Maine Voters Overwhelmingly Approve New Law Tightening School Vaccine Requirements

Mainers voting in Tuesday’s presidential main overwhelmingly determined to maintain a brand new regulation that removes non secular and philosophical exemptions for childhood vaccines. The measure, which is able to take impact in September 2021, had confronted fierce opposition from some non secular teams and private freedom advocates.

Maine voters have been requested on their ballots whether or not they wished to reject the brand new regulation, which applies to Ok-12 and college college students, in addition to staff of nursery colleges and well being care amenities.

With 67% of precincts reporting, 73% of voters selected to uphold the brand new regulation.

“Mainers are sensible people who clearly listened to medical professionals,” Bobby Reynolds, marketing campaign supervisor of “No on 1,” which had pushed for the regulation’s approval, instructed Bangor Every day Information.

“At its core, this was a public well being concern,” Reynolds added.

Scientists overwhelmingly agree that vaccines are protected and efficient at stopping a plethora of diseases together with measles, mumps, whooping cough and polio. A 95% vaccination fee, nevertheless, is required to attain “herd immunity” inside a neighborhood and to stop illness outbreaks.

In Maine, vaccination charges for a lot of illnesses have fallen under that important threshold. In response to NPR, greater than 5% of kindergarteners within the state are unvaccinated due to nonmedical exemptions — a fee greater than twice the nationwide common. 

Maine has the nation’s second-highest fee of whooping cough, NPR famous. Docs within the state have additionally expressed issues about potential measles outbreaks.

Retired schoolteacher Barbara Grant instructed the Portland Press Herald this week that she supported the brand new vaccine regulation as a result of she’d witnessed firsthand “the affect of unvaccinated youngsters in class.” 

“I’m a powerful ‘no’ vote,” Grant stated.

Maine is now one among 5 states that don’t enable nonmedical exemptions for vaccinations. 

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