In New York, anti-vaccination advocates received a blow on Thursday, as state legislators banned non-medical benefits based on religious beliefs, and there may be other strikes.
]Also on Thursday, the American Medical Association adopted a new policy to step up the fight against such non-medical benefits. AMA, the country's largest group of doctors and one of the largest supporters of lobbying, has always strongly supported pediatric vaccination and opposed non-medical exemptions. But in accordance with the new political changes, the association will now "actively advocate" for the states to repeal any laws that allow non-medical exceptions in the books.
“As seen from the outbreaks of measles that currently affect communities in several states, when people do not receive vaccinations due to personal preferences or misinformation, they put themselves and others at risk for the disease,” said AMA board member E. Scott Ferguson. statement. “The AMA strongly supports efforts to eliminate non-medical exemptions from immunization, and we will continue to actively encourage politicians to do this.”
The ban on religious liberation in New York came at a critical time. The state is at the forefront of a nationwide measles revival, with active outbreaks that have caused hundreds of people to fall ill and split up into other states.
“This administration has been active in curbing the measles outbreak, but given its scale, additional steps are needed to end this health crisis,” said New York Governor Andrew Cuomo after signing a ban on religious exclusion. I understand and respect freedom of religion, our first task is to protect the health of the population, and by signing this measure in law, we will help prevent further transmissions and stop this outbreak right in its path. ”
State laws that allow parents to stop immunizing their children have allowed some communities and schools to reduce the level of vaccination needed to prevent the spread of the disease. Elimination of exceptions is aimed at increasing vaccination, protecting more children and communities from dangerous diseases such as measles.
However, it is not always so easy. In 2015, California lifted non-medical vaccine exemption after a major measles outbreak linked to Disneyland visitors. But in subsequent years, the state increased the number of children with medical benefits three times. Government health officials accused unscrupulous doctors who wrote sham exceptions for parents of anti-vaccine, while at the same time charging high fees.
Lawmakers in California are currently considering a new bill that will eliminate such fake benefits, giving state health officials oversight of any medical benefits that doctors provide. Prominent anti-vaccine advocates, including Robert F. Kennedy, Jr., opposed legislation. This week, actress Jessica Biel joined the fight, speaking on the side of anti-waxers. In her post on Instagram, she incorrectly suggested that additional control would complicate the lives of children who really need medical benefits to get them.