University of Washington, Office of Sponsored Programs
Tanya Karwaki, JD and Patricia Kuszler, MD, JD, from the University of Washington School of Law propose that enacting laws that make vaccine exemptions more difficult to obtain could improve public health outcomes.
The Problem: Vaccine coverage for preventable disease is an essential public health goal. Low vaccine coverage rates enable otherwise avoidable outbreaks of harmful diseases. CDC: Vaccines and Immunizations.
The Problem: Tuberculosis is a classic public health scourge. TB is one of the top 10 causes of death globally. World Health Organization: Tuberculosis Fact Sheet. The risks associated with TB have increased with the emergence of more virulent and drug-resistant strains of the disease. In the United States, the rate of TB incidence and associated mortality declined precipitously for most of the 20th century.
The Problem: Vaccine coverage for vaccine preventable disease is an essential public health goal. Vaccination against specific diseases is particularly important for high risk populations, which may include individuals of a certain age (e.g., greater than 68 years for Pneumococcal Polysaccharide) or with specified medical conditions (e.g., HIV/AIDS for influenza). CDC: General Recommendations on Immunization.