Bulletin, Institute

Vaccines: Schooling the Herd

Original article featured on BioTech Primer


Back to school means shopping for new school supplies, adjusting to a new schedule and making sure all required vaccinations are up to date.

Every state requires school-age children to be vaccinated against certain infectious diseases including tetanus, hepatitis B, measles, mumps, rubella, polio, pertussis (whooping cough), and chicken pox. Vaccination policies are highly effective at eliminating many types of sickness from the most perfect incubator—the classroom.

As with anything “required,” there are loopholes. Certainly, medical exemptions are necessary for the immunocompromised or children allergic to vaccine components. However, there is a vocal minority of parents who wish to skip out on vaccinations due to religious or personal convictions. This presents a problem, as witnessed in California during the 2014 measles outbreak and the 2010 whooping cough outbreak. These two avoidable incidents pushed California to pass one of the most stringent vaccination mandates in the country this past summer—Senate Bill 277.

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