Personally or philosophically against vaccines? Bill would limit exemptions

OLYMPIA, Wash. (AP) — A House committee will hold a public hearing on a bill that would remove philosophical opposition as an acceptable reason for parents to not vaccinate their school-age children.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. June Robinson, will be heard before the House Health Care & Wellness Committee Tuesday morning.

Currently, Washington allows school vaccination exemptions for medical, religious and personal or philosophical beliefs. House Bill 2009 removes the personal or philosophical belief allowance for an exemption.

The measure, which has the support of the Washington State Medical Association and Gov. Jay Inslee, comes following a measles outbreak that has sickened more than 100 people across the U.S., including in Washington state, and in Mexico. No deaths have been reported.

According to the National Conference of State Legislatures, Washington is among 20 states that allow for personal belief exemptions and 48 that allow for religious exemptions.