Washington State Passes SB 1638 to Remove Philosophical Exemption for the Measles Vaccine, Religious Remains
by Ginger Taylor MS
It will have to go back to the House for concurrence.
OLYMPIA, Wash. — The state Senate passed a bill Wednesday night 25-22 along party lines that eliminates the "personal preference" exemption from the requirement to have kids vaccinated against measles. It came after the 5 p.m. deadline when the Senate rules allowed for this bill to be voted on passed the cutoff time.
It comes on the heels of the measles outbreak in Clark County. The state Secretary of Health says the vaccine is safe. A large group of parents don't believe that.
Demonstrators took to the capitol steps ahead of the vote to protest that bill (SB 1638) saying it should be up to parents on whether their kids should get vaccinated.
"We're not here saying that we're anti vaccine," said bill opponent Elvera Karpachuk. "But we want to make sure that we have choice."
Other protest groups said they are definitely against the vaccine and staged large demonstrations at the capitol.
State Health Secretary Dr. John Wiesman testified earlier, "The bottom line is, this is preventable and it's preventable with our highly safe and effective vaccines."