With all the media attention, and now political attention, on the measles outbreak and the anti-vaccine movement, I composed a few thoughts on these issues:
- All schools have a right to set conditions of enrollment and, moreover, no school should want to be labeled a nidus for the spread of vaccine preventable infectious disease and have high rates of absenteeism because of illness
- With respect to the public government schools, the government acts as their administrator and, given that role it has assumed, can set the rules for enrollment
- Vaccination requirements for schools should be considered a student safety issue, akin to healthcare worker vaccination requirements
- Certain vaccinations are much more important for a child in the US to have than others (e.g. Japanese Encephalitis is less important than measles)
- Until eradicated from the globe, vaccines against a highly communicable infectious diseases such as measles (whose indigenous transmission has been eliminated from the Americas), are crucial at keeping the disease from re-establishing itself in the US
- Certain infectious diseases pose such a risk that to refrain from vaccinating a child is tantamount to neglect (this list will be fluid and be context dependent)
Hopefully, the current measles outbreak (not to mention pertussis) will bring these issues to light and expose the motives and goals of the anti-vaccine movement which can only be described as a return to the primitive in which life was nasty, brutish, and short.