Oregon has a distinction that worries public health officials: the state leads the nation in the number of kindergarteners who who start school without one or more of the recommended vaccinations. A new state law requires parents to see a doctor or watch an educational video before opting out of their children’s vaccinations. That law goes into effect March 1.
Washington passed a similar law in 2011 and has seen vaccination rates rise significantly. States all around the nation have considered laws to change vaccination policy in one of two ways: some are trying to make it easier to obtain non-medical exemptions, while others, like Oregon and Washington, are making it more difficult. We’ll talk to Emory University researcher Saad Omer who just released a study on the effect of such laws.
What questions do you have about the state’s role in this kind of public health policy?