Anti-Vaxxers Leaving California Are Calling Themselves Refugees

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 14 Feb 2020 16:03
Anti-Vaxxers Leaving California Are Calling Themselves RefugeesPA Images

Anti-vaxxers who have moved to Idaho from California to take advantage of the state’s relaxed vaccination rules are calling themselves ‘refugees’.

Many parents have moved their families from states that require a religious or medical reason not to vaccinate their children, in a bid to gain what they call ‘medical freedom’.


Idaho is one of just 15 states in the US that consider personal beliefs a valid reason for parents not to vaccinate their children, should they choose. However, one of the 15 states, Washington, recently removed the exemption of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine, though Idaho residents have urged officials not to do the same.

Anti-Vaxxers Leaving California Are Calling Themselves RefugeesShalee Brindley/Facebook

Anti-vaxxer hearings were held in Boise, Twin Falls, Lewiston, Coeur d’Alene, Idaho Falls and Grangeville last year, according to open records obtained following a request by the Idaho Stateman.

Documents from the Idaho Department of Health and Welfare hearings show one person wrote:


I’m writing as a deeply concerned Parent & California Refugee, who had to pull my entire Family out of the State to protect them from Tyrannical Government. I will not stand by allowing Idaho to become a Socialist State.

Another added:

It needs to be known that a very popular reason Idaho has been the most moved to state in the country two years in a row, is medical freedom! Many are SB277 refugees. I personally know a handful of these refugees very well…

A third said:


This state is the fastest-growing state in America. And I think it’s because the few people that have a brain left are coming here. We are not ignorant rednecks.

syringe in armPA Images

In 2019, California senator Richard Pan was accused of ‘high treason’ because he authorised legislation which would restrict vaccine exemptions for school children.

The very same year, 1,282 individual cases of measles were confirmed in 31 different states across the US, which was the greatest number of cases reported in the country since 1992, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).


The CDC said:

More than 73 percent of the cases were linked to recent outbreaks in New York. The majority of cases were among people who were not vaccinated against measles. Measles is more likely to spread and cause outbreaks in U.S. communities where groups of people are unvaccinated.

Laws became even stricter in California earlier this year, when governor Gavin Newsom asked to tighten regulations on what is classed as a medical reason in relation to vaccinations, and to investigate doctors who provide too many waivers.

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Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Health, Anti-Vaxxers, California, Idaho


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