This editorial will appear in Friday’s print edition.
When it comes to legislation pertaining to childhood vaccinations, state lawmakers should heed the experts – like the Washington State Medical Association and the Washington Academy of Family Physicians.
They should politely but firmly reject the medical opinions of people who get their information from questionable Internet sites and quacks.
The legislation in question is House Bill 1015 and its companion Senate Bill 5005. It requires that parents who don’t want their children to be immunized against such diseases as polio, whooping cough, measles and diphtheria submit proof that a health provider has informed them of the risks and benefits of immunization.
Immunization is required for children to enter public school, but parents are allowed to waive that requirement by signing a form claiming medical, religious or philosophical reasons. Public health officials are concerned that so many parents are opting out that the “herd immunity” benefit of immunization is in danger of being lost – threatening the outbreak of diseases not often seen anymore in this country.
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