Measles outbreak reawakens vaccination debate

Michael McShane
Staff Writer

With a rise in cases of measles in multiple states in the country, the debate over vaccinations and the argument over whether they should be mandatory has come back into the limelight.

The Center for Disease Control reports that, as of 2019, 206 reported cases of measles have effected 11 states. In the state of Washington alone, 71 people have been afflicted and a state of emergency has been called to combat the disease.

Many are believing 2019 is becoming one of the worst years in measles cases if the current trend in cases appearing throughout the country continues. Data from the CDC reports that cases of measles alone reach all the way to the hundreds every year. In 2014, 667 people were afflicted people that year alone with measles.

The rise in measles cases can be traced to growing skepticism over medical information on vaccines. Many in the anti-vaccination group call for vaccinations to be a choice for parents to make rather than the government. 

On the other side of the debate, many are pointing to the rise in measles and other diseases that were once thought to have been vanquished by vaccines for decades now as reason for mandatory vaccinations.

Proponents of stricter vaccination laws accuse Facebook and other social media sites for spreading false information about vaccinations. The stigma that vaccinations cause disabilities such as autism have been debunked by countless healthcare professionals.  

Lawmakers across the country with similar sentiments have proposed bills in their respective states that would limit the restrictions schools have when it comes to having children unvaccinated go to public school.

In Minnesota, a bill introduced by Minnesota Senator Chris Eaton, would take out a part of state law that allows parents to sign a statement excusing their child out of vaccinations over personal beliefs. The bill has been referred to the Health and Human Services Finance and Policy Committee as of Feb. 21.

Other states have introduced bills both limited and strengthening vaccine laws. 

Oregon lawmakers have a similar bill they introduced to the Oregon legislature that would prohibit parental exemptions from preventing a child from getting vaccinated. Many anti-vaccination supporters protested the proposed bill. 

The CDC on the other hand has advocated strongly for the use of vaccines that the agency sees as the medical invention that has seen the disappearance of many once deadly diseases and viruses. 

The CDC website warns that if we all together stop vaccinations, diseases of the past long thought gone will come back in full force. 

“Disease rates are low in the United States today. But if we let ourselves become vulnerable by not vaccinating, a case that could touch off an outbreak of some disease that is currently under control is just a plane ride away,” the CDC states.

Header photo courtesy of the Associated Press.

One thought on “Measles outbreak reawakens vaccination debate

  • “Spreading false information”. Blah blah blah..

    Funny that nobody can point to any examples.


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