Investigating How States’ Vaccination Exemption Laws Affect Vaccination Rates

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Childhood vaccines play a major role in minimizing the incidence of vaccine-preventable disease. While all states accommodate medical vaccine exemptions, certain states also allow for waivers on the basis of religious or philosophical objections. Certain vaccines have been particularly controversial, with public perceptions linking them to autism and developmental disorders, despite consensus to the contrary in the scientific and medical communities.  This has led some states to add exemptions in recent years, while other states opted to eliminate the exemptions.