Tags: Vaccines | vaccination | exemptions | Maine

Which Vaccination Exemptions Are Allowed by Maine?

By    |   Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:45 PM

All three types of vaccination exemptions – medical, religious and philosophical – are allowed in Maine, which has the nation’s fourth-highest rate of parents enabling their children to avoid immunizations for non-medical reasons.

While all 50 states mandate that children be immunized against certain diseases in order to enroll in school, each state also allows exemptions to those requirements for medical reasons, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures.

VOTE NOW: Should Parents Have the Freedom Not to Vaccinate Their Children?

Almost all states also permit exemptions for religious reasons, the organization said. In addition, 20 states allow philosophical exemptions "for those who object to immunizations because of personal, moral or other beliefs." Philosophical exemptions can apply in such situations as when parents don’t think the vaccines help, fear the shots will cause their children medical problems or believe mandatory vaccination requirements are an abuse of government power, the NCSL said.

The state of Maine requires its kindergarten students who don’t have an exemption to "be vaccinated against pertussis, diphtheria, tetanus, measles, mumps, rubella, polio and chicken pox," according to the Bangor Daily News.

Of the 852 vaccination exemptions the state of Maine granted during the 2013-2014 school year, 766 were for philosophical reasons, 56 for medical reasons and 30 for religious reasons, the Daily News reported.

The Pine Tree State during that school year had the nation’s fourth-highest rate of parents shielding their children from shots for nonmedical reasons, behind only Idaho, Michigan, and Oregon. Between 2012-2013 and 2013-2014, Maine also recorded the largest increase nationwide in non-medical exemptions from one year to the next, the Daily News said.

In June 2015, the newspaper called in an editorial for Maine to do away with its option of enabling parents to use the philosophical objection. The newspaper stressed that Maine saw twice as many cases of chicken pox in 2013-2014 as it did in 2012-2013, and added that more than two-thirds of those infected were children who were under-vaccinated or not vaccinated.

URGENT: Should States Be Allowed to Make Health Decisions for Your Children?

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All three types of vaccination exemptions - medical, religious and philosophical - are allowed in Maine, which has the nation's fourth-highest rate of parents enabling their children to avoid immunizations for non-medical reasons.
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Wednesday, 15 Jul 2015 12:45 PM
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