CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - Ohioans could soon be confronted with a dangerous measles outbreak, according to a new and alarming report.
Doctors said it’s due to a decrease in children getting their immunizations.
Cleveland 19 wanted to know what can be done, if anything, to keep you and your family as safe as possible.
We discovered there are two different issues on the table right now.
The first is whether lawmakers should take away a parent’s right to exempt a child from immunization.
And, if they don’t do that, then should lawmakers make it possible for minors to get vaccines without their parents’ permission?
Ethan Lindenburger’s mom did not want him and his siblings immunized.
“I think a lot of people look at this as a straight black and white answer, and I don’t feel like it is,” she said.
But, last week the Ohio teen explained his decision to go against his mother’s beliefs when he turned 18. He got four vaccinations and made national headlines for his crusade.
His brother is considering getting his shots too, but he’s only 16, so he’d have to wait.
Right now, only seven states allow minors to get vaccinations without parental consent.
Cleveland 19 asked if viewers think Ohio should become one of them. On Facebook, Katie Maynard pointed out that minors don’t need parental permission to get birth control. According to Ohio law, she’s right.
She says vaccines “should be protected information the same way as birth control and other medical information.”
Right now, several states are in the beginning stages of changing immunization laws as cases of measles pop up.
Here in Ohio, Representative Stephanie Howse says it’s not a discussion she’s had with any other legislators yet.
However, she said the questions we asked her will lead her to have those conversations soon.
“I wouldn’t at this time feel comfortable saying that everyone has to be vaccinated,” she said.
Though she says she herself is vaccinated, she says she understands not everyone agrees on the matter.
Those against immunizations cite religious reasons or cases in which they believe a vaccine harmed a loved one.
Howse says it’s going to take education and discussion to ease the fear.
“We aren’t there yet, so that’s why there would be a hesitation on my part to say ‘oh yes this is what we need to do now and everybody needs to get on board.’”