In response to a measles outbreak that has spread from Clark County to King County and Oregon, lawmakers have passed legislation that allows children to be vaccinated for the disease for personal or philosophical reasons.
Fifty states demand the vaccination of students, 18 states, including Washington, allow exceptions to families who reject vaccinations for philosophical, moral or other reasons. Some families use the provision to exclude vaccines for fear of autism, an allegation that has been repeatedly exposed.
House Bill 1638 would no longer allow families to use a philosophical or personal objection to rid their children of police measles, mumps, and rubella vaccines. Representative Monica Stonier, a Vancouver Democrat who is a sponsor of the bill, said the impetus for the legislation was the Clark County outbreak, which has so far had 38 confirmed cases. Stonier said she understood that the vaccinations could be seen as a matter of personal choice, but she added, "I think every child has the right to join our community as a healthy, thriving child."
"Personal rights are important as long as they do not defend the rights of others," she said.
The outbreak of the highly contagious disease was made possible by the high number of unvaccinated children in Clark County. According to the State Department of Health's 201
Nationwide, 3.7 percent of students had requested a personal exemption, and just under three percent had been specifically exempted from the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine.
Stonier said some children are not vaccinated because their immune system is not vaccinated, weakened by cancer treatment or other illness, and are at risk from families who can not be vaccinated. She also said that the current measles crisis has undermined past public health investment and pointed to over $ 200,000 in costs.
Since the outbreak of measles in Disneyland in 2015, federal state legislators have re-examined the vaccine exemption. 19659002] In California, the derogation for SB 277 vaccines, which entered into force in 2015, has been fundamentally changed. The bill was a response to the Disneyland Disease outbreak and a 2010 pertussis outbreak, which included approximately 9,000 cases, 808 hospital admissions, and 10 child deaths.
California law banned personal beliefs and limited exceptions from school vaccinations for children with medical conditions Contraindication for the vaccine, California Health Ministry director Karen Smith said Wednesday in a media conference call.
Smith explained the elimination of personal exemptions for children who go to school, the vaccination rates have increased by nearly 5 percent. She noted that 95% of California students were fully vaccinated at school entry for the 2017/18 school year.
Between 90% and 95% vaccination rates are required to reach the immunity of the herd communities from outbreaks. If the rates are so high, a disease can be difficult to spread in a community even if the disease is introduced.
The California measles outbreak in 2015 counted more than 130 measles cases that spread across Michigan, Canada and Mexico, costing more than $ 4 million. The outbreak was contained within two months, Smith said.
"The fact that the initial exposures and transfers took place in Disneyland made this outbreak an international media event," said Smith, "which became very robust during the outbreak of public dialogue on the value of vaccinations and ultimately prescribed vaccinations for the school entrance. "
In 2011, lawmakers in Washington passed a law requiring parents to refuse to vaccinate first to speak with a healthcare provider. In 2015, the legislator considered a bill that would have waived the personal exemptions for all vaccines, not just the measles, mumps and rubella vaccine against which the current bill is being addressed. The bill was not passed.
Rep. Paul Harris, a Republican from Vancouver, who also sponsors HB 1638, said the measles outbreak, which Governor Jay Inslee has declared a public health emergency, could give more impetus to the more focused legislation. He said he had been encouraged to sign Rep. Eileen Cody, chair of the House Health Care and Wellness Committee, and he expected it to be heard next week.
"We'll take a small step and see if we can not," Harris said.
In Clark County, about 1 percent of families demanded medical vaccine clearance and just under 1 percent voted for religious reasons Harris said lawmakers would work with staff to "exacerbate" religious liberation to ensure that people have a "good" reason not to be vaccinated.
The previous attempt to eliminate personal exemptions , met with resistance from MPs who felt that it violated their parents' rights In 2015, most Republicans in the Legislative Delegation of Clark County were dissatisfied or skeptical of the Bill abolishing the personal exemption.
Both Sen. Annette Cleveland and MPs Sharon Wylie, both Vancouver Democrats, supported previous draft bill and the current act. Wylie said in a text that she supports the current bill, although "it is more modest than many citizens who want to contact me."
"Our babies and especially vulnerable people are at particular risk," Cleveland said in a text. "As policy makers, we need to take careful action to address this threat and better protect us all."
Rep. Brandon Vick, R-Felida, said in a text that he could not verify the bill. Representative Larry Hoff, R-Felida, said he was in favor of vaccinations and had received vaccinations from his family but had not spoken out in favor of lifting personal exemption.
"It's all about removing the parents' right to vote," he said.
Other members of the Legislative Delegation from Clark County did not respond to a request for comment.
Dr. Alan Melnick, Clark County Public Health Director, said he did not read HB 1638. I could not specifically comment on it, but said: "In general, improving the vaccination coverage would be helpful."
Inslee supported the 2015 bill and current legislation, said Tara Lee, a spokeswoman for the governor. Eileen Quiring, chairman of the district council of Clark, said in a text that the council would discuss whether it would support the legislation.