BOSTON (CBS) – Routine childhood vaccines are required to stay in school, but more and more parents are opting out for what they call personal or religious reasons.
Now, the head of the FDA says the federal government may have to step in if states don’t strengthen their vaccine laws.
Seventeen states allow families to skip vaccines for personal beliefs. Forty-seven states, including Massachusetts, allow religious exemptions.
As a result, we’re seeing outbreaks of potentially deadly diseases that were once eradicated, like measles. In fact, there have been at least 127 measles cases in 10 states so far this year.
In an interview with CNN, the FDA commissioner said some states have such wide exemptions that they’re putting the nation at risk.
He said the federal government could mandate rules about what can and what cannot be considered a legitimate exemption.