Some state lawmakers getting serious about measles vaccine requirement

As the measles outbreak continues to spread, mostly on the West Coast with with some 120 cases thus far, some lawmakers have had enough and are willing to remove exemptions based on personal beliefs. Those states include California, Oregon and Washington state. And Ohio, though not in the hot zone, has already extended a law […]

As the measles outbreak continues to spread, mostly on the West Coast with with some 120 cases thus far, some lawmakers have had enough and are willing to remove exemptions based on personal beliefs.

Those states include California, Oregon and Washington state. And Ohio, though not in the hot zone, has already extended a law covering those entering childcare which will begin in March, a state Department of Health spokeswoman told Reuters.

But as of Thursday, five babies who spent time in a Chicago childcare center have been diagnosed with measles, all of which were under 1 year old, making them too young to receive the vaccine (which starts at 12 months). So far it isn’t clear what the source of the infection was.

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A Deep-dive Into Specialty Pharma

A specialty drug is a class of prescription medications used to treat complex, chronic or rare medical conditions. Although this classification was originally intended to define the treatment of rare, also termed “orphan” diseases, affecting fewer than 200,000 people in the US, more recently, specialty drugs have emerged as the cornerstone of treatment for chronic and complex diseases such as cancer, autoimmune conditions, diabetes, hepatitis C, and HIV/AIDS.

According to Reuters, officials from the Illinois and Cook County health departments are investigating the measles cases at KinderCare Learning Center in Palatine.

“These cases underscore the need for everyone who is eligible for the vaccine to ensure that they have been vaccinated,” Dr. Nirav Shah, director of the Illinois Department of Public Health, said in a statement. “There are certain individuals who, because of their age or clinical condition, cannot be vaccinated.”

But not all states are moving in this direction towards stricter enforcement.

New York State and Montana currently have medical exemption, but are looking to add philosophical and personal beliefs to the bills. Mississippi and West Virginia could add “conscientious beliefs” in addition to medical reasons, Reuters reports.