Should North Dakota summer camps require vaccinations?

Good Day Dakota

As measles cases rise, summer camps around the US are requiring children to get vaccinated.

There are over a 1,000 reported cases of the measles just this year, which is the greatest number of cases reported since 1992 according to the CDC.

In efforts to avoid the disease spreading some states are forcing kids to get vaccinated before attending summer camp.

North Dakota is unique. We are one of 17 states where you can refuse vaccination for medical, religious or personal reasons.

However, the American Academy of Pediatrics published new recommendations saying kids should get vaccinated before going to a summer camp.

States like New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania have already taken action.

KX reached out to a couple of summer camps and the ones we spoke to said they do not require vaccinations.

Sanford Health doctor, Noe Mateo, says he thinks it’s a good idea for camps to start taking a stand.

“You have to ask yourself if I insist on getting kids vaccinated what sort of impact does that have on the bottom line of the business,” says Dr. Mateo. “I’m sure they are going to lose a few but potentially they might gain a few. So, in the long run, I think it will be a neutral thing on the business end and then a plus for the public health aspect.”

With measles being one of the most contagious viruses, doctors also say summer camps are a perfect place for it to spread quickly.

“It’s not just kids hanging out in one location, but they have these competitions apparently when you have one camp vs another. And you have kids traveling from place to place. And when that happens what occurs in one spot can easily spread statewide for example,” says Dr. Mateo.

Policies on vaccination requirements at camps vary from each state.

New York alone had 30 new cases just last week. North Dakota still has not reported any measles cases.

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