The anti-vaccine movement is growing. Depending on how you define the term, “anti-vaccine,” which is often used by government officials as a way to condemn anyone who chooses to not accept even one vaccine, the movement is widely expanding. Had Hillary Clinton become President, it is tough to say just how stringent mandatory vaccine laws would already be.
But she’s not. And the movement to skip one or few or all vaccines is experiencing real growth. Case and point: Idaho.
Idaho’s vaccine waiver rate is 6.5 percent for school children. Alaska, at 6.8 percent, and Oregon, at 6.7 percent, are the only two states with higher vaccine exemption rates.
One Idaho health official is terrified that “herd immunity” may collapse.
“It provides the best protection we have from childhood illnesses, and that’s for the individual child,” said Mike Larson, public health nurse at the Idaho North Central Health District. “There are no 100 percent guarantees, but it’s the best benefit we have or know of to protect children.”
“It’s not only protecting (the child), but also it’s protecting the other children who may be medically fragile and cannot be vaccinated or a child that’s immunocompromised (has a weakened immune system) that won’t respond to a vaccine well,” he said. “The more children you have immunized and not susceptible to whatever illness it is, it increases the herd immunity and protects other children who can’t be vaccinated, don’t respond to the vaccines, or frankly, it protects those that parents don’t want to vaccinate.”