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To vaccinate or not?

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This was a big question in the 2016 US presidential elections as a result of the mounting controversy surrounding mandatory childhood vaccination.

In 1798, the first vaccination was scientifically documented, and ever since, they have changed how we look at human health and medicine.

Vivian Chou writes in a Harvard blog:

The impacts of vaccines have ranged from the 1979 eradication of polio in the US and the 1980 eradication of smallpox worldwide, to prevention of cancer of the liver and the cervix. In fact, vaccines have been so influential that some scientists consider them among the greatest successes in public health.

Many would say that vaccinations are one of the greatest accomplishments in public health, while others strongly oppose them — particularly those given to children — arguing that they are unnecessary, ineffective, and dangerous. And so, a growing number of parents are choosing not to vaccinate their children.

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To get a more in depth heavily sourced article as to why this is happening, you can refer to this article;

The Top 6 Reasons Why Parents Are Choosing Not To Vaccinate Their Children

This decision has sparked additional controversy, and prompted laws to be implemented against it. Minnesota, for example, requires all students enrolled in grades kindergarten through 12 to show they have received immunizations or an exemption.

But not everyone is complying so easily, and school district officials are fighting back.

In Rochester, 150 families are being threatened by the law, with officials informing them that if they don’t vaccinate their children, they will not be allowed to attend school. Minnesota schools needed to submit an immunization report to the state Department of Health by Dec. 1 unless they request a 60-day extension.

School district officials took the step because 204 students had been revealed to have ignored the law, and so they told families they had until March 1 to meet the requirement, or their children wouldn’t be allowed to attend classes. According to superintendent Michael Muñoz, it was the first time in his six-year tenure that the district had followed through with the action.

And true to their word, on March 1, 80 students who still hadn’t complied were barred from classes, and their families, guardians, and emergency contacts were notified. By the end of the day, 68 students still hadn’t met the requirements.

In the next seven days, 117 students had proved they were vaccinated, and 19 filed exemptions for heath or religious reasons.

School officials said they have worked “diligently” since January to inform families that students must be vaccinated to attend school or provide documentation for an exemption.

“We sent multiple letters, worked with our bilinguals if necessary, and each school made additional efforts to connect with the families impacted to assist them with submitting the proper documentation,” school officials said, claiming the removal of the students was a last resort.

“The procedure utilized by the district in this situation was an attempt to strike a balance between enforcing the requirements of the statute and being mindful of the fact that the right to an education is a fundamental right in Minnesota,” school officials said. “Preventing a student from enrolling in school is a serious issue. The district wanted to make sure it gave families ample opportunity to bring themselves into compliance before it prevented any students from attending school.”

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