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Poll: Pointed Questions -- and Answers -- About Mandatory Vaccines for Kids

Does the state have the right to require all schoolchildren, except those with medical conditions, to be vaccinated?

The California measles outbreak earlier this year highlighted the issue of vaccines and whether families should be allowed exemptions from the state law that requires all schoolchildren to be immunized against a number of major diseases.

NJ Spotlight highlighted the issue in a major report published earlier this week in which it found that hundreds of New Jersey schools do not have the recommended number of children vaccinated in order to provide “herd immunity.”

What do you think? Should the state tighten its requirements in terms of vaccinations in our schools?

  • Absolutely. We need to make sure everyone -- other than those with a serious medical condition that could put them in danger if vaccinated -- gets inoculated. To do anything otherwise would be irresponsible. Vaccinations have changed our world and only the most selfish or ignorant among us would try to avoid them.

  • Yes. Religious and medical exemptions are reasonable, but schools must require families to prove that they’re justified. Simply signing a piece of paper saying you want an exemption is not appropriate given the seriousness of the issue. We’re lucky to live in the U.S. where vaccinations are widely available, cheap and required.

  • Maybe. Religious exemptions are just a ploy for people who believe in junk science. Sadly, it’s just not their kid or family member who will contract measles, once there is an outbreak many people can become infected including people who truly can’t be vaccinated. But I don’t feel comfortable making the schools grill families regarding what at the end of the day is a medical choice.

  • No. I believe in vaccines but we live in a free society and people should have some degree of choice in the matter. I don’t believe the received wisdom of the government all the time and am sympathetic to parents who fear immunological problems as a result of vaccines. The government used to say these vaccines were fine, but then we found out they used mercury as a preservative. Being cautious about how many vaccines, how often, and what’s in them is only common sense. I’m not sure the state laws are flexible enough to accommodate a nuanced view.

  • Absolutely not. In fact, the government needs to wake up to the dangers of vaccines. Rates of autism, ADD, and other neurological problems can all be traced back to the use of multiple vaccines, particularly on infants. Obviously there are benefits to inoculation for a great many people, but that’s small comfort to the parent of an autistic kid who seemed to change right after being vaccinated. Instead of saying there is no problem whatsoever, the government should be controlling the use of vaccines to safeguard everyone, especially infants.

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