“The Washington State House just passed a bill eliminating philosophical or personal exemptions from the measles, mumps, and rubella vaccine. The bill is attempting to remove these exemptions and make the vaccination completely mandatory for all school children. The lower chamber approved the measure in a 57-40 vote, according to The Associated Press. The bill will now head to the state Senate, which is expected to vote on a broader measure related to vaccines in the next week.
The Seattle Times reports that the vote “comes in in the midst of an outbreak that has sickened at least 71 people, mostly children age 10 and younger.”
The measure is sponsored by a lawmaker from that region, Republican Rep. Paul Harris of Vancouver, who said that the measure “will make our communities safer.” There were, of course, representatives opposed to this like Republican Rep. Norma Smith of Clinton, who said that most of the communication she’s gotten from voters in her district was in opposition to the bill. She urged that it’s important to “recognize that this is a complex issue and that we need to respect the decisions made by families. For us to take an action which doesn’t allow them to have a voice, I believe is wrong.””
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