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house Bill H.R. 2527

Should School-Aged Children Be Required to Receive Vaccinations?

Argument in favor

Personal exemptions from vaccination requirements are causing decreased vaccination rates in some parts of the country, creating risk for students and immunocompromised individuals. This is a public health crisis in the making and should be headed off by requiring public school students’ immunization as a condition of their attendance in public schools.

burrkitty's Opinion
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05/30/2019
Medical exemptions should be the ONLY kind of exemptions. Public health is more important than the irrational fear mongering of the pro-plague cult.
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Donna 's Opinion
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05/30/2019
Yes if they want to attend public 🏫 and use public facilities like parks and libraries.
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Amy's Opinion
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05/30/2019
Absolutely. This is a matter of public health and safety.
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Argument opposed

Personal exemptions from vaccine requirements recognize that personal beliefs are a valid rationale for parents’ health decisions. Eliminating these exemptions would be a violation of personal choice.

J-dog's Opinion
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05/30/2019
No! This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of!😖 many people get reactions from vaccines. The parents get to decide, not the government. 🙄 the government needs to stay out of our lives as much as possible. When I received my vaccinations as a baby, I started getting croup. NOT FUN. I had to go to the hospital 3 times because I couldn’t breathe. This is a bad idea! 🤯👎💉
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Conner's Opinion
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05/30/2019
I absolutely think people should vaccinate their kids, but I’m not on board with taking away peoples right to health decisions.
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JTJ's Opinion
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05/31/2019
Democrats want to be free to make their own healthcare decisions about their body. But they don’t want you to be.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Energy and Commerce
    IntroducedMay 3rd, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 2527?

This bill — the Vaccinate All Children Act of 2019 — would require students attending public schools to receive vaccinations in accordance with the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices’ recommendations. Medical exemptions would be available for students whose health would be endangered by receiving vaccines, but all other exemptions would be disallowed.

Compliance with this policy would be made an eligibility requirement to receive Section 317 Public Health Service grants, which provide core funding for immunization programs and services.

Impact

Parents; children; school-aged children; public schools; vaccinations; personal exemptions to vaccinations; and 317 Public Health Service grants.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 2527

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Frederica Wilson (D-FL) reintroduced this bill from the 114th Congress to prevent states from offering non-medical exemptions for meeting school vaccine requirements, thereby requiring children for whom immunization is safe to be vaccinated in accordance with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices:

“The health and safety of children must be our top priority. Vaccines play an important role in keeping all children safe, especially those with compromised immune systems who rely on herd immunity to safeguard against potentially deadly viruses.”

In a letter to her Congressional colleagues seeking cosponsors for this bill, Rep. Wilson adds:

“A high immunization rate helps protect those who cannot safely be vaccinated, either because they are too young or have a medical condition, e.g. a weakened immune system. The Measles virus is so contagious that one carrier can infect up to 90 percent of the unvaccinated people in their vicinity. Therefore, vulnerable populations rely on a high vaccination rate… The health and safety of children must be our top priority. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that vaccinations will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths in the United States among children born in the last 20 years.”

In  2013 article in Slate, Phil Plait argued that parents who don’t immunize their children shouldn’t have a right to put their children in public schools, as not immunizing their children puts other kids as risk:

“In some areas, public school authorities have mandated that students be vaccinated for various diseases, and that of course can run afoul of parents’ beliefs. I’ve wrestled with this problem for a while, and I eventually came to the conclusion that a parent does not have the right to have their child in a public school if that child is unvaccinated, and for the same reason health care workers should not be unvaccinated. It all comes down to a very simple reality: It puts other children at risk. If you want to rely on the public trust then you have an obligation to the public trust as well, and part of that obligation is not sending your child to a place with other children if they aren’t immunized against preventable, communicable diseases.”

The anti-vaccination movement makes a number of arguments against mandatory vaccination. In a 2019 study, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine found four overarching themes to parents’ vaccine aversion: 1) trust, emphasizing suspicion about the scientific community and concerns about personal liberty; 2) alternatives, focusing on chemicals in vaccines, use of homeopathic remedies over vaccination; 3) safety, in the form of focusing on chemicals in vaccines, use of homeopathic remedies over vaccination; and 4) conspiracy, taking the form of a belief that the government “hides” information that anti-vaccination groups belief to be facts. Some of the arguments anti-vaxxers marshal against vaccination include a belief that vaccines are related to autism, have dangerous levels of toxins, and that they overtax a baby’s immune system. However, scientific evidence has debunked all of these these claims.

