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Archive for July 19th, 2018

Minnesota physicians do not want to be our vaccination police

Thursday, July 19th, 2018


Minnesota physicians do not want to be our vaccination police

A July 19 letter from the Minnesota Medical Association and MN Academy of Pediatrics urges our legislators to act to “tighten Minnesota’s law by closing the current loophole that allows parents to express a conscientious objection to administering vaccines.” In our view there is no reasonable disagreement that scientific information readily available to parents and vulnerable communities about vaccinations is a laudable goal and worthy public expense. For example, the Somali community is combating false claims that measles vaccines cause autism in their children Moreover, today children who are not immunized for diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis (DTP) in Minnesota are denied admission to schools or day care programs unless their parents formally object (the conscientious objection). This is how it should be. Our Minnesota public health goal ought to be reduce parental objections. However, requiring Minnesota’s licensed physicians (and other professionals) to administer vaccines is counterproductive. Making a medical license contingent on administering vaccines smacks of George Orwell’s dystopia. Such public policy only sows patients’ distrust for doctors and discontent among clinicians.