A Florida Democrat in Congress is proposing legislation that would require all public-school students in America to be vaccinated, preventing parents with religious or other objections from opting out their children. The plan by U.S. Rep. Frederica S. Wilson is the “Vaccinate All Children Act of 2015.” While its future in the Republican-controlled U.S. House appears limited, it illustrates recent concerns over communicable diseases spreading among school populations with large numbers of immigrants. Neither the legislation nor a statement by Wilson addresses the huge cost of negative vaccination reactions reported annually in the United States.

“Research has shown that vaccinations are effective, keep people healthy, and save lives,” Wilson said. “As a former educator, I understand the importance of childhood vaccinations.” She said the health and safety of children “must be our top priority.” “Children who are not vaccinated put themselves and others in danger of acquiring and spreading preventable diseases,” the congresswoman said. Wilson cites the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s estimate that vaccinations “will prevent more than 21 million hospitalizations and 732,000 deaths in the United States among children born in the last 20 years.” MORE