In a 2015 op-ed in the New York Times, Jennifer Margulis, a fellow at the Schuster Institute at Brandeis University and author of “The Business of Baby,” argued that the government doesn’t have a right to force parents to vaccinate their children:

“There is tremendous evidence showing vaccinations prevent childhood diseases. Should public health officials do everything they can to encourage, inform and facilitate childhood vaccinations? Yes. Do they have the right to force parents to vaccinate their children? Absolutely not… It is a news media-driven misperception that parents who claim philosophical or religious exemptions are uneducated or misinformed. Most parents who individualize the vaccine schedule are actively educating themselves, continually assessing their family’s specific health needs, and doing everything they can to keep their children safe and healthy… [I]n America we believe parents are capable of making their own decisions about their children’s health. We believe in freedom of choice. This freedom of choice extends to when — and even whether— parents vaccinate their kids.”

This bill has 17 cosponsors in the 116th Congress, all of whom are Democrats. In the 114th Congress, Rep. Wilson introduced it without any cosponsors and it didn’t see committee action.


Of NoteAccording to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the number of confirmed measles cases has reached a 25-year high, at 764. In 2011, there were 107 confirmed measles infections in the U.S., costing local and state health departments $2.7-5.3 million to contain. As of May 20, 2019, there were 880 reported cases in 24 states — making 2019 the worst year for measles in the U.S. in 25 years.

According to the World Health Organization, global measles cases rose by 300% in the first three months of 2019, compared to the same period in 2018, after consecutive increases over the past two years.

In response to this, Rep. Wilson says, “The ongoing measles outbreak, which has spread to 23 states, is a national health crisis that requires a national solution. We must allow science and fact-based research to guide us in making the right decision for our communities and our children.”

All 50 states require specific vaccinations for school-aged children, but they also all grant exemptions for children who can’t be vaccinated for medical reasons. In 19 states, families are also allowed to opt out of vaccination by claiming a “philosophical exemption” based on personal, moral, or religious beliefs.

As The Atlantic reports, personal exemptions have proven to be a “double-edged sword.” On the one hand, they indicate progress in their treatment of religion as only one of a variety of individual belief systems that influence people’s medical choices for themselves and their children. On the other, there’s strong evidence that states allowing people to opt out of vaccinations see lower childhood-vaccination rates and significantly higher incidences of infectious diseases, as compared with states that don’t allow such exemptions.

In recent years, the use of non-medical exemptions increased significantly in some places. Arizona and California, for example, both had nearly 70% increases in exemptions from 2009 to 2013. According to the CDC in 2015, philosophical or religious exemptions have increased 37%.

VeryWell Health reports that, contrary to what some anti-vaccination (“anti-vax”) advocates argue, unvaccinated kids do pose a risk to others who have had their vaccines. Some of these risks include:

  • Infants who are too young to be vaccinated can get caught up in outbreaks as they’re exposed at a doctor’s office or hospital where a person with measles is seeking care;
  • People with compromised immune systems are being needlessly exposed to measles (this happened in Pittsburgh, when a college student with measles possibly exposed around 100 cancer patients); and
  • People developing severe complications from measles (such as a healthcare provider in Fort Worth who developed measles encephalitis during a large measles outbreak there).

Additionally, because people opposed to vaccinations tend to live near enough other, they leave some schools and localities dangerously vulnerable, while other schools and localities are fully protected. According to a USA TODAY analysis of immunization data in 13 states in 2015, nearly one in seven public and private schools have measles vaccination rates below 90% — a rate considered inadequate to provide immunity.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / baona)

AKA

Vaccinate All Children Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Public Health Service Act to condition receipt by States (and political subdivisions and public entities of States) of preventive health services grants on the establishment of a State requirement for students in public elementary and secondary schools to be vaccinated in accordance with the recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices, and for other purposes.

