Distinguished University Professor and Second Century Initiative faculty member Timothy Lytton wrote with a colleague about how states could increase vaccination rates without eliminating nonmedical exemptions in The Regulatory Review, a publication of the Penn Program on Regulation.
He and co-author Hillel Levin wrote:
The culprit behind these outbreaks is the decision by an increasing number of parents to opt their children out of state law vaccination requirements by claiming religious or philosophical exemptions. Once immunization levels in a particular community dip below a critical threshold necessary to establish what public health experts call herd immunity, contagion can take hold. What makes this loss of heard immunity worse is that children whose parents voluntarily refuse vaccination are not the only ones at risk. The absence of herd immunity also threatens those who cannot be vaccinated due to age or medical condition, or whose vaccine-induced immunity has waned or never fully developed.
Prominent public health advocacy groups have called on the forty-seven states that permit these nonmedical exemptions to eliminate them altogether. For several reasons, however, we do not believe that this absolutist approach is the most effective way to maintain herd immunity.
To read the full article, visit https://www.theregreview.org/2018/12/31/lytton-levin-increasing-vaccination-rates/.