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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Anti-vaccine stupidity in Vermont: Lobbyists derail attempt to end 'philosophical' exemption

A physician who is a state legislator in Vermont tried to end that state's law allowing parents a "philosophical" objection to vaccinating their kids. He pointed to an outbreak of pertussis (whooping cough) which is partly - although not entirely - caused by declining vaccination rates.

A report in Slate says the bill was derailed by anti-vax lobbyists. Here's the whole sad story.

In New Hampshire, I'm happy to say, we allow children to avoid the vaccine regimen only for medical or religious reasons. An attempt last year to add philosophical exemption - the "dad and mom read something scary on the Internet" exemption - was turned aside after the medical community warned legislators.

A 2009/10 survey of 85% of all schools in the state, by NH Department of Public Health, reported on 202,826 students enrolled in kindergarten. It was estimated that 92% of kindergarten students were up-to-date for all required vaccines. Just 2,099 students (1%) reported religious exemption and 549 (0.3%) reported medical exemptions.

Good for us.