The AMA voted to expand its previous policy to advocate for programs or legislature that incentivize states to end nonmedical exemptions for mandated pediatric vaccinations.
“Getting vaccinated not only keeps individuals from becoming ill with vaccine-preventable diseases, such as the measles, but also helps prevent further spread to loved ones, neighbors, co-workers and others in close contact,” E. Scott Ferguson, MD, AMA Board Member, said in the press release. “As evident from the measles outbreaks currently impacting communities in several states, when individuals are not immunized as a matter of personal preference or misinformation, they put themselves and others at risk of disease.”
According to the press release, “overwhelming” evidence shows that vaccination is one of the safest and most effective methods to prevent individual illness and protect public health.
The AMA previously gave testimony for legislation in Arizona, Maine, Oregon and Washington to remove nonmedical vaccine exemptions, according to the release.
The press release stated that according to the CDC, the current measles outbreak in the U.S. has the highest number of cases since the disease was considered eradicated in the country. The CDC also reported that in the first 5 months of 2019, there were more measles cases than in all of 1992, when the last major U.S. outbreak of the disease occurred.
“The AMA strongly supports efforts to eliminate nonmedical exemptions from immunization, and we will continue to actively urge policymakers to do so,” Ferguson said. – by Erin Michael
Disclosures: Healio Primary Care was unable to confirm relevant financial disclosures prior to publication.