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Sat May 25, 2019, 10:06 AM

Maine to end non-medical exemptions for vaccinations

Source: Associated Press

Maine to end non-medical exemptions for vaccinations

May 24, 2019

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) — Democratic Gov. Janet Mills on Friday signed into law a bill that eliminates religious and philosophical exemptions for vaccinations in Maine.

Maine has one of the highest rates of non-medical vaccine exemptions in the nation, and health officials say the opt-out rates appear to be rising.

“As we hear more reports of measles and other preventable diseases in Maine and across the country, it has become clear that we must act to ensure the health of our communities,” said Democratic Rep. Ryan Tipping of Orono, the bill’s sponsor.

Maine will end non-medical vaccine opt-outs by 2021 for students at public and private schools and universities, including nursery school. Health care facility employees are also subject to the law.

Supporters say unvaccinated children put others at risk, especially those who cannot receive inoculations for medical reasons. But opponents of the legislation say it infringes on parental rights and stigmatizes children who remain unvaccinated.

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Read more: https://apnews.com/6fd42d4fbdbb428ca7efa0104fa8da6d

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