Ontario bill will make parents take a class to get vaccine exemptions

Before getting a vaccination exemption, parents in Ontario may first have to attend an educational class teaching them about vaccines, what they are, and why they are important. Such is the foundation of new legislation recently introduced in the region, and it aims to reduce the number of parents who choose to skip vaccines over fears about autism, random conspiracy theories, and other concerns.

The so-called anti-vaxxer movement has grown against all good sense over recent years, with many citing fears about a (debunked) risk of developing autism. Failure to vaccinate children has already resulted in a few diseases making a comeback in the U.S., including measles, whooping cough, and chicken pox.

Ontario is looking to stamp out misinformation by requiring anti-vax parents to take a mandatory educational class before they're granted vaccination exemptions. The class would be given by the parents' local public health department; in addition, doctors would have to report which vaccines each child has received, making it easier for schools to stay on top of vaccine records.

Vaccines, of course, are important for more than just the child getting it — many people are unable to get vaccines due to health issues, and they are dependent on healthy individuals getting vaccinated to keep preventable diseases at bay.

Parents that do not receive an exemption will be required to get their child vaccinated in order to enroll them in school. The mandatory vaccines are standard, including polio and tetanus, diphtheria, mumps and measles, whooping cough, rubella, and meningococcal disease.