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April 11: Portland Press Herald

Panel endorses bill to end most vaccine exemptions for Maine schoolchildren

The bill – approved on a 8-5 party-line vote, with all Democrats voting in favor – will now go to the full state Legislature for floor votes. “We have to come down on the side of the greater good,” said Rep. Victoria Kornfield, D-Bangor and co-chair of the committee.

April 6: Portland Press Herald

Health experts alarmed by record rate of opt-outs for school-required vaccinations

Maine’s rate of parents opting their children out of school-required vaccines reached an all-time high this year, according to the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention, alarming public health experts and making the state vulnerable to the return of preventable infectious diseases such as measles, pertussis and chickenpox.

March 26, 2019: Wired

The True Dollar Cost of the Anti-Vaccine Movement

Researchers at the CDC estimated that handling 107 cases of measles that occurred in 2011 cost state and local health departments between $2.7 million and $5.3 million. 

April 6: Suit Up Maine

FACT CHECK: Correcting anti-vaccine testimony

Suit Up Maine has chosen to correct some of those false claims by offering an annotated version of testimony given by Sen. David Miramant (D-Knox) in opposition to LD 798. We encourage Sen. Miramant’s constituents and all Mainers to speak out to correct false information whenever and wherever they see it.

April 9: Portland Press Herald

Maine Voices: Students aren’t the only ones who’d benefit from stricter vaccine rules

With outbreaks of measles popping up then and now, we feel safer knowing our whole family benefits from this choice. Nonetheless, we still live with the worry that measles could be an occupational hazard for my husband. This does not need to be the case, and it should not be the case.

March 21, 2019: Scientific American

Opting Out of Vaccines Should Opt You Out of American Society

There is no moral difference between a drunk driver and a willfully unvaccinated person. Both are selfishly, recklessly and knowingly putting the lives of everyone they encounter at risk. Their behavior endangers the health, safety and livelihood of the innocent bystanders who happen to have the misfortune of being in their path.

April 10: Portland Press Herald

2019 Kindergarten Vaccination Exemption Rates by School

This data table lists the exemption rate from infectious disease vaccinations for kindergarten classes in Maine schools in the 2018-19 school year. 

April 10: Washington Post

Anti-vaxxers are comparing themselves to Holocaust victims — who relied on vaccines to survive

Anti-vaccination protesters have begun wearing yellow stars, claiming that rules based on vaccination status are analogous to the inhumane treatment of Jews during the Holocaust.

April 9: Washington Post

CDC finds 78 new measles cases as outbreak sprints toward record and experts blame anti-vaxxers

For the second week in a row, U.S. health officials added dozens of new reports to the year’s list of confirmed measles cases, bringing the total to 465 — already the highest number in the past five years.

April 5: Portland Press Herald

Whooping cough cases more than doubled in 1st quarter, with 41 in March alone

Maine had 136 cases of pertussis through March 2019, compared with 59 in the same time period last year, according to data released Friday by the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention. The 2018 numbers – 446 for the entire year – were the worst per-capita rate in the nation.

April 5: Maine Public

Maine Vaccination Rates Reach New Low

With the exception of the varicella vaccine, immunization rates in Maine have dropped below the herd immunity level of 95 percent. That's the threshold above which the spread of disease within a population is unlikely, even among those who are unvaccinated.

April 4, 2019: Skeptical Raptor

Vaccine medical exemptions – California legislature aims to curb abuse

While the medical board can take action against doctors writing exemption – and is in the process of doing so in multiple cases – it faces an evidentiary obstacle: the parents benefiting from the exemption have no incentive to cooperate, and the information is harder to obtain without such cooperation.

April 2: News Center Maine

Person with measles visited these 2 Maine businesses on March 27: CDC

Maine CDC says it was notified on April 1 by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health of a confirmed case of measles in a Massachusetts resident, who had visited two Maine businesses last Wednesday, March 27.

March 21, 2019: The verge

New research targets anti-vaccination comments on Facebook

Anti-vaccination content on Facebook extends beyond the thoroughly debunked myth that vaccines cause autism, a new study reports. Instead, a team of researchers found four flavors of anti-vaccine misinformation that may discourage parents from vaccinating their children.

March 18, 2019: voice of san diego

One Doctor Is Responsible for a Third of All Medical Vaccine Exemptions in San Diego

Dr. Tara Zandvliet has written nearly one-third of all 486 medical exemptions from vaccinations for the entire San Diego Unified School District, according to vaccination records obtained by Voice of San Diego. Medical exemptions have been climbing since a 2015 state law limited parents’ ability to obtain personal belief exemptions.

March 21, 2019: CNN.com

Her son died. And then anti-vaxers attacked her.

She believes the anti-vaxers are trying to silence the very people who can make the strongest argument for vaccinations: those whose children died of vaccine-preventable illnesses.

April 9: New York Times

New York Declares Measles Emergency, Requiring Vaccinations in Parts of Brooklyn

“This is the epicenter of a measles outbreak that is very, very troubling and must be dealt with immediately,” Mr. de Blasio said at a news conference in Williamsburg, adding: “The measles vaccine works. It is safe, it is effective, it is time-tested.”

April 9: Vox

8 things everybody should know about measles

The measles virus is one of the most infectious diseases known to man. A person with measles can cough in a room and leave, and hours later, if you’re unvaccinated, you could catch the virus from the droplets in the air the infected person left behind.

No other virus can do that.

April 8: The Hill

Measles cases spike to 465 nationwide in past week

This is the second greatest number of cases reported in the U.S. since measles was eliminated in 2000, the agency said. The worst year for measles since then was 2014, when there were 667 cases.

April 5: The Hill

One girl may have exposed up to 200 people to measles in a single ER visit: report

The University of California, Davis, Children’s Hospital has reportedly warned at least 200 patients that they could have recently been exposed to measles after a young girl arrived in the emergency room with symptoms of the highly contagious virus.

April 3: New York Times

Opinion: Parenting in the Time of Measles

Many Americans are shocked at the growth of the anti-vaccine movement. Alas, I’m not one of them. As a mother who has traveled in home-schooling circles since the birth of my first child in 2013, I have watched as hostility toward vaccines has blossomed.

April 4: Kaiser Health News

How Easy Are Vaccine Exemptions? Take A Look At The Oregon Model

Omer and other public health officials find this trend worrisome, because kids who remain unvaccinated can catch — and spread — dangerous diseases such as measles, posing a risk to themselves and the wider community.

March 25: News Center Maine

Pertussis is widespread in Maine

Last month alone, there were 40 confirmed cases of Pertussis in Maine, compared to 16 in February last year. Currently, there are Pertussis outbreaks at Falmouth High School, Thornton Academy in Saco, and Great Salt Bay Community School in Damariscotta.

March 20, 2019: Jezebel

Jenny McCarthy's Autism Charity Has Helped Its Board Members Make Money Off Dangerous, Discredited Ideas

Generation Rescue isn’t the sole organization trading in dubious but profitable autism services. A look at the products it promotes and the medical experts it cites reveals the chaotic hall of mirrors that families with autistic children are thrust into almost as soon as they receive a diagnosis.

March 6, 2019: cnn.com

Exposure to infection in the womb increases risk of autism and depression, study says

Children born to women who had a severe infection during pregnancy, such as sepsis, flu or pneumonia, show an increased risk of autism spectrum disorder and depression, new research finds.