Anti-vaccination movement

Anti-vax movement targets Maine law on vaccine exemptions

In this image, a syringe is place don top of a sheet of paper.
The "Tdap" vaccine at the Nasson Health Care clinic in Springvale, Maine in 2018. Photo: Brianna Soukup/Portland Portland Press Herald via Getty Images

Maine is close to adding a ballot question to ask voters "to overturn a state law eliminating nonmedical vaccine exemptions for school children," due to efforts from members of the anti-vaccination movement, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The big picture: "Maine is one of a handful of states that have passed laws to limit exemptions to vaccinations developed to stop the spread of infectious diseases like measles, which immunization can keep at bay," per the WSJ. Earlier this year, the Democrat-controlled state legislature passed the law for fear of low immunization rates among young people.

No new measles cases reported last week for first time since January

Measles
Measles virus. Photo: BSIP/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

No new cases of measles were reported the week of Sept. 6–12 to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for the first time since January.

Why it matters: Despite the milestone, public health officials warn that this does not mean the outbreak is over, particularly as other countries and 2 New York counties continue efforts to stem their outbreaks. Measles is an extremely contagious disease with harmful side effects that range from possible lowered immunity to other diseases to death, though infection is largely preventable via vaccination.

Go deeper: Read Axios' full coverage of the measles outbreak here.