State Bill Would Standardize Vaccination Exemption Form In PA

State Senator Judy Schwank says it doesn't eliminate exemptions in the commonwealth

Lynne Hayes-Freeland
May 17, 2019 - 2:09 pm

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Related: Two Additional Measles Cases Confirmed In Allegheny County

HARRISBURG (Newsradio 1020 KDKA) - A new bill introduced Friday would change the vaccine exemption process for children in Pennsylvania.

State Senator Judy Schwank of Reading, PA tells KDKA Radio's Lynne Hayes-Freeland, the bill calls for a standardized request form created by the Pennsylvania Department of Health:

“It has to be signed by a medical professional who has explained to that parent both the pros and cons of getting their children vaccinated,” said Schwank. “It doesn’t eliminate the exemptions.”

The form would require parents to discuss immunizations with a medical professional, who would then sign-off on it.

“If they’re going to make that decision, which not only impacts their children but other children as well at least they’ve heard the facts and they understand some of the risks that they’re taking by not vaccinating,” said Schwank.

Schwank says some school districts do not require any exemption form.

The legislation was introduced today, as the number of measles cases nationwide climb to the highest numbers seen in decades.

Seven cases have been reported in Allegheny County, six from one family.

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