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 .

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