Final Project Policy Memorandum1.docx - Final Project:...

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Final Project: Policy MemorandumJillian LombardIHP-610Southern New Hampshire University
Executive SummaryThe issue I have chosen for my final project is immunizations. The state of Evergreenadopted comprehensive immunization legislation 60 years ago. The legislation addressescompulsory immunizations requirements for children attending public school and for healthcareworkers. The language mandating compulsory immunizations for children makes available twoexemptions: one for firmly held religious beliefs and the other for medical safety reasons. Threemajor counties in Evergreen, Cedar, Fir, and Pine have experienced large whooping coughoutbreaks during the past year. Two children and one adult died in the outbreaks. It is unclearwhether any of the three had been vaccinated against whooping cough. The EvergreenLegislature wants to remove exemptions of religious beliefs. The key stakeholders are the schoolemployees and parents.Representatives from Cedar and Fir Counties have sponsored a bill to add a thirdexemption to the existing immunization legislation. This would allow parents to exempt theirchildren from vaccination if they have a “personal objection” to the vaccine or vaccines. Schoolnurses in all three counties are concerned about public backlash if the religious exemption isremoved from the law. School administrators are worried that they will not have the funds andstaff power to enforce more immunization requirements. The school administration believes thatit is already difficult to deny students from coming to school even if they are not sick. My courseof action for this issue is to find out how many of those people who had whooping cough hadbeen vaccinated or not. I believe that children attending public school should be vaccinatedbefore attending school because vaccinations help save lives. I also believe that the religiousexemptions should be eliminated.Factual Overview
ImportanceImmunizations are put in place to protect people from harmful diseases. The State ofEvergreen adopted a policy requiring that all children attending public schools and healthcareworkers must meet the immunization requirements. Three major counties in the State ofEvergreen—Cedar, Fir, and Pine—experienced large whooping cough outbreaks during the pastyear. Two children and one adult died in the outbreaks. The State is uncertain if the people whodied were vaccinated or not. In response to the outbreak, the Evergreen legislature wants toremove the religious exemption and only leave the medical exemption. The issue regarding theremoval of the religious exemption is important because children and healthcare workers shouldbe safe when going to school and work.“The American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP)believes that immunization is essential to preventing the spread of contagious diseases”(American Academy of Family Physicians, 2019). Immunizations should be given to all childrenunless they have medical issues.

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