CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - A measles outbreak in Washington state has health officials explaining the importance of childhood vaccinations. Currently, the state’s health department reports 54 confirmed measles cases.
According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, California, Mississippi and West Virginia are the only states that don’t allow a vaccination exemption.
Washington State and Ohio are in a unique group of 17 states that allow parents to opt out of vaccination for religious reasons and exemptions While the remaining states allow exemptions for religious reasons and due to personal, moral or philosophical beliefs.
Objections to the MMR (Measles, mumps, and rubella) vaccine center around safety. Some in the anti-vaccination community believe there's a link between the vaccination’s ingredients and autism.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other medical organizations like The American Academy of Pediatrics state there is no link between vaccine ingredients and children developing autism.
Cleveland Clinic, in an online article, reports as rates of non-medical exemptions have gone up (nationwide) it creates pockets of under vaccinated communities that are more susceptible to infection.
18-year-old Ethan Lindenberger, from Norwalk, Ohio, recently did an interview with NPR about defying his mother’s anti-vaccine stance.
NPR reports as a kid Lindenberger wasn't vaccinated because his mom said they "were bad and carried negative side effects".
Lindenberger told NPR's Scott Simon, "When I started looking into it myself, it became very apparent that there was a lot more evidence in defense of vaccinations, in their favor."
NPR says Ethan recently received shots for influenza, HPV and hepatitis A and B.
The health secretary in Washington State told CBS News vaccination rates are now up by 500 percent where the outbreak is happening in his state because parents are seeing “a real threat”.