Vaccines have become a point of contention for many Americans in recent years. Despite the overwhelming evidence proving that the study linking vaccinations to autism as false and entirely erroneous, adults the nation over are opting out of vaccines, both for themselves and for their children.
Kids and infants are especially susceptible to deadly diseases and viruses that can easily be prevented by vaccines. Because their parents are given a choice, however, many are not receiving the life-saving inoculations; this has immediately led to outbreaks in diseases -- such as measles -- that haven't been seen in decades. One lawmaker in Colorado is seeking to make the process of opting out more difficult for parents.
To Vaccinate, Or Not To Vaccinate?
Colorado has one of the lowest vaccination rates in the country with less than 89% of kindergarteners receiving vaccinations to prevent illness such as measles and mumps; this is far less than the national average and 95% threshold needed to prevent an outbreak. The state's democratic new Governor, Jared Polis, is looking to change those numbers simply by making it less easy to obtain a personal exemption.
"Governor Polis believes that forcing people to receive shots they don't want creates mistrust of government, mistrust of vaccinations, and would ultimately backfire and hurt public health," a spokesperson said in a statement. "He believes there are successful strategies we can use to increase vaccination rates that don't put big government in the middle of the parent-child relationship and protect our freedom."
With many states now allowing minors to make their own decisions -- some even allow them to go against their parents' wishes and get vaccinated in secret -- the vaccination argument is reaching a boiling point. Fortunately, the inoculations that are estimated to have saved at least 732,000 children in the last 20 years are extremely accessible; pharmacies carry their own vaccine refrigerators and vaccine freezers, and doctor's offices are fully stocked with scientific refrigerators and medical freezers.
It's vital that we not take this accessibility for granted. There are an estimated 24 million children in the world that don't have medical grade refrigerators or scientific refrigerators available to store the sensitive vaccinations. Hopefully, more people will do their research on the safety and extreme importance of vaccinations to continue to keep our nation's children healthy.