Rising rates of vaccine exemptions: Problems with current policy and more promising remedies.Vaccine. 2014 Feb 12;
Authors: Constable C, Blank NR, Caplan AL
Parents of school-age children are increasingly claiming nonmedical exemptions to refuse vaccinations required for school entry. The resultant unvaccinated pockets in many areas of the country have been linked with outbreaks of vaccine-preventable diseases. Many states are now focused on reducing rates of nonmedical exemptions by making exemption processes more restrictive or burdensome for the exemptor. These strategies, however, pose ethical problems and may ultimately be inadequate. A shift to strategies that raise the financial liabilities of exemptors may lead to better success and prove ethically more sound. Potential areas of reform include tax law, health insurance, and private school funding programs. We advocate an approach that combines this type of incentive with more effective vaccination education.