Democratic Gov. Janet Mills had strongly encouraged voters to not reject the new law, which eliminates religious and philosophical exemptions. Opt-out rates in Maine had reached the sixth highest in the nation.
The Wall Street Journal: Maine Voters Keep Tightened Vaccine Requirements
The vote means Maine will join a handful of states, including California and New York, that are making it harder to opt out of vaccine requirements as part of their efforts to restrain preventable diseases like measles. “Tonight, the health and wellbeing of Maine children prevailed,” Gov. Janet Mills, a Democrat, said late Tuesday. (Kamp, 3/3)
The Hill: Maine Vaccination Law Survives Referendum Vote
A Maine law that imposes strict vaccination requirements survived a referendum on Tuesday, with voters keeping the measure that eliminates religious and philosophical exemptions. Gov. Janet Mills (D) had strongly urged Mainers not to reject the law, set to take effect September 2021, citing the spread of the coronavirus. After the virus was first identified in China, she noted that “one of the first things that public health officials did was begin to work on a vaccine because vaccines save lives,” The Associated Press reported. (Budryk, 3/3)
Bangor Daily News: Maine Voters Uphold New Law Tightening School Vaccination Requirements
A new Maine law tightening school vaccine requirements will go into effect after voters rejected a people’s veto challenge on Tuesday, making the state the fifth to bar parents from exempting children from vaccines for nonmedical reasons. The measure backed by Democratic Gov. Janet Mills passed largely along party lines in the Legislature last year as a response to rising vaccine opt-out rates in Maine schoolchildren that reached the sixth-highest mark in the nation during the 2018-19 school year, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (Andrews, 3/4)
This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.
Syndicated from https://khn.org/morning-breakout/wellbeing-of-maine-children-prevailed-voters-decide-to-keep-vaccine-requirements/