This letter is to praise the change in the vaccine laws passed by the Washington state Legislature. The new bill removes the personal and philosophical option to exempt children from the MMR (measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine required for school and child care entry.
I do not understand why it took a major outbreak of measles to make a change to this law. I struggle to fully understand why the bill did not include all vaccines. Are lawmakers waiting for outbreaks, of individual illness that are vaccine preventable, to include other vaccines?
As a pediatric nurse and a mother of two children attending public schools, I have valid concerns regarding an outbreak of another vaccine-preventable illness. The potential for direct contact with children who have theses illness is very real for me. Myself and my children are fully vaccinated. However, I do provide care to children who cannot be vaccinated due to life-threatening medical conditions. The potential for nurses and other clinicians to unknowingly pass these illnesses to patients, who have valid reason to not be vaccinated, is high.
The options for home-schooling children are many. To those parents and guardians who selectively choose what vaccine their children will get or to not be vaccinated at all should opt to home-school their children. Unless a valid medical reason exists, to exempt a child from being vaccinated, the school systems should not allow children to attend unless fully vaccinated.
Alta M. Meadows