Parents in the US need to provide proof that their children are vaccinated before they enter kindergarten.
Why, then, are some children still able to remain unvaccinated?
It all comes down to exemptions. Parents are opting for medical, religious, and personal belief (philosophical) exemptions for their children to keep them from being vaccinated.
Every state governs which exemptions are allowed. Some states make it easier to avoid getting vaccinated than others.
Many states have done away with personal belief exemptions.
Most argue that medical exemptions should be the only reason that a child is left unvaccinated. California is the only state to have done away with all mon-medical exemptions.
With all the efforts to remove non-medical exemptions, parents are still finding a way around them. Unfortunately, exemptions for kindergarteners are on the rise.
The exemption rates for the last three years, according to the CDC:
- 2.1% exemptions in the 2016-2017 school year
- 2.3% exemptions in the 2017-2018 school year
- 2.5% exemptions in the 2018-2019 school year
In the 2018-2019 school year, only 0.3% of the 2.5% were medical exemptions, according to the CDC’s MMWR report.
All-in-all, I don’t feel like we are fighting a losing battle.
As our citizens and lawmakers become more progressive and fight for the health of our children, we are going to see states dropping non-medical exemptions as options for parents.
It takes a village to change a village, so don’t be passive if you want to see these numbers drop and keep disease out of our schools.
Vaccinate Your Family has created links to contact your Senators and Representatives. You can find the information here: Support Federal Legislation to Prevent Disease Outbreaks