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States Look to Appalachia for Vaccination Laws

Ted S. Warren
AP Photo
Vaccination law protesters in Olympia, WA

Measles cases have spiked in the first quarter of 2019 with outbreaks in ten states. Vaccinations prevent many communicable diseases, but measles is back. Epidemiologists believe it's because some parents do not immunize their children. As a result, the so called “herd protection” from disease that public health officials rely on, is weaker.

The option to forgo vaccinations varies from state to state and is based on laws that are different across the county. Some states allow vaccination exemptions based on a person’s religious or philosophical beliefs.

However some lawmakers are rethinking their vaccination policies because of the recent up tick in measles cases - and they’re looking to an unlikely part of the country as a model: Appalachia.

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