To help protect the health of all of Maine’s citizens, the state has required certain immunizations for school entry since 1868. However, too many of Maine’s parents have been opting their children out school vaccination requirements for non-medical reasons. As a result, Maine has one of the worst “opt-out” rates in the nation.
This has led to dangerous outbreaks of whooping cough and chickenpox in Maine’s daycare centers and schools. It also makes the state vulnerable to potentially serious outbreaks of other dangerous diseases like measles.
When even a few parents refuse to vaccinate their children they put us everyone in their community at risk of dangerous diseases, including people with weakened immune systems due to chemotherapy, transplants or other health problems.
Maine legislators recently passed LD 798, a law which keeps medical exemptions to school vaccination requirements, but removed “philosophical reasons” and “religious belief” exemptions. Removing these non-medical exemptions:
- Ensures a safe learning environment for all children, including those who cannot receive immunizations and those who are at risk for vaccine-preventable diseases and serious health complications due to their weakened immune systems.
- Results in fewer missed school days from preventable outbreaks.
- Allows school administrators, school boards, and nurses to adequately protect students from preventable diseases.
On March 3, Maine will put this new law to a popular vote. Learn more about this by visiting our partner’s website – Maine Families for Vaccines.
Learn how vaccines protect communities.