June 11, 2019/News Releases

OPINION — Vaccines Matter: State Laws That Make It Easier For Parents To Opt Out Can Cause Real Damage

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Kathryn Weise, M.D.

In a Newsweek op-ed, Kathryn Weise, M.D., a Cleveland Clinic pediatrician and bioethicist, writes that lawmakers should be making it more difficult for parents to exempt their children from immunizations, not easier. Yet as measles cases reach the highest levels reported since the disease was declared eliminated in the U.S. two decades ago, some states – Mississippi, West Virginia and Ohio – are considering legislation that would probably result in fewer children getting vaccinated. Such proposals can cause serious damage.

“Choices that may feel individual and protective of one’s own child or oneself – such as vaccine refusal – do not only affect individuals, they endanger their families and those around them.”

To read the entire op-ed, click here: Vaccines Matter: State Laws That Make It Easier For Parents To Opt Out Can Cause Real Damage

About Cleveland Clinic

Cleveland Clinic is a nonprofit multispecialty academic medical center that integrates clinical and hospital care with research and education. Located in Cleveland, Ohio, it was founded in 1921 by four renowned physicians with a vision of providing outstanding patient care based upon the principles of cooperation, compassion and innovation. Cleveland Clinic has pioneered many medical breakthroughs, including coronary artery bypass surgery and the first face transplant in the United States. U.S. News & World Report consistently names Cleveland Clinic as one of the nation’s best hospitals in its annual “America’s Best Hospitals” survey. Among Cleveland Clinic’s 66,000 employees are more than 4,200 salaried physicians and researchers and 16,600 nurses, representing 140 medical specialties and subspecialties. Cleveland Clinic’s health system includes a 165-acre main campus near downtown Cleveland, 11 regional hospitals in northeast Ohio, more than 180 northern Ohio outpatient locations – including 18 full-service family health centers and three health and wellness centers – and locations in southeast Florida; Las Vegas, Nev.; Toronto, Canada; Abu Dhabi, UAE; and London, England. In 2018, there were 7.9 million total outpatient visits, 238,000 hospital admissions and observations, and 220,000 surgical cases throughout Cleveland Clinic’s health system. Patients came for treatment from every state and 185 countries. Visit us at clevelandclinic.org. Follow us at twitter.com/CCforMedia and twitter.com/ClevelandClinic. News and resources available at newsroom.clevelandclinic.org.

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