An article recently published in the Minneapolis-St. Paul Star Tribune describes an outbreak of Hemophilus Influenza B (HiB) in Minnesota.
There were five kids diagnosed with the disease last year and one 7 month old died from the disease – the first death from the disease in Minnesota since 1991.
The article noted how Hemophilus influenza is “a disease that had been nearly wiped out across the United States after a vaccine that is given to babies in the first months of life was introduced in the early 1990s.”
This CNN article also notes that “Before vaccines became widely used, about 20,000 HiB cases were reported each year in the country. After children began receiving the vaccinations in the early 1990s, CDC officials said, there was a 99 percent drop in cases.”
Yup, you guessed it.
Three of the five kids, including the 7-month-old who died, “had not been immunized because their parents did not want them vaccinated.” One of the other kids hadn’t received all doses of the vaccination, and the last child had an immune deficiency – making it less likely that the immunization would work.
Should parents who fail to take steps to prevent a largely preventable illness be held accountable if their children suffer a bad outcome?
As an aside, does anyone know the specifics of the “religious exemption” that some parents use to avoid vaccinating their children? Isn’t that kind of like stating that my religion prevents me from paying taxes?