Of course, there's no way to know the intention of every parent seeking the exemption. And although no major religion prohibits vaccinations, some smaller religious sects, such as the Church of Christ, Scientist, do.To make matters worse, Florida officials cannot even question the sincerity of a religious exemption because of a 1998 decision by the First District Court of Appeal, and there is currently zero legislation to address this issue.
But that almost certainly doesn't explain a 25 percent year-over-year spike in exemptions granted, experts say.
Much more likely, said University of South Florida Health assistant professor Jill Roberts, parents are claiming the exemptions after being persuaded by sophisticated online anti-vaccination misinformation groups.
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