Action Alert: Immunization Bill Taken Up in Conference Committee

The Immunization bill, S.199, is moving to a conference committee and your representatives need to hear from you!

S.199 as passed in the Senate removed the philosophical exemption to the requirement that all children entering public school or registered childcare centers receive all recommended vaccines.  This bill, which Voices for Vermont’s Children supports, was significantly amended in the House.  The House version no longer removes the philosophical exemption to immunization.  Instead, it aims at increasing Vermont’s immunization rates primarily through increased parental education, without taking away parents’ right to refuse immunization.  It seems extremely unlikely that the House will pass a bill this year that removes the philosophical objection.

Therefore, in the interest of increasing parental education concerning immunization and the risks associated with opting out Voices for Vermont’s Children supports the Conference Committee amending the House version of S.199.

The House version requires schools and registered day care centers to report their vaccination rates, disaggregated by each type of vaccine and make this information publicly available to families in their communities by September 15th.  This information is already a reporting requirement for both schools and licensed and registered child care facilities, due annually to the state on January 1st.  To require that this information be provided on September 15th would be both duplicative and onerous, burdening schools and daycares with extra and unnecessary reporting requirements in an unrealistic time frame.

We urge you to call your representatives and let them know that you support a compromise on S.199, but that you do not support adding additional, duplicative reporting requirements for schools and home day care providers.

For more detailed information on this bill as passed in both the Senate and the House and on the position taken by Voices for Vermont’s Children, please e-mail us for the full version of this Alert.

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