might step in if states continue to allow children to attend school without their vaccine shots. This news comes as we are suffering from the largest measles outbreak in decades.
Nearly all states allow children to attend school even if their parents opt out of vaccines. These vaccine exemptions are especially popular in Washington state, where a measles outbreak started last month that has now sickened at least 67 people in four states. And New York has been working to contain its largest outbreak in decades, which began in October and has sickened more than 200 people.
According to FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb, “Some states are engaging in such wide exemptions that they’re creating the opportunity for outbreaks on a scale that is going to have national implications. If certain states continue down the path that they’re on, I think they’re going to force the hand of the federal health agencies.”
Forty-seven states now allow parents to opt out of childhood vaccines for religious reasons. Of those forty-seven, 17 of them allow parents to opt out because they feel that vaccines violate their personal or philosophical beliefs.
On Tuesday, Gottlieb sent a letter to the US Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams to ramp up efforts to address parents who are hesitant to vaccinate their children.
“As our nation’s doctor, I urge you to issue a call to action on vaccine hesitancy in the United States and make this crisis a public health priority. Our nation requires your leadership to stop this attack on our nation’s health by addressing the spread of vaccine misinformation causing unwarranted vaccine hesitancy. The data tells us that that states with broader exemption laws have higher numbers of unvaccinated residents, which predisposes them to outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases like measles.”
What do you think of the current vaccination crisis in America?