Mandatory Vaccination For Children : A Health Policy Debate

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Mandatory Vaccinations for Children: A Health Policy Debate
Holly Milligan
University of New Hampshire

Mandatory Vaccinations for Children: A Health Policy Debate
Vaccines change over time as science makes advancements and diseases processes evolve and emerge. Around 400 BC, Hippocrates recognized the now preventable diseases, such as diphtheria and mumps (Immunization Act Coalition, 2015). The first effort to immunize dates back to the 1100’s when children were inoculated with scabs from individuals who recently had small pox, with a technique coined as variolation. Then in 1796, Edward Jenner successfully created the first small pox vaccine (Immunization Act Coalition, 2015).
According to the Center’s of Disease Control and Prevention (2012), there are no federal requirements for childhood immunizations. While the CDC (2012) provides recommendations, each state sets their own rules and exemptions for schools and childcare attendance. On June 30, 2015, Governor Jerry Brown of California made history by eliminating the exemption from immunizations due to personal beliefs for children in public or private schools; however, medical exemptions initiated by a DO or MD will still be allowed (Royce, 2015; California Department of Public Health, 2015a). In 2013-2014, there were nearly 17000 personal belief vaccination exemptions in California (Almasy, 2015). Throughout the history of vaccinations very strong opinions for or against immunizations have existed,

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