American Medical Association (AMA) delegates voted to support legislation banning nonmedical exceptions for immunizations, arguing that they jeopardize public health.

“This is an emerging public health crisis,” said Charles Barone, MD, a delegate speaking for the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP). “The AAP and AMA need to be firm in our opposition to nonmedical immunization waivers.”

Pediatricians are hearing from families with children who have immune deficiencies or who are being treated for childhood cancer, “demanding to know if their children are at risk of being exposed to dangerous vaccine-preventable diseases in their daycares, schools, public places, and physician waiting rooms,” he told Medscape Medical News.