"Some states are engaging in such wide exemptions that they're creating the opportunity for outbreaks on a scale that is going to have national implications," Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said Tuesday in an interview with CNN.
"It's an avoidable tragedy," Gottlieb told Axios. "Too many states have lax laws."
If states don’t strengthen their their requirements, Gottlieb said, “… I think they're going to force the hand of the federal health agencies."
Gottlieb offered no specifics as to how the FDA would intervene, but he told CNN he hoped recent outbreaks would make state officials realize the need for vaccinations.
Reports of measles have made some people rethink the anti-vaccine stance.
"Internet-savvy teenagers are fact-checking their parents' decisions in a digital health reawakening — and seeking their own treatments in bouts of family defiance," the Washington Post reported.
For a child to be exempt from immunization on religious grounds in Georgia, "the parent or guardian must first furnish the responsible official of the school or facility an affidavit in which the parent or guardian swears or affirms that the immunization required conflicts with the religious beliefs of the parent or guardian."
Georgia does not allow exemption for philosophical reasons.
» Unvaccinated kids now seeking out vaccines
» Georgia health officials confirm three cases of measles
» What is measles and how can you prevent it?
» 5 things every parent should know about immunization