Massachusetts Medical Society: Massachusetts Medical Society on vaccine exemption bills

Massachusetts Medical Society on vaccine exemption bills

Vaccines are a critical public health tool that provide a safe and effective means to protect children and adults from infectious and potentially deadly diseases. We are witnessing firsthand the benefits of and crucial role vaccination plays in protecting society from harmful disease as rates of COVID-19 continue to plummet in the Commonwealth with increasingly successful vaccination efforts.

By allowing only bona fide medical exemptions to mandatory school immunizations, H.2411 serves our communities well, offering the surest path to herd immunity against deadly, contagious infections. Additionally, the Medical Society supports certain provisions of S.1517/H.2271, An Act relative to Community Immunity, that would improve the remainder of the vaccine system by centralizing, standardizing, and streamlining the medical exemption process while improving the collection, monitoring, and publication of immunization data.

However, to achieve the greatest public health benefit, the Medical Society strongly supports the approach in H.2411 to eliminate the religious exemption. As the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us, acting proactively to protect the health of our people, particularly those most vulnerable, averts dangerous illness and saves lives. In the interest of public health, the Medical Society urges the legislature to promptly pass H.2241.

-Carole E. Allen, MD, MBA, FAAP, President, Massachusetts Medical Society

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