Effective July 1, 2016, Vermont will require all children in the state to be vaccinated. In a press release dated May 28, 2015, it was announced that Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin had signed a bill stating that philosophical exemption from immunizations will no longer be permitted. In recent years, Vermont has had the lowest vaccination rate in New England. During the 2007-2008 school year, the rate of philosophical exemption from immunization for Vermont kindergarteners was 2.7 percent. Astoundingly, this rate rose to 5.8 percent during the 2014-2015 school year. In addition, the Vermont Department of Health indicated that during the 2013-2014 school year, immunization rates were below 95 percent in 56 percent of Vermont K-12 institutions and below 90 percent in 26 percent of them. Recognition of this problem prompted the American Academy of Pediatrics Vermont Chapter (AAPVT) to take action. Barbara Frankowski, M.D., president of the AAPVT, thanked both Governor Shumlin and Health Commissioner Harry Chen, M.D., for taking a stand on the issue. Frankowski was quoted as saying, “Eliminating the philosophical exemption will no doubt protect the health of Vermonters by increasing the state’s immunization rates and ensuring that it is more difficult for deadly and debilitating diseases to gain a foothold in the state.” Frankowski identified this as a public issue, claiming that, “As a community, we all rely on each other’s cooperation to stave off diseases that plagued generations before us, but that we are lucky enough to know little about today.”

 

 


REFERENCES

Vermont pediatricians applaud Gov. Shumlin for signing bill removing philosophical exemption to immunizations – VTDigger. (2015, May 31). Retrieved May 31, 2015, from http://vtdigger.org/2015/05/31/vermont-pediatricians-applaud-gov-shumlin-for-signing-bill-removing-philosophical-exemption-to-immunizations/

 

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