Put Kids First

Children depend on our protection. It's time to put them first.

When it comes to health and safety, we should always put kids first. Unfortunately, in 47 states and the District of Columbia, nonmedical vaccine exemptions are putting your children and community at great risk for deadly, contagious diseases.

47 states and the District of Columbia have religious and/or personal belief exemptions for vaccine requirements, putting vulnerable children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons at risk.

Children who cannot be vaccinated because they are too young or have certain medical conditions depend on the immunity of their peers and surrounding community to protect them. That's why mandatory vaccine laws seek to make as many people immune to these diseases as possible. As misinformation and fears surrounding vaccines have spread, the number of people abusing nonmedical vaccine loopholes has increased in recent years. This has tragically resulted in outbreaks of dangerous diseases like measles that previously were almost entirely eradicated thanks to vaccines.

The evidence is clear: vaccines save lives. Laws intended to protect the most vulnerable members of our community, especially children, should put safety before personal beliefs. No harm, no exceptions. It's time to put kids first.

How can I help protect my children and community from nonmedical vaccine exemptions?

You can have the biggest impact where you are registered to vote. As a constituent, you have the right to contact your elected state and local representatives and bring issues that matter to you and your community to their attention. By educating key decision makers about the dangers of vaccine exemptions and encouraging others to speak out, you can get your elected officials to take action.

On June 30, California Governor Brown signed SB 277, a law that repealed the state's dangerous nonmedical exemptions. These exemptions resulted in outbreaks of measles, which had previously been all but eliminated by vaccines. This law was made possible by a grassroots movements made up of parents, community organizations, school nurses, teachers, doctors, and everyday local members of the community just like you.

Let decision makers in your state know that community immunity matters to you. Join the Put Kids First campaign in your state find out how you can get involved.

Are you a person of faith who supports vaccines?

The Secular Coalition welcomes and is actively seeking the participation of people of faith in its efforts to roll back nonmedical vaccine exemptions. We are working to build inclusive, diverse coalitions to show lawmakers that nonmedical exemptions are a serious public health issue of concern to doctors, parents, faith communities, and the secular community. When it comes to vaccine-preventable diseases, we all have an equal stake in protecting our children, families, neighbors, and communities from dangerous nonmedical exemptions. Please join us today as a proud person of faith who supports vaccines. Together, we can make sure our vaccine laws put kids first.

For Federal Lawmakers

Please see our Issue Statement. For more information, please contact Legislative Manager Diana Castillo: [email protected], 202-299-1091, ext. 203.

For State Lawmakers

Please see our Issue Statement. For more information, please contact Legislative Associate Sarah Levin: [email protected], 202-299-1091, ext. 202.

 

Are you hesitant about getting your child vaccinated?

As a parent, you always put your kids first. You want to do everything within your power to keep them safe, but vaccines can be scary and you have some concerns about the risks involved. The best person to talk to about the risks and benefits of vaccines is your child’s doctor. Tell the pediatrician you’ve entrusted with the care of your child about your concerns. You deserve to have all the information necessary to make decisions about your child’s health with confidence and peace of mind. Please also refer to the resources above for credible and accurate information about the risks and benefits of vaccines.

About Put Kids First

Put Kids First is a nationwide legislative campaign to roll back all nonmedical vaccine exemptions, state by state. Forty-seven states and the District of Columbia have nonmedical exemptions to their vaccine laws, permitting what would otherwise be considered child endangerment punishable by law. Children depend on our protection. It’s time to put them first.

As an organization representing religiously unaffiliated Americans, the Secular Coalition for America advocates for policy based on science, research, and evidence, not personal beliefs or dogma. The law should never allow the exercise of personal or religious beliefs to cause harm to children and the community. Children who cannot be vaccinated for medical reasons depend on their vaccinated peers to keep them safe. With nonmedical exemptions widespread, the number of people abusing these vaccine loopholes has increased. As a result, deadly diseases like the measles that were nearly eradicated with vaccines are now making a comeback. Eliminating nonmedical vaccine exemptions will help ensure a safer and healthier future for everyone, especially children and the most vulnerable members of our community.

On the heels of our recent victory in California, we are confident that with your help, we can roll back dangerous laws that put personal beliefs before children’s safety.

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