Springfield, Missouri says it has a problem.
The problem? Many parents don’t want to vaccinate their children. Now officials are saying that Missouri is becoming similar to Utah, Texas, and other states where a higher number of parents than usual are opting out of vaccinating their children. There are now 18 states that allow for a philosophical vaccine exemption, Missouri included.
The Missouri statute says: “This section shall not apply to any child if one parent or guardian objects in writing to his school administrator against the immunization of the child, because of religious beliefs or medical contraindications. In cases where any such objection is for reasons of medical contraindications, a statement from a duly licensed physician must also be provided to the school administrator.”
Missouri health officials are now claiming that the statute is causing an outbreak of “vaccine exemption hotspots” in the area. The vaccine exemptions being referred to are non-medical in scope.
It isn’t just the Springfield area, either, Kansas City, Missouri’s second largest metro, is also experiencing high volumes of vaccine exemptions that are considered non-medical.
Parental choice may not always be comfortable for every parent, but that doesn’t mean we should eliminate. Parental rights are essential to a free society.
The problem, of course, is that health officials will likely paint a picture that anti-vaccine parents are “causing measles outbreaks.”
That’s the hook to sell more stringent laws.