Target: United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Tom Frieden
Goal: Implement stricter requirements for childhood vaccinations
Although the hypothesis that childhood vaccines cause autism or other chronic diseases has been repeatedly and soundly debunked by science, uninformed celebrities, media hype, and fear have led parents to increasingly opt out of vaccinating their children. This anti-vaccine frenzy has been linked with the recent measles outbreak that has infected over 593 people across 21 states. Urge the CDC to require that all children be vaccinated against such lethal, highly contagious, but preventable diseases in order to attend school.
The recent measles outbreak is the worst the country has seen in the last 20 years, before the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine became standard in 1994. It’s centered in Ohio, where authorities believe unvaccinated travelers from the Philippines brought it back to the United States with them. Measles is a highly contagious respiratory infection. It can cause moderate to severe complications, and can also be fatal. Before 1994, about 500 people a year died from measles. Since then, it’s been basically zero. The anti-vaccine movement could change that.
Even in the face of increasingly infections, many anti-vaccine advocates continue to refuse to immunize their children. By doing so, they not only endanger their own children, but those around them who have not been vaccinated because they are too young or have compromised immune systems. Although certain vaccinations are supposedly mandatory for children to enter public school, too often, parents are allowed exemptions for religious or philosophical reasons. There are no federal requirements regarding vaccination, but states that make it easy for parents to get exemptions are at increased risk for disease outbreaks.
It’s been proven time and again that vaccines do not cause autism. Instead, the introduction of a vaccine usually reduces incidence of a disease by 99%. In rare cases, children may be allergic to something within a vaccine or have compromised immune systems due to cancer or a chronic disorder. These children should indeed be given medical exemptions in order to attend school. But parents’ issues with “personal belief” should not be given consideration. One unvaccinated child is a risk to his or her entire community.
Sign this petition to end outbreaks of dangerous and easily preventable diseases by requiring that all children be immunized in order to attend public school, except for certain medical reasons. Get rid of exemptions on the basis of personal beliefs.
Dear Dr. Tom Frieden,
The recent measles outbreak in the United States demonstrates why getting childhood vaccinations is so important for your child’s health and the health of those around him and her. Rampant fears of vaccinations’ rumored ill health have caused some parents to forgo them entirely, leaving their children and communities at risk for infection. Please ensure that federal guidelines are put into place to require vaccinations for all children entering public school.
With almost 600 people infected so far this year, the current measles outbreak is the worst the United States has seen in the past 20 years. Since the vaccine became standard in 1994, incidence of the disease has fallen by 99%. Unfortunately, misinformation has led to an anti-vaccination movement among parents who are able to opt out of schools’ vaccination requirements on the basis of “personal beliefs.”
I urge you to refuse to pay lip service to the rumors and fear. End parents’ ability to claim exemptions from vaccination on either a religious and philosophical basis. Their decisions put the entire school community at risk, especially children who are not able to receive vaccinations due to medical reasons. Require that all children vaccinate their children before they are allowed to enroll in public school.
[Your Name Here]
Photo Credit: Grook Da Oger via Wikipedia Commons