The intensifying national debate over vaccine exemption rules

Data: Immunization Action Coalition; Map: Aïda Amer/Axios

As measles spreads and public officials try to prevent the disease from becoming endemic in the U.S. again, a debate is heating up nationally over whether to mandate vaccines or keep in place laws that allow for more individual choice.

The latest: Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, tells Axios instead of mandating vaccines, it's time for states to tighten their exemptions — "the flexibility has gone too far."

Report: Million-dollar donations fund anti-vaccination movement

In this image, Del Bigtree speaks to a crowd of reporters who hold up camera phones.
Anti-vaccine activist Del Bigtree speaks with reporters before an event on June 4. Photo:Yana Paskova/For The Washington Post via Getty Images

Hedge fund manager and philanthropist Bernard Selz and his wife have contributed more than $3 million to anti-vaccination movements since 2012, the Washington Post reports.

Why it matters: The current measles outbreak has been the worst in a century. The extremely contagious measles virus has crept back into American society primarily through communities that refuse vaccinations, experts have told Axios.