The recent measles outbreak, which started at Disneyland in December and has now spread to six states as well as Mexico, has reignited debate about whether parents should be forced to vaccinate their children. But a new report from The Associated Press shows a less-discussed part of the issue: Many states don't have laws requiring teachers to be vaccinated against diseases such as measles.
According to AP, most states offer recommendations for teacher vaccinations, but there are no requirements for teachers to receive them. And a recent measles outbreak at a California high school revealed that the school didn't have its teachers' immunization records on file.
"I was definitely shocked," Rep. Joanna Cole (D-Vt.) told AP when she learned her state didn't require teacher vaccinations. "I guess we all just assumed that they would have them."
Cole and other legislators have suggested that states and school boards update their policies, since schools are "one of the top places for the spread of communicable disease," AP reports. As of Friday, health officials have reported that 114 people have contracted measles.