The debate in Vermont continues as the state considers ending the right to a philosophical vaccine exemption for families. The exemption currently allows parents to say no to vaccines for their children and still send them to public school or child care. Vermont is one of twenty states that allow such an option for parents.
Vocal opponents of the exemption state that it jeopardizes “herd immunity,” putting the community at risk. Others see it as a vital right that allows families to make informed health decisions without excluding them from important resources.
“I don’t think we deny our children in Vermont a public school education because we don’t agree with the medical choices their parents make, when we’re not in a public health crisis,” said [Martha] Israel, a school nurse since 1989.
Gov. Peter Shumlin agrees with the House’s suggestion of more vaccine education for parents over the Senate’s push to end the exemption.
“I do not believe that in the end the government should dictate to parents what inoculations their kids have to get in order to get a public education in Vermont,” the governor said.
Visit the National Vaccine Information Center’s advocacy portal for action calls related to the exemption in Vermont.
Melanie Mayo-Laakso is the Content Manager for Mothering.com. Mothering is the birthplace of natural family living and attachment parenting. We celebrate the experience of parenthood as worthy of one's best efforts and are at once fierce advocates for children and gentle supporters of parents.