Measles Vaccinations: The Facts
- Recent outbreaks of measles in Rockland County, Orange County, and New York City have contributed to the largest measles outbreak in New York State since the elimination of measles in the US in the year 2000.
- New York State law, as currently written, requires all children in New York to receive immunizations for poliomyelitis, mumps, measles, diphtheria, rubella, HiB, hepatitis B, and varicella. The law provides an exemption from the immunization requirements where a physician certifies that the immunization may be detrimental to a child's health.
- Vaccination can reduce severity of illness as well as decrease likelihood of spread to other people. Ensuring that enough of the population is immune to a contagious disease (e.g. by vaccination) is vitally important to protect those who are not medically eligible for certain vaccines, such as infants, vaccine ingredient allergies, pregnant women or immunocompromised people.
- Multiple studies have shown how impactful a state’s nonmedical vaccination exemption policies can be to the risk of an outbreak of a contagious disease. For example, one recent publication in the journal of Academic Pediatrics found that “a state with easy nonmedical vaccine exemption policies is 140% and 190% more likely to experience a measles outbreak compared with states with medium or difficult policies, respectively.
- The same report found that the magnitude of outbreaks decrease in half when exemption policies are strengthened. This is one example of unforeseen public health consequences that may result from the proposed legislation.
In the Legislature:
- NYACP opposes the creation of a statewide, uniform religious belief exemption form to be available in all schools because it facilitates the procurement of exemption from vaccinating school-aged children. Vaccines are important healthcare tools highly supported by the Chapter for the prevention and elimination of disease.
- S.2994 (Hoylman)/A.2371 (Dinowitz) - NYACP strongly supports the elimination of non-medical exemptions to immunizations.
- S.477 (Rivera) – protects medical exemption from mandatory immunization for students based upon the assessment of a physician, NP or PA.
- Children are seeking vaccination without parental consent
- Relates to the removal of cases, contacts and carriers of communicable diseases who are potentially dangerous to the public health
The resources below were provided by Aaron Glatt, MD, MACP and specifically address vaccinations in Jewish populations.