Wednesday, February 04, 2015

State of vaccinations: 45 states allow exemptions for religious beliefs, 18 for personal beliefs

To vaccinate or not to vaccinate children has become a major issue among Americans, some of whom fear side effects or don't trust the government when it comes to vaccinations. The anti-vaccine movement has been spreading, despite scientific research that supports vaccinations and verified reports that misinformation—mostly in the form of a discredited paper and the belief of ill-informed celebrities—has furthered Americans fear in vaccinations.

While every state requires kindergarten children to be vaccinated, all but five states—California, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi and West Virginia—allow religious exemptions, and 18 states allow exemptions for personal beliefs, Niraj Chokshi reports for The Washington Post. (This Post map was compiled from data by the Immunization Action Coalition, which is funded in part by the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention. Map is from 2014, but all data is up to date)

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