Religious ‘War On Health’ Prevails, For Now

“Prior to the introduction of measles vaccines in the 1960s, an estimated 3 to 4 million people in the U.S. each year came down with the highly contagious viral illness, according to the CDC. This led to an estimated 400 to 500 deaths, 48,000 hospitalizations, and 1,000 cases of measles-associated encephalitis (swelling of the brain) each year.”

Anti-vaxxers celebrate victory in NJ as pro-vaccine bill falls apart

The bill’s sponsors vow to immediately try again.

Jan 14, 2020

Ars Technica – Amid raucous protest from hundreds of anti-vaccination advocates, state lawmakers in New Jersey have abandoned legislation to ban vaccination exemptions based on religious beliefs.

The bill, S2173, collapsed in the state Senate Monday as lawmakers realized it was a single vote shy of passage, according to The New York Times.

The defeat came after a last-ditch effort to amend the beleaguered legislation, which ultimately generated new opposition.

S2173 would have prohibited parents from using religious beliefs as an excuse to get out of providing standard, life-saving immunizations for their children.

But the bill met with intense protest from anti-vaccine advocates in the state, who gathered at the State House and disrupted legislative sessions …

War on health

While anti-vaccination protesters cheered the legislative defeat of S2173, the bill’s sponsors and proponents vowed to keep fighting, saying that they would immediately reintroduce a new version of the bill.

“We’re ready to go to war over this,” state Senate President Stephen Sweeney, D-Gloucester, told reporters after Monday. “We will pass this bill. This is about public health. It’s about protecting people.”

According to state records, religious exemption in New Jersey rose to 2.6 percent in the 2018-2019 school year, up from 1.7 percent in the 2013-2014 term.

In 2019, the country saw the largest outbreak of vaccine-preventable measles cases since 1992, with 1,282 cases in 31 states … Read more. 

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