Nebraska Revised Statute 71-527
Legislative findings and declarations.
The Legislature hereby finds and declares that:
(1) Childhood communicable diseases constitute a serious threat to the public health of the people of this state and the prevention of childhood communicable diseases is a goal of the people;
(2) The effectiveness of childhood vaccines in preventing certain communicable diseases and thereby saving lives and preventing debilitating conditions has been well documented. Vaccines are among the most cost-effective components of preventive health care; for every dollar spent on childhood immunization, ten dollars are saved in later medical costs;
(3) Prevention of childhood diseases should include comprehensive, continuous health care, including regular medical examinations, treatment by a practitioner familiar with the child, and age-appropriate administration of immunizations;
(4) The United States Department of Health and Human Services, Public Health Service, has as its Healthy People 2000 objective to have at least ninety percent of all children completely immunized by age two. The United States immunization survey indicates that only seventy-seven percent of children two years of age had received the basic immunization series. Recent outbreaks of measles among preschoolers who are not immunized also have shown that inadequate immunization levels still occur;
(5) Nebraska has as its Year 2000 objective that seventy-five percent of its counties are covered by public immunization clinics, that ninety percent of its two-year-olds are minimally immunized, and that ninety-eight percent of its school-aged children are immunized;
(6) The Surgeon General's 1990 objective to decrease the incidence of cases of mumps and pertussis to less than one thousand has not been achieved, and the incidence of pertussis increased between 1979 and 1987;
(7) Immunization rates in other developed countries are higher than immunization rates in the United States;
(8) Diphtheria, tetanus, and pertussis immunization rates in European countries average forty-one percent higher than in the United States;
(9) Polio immunization rates are twenty-three percent higher in European countries than in the United States;
(10) Measles immunization rates are twenty-three percent higher in England, Denmark, and Norway than in the United States;
(11) Childhood communicable diseases should be prevented through protection of Nebraska's children by immunization against measles, mumps, rubella, diphtheria, tetanus, pertussis, polio, haemophilus influenzae type B, and such other diseases as may be indicated based on then current medical and scientific knowledge;
(12) The average cost of fully vaccinating a child in the private sector has increased dramatically in the past decade. The full battery of childhood vaccines recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in 1982 increased five times in cost between 1982 and 1989. These increases have made it unaffordable for many children to receive their immunizations at their private practitioner's office; and
(13) There is a national effort to continue current immunization programs and to provide additional funds to implement the Healthy People 2000 objective that ninety percent of children are appropriately immunized by two years of age.
- Laws 1992, LB 431, § 2;
- Laws 1994, LB 1223, § 30.