    Medical exemptions should be the ONLY kind of exemptions. Public health is more important than the irrational fear mongering of the pro-plague cult.
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    No! This is the dumbest thing I have ever heard of!😖 many people get reactions from vaccines. The parents get to decide, not the government. 🙄 the government needs to stay out of our lives as much as possible. When I received my vaccinations as a baby, I started getting croup. NOT FUN. I had to go to the hospital 3 times because I couldn’t breathe. This is a bad idea! 🤯👎💉
    Like (41)
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    Yes if they want to attend public 🏫 and use public facilities like parks and libraries.
    Like (95)
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    Absolutely. This is a matter of public health and safety.
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    Unvaccinated children are a threat to their own health, but also to the health of all the children and teachers around them! Vaccinate your kids! Medical reasons are the only sensible exception. You might as well put a tinfoil hat on if you believe vaccines cause autism.
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    We should usually respect parental medical choices for children, unless they are not in the best interest of the child (the unvaccinated child has medical issues and can’t/shouldn’t be vaccinated) or can negatively impact others not actively involved in making that decision. The medical and scientific consensus is that the risks of vaccinating are significantly smaller than the risks of not vaccinating. Therefore, those that do not vaccinate are choosing the larger risk: an unreasonable choice. Since negligence was created specifically to compensate those harmed because of another’s unreasonable choice, the conditions of liability also apply. Several studies have shown that unvaccinated children are at increased risk of vaccine preventable diseases, and therefore more likely to transmit those diseases and cause others harm. If parents are not held responsible when their unvaccinated child infects another, they may not consider those costs when deciding whether or not to vaccinate. However, assigning liability in these cases will encourage parents to include those costs into their calculation.
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    I absolutely think people should vaccinate their kids, but I’m not on board with taking away peoples right to health decisions.
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    Yes.. if you want your child to attend public schools the they have to be vaccinated. End of story. Unless there is a medical issue that keeps the child from being vaccinated then vaccinations are required. I’m not big on the idea of children making other children ill with a deadly disease just because some granola munching mom who thinks she knows better than the entire medical community of this planet is stupid and shouldn’t be breeding anyway.
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    Common sense.
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    This is one of the few healthcare issues that actually affect people outside the individual receiving it. While stripping people with uteruses of their bodily autonomy to “protect children” actually will end lives, vaccinating the actual children that are alive can stay that way by preventing the spread of disease. Anyone who doesn’t want to do so shouldn’t be allowed to let their child around other children because they’re too stubborn to protect them from infectious disease.
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    While I do not condone dictating to parents, I do believe that if the parents want their children to attend public schools, this should be a requirement. The greater good for all should be the priority.
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    Democrats want to be free to make their own healthcare decisions about their body. But they don’t want you to be.
    Like (16)
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    Even though vaccines have been deemed safe there are still risks listed on the vaccine inserts just as with any medical intervention. And some children are more susceptible to adverse reactions than others, so no one should be forced into a medical procedure.
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    We don't need the government making decisions for us. Leave the decision in the parents' hands. It is our right as free citizens to choose what happens to our bodies.
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    School-age children should be required to take vaccines I’m 71 years old and I took that change when I went to school I forget how many shots but back then it was polio and I will gosh I don’t know there are three or four different ones we had charts for tomorrow yet should I say they should take shots it will help them not to get any of the problems going around and even if their parents are religious day should realize that it’s better for the kids and the people around when they’re around people thatAnd have these diseases and problems I can catch it if they’re not vaccinated
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    ALL PUBLIC SCHOOL children ( & others, also) MUST BE VACCINATED!! ( unless there is over-riding MEDICAL reason not to do so).
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    Here we go again. The ignorance of the few shouldn’t outweigh the safety of the majority. You chose not to vaccinate your children you should be brought up on child endangerment charges for not protecting everyone’s children. Unless there overwhelming evidence that vaccinating would cause harm to the child.
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    If the vaccine works properly for you, then it shouldn’t matter what others do. It’s wrong to force someone to take a potentially dangerous action (many kids have taken ill and died after getting shots) because you’re afraid.
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    Vaccines don’t prevent illness. If they were safe the government wouldn’t have set up a vaccine injury compensation fund which has paid out 4 billion as of this year to injury and death because of vaccines.
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    Vaccines are a medical procedure which must allow for informed consent and the right to refuse treatment. There have been no independent studies proving that they are safe, especially when given at the same time as several other vaccines. Vaccine manufacturers are immune from any sort of liability so there are no motives for them to ensure safety.
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