At the national level, there seems to be a political split over which party supports mandatory vaccinations — and which wants parents to have more of a say in the matter.
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie and Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) both made the case Monday for more individual choice in vaccination. Paul made the most aggressive argument against mandatory vaccination, arguing that "most of them ought to be voluntary."
President Obama, meanwhile, told NBC News Sunday that the science behind the vaccine was "indisputable."
But when you look at state policies — which states allow more exemptions, and which don't let any parents opt-out — the political divide disappears. You can see that in this map, which uses data from the National Counsel of State Legislatures on state vaccine policies.
School districts typically require children to get vaccinated in order to attend classes. This NCSL data shows the states that allow parents to exempt their kids from vaccination for religious reasons, those that allow a philosophical exemption, and those that allow no exemptions at all.
There's no clear political pattern to states that allow parents to opt their children out of vaccination over philosophical concerns. California and Texas, often on opposite ends of the political spectrum, both have permissive policies.
Only two states, Mississippi and West Virginia, do not allow parents to opt their children out of vaccination for any reason. Those strict requirements help explain why Mississippi has the highest vaccination rates in the country, with 76 percent of all 3-year-olds getting the seven vaccines that the federal government recommends.