Kids & Family

New PA Bill Would Regulate Vaccine Exemptions in State

Parents would need to discuss vaccine pros/cons with doctor before obtaining exemption form.

A newly introduced bill in the State House would regulate how vaccine exemptions are granted in Pennsylvania.

Sponsors say the bill would create a standardized request form for exemptions, which would need to be signed by a doctor.

"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," State Senator Judy Schwank (D-Reading) told KDKA Radio. "It doesn't eliminate the exemptions."

Schwank says parents would have to understand the impact of not getting vaccinated, not just for their child but for other children as well. According to Schwank, some school districts in Pennsylvania do not currently require an exemption form for parents who choose not to vaccinate their children.

The bill comes as health officials across the country battle outbreaks of the measles. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there have been 839 confirmed cases of measles in 23 states, including Pennsylvania. These numbers represent the worst measles outbreak in the United States since 1994.

The Allegheny County Health Department is operating an immunization clinic, located at 425 First Avenue, Fourth Floor, in downtown Pittsburgh. Clinic hours are: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday: 9 AM-4 PM and on Wednesday: 1-8 PM.

You can also talk to your doctor about a vaccine, or click here for more information on the vaccine and where to get it.

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