A Florida Democrat in Congress is proposing legislation that would require all public-school students in America to be vaccinated, preventing parents with religious or other objections from opting out their children.
The plan by U.S. Rep. Frederica S. Wilson is the “Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015.”
While its future in the Republican-controlled U.S. House appears limited, it illustrates recent concerns over communicable diseases spreading among school populations with large numbers of immigrants.
Neither the legislation nor a statement by Wilson addresses the huge cost of negative vaccination reactions reported annually in the United States.
“Research has shown that vaccinations are effective, keep people healthy, and save lives,” Wilson said. “As a former educator, I understand the importance of childhood vaccinations.”
She said the health and safety of children “must be our top priority.”
“Children who are not vaccinated put themselves and others in danger of acquiring and spreading preventable diseases,” the congresswoman said.
Wilson cites the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimate that vaccinations “will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths in the United States among children born in the last 20 years.”
The bill requires a “state or a political subdivision” to demonstrate to Washington’s satisfaction that “each student enrolled in one of the state’s public elementary schools or public secondary schools” is vaccinated according to federal standards.
It bans federal health-service grants if states don’t “demonstrate” that all students are submitting to the treatment.
The idea already has gained momentum in California, but neither the legislation nor the congresswoman’s statement recognize the estimated $2 billion-plus that the National Vaccine Injury Compensation Program has paid to families of victims of vaccines.
The compensation program was set up to acknowledge “that vaccine injuries and deaths are real” and families that have suffered loss should be compensated.
The site explains that the National Childhood Vaccine Injury Act of 1986 also “preserved the right for vaccine injured persons to bring a lawsuit in the court system if federal compensation is denied or is not sufficient.”
The program lists updates to vaccination requirements and programs, noting just weeks ago that the Obama administration was “plotting” requirements for adult vaccinations as well.
Executive Director Theresa Wrangham wrote that adults would be “informed of the recommended adult schedule at every possible opportunity” such as “work, school, church and other community gathers.”
Tracking databases, she noted, “will be used to identify non-compliers.”
WND reported earlier this year that the issue of vaccinations was becoming controversial again because of the re-emergence in the U.S. of measles after health authorities declared it eliminated in 2000.
That, coupled with a deadly form arising in Ebola-stricken West Africa, raised concerns.
“Vaccination may be the only practical way to protect people against certain diseases, such as meningococcal meningitis and measles,” a study titled “Ethical considerations for vaccination programs in acute humanitarian emergences” published in the United Nations Bulletin of the World Health Organization said at the time.
The paper concluded vaccination “should be voluntary unless it becomes critical to ‘prevent a concrete and serious harm.'”
“The degree of risk to communities will determine to what extend individual rights may be restricted,” the paper said. “Where the threat of widespread, serious infectious disease is imminent, individual liberties may be justifiably curtailed.”
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a record number of measles cases in the U.S. were documented last year, with 644 cases developing from 27 outbreaks reported to the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, NCIRD.
The CDC further reported the majority of people who get measles in the U.S. are not vaccinated and that travelers continue to bring the disease to the U.S.
The CDC stresses the spread of measles can become an outbreak when the disease reaches a community in the U.S. in which groups of people are unvaccinated.
A 2015 measles outbreak most likely started from an 11-year-old unvaccinated traveler who became infected overseas then visited the Disneyland amusement park in California, the CDC reports. The strain of measles virus in the outbreak was identical to the virus type that caused a large measles outbreak in the Philippines last year.