The United States has been facing a resurgence of vaccine preventable infectious diseases. Non-medical vaccination exemptions (NMEs) which include religious exemptions and philosophical vaccine exemptions are contributing factors in state vaccination rates dropping. The policies surrounding such exemptions vary from state to state. Some states with higher rates of nonmedical vaccine exemptions are dealing with repercussions for this including vaccination rates falling below desired herd immunity and thus putting vulnerable populations such as those who are immunocompromised, too young for vaccination and the elderly at a higher risk.
This thesis aims to examine vaccine preventable re-emerging infectious diseases in the United States with the objective of reaching vaccine hesitant populations and providing them with the tools to make informed decisions to seek out immunizations. This will be done by exploring five different diseases and infections, discussing why some individuals feel hesitant to get immunizations, examining how nonmedical vaccine exemptions are correlated to increased cases of disease outbreaks, looking into state laws specifically focused on countering nonmedical vaccine exemptions and the steps that can be taken moving forward.
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