May 27, 2019 - Health

Summer camps turn away the unvaccinated

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

No shot, no spot: That's the increasingly common response for summer camp hopefuls who aren't vaccinated, as fears continue to grow about diseases like measles.

What they're saying: “I used to accept kids if they had a religious exemption, but now I’m not,” New York day camp operator Scott Rosmarin told Reuters. “If I lose a couple kids, I lose a couple kids ... You’ve got to do what’s right.”

Why it matters: "U.S. measles outbreaks so far this year have eclipsed all other outbreaks in any year since the virus was declared eradicated in the country in 2000," Axios' Andrew Freedman reported last month.

  • "The U.S. outbreaks have been touched off by travelers coming into the U.S. from regions where measles outbreaks are ongoing. The disease is then spread in regions where there was not sufficiently high levels of immunization."

The big picture: There is no national policy for whether summer camps should require vaccinations.

  • “This year in particular, similar to schools and other places, camps are being very strict about allowing children without immunizations,” the American Camp Association's Susie Lupert told Reuters.

The bottom line: This is another example of private organizations being forced to protect vulnerable people in the face of insufficient government policy.

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