[COMMENTARY] As a public health crisis looms, anti-government beliefs fuel counterproductive vaccination policies

(Editor’s note: Opinion pieces are published for discussions purposes only.)

MIAMI, FL – JUNE 02: India Ampah holds her son, Keon Lockhart, 12 months old, as pediatrician Amanda Porro M.D. administers a measles vaccination during a visit to the Miami Children’s Hospital . /Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

By Jim Small | Arizona Mirror

The dramatic uptick in unvaccinated students in Arizona is what the beginning of a public health crisis looks like. Unfortunately, it’s entirely unclear what policymakers will do about it.

But if the discussions that dominated the early weeks of the legislative session are any indication, the response won’t be adequate or based in reality.

A lot has been written in the past week about the rising threat of unvaccinated children, following the Arizona Department of Health Services’s release of vaccination rates at schools for the current school year.

What ADHS, public health advocates and many others realize is that the situation is dire: Only 4 out of 10 kindergartens in this state are above the threshold to be considered immune to a measles outbreak because parents are using Arizona’s “personal belief exemption” to avoid vaccinating their children. Some claim the exemption for only some of the required vaccinations, while some claim it for all vaccinations.

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