According to a press statement from their annual meeting, the American Medical Association (AMA) has joined the conversation calling for the end of non-medical exemptions to immunization requirements.
In their statement, the AMA makes note of the re-emergence of the very diseases that common vaccine schedules prevent. The organization will increase their advocacy in the states (48 of them) that currently allow non-medical exemptions. Their new policy also recommends that states further involve doctors and qualified public health physicians in dialogue about the which immunizations should be included.
One way the AMA aims to accomplish their goals is to support the sharing of informational materials with states on the importance and efficacy of vaccines–and more importantly–why the philosophical exemptions present a clear danger to public health.
AMA Board Member Patrice A. Harris, M.D. explained that “when people are immunized they also help prevent the spread of disease to others. As evident from the recent measles outbreak at Disneyland, protecting community health in today’s mobile society requires that policymakers not permit individuals from opting out of immunization solely as a matter of personal preference or convenience.”
Editor’s Note: You may remember months back that we spoke out for the end of the philosophical exemption to school immunization requirements in Michigan in response to the severe outbreaks of vaccine preventable diseases.