New analysis by the CDC finds that while the percentage of families opting out of school-required vaccines for kindergartners for non-medical reasons is dropping nationally, the rate continues to rise in a handful of states. Among the eleven states with rising non-medical vaccine exemption rates are Connecticut, Maryland and New York. All but three states have processes for parents to opt-out of required vaccines for their children by asserting a religious and/or philosophical objection. In reaction to recent outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases among school-age children, many states have tightened the exemption process. Last September, the American Academy of Pediatrics issued a position statement urging all states to eliminate non-medical childhood vaccine exemptions stating, “The AAP views nonmedical exemptions to school-required immunizations as inappropriate for individual, public health, and ethical reasons and advocates for their elimination.”
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