As we are starting to see some states get rid of their exemptions with new vaccine laws, it is important to understand that many non-medical exemptions came on the scene relatively recently.
After vaccine mandates to start school helped eliminate measles in the United States, over just a few years, from 1998 to 2000, 15 states added personal belief vaccine exemptions. Texas and Arkansas added theirs a little later, during the 2003-04 school year.
The History of Vaccine Exemptions
What happened in 1998 that made state lawmakers in 15 states allow parents to use personal belief vaccine exemptions to opt out of vaccinating and protecting their kids?
Oh yeah, that’s when Andrew Wakefield published his infamous paper in Lancet that was later retracted.
That’s right, these exemptions had their origins in perhaps the biggest anti-vaccine myth of them all!
Not that there weren’t warnings. Many of us knew adding the exemptions was a bad idea at the time…
And now, here we are with rising rates of vaccine-preventable disease as folks use and abuse their exemptions.
So while you are thinking about whether or not your state legislators should be taking away your personal belief vaccine exemption, a better question would likely be why they added them in the first place.
More on the History of Vaccine Exemptions
- VAXOPEDIA – A Legislative Guide to Advocating for Stronger Vaccine Laws
- VAXOPEDIA – How Is California’s New Vaccine Law Working?
- VAXOPEDIA – Abuse of Vaccine Exemptions
- VAXOPEDIA – New Vaccine Bills and Laws in 2019
- VAXOPEDIA – How Are Australia’s New Vaccine Laws Working?
- VAXOPEDIA – How to Claim a Vaccine Exemption
- VAXOPEDIA – Who was Betty Bumpers?
- Study – Nonmedical exemptions to school immunization requirements: secular trends and association of state policies with pertussis incidence.
- Study – Geographic clustering of nonmedical exemptions to school immunization requirements and associations with geographic clustering of pertussis.
- Study – Nonmedical vaccine exemptions and pertussis in California, 2010.
- The legacy of Andrew Wakefield continues
- In the wake of Wakefield
- ACIP – Contraindications and Precautions
- CDC – Who Should NOT Get Vaccinated with these Vaccines?
- CDC – Improving Vaccination Coverage Fact Sheet
- AAP – Medical Versus Nonmedical Immunization Exemptions for Child Care and School Attendance
- State Vaccine Laws
- Study – Immunization Mandates, Vaccination Coverage, and Exemption Rates in the United States
- The Effect of Childhood Vaccine Exemptions on Disease Outbreaks
- State mandates on immunization and vaccine-preventable diseases
- Mandatory Vaccinations: Precedent and Current Laws
- Immunizations Policy Issues Overview
- California Immunization Exemption Legislation
- Vaccine legislation in the USA – a state by state analysis
- Ouch! – Now that didn’t hurt: The Implementation of the Vaccination Bill SB 277 in Orange County
- California SB 277: New evidence that restricting nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine requirements works
- Why You Shouldn’t Shop for Medical Exemptions
- Study Examines Fallout of California Vaccine Exemption Law
- California vaccination rates – record high thanks to SB277
- Dear Colleague letter regarding guidelines for use of immunization exemptions
- Mississippi Medical Exemption Policy
- Praying, in Vain, for Exemption
- Study – Experiences With Medical Exemptions After a Change in Vaccine Exemption Policy in California
- Anti-vax doctors are granting bogus vaccine exemptions. How to make them think twice.
- Eliminating Personal Belief Exemptions for Vaccines
- Laws Limiting Vaccine Exemptions Work
- The problem of nonmedical exemptions to school vaccine mandates
- Lady Macbeth —Arlene Wohlgemuth
1 thought on “The History of Vaccine Exemptions”
Because this information comes from a group of “professionals”, the vast majority of which is “pro choice”, any consensus opinion from it will remain very suspect. You’re argument about “the greater good” is one the Pro Life movement has been using since Roe.