Wikimedia Commons | Laura A. Moore

Even More Doctors Are Refusing To Take Unvaccinated Patients

Over the last decade, the anti-vaxx community has grown to a surprising extent. For much of this time, they've existed on the fringes of social media and channeled common parental fears and potential guilt to create a frantic distrust for medical science.

For a time, medical professionals could only stand baffled at the idea that vaccines were some sort of evil scheme by Big Pharma.

However, now that the anti-vaxxer mentality is responsible for actual public health crises, it seems they've run out of patience.

Back in January, the governor of Washington declared a state of emergency due to a measles outbreak.

Reddit | LatrodectusGeometric

Now, a similar outbreak is taking root in New York and the state government is taking it just as seriously.

According to WILX, they're requiring unvaccinated children in affected zip codes to obtain the measles-mumps-rubella vaccine.

Anyone who has been in contact with somebody infected with measles also has to prove they've been vaccinated.

Reddit | OhCoyle

Failure to follow either of these requirements will result in a $1,000 fine.

But unfortunately, this isn't the only state where new measles cases are starting to show up.

Although Michican hasn't officially declared a public health emergency yet, the state is also seeing an alarming rise in measles cases.

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As WILX reported, 40 confirmed cases have appeared in eastern Michigan and a new one has been reported further inland in Washtenaw County.

And so, pediatricians in Michigan are starting to give parents a choice: Vaccinate their kids or take them to another doctor.

Wikimedia Commons | NIAID

As Dr. Kenneth Stringer of MSU Pediatrics told WILX, the organization will not accept new patients whose parents refuse to vaccinate them.

Current patients also shouldn't get too comfortable because the same rules apply to them: Get the shots they need or get out.

Wikimedia Commons | Laura A. Moore

According to Stringer, this policy has come into effect within the past month.

As he said, "It was even before this outbreak. We just knew there was a great need to have the appropriate vaccinations being given to children and that's why we came up with this policy."

The only exception to this policy are children with conditions that can make vaccines harmful.

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According to the Centers for Disease Control, these vary depending on the vaccines, but can include issues with allergies and compromised immune systems.

For most children, however, vaccines can only benefit their health and MSU Pediatrics sees the promotion of them as the only way to get the outbreaks under control.

Wikimedia Commons | Areca Wilson

As Stringer said, "I'm surprised with the number of illnesses that are out there that can be prevented with vaccines. It can be very beneficial to preventing bad illnesses...illnesses that can actually be life-threatening."

Despite the bluster the anti-vaxx community makes about mandatory vaccinations, Stringer said he hasn't seen much backlash from parents.

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The vast majority of his patients choose to vaccinate their children and he recommends doing proper research before anyone decides not to vaccinate.

Of course, this research should not include anti-vaxxer enclaves throughout social media.

h/t: WILX