Vermont Parents May Start New Religion To Get Kids Out Of Vaccinations

| by Michael Allen

Earlier this year, Vermont ended its philosophical exemption that some parents used to get their children out of vaccinations before school enrollment.

The philosophical exemption was removed in May, according to the Burlington Free Press. As of July 1, 2016, parents will be allowed to use only medical or religious exemptions to prevent their kids from being vaccinated.

‘‘The vast majority who used the philosophical exemption are planning to or are being forced to use the religious exemption,’’ Jennifer Stella, president of the Vermont Coalition for Vaccine Choice, told The Associated Press.

‘‘I grew up here in Cabot [Vermont], and would love my daughter to be able to go to the same school I did,’’ parent Aedan Scribner said. ‘‘But to get her into that school I’m going to have to do something like convert religiously.’’

Shawn Venner, Scribner's partner, said some parents may start "a religion that says we’ll pretty much have a choice.’’

The choice not to be vaccinated puts others in danger of contracting diseases, according to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention.

Some Vermont parents may decide to invent their own religion because they reject traditional religious beliefs and religions.

According to a poll by Pew Research Center from 2014, 37 percent of Vermont residents self-identified as religiously "unaffiliated’’ or religious "nones." The poll also found that 7 percent were atheists, another 7 percent were agnostics, and 22 percent said they were "nothing in particular."

A Gallup poll from 2013 found Vermont was the least religious state with only 22 percent of the residents calling themselves "very religious."

Sources: AP via Boston Globe, Pew Research Center, GallupBurlington Free PressCDC / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons