When it comes to the health and safety of people in the country, it is pertinent to have a specific system in place to keep everyone healthy and thriving. Also, with the passing of several laws in various states, like laws requiring healthcare workers and school children to get vaccinated, it is becoming more relevant to get vaccinated when possible.
Vaccines were created to boost an individual’s immune systems and protect them from future forms of viruses. However, despite some laws requiring the act, some people can become exempt from receiving vaccines. There are three main reasons why someone can avoid vaccines: for medical reasons, religious reasons, and personal reasons.
For some groups of people, vaccines will hurt them rather than help them. Therefore, they opt not to receive the substance in hopes of prolonging and protecting their health. Throughout the country, all states have specific laws in place that allow people to refuse vaccines if it means their health is at risk. However, there are four states specifically, as of 2019, that only require exemptions for receiving vaccines for medical reasons:
- New York
- West Virginia
These laws specifically apply to the most vulnerable populations, such as school children. Unless it does not protect the child’s health, all children must stay up to date on their vaccines before starting school. These strong laws in these states stem from the spread of other prevalent diseases, such as measles and chickenpox.
The right to expressing free speech and religion is a big part of American culture. This right also means that people can choose to refuse to take vaccines due to their specific religious affiliations. Currently, there are 45 states and Washington D.C. that allow vaccine refusals for religious means. Some of those states include:
The rate of people not receiving vaccines for medical reasons has significantly increased over the past several years. Nonetheless, these groups are still advised by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to consider receiving vaccines to help combat the spread of various diseases.
Over the years, millions of Americans have opted to refuse vaccines based on personal reasons. Although this excuse has become popular among select groups of people, mostly parents, it is beginning to become overthrown by religious reasonings. Currently, there are only 15 states that allow people to refuse vaccines for personal thoughts on the substance. Included within this count are states like:
- North Dakota
Similarly, to the religious justification, the CDC still advises people who refuse vaccines to consider the health and wellness of themselves and others. People who do not receive vaccines are more prone to catching various diseases, so others must think thoroughly about their thoughts on vaccines.