As of January 2020, 45 states and the District of Columbia allow religious exemptions from vaccines, and 15 states allow philosophical (non-spiritual) exemptions. This total does not include Maine. On May 24, 2019, Maine governor Janet Mills signed a bill that eliminates all non-medical exemptions to vaccines. The law will take effect in September 2021.
1855 – Massachusetts requires that school-age children be vaccinated (only the smallpox vaccine is available at that time).
February 20, 1905 In Jacobson v. Massachusetts, the Supreme Court of the United States defends the right of the State to force immunization against smallpox.
November 13, 1922 – The United States Supreme Court denies any constitutional violation in Zucht v. King in which Rosalyn Zucht believes that requiring vaccines violates her right to freedom without due process. The Superior Court believes that municipal ordinances that require vaccinations for children to attend school are a "discretion required for the protection of public health."
1952 – Dr. Jonas Salk and his team develop a polio vaccine. A nationwide trial leads to the vaccine being declared safe and effective in 1955.
1963 – First Measles vaccine is released.
1983 – The CDC recommends a schedule for active vaccines.
March 19, 1992 – Rolling Stone publishes an article by Tom Curtis, "The Origin of AIDS," which presents a theory that links HIV / AIDS with polio vaccines. Curtis writes that at the end of the 1950s, during a vaccination campaign in Africa, at least 325,000 people were immunized with a polio contaminated vaccine. The article alleges that the vaccine may have been contaminated with a monkey virus and is the cause of the human immunodeficiency virus, later known as HIV / AIDS.
August 10, 1993 – Congress approves the Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act, which creates the Vaccines for Children Program, providing free vaccines for qualified children.
December 9, 1993 – Rolling Stone publishes an update of Curtis's article, clarifying that his theory was not a fact, and Rolling Stone did not suggest that there was any scientific evidence to support it, and the magazine regrets any damage caused by the article.
1998 – British researcher Andrew Wakefield and 12 other authors publish an article that indicates they had evidence that linked measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccination with autism. They claim to have discovered measles virus in the digestive systems of autistic children who received the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine. The publication leads to a general increase in the number of parents who choose not to vaccinate their children for fear of their link to autism.
2000 – The CDC states that the United States succeeded in eliminating measles, defined as "the absence of continuous transmission of the disease for 12 months or more in a specific geographic area."
2004 – Co-authors of the Wakefield study begin to remove their names from the article when they discover that Wakefield had been paid by lawyers representing parents who planned to sue vaccine manufacturers.
May 14, 2004 – The Institute of Medicine publishes a report "rejecting a causal relationship between the MMR vaccine and autism."
February 2010 – The Lancet, the British medical journal that published the Wakefield study, officially removes the article. Britain also revokes Wakefield's medical license.
2011 – Investigative reporter Brian Deer writes a series of articles in the BMJ exposing Wakefield fraud. The articles state that he used distorted data and falsified medical histories of children that may have led to an unfounded relationship between vaccines and the development of autism.
2011 – The United States Public Health Service believes that 63% of parents who refuse and delay vaccines do so for fear that their children may have serious side effects.
2014 – The CDC reports the highest number of cases in 667 since the elimination of measles was declared in 2000.
June 17, 2014 – After analyzing 10 studies, all of which analyzed whether there was a link between vaccines and autism and involved a total of more than one million children, the University of Sydney publishes a report that says there is no correlation between vaccines and Autism development
December 2014 – A measles outbreak occurs at Disneyland in California.
2015 – Following the outbreak of the theme park, 189 cases of measles are reported in 24 states and Washington, DC.
February 2015 – The Autism Speaks advocacy group publishes a statement: "Over the past two decades, extensive research has asked if there is any link between childhood vaccines and autism. The results of this research are clear: vaccines do not cause autism. We urge that all children be fully vaccinated. "
May 28, 2015 – Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signs a bill that eliminates the philosophical exemption from the state vaccination law. Parents can still request exemptions for medical or religious reasons. The law takes effect on July 1, 2016.
June 30, 2015 – The governor of California, Jerry Brown, signs legislation that closes the "vaccine exemption void," by eliminating any personal or religious exemption to immunize children who attend school. The law takes effect on July 1, 2016.
January 10, 2017 – The notable vaccine skeptic Robert F. Kennedy Jr. meets with President-elect Donald Trump. Subsequently, Kennedy tells reporters that he agreed to chair a commission on "vaccination safety and scientific integrity." A Trump spokeswoman then says that no decision has been made about the creation of a commission on autism.
August 23, 2018 – A study published in the American Journal of Public Health reveals that Twitter accounts managed by automated bots and Russian trolls pretended to be legitimate users who participate in online vaccine discussions. The bots and trolls published a variety of anti, pro and neutral tweets and faced directly the vaccine skeptics, who "legitimize" the vaccine debate, according to the researchers.
October 11, 2018 – Two reports published by the CDC find that vaccine exemption rates and the percentage of unvaccinated children are on the rise.
2019 – The CDC confirms 1,282 individual cases of measles in 31 states.
January 2019 – The World Health Organization mentions the vacillation of vaccines as one of the 10 threats to global health in 2019.
March 26, 2019 – Rockland County, New York, announces the "extremely unusual" step of prohibiting access to unvaccinated persons under 18 from public places. A week later, a judge withholds that and prohibits the county from enforcing the ban.
May 10, 2019 – Washington Governor Jay Inslee signs legislation that eliminates the philosophical exemption for the MMR vaccine from the state's school immunization requirements.
May 24, 2019 – Maine governor Janet Mills signs a bill that eliminates all non-medical exemptions to vaccines. The law will take effect in September 2021, and schoolchildren who claim a non-medical exemption before the law goes into effect may attend school if their parents or guardians provide a written statement from a healthcare professional stating that have been informed of the risks of rejecting immunization.
June 13, 2019 – The governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, signs legislation that eliminates non-medical exemptions from school vaccination requirements. The law takes effect immediately.
September 4, 2019 – Facebook announces that educational pop-ups will appear on social media platforms when a user searches for vaccine-related content, visits groups and Facebook pages related to the vaccine, or plays a hashtag related to the vaccine on Instagram.
September 9, 2019 – California Democratic Governor Gavin Newsom signs two bills that limit medical exemptions for schoolchildren's vaccines.
October 4, 2019 – The Department of Health and Human Services announces that the United States has officially maintained its measles elimination status for almost two decades.
December 19, 2019 – The US Food and Drug Administration. UU. Announces the approval of a vaccine for the prevention of Ebola virus for the first time in the United States. The vaccine, Ervebo, was developed by Merck and protects against Ebola virus disease caused by Ebola Zaire virus in people 18 years of age or older.