The New York Times

Eager to Limit Exemptions to Vaccination, States Face Staunch Resistance

As measles spread across the nation earlier this year, 71 residents of Vancouver, Washington, fell ill, most of them unvaccinated children. So state Rep. Paul Harris, a Republican representing the district, sponsored a measure to limit exemptions from immunization.

Activists protesting the bill converged on his legislative office; the resulting chaos led security officers to close the entire floor to the public. A death threat was posted on Facebook.

Only a handful of Harris’ Republican colleagues supported the measure because, they said, it infringed on individual liberties.

“I think there’s a lot of misinformation out there, and people either don’t believe in science or think there are more vaccine injuries than are being reported,” he said.

The nation is struggling with the worst measles outbreak in 25 years, with more than 1,000 confirmed cases in 28 states. Medical experts agree that vaccines prevent epidemics, save lives and are very safe, though complications occur in rare cases.

This article originally appeared in .

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from The New York Times

The New York Times4 min read
Need Etiquette Tips for Cannabis? For Starters, Don't Call It 'Marijuana' or 'Weed.'
In “Higher Etiquette,” Lizzie Post — the great-great-granddaughter of Emily Post — argues that it’s time for cannabis to move, in the public imagination, away from its surfer and “Cheech and Chong” image.
The New York Times7 min read
How to Disclose a Disability to Your Employer (and Whether You Should)
The invisible nature of my chronic illness protects me from a whole universe of discrimination and microaggressions, but it also insulates me from potential support. Of course, I acknowledge that my position is a privileged one. Some disabilities an
The New York Times5 min read
Where Are All the Bob Ross Paintings? We Found Them.
Bob Ross appeared on public television for 11 years. In 381 episodes, he taught America how to make a painting. But when one of our colleagues decided he wanted to buy one of these paintings, a simple search yielded odd results. There were hundreds o